Hide Yo' Happiness

Today Batiuk revisits one of FW‘s dominant themes. No, not clumsy sentence structure (“…go ahead again anyway”?). Nope, not bricks. Naturally, I’m talking about the need to conceal one’s happiness, lest one attract the wrath of the universe. I truly wonder if this notion exists anywhere outside the Funkiverse? Imagine being unable to express even the slightest joy, out of an abject fear of recrimination. This might work as a quirky trait for a particular character (think Joe Btfsplk from Li’l Abner), yet this phobia is clearly understood and shared by everyone in Westview. Anyway, in this case, said wrath takes the form of an ill-timed phone call from…Darin’s mom? Is Lisa checking in from the afterlife again?

26 Comments

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26 responses to “Hide Yo' Happiness

  1. Epicus Doomus

    If the ceiling was lead-lined it might help explain why these two are so consistently stupid and vapid, too. Happiness is always something to dread and fear in Westview because it means the “other shoe” is about to drop, which in Boy Lisa’s case could lead to him losing his permanently-pizza scented apartment next to a creepy comic book shop with a hand-lettered sign on the front door. Pizza and comic books, a wife that isn’t aging terribly and/or gaining weight rapidly and a fanciful little pizza-related, vaguely-defined “job” with a fifteen second commute…he’s living the Westview dream all right.

  2. sourbelly

    I’m sure we’ve all experienced some fear that “the other shoe” would drop. But in Westview, it’ s not a fear, it’s a certainty. Sooner or later, that stinky Monty Python foot will fall and smash everything imaginable. In Westview, hope is the one fragile guy with bird wings about to be crushed.

    So, yeah. Apparently something awful awaits Dorkwood. I can’t wait!

  3. s.p. charles

    It’s his biological mother.

    Come on, it was just a matter of time…

  4. BeckoningChasm

    Imagine being unable to express even the slightest joy, out of an abject fear of recrimination.

    I imagine Tom Batiuk is thinking of Franz Kafka, just as I imagine I am about to be punched by Kafka’s ghost for daring to make the suggestion.

  5. John

    Darin: “Have I ever told you how happy you make me?”

    Jess: “No. In fact, since we’ve moved back to Westview, you’ve mostly talked to Les, talked to Funky, talked to Pete, talked to your parents…I rate a distant “fifteen” on your “tell stuff to” list.”

    Darin: “I hope this ceiling is lead lined so the fact that I just admitted I was happy doesn’t get out into the universe!”

    Jess: “If being happy only induces fear of cosmic retribution in you, Darin, then what you’re feeling isn’t happiness. At most, I’d say you’re feeling transient pleasure.”

    Darin: “It’s my mom! CALLING me! Oh horrors, surely this can only be an ironically timed tragedy!”

    Jess: “…too late to mention that I just found out that TV schedule you gave me was for last frickin’ week? I missed the new Downton Abbey because of you, ASS!”

  6. Jeffcoat Wayne

    That Darin is an app genius — he’s even rigged his TV remote to accept incoming phone calls! Oh, that’s an actual phone? So we’re abandoning the “Humorous Insights About Modern Television Viewing” arc already? Darn, and I’ll bet their special show actually tonight, so… two strikes.

  7. Charles

    Cosmic retribution is apparently worse than lead poisoning.

    It’s amazing how low my expectations are these days. I have to compliment Batiuk for not having Darrin say that it’s his adoptive mom rather than his birth mom. It’s one of those things a real person would say but not something you’d expect from a Batiuk character.

  8. Ryokomayuka

    There was been times when I felt like I was waiting for the shoe to down the it seems that when I go the shoe doesn’t. There it seems whenever they bring it up it does.

  9. @TFH – Love the new header

    As for the comic? I got nothing…same as TB.

  10. Beanie Wanker

    Snow! Bricks! Durweed’s banana shaped head! Wheeee! Love the look of dread upon seeing his mom on the phone. On the other hand, maybe Fishstick Annie is supplementing her coaching income (oh, you forgot about that too?) by working for a bill collecting agency. Wham! Now his reaction in the third panel makes sense. After all, how could they possibly meet expenses on his salary as Chief Information Officer at a pizza joint, and her salary from… umm… sitting around NOT doing a documentary on John Darling.

