Indecent Proposal

The real surprise today is that Les doesn’t make Cayla get down on one knee while he proposes.

Let’s rewind, though, to panel 1: Who starts a sentence with  “In the main…?” I’m surprised Les went with that cliché instead of “At the end of the day…” And the park is “kind of a touchstone” for him? Oofah! There’s just something about Cayla that gives Les verbal diarrhea…For her sake, I sure hope that diamond is more genuine than the dialogue in today’s strip.


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  1. TheDiva

    Go on, Cayla, take the ring. The tines will cut into his skin in a highly satisfactory manner once you start punching him in the face repeatedly.

  2. God, even when he’s proposing he’s still the most obviously self satisfied jerk in comicdom. He’s not even asking for Cayla’s hand in marriage, he clearly assumes she has no logical choice but to accept Les’ generous permission to clamp on the ol’ ball and chain.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    On the plus side, something actually happens today. On the minus side, however, it involves Dorkus Malorkus and his incessant dialog-hogging again. Better get that will and your insurance paperwork in order, Cayla, because it won’t be long now.

    WTF does “in the main” mean? Another Batiuktionary entry right there. And the park is a “touchstone” for Les? Uh, yeah….OK, whatever you say, dingus. This idiot really needs to leave Westview a bit more often. I do like his demonstration of his ventriloquism skills there in panel three, though, pretty impressive. Naturally we’re all assuming that the ring is for her, but would anyone really be surprised if he slipped it on his own finger and started hugging himself again?

    Not only doesn’t Cayla have anything to say today (still) but this time she’s barely in the strip at all, save a partial glimpse of her face and a view of the back of her head. I guess we’ll have to wait for the Act IV sepia-toned flashbacks to explain how they went from rainy-day sex to “splitsville” to the big candid Susan make-out pic controversy to getting engaged, because the strip never bothered to fill any of that info in for us. Then again, perhaps that stuff is best left to the imagination.

    You know they’re going to have the wedding in the park and the reception at Montoni’s, right? Everyone will be there, including Lisa whose disembodied head will be hovering above the proceedings like a big dead moon, grinning in saintly approval. He’ll be able to milk a solid month’s worth of strips out of that spectacle for sure. Ugh.

  4. Flummoxicated

    Les goes from being unable to return Cayla’s declaration of love to proposing to Cayla over the course of under three months. All without showing any of the necessary character development to readers – quite the opposite, Les remains his old Lisa-obsessed self. How is this possible? Say it with me: IT’S CALLED “WRITING”!

  5. To follow up to my previous comment and clarify somewhat, Les isn’t asking for Cayla’s hand, he’s giving her permission to enter into marriage (something he just naturally assumes she wants).

    I have to say, this behavior is not becoming for any kind of woman. But since TomBat most likely made Les’ love interest a Black woman to be “edgy” and give a good example of voluntary racial diversity in an otherwise largely lily-white strip (come on, you know that had to have been at least part of the motivation), Cayla’s recent actions are especially demeaning. Note to Tommy: having a Black woman cow tow to a white man, even if “only” in a psychological manner, is not a great way to bridge the racial divide.

    I seem to recall BatCrap saying he made the time jump to avoid showing Les wallowing in Lisa’s recently deceased shadow. Well “10 years” of time passing sure didn’t make that shadow fade much. Half the strip is still Les talking about/to/with Lisa CancerCancer.

  6. David

    Cayla is speechless…just like every other strip she appears in to this point. Maybe she will have a chance to respond to the magnificent one in 2012.

  7. sourbelly

    “In the main, my memories of this park are happy ones. I just choose to ignore them.”

    I thought, after reading that panel, that my seething, white-hot hatred for Les had reached the infinite. Then I looked at the last panel. If I could, I’d rip off his smarmy face and cram in deep into his sigmoid colon. At least at that point, his face would be close to his brain.

  8. S.P. Charles

    Riff Chick, why shouldn’tLes assume this is what Cayla wants? Look at the sh-t she’s been putting up with over the past couple of years, so intense was her love for him.

