Tag Archives: Cayla

Rooly Unkool

Kids these days, with their shenanigans and whatnots! If it’s not gluing a quarter to the floor it’s vandalizing a car like in today’s strip. Nothing says light-hearted mischief like a $2200 detailing bill. What’s next? The classic “lit newspaper in the mailslot” trick?


Woohoo! Go Seniors!


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Leaf It Alone

Cancer sucks. We got your thesis statement loud and clear, Tombat, but with all of the Autumns you and Lisa must have shared pre-cancer, why are you reminiscing about this one in today’s strip?!

Thanks for that, by the way, now I have to try and wrench sarcastic snarking humor about a strip that is basically about slowly losing a loved one to cancer. Wee.

Today’s strip


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The French Revolution

Link to today’s strip.

This actually isn’t bad, although it’s a bit stretched for a Sunday episode.  Credit where it’s due–Tom Batiuk has finally realized what an obnoxious a-hole Les is, so instead of having him deliver these puns, he has Cayla do it, where they are far less smirk-coated and can be appreciated (as much as puns can be, that is).   If the roles had been reversed, this would have been one of the worst strips ever.  The punchable smirk in the penultimate panel would have been woven throughout like a plague bacillus.

Mr. Batiuk even has Les accepting Cayla’s puns, instead of whineley squawking that all the attention isn’t on him.   He actually looks proud of her.  That’s progress of a sort.  Maybe Cayla will actually start to come into her own as a character.  (Doubtful, but who knows?)

The one puzzling aspect is Cayla’s expressions; she looks like she’s at a funeral.  Especially odd is her look in that penultimate panel.  But I think I’ve figured that one out.  Cayla is beginning to understand what it is to be Les Moore, spouting endless puns for approval, and it smells pretty bad to her.

In short, good one, Mr. Batiuk–thank you.

Don’t misunderstand–this is like finding a raisin in a bowl of rabbit turds.  You didn’t want a raisin anyway, and you’ve lost your appetite, but at least it is edible–unlike the rest of what’s in the bowl.


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From Here to Punchternity

Link to today’s strip.

Poor Cayla.  Doomed forever to live in Lisa’s shadow.   Of course, she brought it on herself so it’s difficult to feel any sympathy when Les realizes, “Hey, this might get expensive, and she’s not Lisa, so why did I even bother telling her I’d take her overseas.  I’ll buy her dinner somewhere.  At the Paris Bar-B-Que & Bar-B-Beer-o-Rama in nearby Flungdown, Ohio.  And I’ll pretend it’s Paris, France, and she’ll be just floored by how clever I am.  She’s already happy with everything I do, so even if I instead spend the Beer-O-Rama’s five bucks on framing a Lisa picture, she’ll smile in delight.

“And if she insists on China–ha, like she’d insist on anything–I’ll take her to the Golden China Dump in Wastelife, Ohio and she’ll think I’m double clever.  She always does.”

My brother went to China a couple of years ago, and it’s not the sort of trip a cheapskate Wetviewian would undertake.  According to my brother, you’d be wise to go first class, because you can develop some severe health problems in a cramped lower-class seat.  Although, come to think of it, if Cayla got severe health problems…


So, I went to Priceline (because Captain Kirk is cool), plugged in my nearest airport, put in Hong Kong as the destination and selected the dates of November 12 – 18.  (I think Les’ anniversary is around that time.  Like Les himself, I can’t remember.)  The result–

Whoa.  Let’s try something a little more reasonable.  I plugged in my numbers for a late-August, early-September trip to Beijing.

Still up there in “Yikes!” territory for a Language Arts teacher who doesn’t make a lot of money (as the teachers continuously point out).  Keep in mind, in both cases that’s per person, so Les is going to be out anywhere from $25 to $16 grand*.  This is a guy who wouldn’t bother to warn his first wife that she might die–and he’s going to spend that much money on Cayla?   Somehow I think the excuses will come a’runnin’ and Cayla will meekly accept them, now that she understands that she’s worthless.  (Sure seems like Les has been far more damaging than her old typing teacher could ever hope to be.)

Observe that she’s just now moving next to Les on the porch swing, now that Darin has left.  My assumption is that she was afraid she might distract attention away from Les, and that would never do.  Cayla is symptomatic of some kind of syndrome, that’s for sure.  I think it’s Lack of Pulitzer Nomination Syndrome, and I hear it’s pretty wearisome.