  11. Helskor

    Whichever mom it is used a cellphone, so it can’t be good news. Lisa telling Les her cancer returned? Cellphone. Funky learning his PSA levels went up? Cellphone. Susan being shamed into quitting her job? Camera on a cellphone. Les getting cockblocked on New Year’s Eve? Cellphone. There has to be at least one more example, but it’s just not coming to me.

    On the other hand, Ghost Lisa saved Les’ life at the airport and Summer learned she got a scholarship at Kent State on good old fashioned American LAND LINE phones.

  12. Merry Pookster

    ……Cindy Summers is still embedded.
    She’s been MIA longer then Kahn.

  13. Not only is any expression of happiness a thing to be ruthlessly squashed, but friends and family only call to be an inconvenience at best, or the bearers of bad news at worst.

  14. billytheskink

    What’s curious is that Darin has not shown himself to be unhappy around either of his mothers before. Perhaps he’s finally gotten tired of being invited over for fishstick dinners or maybe his cellular phone contract doesn’t cover Ouija minutes…

  15. BeckoningChasm

    @Helskor – Funky getting nearly killed by cellphone-wielding driver.

  16. Duane

    It’s either cancer or someone’s dead. It’s been too long since we’ve had some tragedy around here.

  17. The Batominc unit is seriously hurt. If he thinks the universe is malevolent, then he needs professional help. Most people seem to think there is a benevolent force, being, god, what have you, behind the universe, and that belief seems to help them keep on keeping on. Although I think it’s a delusion, it does me no harm. Believe in no gods, 1, 3, or 1000, as long as you leave me alone about it! Me, I’m an existentialist and secular humanist, so I know the universe is indifferent to me. But Batominc’s delusion seems downright pathological.

    TFH’s tryptich of panels proves that the malevolent, watchful, retributional universe is a recurring theme in Funky Winkerbean. Much of the narrative Batominc writes seems inadvertent (not to say inexplicable or, like the SSC cop-out, cowardly), but this is no accident, albeit I admit it may not rise to the level of being intentional. Batominc is exploring the theme that the universe is out to get him.

    And that’s just nuts. Where’s the brandy?

  18. Bayoustu

    In keeping with the recent trend of (what passes for) lightheartedness in this strip, I’m guessing Fred has merely had a massive coronary and hasn’t actually died from The 24 Hour Cancer…

  19. Jimmy

    @Duane: It’s been too long since we’ve had some tragedy around here.

    I guess you missed last week’s strips.

  20. Lynn

    quote: (he has)” a wife that isn’t aging terribly and/or gaining weight rapidly ”

    and has all her appendages, and stays one skin tone

  21. Duane

    @Jimmy, that wasn’t a tragedy last week, that was a travesty.

  22. Beanie Wanker

    Today, BatSuck reminds us that if you’re happy and “The Universe” finds out about it, you will be struck down. Okay, then – TOM BATIUK OF MEDINA, OHIO, I HOPE YOU HAVE A HAPPY DAY!!!!

  23. Duane

    If you’re happy and you know it shut your mouth
    If you’re happy and you know it shut your mouth
    If you’re happy better stow it
    or the fates will surely know it
    If you’re happy and you know it shut your mouth

  24. Epicus Doomus

    Boy Lisa: an “MBA” who found himself unemployed with zero prospects, was forced to move in with his “step-family” (who he barely knows) until he was able to grub a meaningless job at a pizza shack and move into a flea-bag apartment in the Comic n’ Pizza District. Let the good times roll!

  25. Sourbelly: In Westview, hope is the one fragile guy with bird wings about to be crushed.

    That is beautiful, man.

  26. $$$Westview Oncologist$$$$$

    Yes, I too wish the ceiling was lead-lined…….

    1. so that lead poisoning would kill both of them and spare us all this depressing conversation.

    2. So that I can sleep reasonably well, knowing that nobody living upstairs is capable of listening in and masturbating to this retched couples lovemaking activities.

    3. So that if disaster should befall them, Superman would be unable to view their predicament and fly right past their house….though judging by “Grounded”, Superman probably would not give a fuck either way.