Link To Today’s Farce.
And as we enter the homestretch it’s “the WHS gym” making a TREMENDOUS run for the wire! Yep, it looks like we’re in for lots of sepia-toned “Les is stuck on the gym rope again” flashbacks featuring good ol’ Act I Loser Les! That’s right, folks. Way back when, before he was an award-winning author/martyr/smug obnoxious jerk whose wife tragically died, Les was a hapless dweeb! I know, I know…it’s difficult to believe, but it’s 100% true. In fact, you can visit the official FW archive site and take a gander at those old strips anytime you…oh, wait. Forget that last part.
“Six months ago”??? What? Does the reunion committee meet every two weeks or something? Why were they discussing a venue six months ago? And why didn’t they settle on one? Normally, a story starts making more sense as you add details…but not in the Funkyverse, where up is white and down is sideways and everything is coated with pizza grease, nonsensical developments and retconned nostalgia. And sometimes all the names are wrong too.
Why are there corner thingies in panel one? It’s just a flashback to six months ago, not a cherished old memory of happier days gone by. Either use them right or not at all, Author Guy! Retcon photo album corner thingies are a privilege, not a right.
29 responses to “Gym-Nauseum”
I’m hoping that the total snubbing of Montoni’s leads to Funky falling off the wagon, hard, and hooking back up with Cindy.
And I think it’s a very safe bet that this reunion will consist of the reunion committee, plus Harry, Funky, and Holly.
What might have worked–if Les and Co had decided on the gym, then he got a call from Cindy saying she was going to attend after all, and she hoped Les had gotten a good venue, anything other than the gym. Then we could have this panic of “where will we hold it” and it would at least make sense.
So I guess we’re looking at a week of Les informing Cindy about the venue and Cindy berating Les. Then (at least) a week’s worth of reunion strips featuring the Best Reunion Ever followed by a Cindy apology. And probably Mason Jarr, too. Wooo boy.
BC: Good call and totally true. Once again Batiuk just flat out misses an obvious and sensible plot in favor of random things happening around the thinnest of premises.
Look at how pathetic Les is in that second panel. He looks like he’s seconds away from blowing his brains out. How did he ever finish two books? For that matter, how does he get throw a single day of teaching? Or even just a part time shift at Montoni’s?
SpacemanSpiff85: It’s exactly why Les is the single worst character in the history of fiction, hands-down. If he’s not being a smug pompous obnoxious asshole he’s whining and sulking like everything is just too much for his delicate soul to bear. He’s a gifted author and all-around success story who overcame his early dorkiness who’s totally incompetent and completely cowed by routine ordinary tasks. I will never stop despising him with every fiber of my being. If I happened to be granted three wishes one of them would definitely be to become a character in FW for just one week-long arc where I could slowly dismember him piece by piece until I was merrily skipping barefoot through rivers of his still-warm blood.
Wow- a scant 6 months ago and already that image is yellowed with age (Or perhaps with essence of Les, if ya know what I mean…)! Time must pass at an accelerated rate in Westview- which would explain the appearance of virtually everyone in this strip, with the exception of Cindy!
My personal defense for FW on this was that the matter of venues just got missed by the committee and Les and Cayla only just caught it after the rest of the committee dropped the ball.
This suggests that the committee did actually drop the ball. By not being bright enough to settle it when it was brought up. Plus Cindy dropped these duties on him with maybe a month to get things settled in, doable but if things started going wrong that would be a tense time.
So, Les can’t hold it in the gym because…of some conversation several months ago that he didn’t participate in, has no knowledge of, and is completely irrelevant because Cindy isn’t involved with the reunion committee anymore and they can do whatever they damn well feel like without consulting her wishes.
Yeah. Makes perfect sense.
Cayla comes into the room, only to see Les looking half melted and listing to one side.
CAYLA: Les, did you have a stroke?
CAYLA: Oh my God I have to get you to the hospital!
LES: Park bench!
CAYLA: Les you’re not making sense!
LES: Special snowflake!
CAYLA: I’ll call 911!
CAYLA: Yes, honey-
LES: Sandwiches made just right!
CAYLA: Oh geez…
LES: Bad kitty!
LES: Susan kisses nice!
CAYLA: Okay dweeb boy, how about I just push you down a steep hill?
Why is up to one person – and a schmoe like Les, to boot – to select the location? Wouldn’t the reunion committee make the decision?
This is arc is so assinine, it make my head hurt. In fact, I look just like Les in the second panel, with head in hands, staring at my computer in misery.
Ah, Westview High class of
’92 ’88’78 reunion committee meetings, where the minutes seem like hours…
But what did the mailed invitations say about where to meet? What did the Facebook page day where to meet? Where did Baldguy McBalderdash send the horrible DJ? Where did they set up the wall of grievances?
And what about all the macaroni and cheese that would be inevitably ordered for a gathering such as this? Where will these chefs bring it?
Such horrible writing, such an awful storyline.
I come for the continuity, but I stay for the excitement!
Epicus: I often ponder your post ages ago about how the entire Funkyverse could be energized, replenished, and rejuvenated if Tom would merely -own- the fact that nobody actually likes Les for a very, very good reason.
