1. He keeps poking at the memory, having to confirm that it hurts even though he already knows it hurts. It ties into the first panel.

  2. I guess in this New Age Nancy era of the strip that Sluggo has become the kind of lad who would obsess over whether a bit of overheard banter with his pal Nancy would give distress to a bystander.

    Also – just to get this quibble on record – I’m not sure “He keeps poking at the memory” is quite the accurate description. (Yes, it does fit with the first panel when seen that way, as Powers accurately observes.) But is it actually a memory? Or a projection? In panel 3, Third Wheel Girl says “Oh… I do it too”, and is not crying or obviously distressed, in comic-world reality, which Sluggo observes and could be remembering. But in 4, 5, and 6, where she says “Guess .. I’m weird ..”, and is crying, it is in Sluggo’s thought-bubble. We never see her say that in “reality” – so maybe Sluggo is just imagining her response, based on the previous, actual step. He may be super-neurotically fretting over a merely imagined or projected offense he may not have committed anyway — and unintentionally, to boot.

  3. Am I the only one who finds the new Nancy pretty stupid when I get it, and frequently impenetrable, not even worth noting as a CIDU?

  4. I just found a bruise on me this morning, about half an hour before I read this cartoon on this site. (And, yes, I did poke it, but only to try and figure out how I got it.)


    Unlikely! Obviously, someone is taunting me with this cartoon.

  5. Actually, I remember fairly recently being blown away by a recent Nancy — probably low expectations made it seem all the more impressive, but I definitely was impressed. Sadly, I only remember the being impressed, not the actual strip itself…
    I checked the archives here, and couldn’t find it, but did find another one that’s fairly impressive, too (again, maybe because I have low expectations?):

  6. Powers has it. And it’s a good explanation as I couldn’t make any sense of it. But now it makes perfect sense.

    For the record, I had never poked at a bruise nor heard of anyone doing it that I guess obsessing over an a bad experience (which I certainly understand and do a lot) didn’t seem a clear analogy as I don’t do the physical bruise thing. Well, not bruises but strains and aching teeth and sunburns and hangnails. …. hmm… now that I think of it, why don’t I poke and bruises? I do every thing else but somehow a bruise…. I would never.

  7. I’m with you on that, Woozy — when first reading the comic I rejected the “poking at a bruise” as not the commonplace they are regarding it as. It’s much more familiar for other kinds of minor injury or irritation, as you point out.

  8. Gosh, I thought everyone poked at bruises. How can you resist? How else can you check whether it still hurts, just like it did five minutes ago?

    Are some of you able to avoid having embarrassing memories from 20 years ago popping up in your head, completely unprompted?

  9. “Gosh, I thought everyone poked at bruises. How can you resist? How else can you check whether it still hurts, just like it did five minutes ago?”

    Everything but bruises. Not sure why not bruises. It honestly never occurred to me. Maybe I actually believe if I touch a bruise the flesh will rupture and it we never heal and I’ll have a gaping wound that I’ll need to fill with silly putty. I don’t know. Seriously, never occurred to me.

    “Are some of you able to avoid having embarrassing memories from 20 years ago popping up in your head, completely unprompted?”

    Nope, relive them and relive them and relive…..

  10. Phil, I gave up on the new Nancy after several months. Like Lark, there were a few that were good, but not enough to make it worth my time. Most made no sense whatsoever.

  11. I also gave up on NANCY after trying it for a couple of months.

    And I wish things that still make me embarassed/ashamed only went back a mere fifty years (I think my earliest such memory was when I was four or five, so seventy years or so now). Of course, high school produced a whole lot of candidates.

  12. You mean other recall incidents from many years ago? Do they also spend time thinking, “Oh, I should have said . . . ”

    Who’d a thunk? I will post a relevant Wonderalla comic that will probably have to go through moderation in a follow-up comment.

  13. The embarrassing memories I relive are mostly things I wish I hadn’t said, rather than missed comebacks.

    All of them are probably from age 13+. 4 or 5 years old I figure I was young enough I can give myself a pass. (Bille Eilish recently apologized for something she did when she was 13; I’m glad I don’t have to apologize for every dumb thing I did when I was 13.)

  14. Missed responses are one thing. But they don’t compare to just plain shame and embarrassment.

  15. @Phil Smith III: No, you’re not the only one. I understand that the hip thing to do is to praise Olivia Jaimes’ version, but Guy Gilchrist’s version is the only version of Nancy I’ve enjoyed since Ernie Bushmiller died.

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