  9. S.P. Charles

    (almost as intense as his love for him)

  10. bayoustu

    Panel 3: I can almost hear a cartoon sound effect (Perhaps a few quick notes on a xylophone: deedle leedle leedle leedle) as Less’ eyebrows waggle up and down in a self-satisfied manner! (And speaking of self-satisfying: fingers crossed that’s what Less will be reduced to after Cayla spurns him!)

  11. Epicus Doomus

    Oh, it’d be fantastic if she said “no”, but she’s way too much of a good-natured doormat (and a one-dimensional character) to do that. Plus it might actually be mildly interesting and not just a pile of predictable sap, so I can’t see it happening. Cayla exists to a) prove Les is still a heterosexual and b) establish that FW isn’t afraid to tackle and address edgy, atypical comic strip fare like “interracial love”. She’s a big fat “macguffin”: no real personality of her own and no real purpose other than to provide a source of “relationship” storylines for Les. I can’t remember a single Cayla-centric story arc aside from when she got those dreads that time and he was barely able to stretch that one out for a whole week.

    Watching Batom try to draw her with any kind of frequency is going to be hilarious, though.

  12. John

    Les: “In the main, the memories I have of this park are happy ones.”

    Cayla: “Worst. Conversational. Segue. EVER.”

    Les: “Eh? What did I tell you about interrupting me? Anyway, it’s always been kind of a place where I like to touch me…”

    Cayla: “Wh-WHAT?!?”

    Les: “A -touchstone- for me, I meant to say!”

    Cayla: “Mmm-hmm. Les, forget it. I just told you I’m ready to break up with you. The last thing I want to listen to is you recounting another dreary memory!”

    * Les begins pursing his lips in a manner that he obviously thinks makes him look humble and sincere. Instead, it makes him look sanctimonious and smug, but hey, it wouldn’t be Les otherwise*

    Les: “I think you won’t want to leave when you see the carrot I have to dangle before you, my sweet…”

    Cayla: “…buster, did you just compare me to a DONKEY?!?”

    Les: “…for you see, this carrot is made of DIAMOND! Get it? GET IT?”


    “…um, get it?”

    Cayla: “….*sigh*”

  13. MKay

    If only there were a snowball’s chance in Hell that Cayla would turn him down. No hope, no hope…

  14. Jeffcoat Wayne

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a proposal take this long without lawyers present.

  15. Jeffcoat Wayne

    As Les’s marriage proposal reaches its fourth day, his words are starting to ramble out of control. This might be a good time to take a break and wow Cayla with some fancy tricks.

  16. Jeffcoat Wayne

    Look at the size of that ring — is that a touchstone?

  17. geekboy

    Aren’t we all getting ahead of ourselves by assuming that he is proposing? Maybe that is Lisa’s old ring and he just wants Cayla to wear it while they snog on the bench. That way Mr. Mealymouth can get a little closer to his fantasy of doing it with Lisa’s ghost.

    What a creep.

  18. Charlene

    If Les were any creepier he’d be wearing a Tron suit.

  19. Les’s foreground hand is 30% smaller than his background hand. Either that or the perspective is a quarter-inch from reality. Or it’s called “writing.”

    Ain’t called drawing, that’s for sure.

  20. Zane

    Touchstone is just Les’s “cute” little way of changing the subject to visiting Lisa’s tombstone (which is his favorite place ever as it combines his misery-worship fetish with Lisa and reminds him of her cancer-death that gave him the material to write his little book on) after Cayla says yes, because Les just ASSUMED she’d say yes. He didn’t even bother to pop the question the right way.

  21. O.B. Dan

    I’ve been watching from a distance, and the ever-longer comments pages finally brought me back, just in time to see…this? Granted, Batiuk has painted Cayla as a truly desperate dimwit, but she’s just got to be able to see she’ll never be the love of Les’ life. Our Lady Of Perpetual Visitation will always be #1.