*Some might suggest that Les’ publishers would foot the bill.   In the real world, an author who had deliberately sabotaged a movie adaptation of his own work would be lucky to get a second book, and he’d be flung out a window if he asked for a free trip to China.  In the fantasy world of Westview, they’d not only foot the bill, they’d make sure it was national television news.  I don’t feel bound by Tom Batiuk’s logic, however…one of the main reasons this strip consistently fails to impress.


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Punch Me to the Moon

Link to today’s strip

Yeah–that sounds exactly like the way publishing must work.  Let’s take a book that’s already completed and put it aside for a book that’s barely begun, and might take (agonized) years to finish.   In the meantime, the folks who put literally moments into illustrating the first book will wait patiently to be paid.  This is as close to real as it gets, folks!  After all, if top-of-the-bestseller-lists author Les Moore isn’t handled properly, and given all the time he wants to mediocretize, he might skip to another vanity press!   Heavens!

Notice how in just one day, the focus has switched from Darin’s Californian Adventure back to Lisa.   That Pulitzer nomination must be the bitterest flavor Tom Batiuk has ever tasted.  Notice, too, that Cayla shows up just now so she can be further humiliated and placed at the back of the bus so Lisa can ride up front.  I find it very difficult to feel sympathy for her, however, as this is a bus she chose when she fought to get Les as a prize.

I take it back.  The failure of the Pulitzer committee to notice that Tom Batiuk had married his most wondrous character ever to a black woman–that taste must be bitterest of all.


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Do maladroits dream of selective *bleep*?

Today’s strip

Les – * There’s no DJ here. There’s no DJ here. There’s no DJ…
Cayla – Wake up, honey.
Les – * Hate Big Walnut Tech. Hate Big Walnut Tech. Hate Big Wal…
Cayla – Les. Les, dear, It’s Cayla, darling.
Les – Oh, Cayla, it’s… you.
Cayla – Yes, darling.
Bull – Hello, Les! Anybody home? I heard the you were distraught by the the big… well… you seem all right now.
Crazy Harry – Yes. He got quite a bump on the head. We kind of hoped… uh… thought there for a minute he was gonna leave us.
Donna – Oh.
Les – But I did leave you, Crazy. I came through the time pool. And then went back to our high school days.
Cayla – There, there, lie quiet now. You just had a bad dream.
Les – No.
Funky – Sure. Remember me, your old pal, Funky?
Les – Oh.
Holly – And me, Holly?
Cindy – You couldn’t forget my face, could you?
Les – No. But it wasn’t a dream. It was a time pool. And you, and you, and you, and you were there.
Barry – Oh!
Les – Not you Barry.
Cayla – Oh, we dream lots of silly things when we…
Les – No, Cayla, there was a real, functioning time pool. And I remember that there wasn’t much class… but mostly it was a reunion. But just the same, all I kept doing was wandering through the background listening to Cindy reveal her insecurities and Crazy plot to alter the present with a smartphone. Doesn’t anybody believe me?
Crazy Harry – Of course we believe you, Les. *wink*
Les – Oh, but anyway, Lis… uh Cayla, we’re here! Here! And this is the reunion – and you’re all here! And I’m not going to coordinate the reunion ever, ever again, because I loathe you all! And… oh, Cayla? There’s no one like Lisa!


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Barry Bald-faced-liar-man

– Find and/or purchase salt. Box, canister, iodized, sea, it doesn’t matter.
– Take one grain of aforementioned salt
– Read today’s strip
– For best results, avoid repeating

Is this strip supposed to explain Les’ lack of interaction with young Lisa (or any of the Act I gang)? That he fainted and was unconscious during the whole interaction?
Probably, in which case there will be a new entry into the dictionary’s definition of “cop-out”, but we should give TB the benefit of the doubt until this is confirmed.

Either way, though, Barry Balderman is spouting some Barry Balderdash today. This is what happened to Les after her was told that the DJ bailed:

He stated his hate for Big Walnut Tech

He gave Cayla the “children left behind” death glare for making a good point

He broodingly mused on the origin of Crazy’s nickname

He saw the entire Act I gang appear out of the Time Pool

He had a staring contest with his younger self while Lisa looked forlornly at her replacement

He continued the staring contest in silhouette form

He watched the entire Act I gang prepare to get back in the Time Pool

He waddled through the background of a strip that appeared IMMEDIATELY before he was depicted as fainted and passed out

Are my eyes beady enough for ya?


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