It’s a formula that served Jack Benny’s stage persona so well. It’s something countless BBC sitcoms use for black comedy. TV Tropes has an entire page dedicated to it!
The unsympathetic comedy protagonist.
Les is another Basil Fawlty or Alan Partridge just waiting to happen. The new premise of the strip would be him going around being the Most Obnoxious Man in the World…and -OWNING- it.
And instead of worshipping him as the pure, wise, tender, lovely genius and victim-y victim who suffered so beautifully and must be worshipped and rewarded, the rest of the world will give him EXACTLY what he deserves.
It would be HILARIOUS.
What kills me is the whole “You CAN’T have it in the gym because people expect more of me” bullshit Cindy is spouting. She still thinks more of her reputation than the needs of others and needs a slapping down for it. Oh, wait. Being deluded and needy is her slapping down.
“As God is my witness, I’ll never go to that gym again.”
And Les should give a damn exactly why? I mean apart from the fact that he’s a spineless, feckless smirker.
Well, it’s no longer her watch, then is it? So with Cindy out of the picture, Cayla gets to push her “gym solution” at will. Presumably, there’s sufficient rope in that gym for Les to hang himself ten times over.
So this week, we’re basically seeing every possible sensible location for the reunion being discarded for nonsensical reasons, when everybody knows that from the beginning this reunion was meant to be held at Montoni’s all along, in the party room that is miraculously expandable from big enough for four tables to full-sized ballroom based on what kind of event is planned there. My prediction is that on Sunday we’ll see the standard Montoni’s group shot with a “Westview High Reunion” banner that looks suspiciously similar to the “Happy Anniversary” banner and all the other banners that have been depicted in previous standard Montoni’s group shots over the years.
How is it that of all the Funky Winkerbean strips I’ve read in the past 7 odd years..THIS is the most idiotic plotline I’ve read! I mean seriously..this strip is hitting new lows!! This isn’t a Seinfield plot about nothing. This is a plot about people and things none of us care about. This would be the equivalent of reading a Batman comic strip about Bruce Wayne trying to decide whether to serve guacamole or salsa for a benefit party he is hosting. This isn’t anti-humor it’s anti-plotting!!!
So does Les know about Cindy’s stand on using the gym or not? And since she’s no longer chairperson – does it matter? And what did they decide six months ago? It’s all very confusing , not in an entertaining way but in a way that causes headaches.
From the masthead, it looks as though the next task for Mr. Batiuk to tackle will be making the characters from “Peanuts” into middle-aged failures. First up–Franklin!
John: Thanks, “The Most Annoying Man In The World”…visiting his old pals around town, interjecting himself into the lives of others while annoying the living shit out of everyone all the time and enjoying every second of it. Embrace the hate and run with it, I say.
The reunion committee was discussing the venue six months ago and came up with nothing. So then Cindy hands over that particular duty to a guy who doesn’t want to do it and who has no idea at all how to proceed. And not only that, but no one else in the reunion committee even does so much as offer Les a suggestion. If I didn’t detest the jerk (and if he didn’t waste the committee meeting by moping over Lisa again) he’d almost be sympathetic here.
@ John and Epicus Doomus: I think it would be a grand solution, but there was reason Jack Benny, John Cleese and Steve Coogan could pull it off.
It’s called “talent”.
Jimmy: Here’s the thing: he’s ALREADY created the perfect annoying character, all he needs to do is embrace the annoyingness. Stop trying to make Les “sympathetic” or “relate-able” and just go all-in with what he already does to perfection.
Tom Batiuk interviewed by Akron Buzz:
Basically a video version of the interview he’s been giving the print outlets for the last 20+ years; he even gets in the famous “quarter inch from real life” line. A couple of his witty asides are lost on his pleasant and polite young interviewer.
TFH: Yep, I tried to get through it but I’ve heard it all before. Same interview every time, he has it down to a science.
TFH sez: skip to about 7:20 to hear him talk about the real-life inspiration for Ed Crankshaft, who was apparently a complete fucking psychopath.
Mary Sue: “Well, it’s so wonderful that you took an unscheduled vacation just to come home and tell us in PERSON…in a THREE HOUR MEETING what a simple phone call, email, or text could have handled in FIFTEEN DAMN SECONDS, Cindy.”
Cindy: “….*….um, thanks. For some reason, I get the feeling I’m missing something in your remarks.”
Mary Sue: *forehead pulses* “Oh, NOOOOO. You aren’t missing anything at all.”
Cindy: “Welp, almost time for my flight back! Thanks for agreeing to foot the bill.”
Barry: “Eh, it’s not trouble. I found a rare comical book last week at the Korner!”
Cayla: “Oh, you have got to be ****in’ me, Les! You weren’t even a part of the committee then! How on Earth could you flash back to that? And why didn’t they choose a venue then?!?”
Les: “Woe, is me, woe is me. Oh, such sufferi-….huh? Oh, are you still here Cayla?”
TFH: Note how the Akron Buzz tweet calls the strip “Funk Winkerbean”. That Batom sure is zany, with his stories about lunatic bus drivers torturing children and parents alike. And he really captures that lunacy with “Crankshaft”, especially the arcs about senility and hip fractures, you know?
Wtf with the yellow wristband? Didn’t that fad end like 10 years ago?