    Remember, this is only Thursday. We have Friday and Saturday, maybe even Sunday, to work through this. If she says yes, figure Sunday to be a large one-panel party or reception of some kind.

    I hope she says no, and actually creates a storyline worth following; but whatever happens, this momentous occasion has brought us one big step closer to The Grand Finale.

  22. Zane

    I am curious do you think that Les is going to break out the Batman and Robin outfits to get married in again?

  23. MKay

    Zane, I think Les can do whatever he wants to, because Cayla now appears to be played by an inflatable doll. I mean, how long since she spoke?

  24. Oh gosh, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth…

    Les, just tell her she doesn’t have to buy a gown because you’ve got an outfit that will might fit her and you know the perfect day and place to get married. Cayla, I told you to run and you didn’t listen. Now you’re stuck…

  25. Chyron HR

    That’s nothing, I threw up in my brain a little.

  26. Miskatonic Sophomore

    I knew that something like this was coming, but I’m still pretty nauseated.

    In panel three…that pinkie. That fuckin’ pinkie.

    Oh, I hate Les. I hate him so much.

  27. Jeffcoat Wayne

    Speak, Zombie, speak! Um… never mind. I much prefer the sound of my own voice. While I’ve got you here, let me tell the story of why I grew this pretentious beard. Oh no, not you, my sweet! I really am talking about this poorly-sketched crap all around my face.

  28. Les in P2: “Which has always been kind of a tombstone for me.”

  29. Jeff

    Les, this is simply scandalous! Lisa isn’t even 15 years in the ground!

  30. Smirks 'R Us

    Pretentious dialog, ventriloquism, mutes, mismatched body part size, inappropriate seasonal attire…TB can squeeze more cr*p in 3 panels than most competent cartoonists can do in a year.

  31. Charles

    So Les spends the last God-knows-how-long talking about his ex-wife and how she was date raped and impregnated, and died of cancer, never talking about anything he and Cayla did, or how much she means to him, or even letting her say *one freaking word*, he then asks her to marry him. It’s all about his memories and his feelings, and not one of them has to do with the woman he just asked to marry him.

    I was wrong, however, yesterday when I said this would be the most vomit-inducing moment I’d seen portrayed in a narrative work. It’s different. I can’t even describe it. Words like horrible and appalling just don’t do it justice.

    It’s… even worse than Anthony’s proposal to Elizabeth in For Better or Worse.

  32. arcs like these make me wish TomBat were here to comment. I am honestly dying to know how he would defend such indefensible tripe.

    He’d probably say “you’re not artistic or deep enough to get it” and then quit talking to us.

  33. redbird

    He’ll be able to milk a solid month’s worth of strips out of that spectacle for sure. Ugh.
    Epicus: You are an optimist!

    Our Lady Of Perpetual Visitation will always be #1.
    Dan: Maybe this is Batiuk’s way of writing out St. Lisa. [May she finally rest in peace…] I can’t add anything to your other points. You’re spot-on as usual.

  34. Jeffcoat Wayne

    Six months ago, Les seemed to be enjoying the thrill of unknowingly having two women stalk after him. Now, glumly, he realizes there’s nothing left to do but marry the loser.

  35. Dr. D.

    Wanna bet the ring is actually Lisa’s?

    “I paid enough for it the first time, wouldn’t want to let it go to waste. Plus, it was Lisa’s, and me giving it to you just shows how important you are to me, next to Lisa.

    “It was kind of hard to get it back, though, rigor mortis had set in, had to pry open her clenched fist without breaking anything. I thought about waiting until after the cremation, just pick it out of the ashes, but the heat would’ve damaged the diamond. Should’ve opted for the Cubic Zirconia, they’re indestructible, and cheaper. Live and learn.

    “So, of course your answer is yes?”

  36. Madcougar

    Mark my words… she’s going to say no.

