Well!…and that’s that. Anyone who thought that the computer might actually do something has to be contented with some hot wheeled-away action. Yet another disappointment, one supposes, though at least memories of the “fun” Act I weren’t ruined. In other words, it could have been worse. Far worse.
The way things develop in this strip is truly unfathomable; one can’t help but wonder why the computer was brought back at all, except 1) as a tease to long-time readers, only to be dashed to earth, signifying this strip is serious so look elsewhere for “fun”; 2) as a form of “striking the set,” ie, removing anything that might be entertaining, and 3) as a means to mention Starbuck Jones yet again, though Tom Batiuk is slipping by not using his full name. Which “Starbuck” is this, Tom, I’m all confused!
Maybe now that it has, *cough*, contributed, the computer will go to Washington DC on a senior class trip! That should take, oh, half an off-screen panel.
For someone who contributed nothing at all this week, Les sure looks remarkably smug in panel one (though to be fair, that’s his default expression). And in panel two, Tom Batiuk’s itch is finally scratched and Les opens his mouth. Jim Kibblesnbits is a complete ass, but I’m willing to reduce his massive negative score by one for shutting down Les. (Personally, I would have used one fewer syllable, if you know what I mean, but then that’s me.) His stance perfectly conveys utter contempt and disdain. Oh, I’m sure the lesson we’re supposed to take is that Les is so wise and deep, such that no one is capable of swimming in his waters. They’d rather stay in the warm, ignorant shallows. Anyone who has read this strip for any length of time will take the opposing view, that Les is being deservedly beached on his deserted isle.
Jim Kibblesnbits is one of those characters who rarely appears, but like a fly discovered embedded in the lemon meringue, his rarity doesn’t lesson his loathsomeness in any way. He shines out like a rotten, crumbling sun, spraying sickly light on vast dead plateaus and their attendant population of shriveling bacteria and scrubby lichens. Today, though, in this one thing, I give him a half-lidded smirk and the offhand flick of a salute. Here, I wish more people would look to him as an example. (And nowhere else.) He’s been an ass all his life, and he’ll be an ass tomorrow, but tonight by God he’s everyone’s hero.
The three of them walking away from an already forgotten, completely despised Les is a truly poetic image, made more so by the vent lines on the locker near Les’ mouth. It looks like he’s bleating…which he probably is.
Les should be broken in half, placed in a paper bag on your worst enemy’s doorstep, then lit on fire. Ring the doorbell and prepare to be entertained.