From the May 4 “Mark Trail” (James Allen/North America Syndicate)

The May 4 “Mark Trail” had a girl asking, “What part of Mexico will you be vacationing in, Rusty?” No American child or teenager would ever say that; heck, even adults don’t usually talk that way.

“Mark Trail” and “Judge Parker” jumped the shark about the same time. “Mark Trail’s” latest artist/writer has trouble with backgrounds apparently (he’s getting better), but the story in which Mark Trail is wandering through caves had a scene straight out of “The Lord of the Rings” with the bridge where Gandalf fought the Balrog. And every story now involves something crashing or getting blown up. Mark Trail is supposed to be a nature writer, not an action figure!

“Judge Parker” had the totally ridiculous story lines of a giant sinkhole at the same time the younger daughter disappeared — with a blank strip and then suddenly it’s six months later and we find it was an elaborate plot to kidnap her and keep her captive. I mean, really. 

It’s time for both of these strips to go. I miss “Tank McNamara” and “Close to Home” and nominate them as replacements.

Melissa Yorks, Gaithersburg