  37. Dr. D.

    Ash nazg durbatulûk,
    Ash nazg gimbatul,
    Ash nazg thrakatulûk
    Agh burzum-ishsi krimpatûl!

  38. A HREF

    Les has happy memories? Really. Have we seen one?

  39. J.R. Clark


    (sigh) You know what they say…”Once you go white, you ain’t never right!”

  40. billytheskink

    Basically, this is what Les has said all this week (if not the entire time he’s been “dating” Cayla):

    This is what a sane human being would hear:

    Cayla hasn’t had the spine or the mind to respond to Les’ red flags in the past, and this is probably her last chance to do so. Her being essentially a prop is all TB’s doing of course, but if this was real life and she said yes, she totally deserves this cad.

  41. Dr. D.

    Urrgh, I misspelt my Black Speech! Lose the ^ in the last word, should be just krimpatul.

  42. Andrew

    One of the least interesting ways to propose to someone – spending the better part of a week rambling about memories when you’re already unpopular for saying too much and taking away from a more interesting plotline involving some dead guy you wrote a book about.

    At least could this be a sign that Bautik will either end this or finally get around to passing the torch, which has already gone out by now?

  43. A good thing could come out of this, though. They could get married, pack up Summer, build a house on top of a mountain and leave all of Westview alone. And the mountain could be a volcano that erupts and they all get burned to death.

  44. DavidO

    In the main, this week’s strip has been a showcase of how you can’t force something like a park bench into being iconic. Snoopy’s doghouse? Iconic. I’m sure Schulz never intended it to be, it’s just where Snoopy hung out.

    Besides, I’m pretty sure Forrest Gump claimed park benches his territory in the early 90s.

  45. Jeffcoat Wayne

    Dr. D.: Wanna bet the ring is actually Lisa’s?

    Batiuk doesn’t take the time to check his own continuity, so I shouldn’t be expected to do more research than he does, but I seem to recall that Lisa was cremated. Can anyone confirm? I’m almost positive that “Les crying to the heavens” panel I’ve posted a couple of times had something to do with him dumping her ashes in New York. So if she was cremated, I suppose it would make sense that he still has that ring. I’m positive he didn’t shop for a new one, because I can’t imagine Batiuk passing up the opportunity to have Les chatting up Lisa with the jeweler for two weeks while he picks out a ring for Cayla.

    billytheskink: Her being essentially a prop is all TB’s doing of course

    Les has spent the last ten years pining for a lost corpse. At last, he’ll have the next best thing: a living corpse.

  46. Professor Fate

    1) AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
    2) to quote Professor Fate from the Movie The Great Race “I hate you.”
    3) of all the smug jackass ways to launch into a wedding proposal – you know if you had spent oh even 11 seconds about how being with Cayla makes you feel or talked about your feelings for her maybe this wouldn’t seem like you’re presenting her with the Runners up trophy. But no, there is no mention of “us’ or ‘you’ – just me. What a Schmuck.

  47. I’ve never before wanted to punch a comics character in the face so badly. SO. BADLY.

  48. Guys! We’re panicking for no reason!

    There’s no way these two make it to the altar.

    Susan will deliver us via sniper rifle from on top of the gazebo at the park.

    The noise, of course, will send Wally into a post war flashback about his POW day and he’ll haul out his service rifle, try to take out Susan but miss and hit Funky instead. Bull will have a heart attack trying to pull out his cell.

    All was well with the Funkyverse.

  49. O.B. Dan

    @ Jeffcoat – yes, Lisa was cremated. Les was rained on and robbed, then rescued by Funky, in the closing days of Act II.

    I’m convinced they will not go smoothly from park bench to Park Plaza’s honeymoon suite without a major breakup or an intervention by Our Lady Of Perpetual Visitation. Probably both, if at all.

    Either way, the end is near. Think abut it. The storyline has been Les and Lisa since long before Act II ended, in fact setting up the end of II, all of III, and the transition. It is all based on his endless devotion to her, and the abnormal adoration of her in the sainted stage.

