Trailing off in a joke
I don't think of myself as someone who follows the Mark Trail comic strip, although I glance at it when surveying the comics page. Its appeal escapes me and its survival mystifies me. Mark's current adventure involves taking a little boy camping in the woods (not too sure about the wisdom of that) and saving the boy's puppy from poachers who were using it for bait to attract alligators. Oh, and the puppy knocks over a wobbly car jack and traps the little boy under the car.
Note to parents and guardians: Do not let Mark Trail take care of your children or pets.
So now Mark needs to perform yet another rescue. He's desperately hunting for something with which to lift the car and save the little boy. He dashes off to a nearby abandoned store, breaks in, and finds—wait for it—an old jack! (Yay!)
But look at the climactic panel from the strip for December 12, 2009. See the artist's signature bubble? To what exactly is Trail referring when he says “old jack”? This may be the best joke to appear in the Mark Trail strip in quite some time. Is it deliberate? (What do you think?)