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The Bumsteads' dark secret: Their marriage is sexless

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The only thing going on between the sheets in the home of Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead is snoring.

In a sad comic that more or less confirms what many have thought for years, the two members of what may be the comics' most famous married couple (sorry, Hi and Lois Flagston and Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn) confirm that they have ceased sexual relations.

The shocking truth comes forth in Tuesday's episode of "Blondie," in which a clearly randy Dagwood begs his spouse for even the slightest form of affection. A bolder man more confident in his wife's adoration might ask for something more lascivious, but Dagwood requests "a warm handshake and a goodnight wink" after he and Blondie have a spat. A more normal couple might indulge in make-up sex.

Perhaps this turn of events shouldn't be so surprising. With his habit of chomping down massive sandwiches piled high with salted meat, Dagwood can't make the experience of sharing a bed all that pleasurable. Besides, we've long believed Blondie has had a wandering eye, even seeking relief outside the marriage.

What a change in attitude. Back in the 1930's, Dagwood couldn't take his eyes off his young bride, a former flapper whose interest was discouraged by Dag's billionaire father. So strong was Dagwood's love for Blondie that he renounced access to the family fortune to marry her. That adoration has since cooled: Witness this strip from 2010 in which Mr. Bumstead can't even bother to turn his head to look at his spouse, so much does her presence annoy him.

We expect each character to find new love in the embrace of another entity. Blondie will find an illicit suitor without much worry, while we suspect Dagwood will have to find solace in wee-hours Cinemax. Let's hope they keep the whole thing to themselves, if only to spare Cookie, Alexander and that clingy neighbor boy Elmo.

To reach the Comics Examiner, email me at bristei@aol.com or follow me on Twitter @bristei

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