    Once that bond is either fortified beyond any chance of change or ended with a blessing from Our Lady, the story has ended. A week or two of tying up the loose ends, and it’s over.

    We can only hope…

  50. Dr. D.

    Mehe:  There’s no way these two make it to the altar. Susan will deliver us via sniper rifle from on top of the gazebo at the park.

    No, they make it to the altar, but Susan will be the Maid of Honor, “sloppy seconds” to the last! Just after they say “I do,” she pulls a pistol out of her oddly-amplified cleavage and shoots the b*st*rd through the heart. Unfortunately, TB will drag out Les’ dying soliloquy for a whole week. And it will be smug.

  51. Jimmy

    Fifty comments so far. Impressive. With the exception of Bill A, it looks like I was the only one surprised by today’s turn. The title of today’s post is perfect.

  52. Marion Delgado

    I think before the 1st panel he was pondering saying “with all due respect ..”

    But who’s the wordsmith here? Les Moore, or you haters?

  53. S.P. Charles

    TH, I’m surprised Les didn’t make Cayla get down on both knees.

    Okay, that was crass. But I kinda still do mean it.

  54. Marion Delgado

    Cayla, if the pre-nup is confusing, please remember which of us is the writer, ‘kay?

  55. Marion Delgado

    ‘I will take the Ring,’ she said, ‘though I do not know the way.’

  56. “Cayla Brownperson, will you do yourself the honor of becoming my silver medal?”

  57. Epicus Doomus

    Imagine the scene when Cayla’s friends ask her to tell her engagement story…

    “We ate outside Montoni’s, then we went to the park. He talked about his dead wife for a while, then he told me he wanted to create another memory for himself.”

    “No, really Cayla, what’s the real story???”

  58. Charles

    It is pretty remarkable how unnecessary Cayla’s been in this whole thing, and how even though the last few months have been on this nasty little relationship, we still really don’t know what Les thinks of her. It’s appalling to think that Les’s high school crush Kelly had more to say in this several-month sequence through the sepia-ville flashbacks than Cayla has.

  59. Sgt. Saunders

    Contrary to OB Dan’s assertions, I think TB is not about to wrap up this vainglorious self-lovefest any time real soon. With Cayla home on the couch, Lisa shimmering in the TV screen, and probably SWS at the window sill, Les is in for a whole new existence. First and foremost, he will be waiting for Cayla to find that longed-for breast lump. He can then read Lisa’s Story aloud to her, constantly. Lisa can visit her during General Hospital. Summer can play her Lisa tapes for her. Les can more fully compare her to Lisa, and, why not, get a head start on Cayla’s Story. Gunga lagunga, Les is in for a full and rich marriage, however short, to Cayla. Cayla, on the other hand, not so much.

  60. sourbelly

    You know that “Garfied without Garfield” parody strip? Someone with the appropriate skills should create “F*nky W*ink*rb**n without Cayla.” I wonder if anyone could tell the difference, especially in terms of this week’s strips.

  61. redbird

    sourbelly: And the reson you’re not trying this out yourself…? 🙂

  62. sourbelly

    Redbird, the reason is that I lack the requisite skills. Sadly.

  63. David

    Tombat has created something similar: Funky Winkerbean without Funky Winkerbean.

  64. O.B. Dan

    Contrary to O.B. Dan’s assertions, I think TB is not about to wrap [this] up…any time real soon…Les is in for a whole new existence.

    Exactly. In every plot twist and page turn to date, The Grounded One’s life has sucked – yet at each stage he has found stability with frequent apparitions from Our Lady Of Perpetual Visitation. Whether he ties the knot with Cayla or “knot,” his life is about to make a radical change in its to-now sucky course. And what began in 1972 and evolved from a gag-a-day strip to a “Mary Worth without Mary Worth” soap opera-like melodrama is about to come full circle.

    Hey, admit it – I can come up with a better Grand Finale than Batiuk at his best…it’s called “imagination!”