April 1997 Comic Strips
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Dilbert sits at his desk with Dogbert. A voice yells, "Hey, Dilbert! You'll never be hungry as long as you're workin' in this strip . . ." Billy from "Family Circus" says, ". . . 'Cause you're sure of THREE SQUARES every day!" Billy continues, "Some of us hafta keep goin' around in circles!" Dilbert says into the telephone, "Security?" (This strip was drawn by Bill Keane, creator of "Family Circus," for April Fools' Day.)
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The Boss, Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "In order to reduce expenses, only the employees in essential jobs may have business cards." Wally, Dilbert and Alice think, "I'd better order some business cards to find out if I'm 'essential.'" The Boss says to his secretary, "Carol, order some new business cards for me." Carol replies, "Ooh. No can do. But you can borrow some of mine."
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A man and a woman stand outside Alice's cubicle. Alice says, "I hate to interrupt your loud conversation outside my cubicle . . ." Alice continues, "But it you don't go away, I'll pound your inconsiderate head so far into your torso that you have to drop your pants to say hello." Wally asks Dilbert, "Did you just hear a strange noise?" Dilbert says, "It sounded like, 'Melp! Melp!'" Nearby, a man's head protrudes from his pants.
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The Boss stands behind Alice's desk and says, "I'm sending you to a training course that runs at night so you won't miss any work." The Boss continues, "It might seem like an immoral abuse of my power, but I like to call it 'a mutual investment in your career.'" Alice clenches her teeth and thinks, "Must . . . Control . . . Fist . . . Of . . . Death . . ." The Boss says, "And they have vending machines if you get hungry!"
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The caption says, "Company Training." The instructor stands at the front of the room and says, "Let's go around the room and we'll each say what we hope to learn." Alice, Wally and several other people sit in the audience. Alice says, "I hope to learn whether that thing on your head is a bad toupee, a dead animal, or a hideous freak of nature." The instructor pauses before writing on the easel and asks, "Can I call that 'general'?"
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The strip is titled, "Dogbert presents the life cycle of a business idea." The caption says, "The brain creates an idea." Asok, Wally, Alice and the Boss sit at a conference table. Asok dreams about a woman. The caption says, "The mouth - operating independently of the brain - creates words." Asok says, "Let's form proactive synergy restructuring teams." The caption says, "The words are written on large paper." Dilbert writes, "Let's form synergy," on an easel pad. He thinks, "Idiot." The caption says, "The large paper is delivered to a bitter secretary." Dilbert hands Carol the paper and says, "Please?" Carol growls. The caption says, "The secretary types it." Carol types, "Let's . . . form . . . protein . . . symphony reactionary . . . teens." She thinks, "Close enough." The caption says, "The typed notes are delivered to the staff." Someone hands Wally a copy of the notes. He points to the wastebasket and says, "Drop it in the 'to do basket.'" The caption says, "Repeat." Asok sits at his desk dreaming about a woman.
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Alice sits across from the Boss's desk. The Boss says, "Alice, your performance is good, but you must learn to deal with ambiguity." Alice asks, "Did I just get blamed for your indecisive leadership?" The Boss replies, "I'm not indecisive; I'm flexible." Alice says, "That would explain how your head got where it is."
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Carol hands Dilbert a piece of paper and says, "Here's the new org chart. I had to rearrange the layout to make it fit." Dilbert asks, "Why is my box lower than Alice's and Wally's?" Carol replies, "It means nothing . . . Nothing at all." Dilbert asks, "Okay, who told you that every year I fish your Secretaries' Day card out of your trash and save it for next time?" Carol asks, "What?"
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Dilbert stands behind Wally's desk and says, "The new org chart has my name lower than yours, but it doesn't mean anything." Dilbert shows Wally the chart and says, "See? It wouldn't all fit across the page. It's just a graphical layout thing, that's all." Alice holds out her coffee mug and says, "Hey, Dil-boy, put a head on this and fetch my mail." Wally asks Dilbert, "Are you asking me to be your mentor?"
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Asok stands behind Dilbert's desk and says, "I notice that the new org chart has your box lower than before." Dilbert replies, "It means nothing." Asok says, "Perhaps. But your box seems smallish. And your reporting line brushes against my box." Dilbert replies, "It means nothing." Asok says, "No, I'm sure this means I'm your new boss." Dilbert thinks, "I wonder if I killed someone in a previous life."