That’s STEP Significant-Other-In-Law To You, Fat Man

Link To Today’s Strip

Nice to see BatLoaf slowing things down a bit today and letting us know that he’s in no rush at all to marry Cory and Roxanne anytime soon. Hey, 2023 is going to need a highlight too, ya know.  As usual, BatWad is apparently plumb out of dialog already and resorting to desperate babble, which is sort of harrowingly accurate when you really think about the scenario here. But I digress.

Perhaps this will mark a new direction for the strip. “A reality-based comic strip that depicts unbelievably mundane issues in a yawn-provoking and tedious manner”. Oh, wait. Never mind. 

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It’s The Little Differences

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Good ol’ McArnolds, known for Arnold McArnold, the Beef Thief, Mayor O’ Patty and of course Sneer, the big purple one. “I will have a One-Fourther with cheese, a Sea-O-Sandwich, some Belgian fries and a box of McArnoldland cookies, please”. Over ten billion bored witless. The “soda” vs. “pop” gag was pretty funny the first ten thousand times I heard it so the impact is somewhat dulled here for me, although it’ll surely resonate with the new (guffaw) generation of FW readers who didn’t read “Archie” back in the early 1970s like I did.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be as easily amused as Holly is? “WOW, the f*cking fire hydrants are painted YELLOW here!”…”The power lines are…are…they’re UNDERGROUND, man!”…”I can’t BELIEVE that place just sold me three handguns!!”…but alas, I’m from New Jersey thus way too cynical and jaded to be impressed by these trivial cultural differences. Just wait until they arrive in Florida and order themselves a cup of brown sugar bubble water with frozen water chunks and a sipping tube.

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Videocracy

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Yet another cutting and timely observation about This Darned Technology Today, courtesy of the BanMan, who’s never more than five or ten years behind these “modern trends”. What a lifeless, listless outing. What’s next, a gag about unreliable GPS directions? Or that annoying warning sound your car makes when the seat belt isn’t buckled?

I assume that’s Morty driving in Funky’s sepia-toned flashback, for what it’s worth. This joke is so generic it’s almost impossible to think of anything to say about it aside from the usual generic snark. It sucks, it’s boring, it’s stupid and etc. Thus far this car trip to Florida is every bit as tedious as we all assumed it’d be. Where the hell is Cell Phone Girl when we really need her?

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Driving Miss La(zzzzzzzzz)

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Did you ever attempt to explain a FW story arc to a non-FW reader? “Well, these two characters are driving from Ohio to Florida to pick up the one character’s mother so they can bring her to a Big Alumni Band Reunion and today the one character falls asleep in the car”. Then you get the “look” every FW reader gets when they try to explain the strip to those who’ve never dipped their toes in Batiuk’s tepid pool of failure and apathy. It’s very similar to today’s panel three.

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Reach Out And Punch Someone

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Ha ha, look, a callback to a recent arc! You remember, the one where Holly was all upset because Cory never answers her calls! Remarkably, it’s still exactly as funny as it was the first time. Even funnier is the wary look on Funky’s face, good thing they left Mr. Weisenheimer in charge instead of someone qualified. Nice going, fatso.

So I guess they’re really taking this trip to Florida. Holly and Funky in a car together for six days…(shudder). That’s considered torture in some countries. Not this one, though. At this rate the Alumni Reunion Band thing could take years to play out. Then again, tomorrow’s strip could feature Funky and Holly talking about the trip and the reunion in the past tense and honestly I wouldn’t even bat an eye. After yesterday’s strip, a two-week car ride arc is the least of our problems, as a senior citizen marching band arc appears to be, uh, looming, let’s say. Sigh.

Those eyeballs in the corner really freaked me out until I realized it’s just the Montoni’s logo in the window. The sudden attention to detail really threw me off.

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Take My Arm, Please

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This one is unbelievable. First, we have pinned-up sleeves all over the place today. Then it turns out that Dinkle, aka General Nostalgia himself, doesn’t even KNOW about the Band Big Reunion Alumni at all yet! How could this have not been his idea? I mean, what the hell is he even DOING there if he’s not re-living the good old days, you know? And why are Funky and Holly leaving to pick up Holly’s mom now for an event that’s a full month away? Is he seriously going to do an arc about the elderly AND marching bands at the same time? Good God.

And finally there’s the bizarre spectacle of a retired march band conductor cracking wise about old people with missing body parts to a current marching band conductor with one arm. I mean, just wow. Utterly spectacular.

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They’re Gonna Need A Bigger Pack

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Fanny Packard? Because Funky and Holly are old boring fuddy-duddies who wear fanny packs? Ummm, OK then. “Things to do…”???? They’re picking up Holly’s mother, not going sightseeing. You can almost see BatNom’s self-satisfied smirk as he set down his felt-tip after coming up with this stellar bit of wordplay. Geez. Just when you think an arc bottoms out, Batom lowers the floor.

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