After spending 2 1/2 years “decoding” a large group of family letters (702 to be exact), I couldn’t resist attempting to transcribe the overlaid text in the first panel of today’s strip. I’m also fairly certain that I’m not the first to try this, as most people, including me, are nosy about what’s in a message they can’t read. I’ll say that compared to some 150–year old letters, it was still hard to read. And, shucks, no secret message! Just to be honest: HOT DATE WHICH EMILY THOUGHT WAS REALLY RUDE AND I TOTALLY AGREED HE WAS OUT OF LINE I MEAN JUST BECAUSE HES A SENIOR DOESNT GIVE HIM THE RIGHT TO BE OBNOXIOUS
I’m not going to try the third panel, but am just curious if you have a following that regularly transcribes these tangles? I always enjoy your strip, even with no teens in the house. Best regards and keep up the good work!
I just love your letter — it still has me smiling! No one has ever contacted us to say they’ve decoded my mishmash, so I thought maybe the only person who ever tried was our editor Evelyn at King Features Syndicate, whose job is to make sure we don’t sneak anything inappropriate onto the comics page. I delight in making her brow furrow, and suspect that many of her gray hairs have my name on them.
Glad you spent your efforts on this particular example of harmless garble, but I’m not promising they’re all so innocent!
Jim (and Jerry)