Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why Do They Call Them Comics: Beetle Bailey

If today's shocking and disturbing Beetle Bailey comic can be believed, Sarge only has one tooth in his head! Holy Crap!

Sarge has always been drawn with one squared-off incisor jutting up from his lower jaw, but I just thought that was comic strip shorthand for a snaggle tooth. A way to make him look mean and dangerous, like a bulldog. It never once occurred to me that he's supposed to be toothless.

Don't our nation's soldiers receive free medical and dental care? A quick google search reveals that no, they do not. Soldiers and their families are entitled to a group military health care plan that provides medical and dental care at little or no cost.

Apparently the little cost was too much for Sarge to swing on his non-commissioned officer salary, and he was forced to watch as the teeth dropped from his mouth like autumn leaves. Appalling! We really should take better care of our military.

If we look back a few weeks, we see that Sarge does apparently practice some rudimentarily preventative dental maintenance, as he desperately tries to save his last remaining tooth. Too little, too late.

Of course all this "one tooth" business is flagrantly contradicted by this strip, in which Sarge is seen grimacing with what appears to be a full set of choppers. How to explain this apparent conundrum? Does he have teeth or not? Perhaps in times of extreme rage, he can temporarily summon a mouthful of gnashing teeth, much the way Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk?

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