The Early Worm Waits For The Bird

Link to today’s strip.

Oh My God, we’re not doing a whole week of airport hijinks, are we?   Yesterday, when I said Tom Batiuk could use the extra Sunday panels to explain and elaborate, I was kidding.

I’ve been a reader here since around the time Les went to Kilimanjaro, and I don’t recall anything about Funky’s obsession with arriving early, at the airport or anywhere else.  Funky gives the impression of someone lazy beyond description; being early and being lazy aren’t really things that mix well in a character.  Oh well, as I say, consistency of character is not this strip’s strong suit.

I’m hoping we’re not going to have to deal with airline food jokes, and lost luggage jokes, and the kind of cliched garbage that has been the forte of comedians since the Wright brothers.  But I have a feeling we are.  Yaugh.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

22 responses to “The Early Worm Waits For The Bird

  1. If this is the Cleveland Airport, it’s open 24 hours a day. Research, Batiuk, research.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk had a story on his blog about a comic writer bragging about writing stories totally from his imagination, with absolutely no research, as if it was a grand literary virtue. So don’t get your hopes up.

  3. sgtsaunders

    Lisa phoned in another bomb threat, this time fingering Les. The TSA locked the doors and is in the process of beating Les senseless in order to obtain a confession (and because he’s Les).


    Jeez, could Holly look any more masculine than she does in the last panel? She looks like Ed Asner doing a bad celebrity drag of Hillary Clinton..

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Batiuk and air travel, another favorite FW gripe of his. And yet another senseless new arc too. Now when he finally re-visits something like the Frankie gossip thing he’ll need a full week of recapping and given how he works it’s probably for his benefit more than for anyone else.

  6. Jimmy

    @dougputhff: This is the Westview Regional Airport. Last time I checked, the only direct flight was to Pensacola, but they shut down that route was some crazed mustachioed guy kept raving about how breakfast pizza was killing his old business. Now I think it just severe helicopter flights along the Cayuhoga River. The clinic in Dallas is probably just a burned-out warehouse in Akron.

  7. billytheskink

    Ugh. Strips where Funky is the butt of an awful and demeaning joke are probably my least favorite. Yeah, Dinkle and Les are despicable, but it’s these kind of Funky strips (and his “take thats” to critics) that drip with TB’s powerfully disgusting contempt. What makes these so awful, I think, is that Funky isn’t a very deserving butt-monkey, given this strip’s cast of characters. TB seems to take a sadistic glee in beating him down.

    Look, I don’t like Funky at all, he’s thoroughly unpleasant, but he and Bull are the only members of the featured cast that I have any shred of respect for (I used to have some for Cindy before the whole Masone thing).

    Funky works harder than about anyone in this strip. Think about it. Les went to Hollywood and quit after a month, claimed he was going to write a graphic novel for Cayla that he subsequently put on hold, and then shifted to work on a project based on Lisa’s journals (which are, y’know, already written) which he hasn’t completed or even mentioned in over a year. The rest of the Westview high faculty spends most of their time insulting their students. Cindy spends most of her time insulting young people. Crazy went from doing nothing at Montoni’s to doing nothing at Komix Korner. DSH hasn’t done anything resembling work since helping Holly on her comic book quest. Pete and Durwood daydream about the 1950s instead of doing their jobs. Jessica doesn’t finish documentaries. Lefty is little more than Dinkle’s doormat. Holly, Rachel, and Wally all work for Funky.

    In fact, Funky worked hard enough to get multiple Montoni’s locations open, including one in New York City. He took great pride in this success. His thanks for this ambition? An intervention by his layabout “friends” who thought he was a workaholic. Funky subsequently dialed back his workload and the Montoni’s locations outside of Westview quickly failed. Good job everyone.

    Who did Les call when he was pickpocketed in New York after spreading Lisa’s ashes? Who flew out there to bring Les back to Ohio? Who gave Les a second job when he was concerned he wouldn’t be able to send Summer to college? Who gave Summer a job to earn some spending money? Who has participated in and sponsored EVERY Lisa’s Legacy Run? Who spearheaded the fundraising effort that paid for Summer and Keisha’s senior basketball season? Who put forth the most effort to get Wally back on his feet (and hired him) when he returned to find himself no longer welcome in his former home? Who hired (reformed TERRORIST) Khahn upon arrival in the US? Who hired Durwood when he limped back to Westview after spending a decade earning his MBA? Who sold off a rare comic book to make ends meet after Komix Korner failed to pay their rent? Who didn’t evict Komix Korner after they failed to pay their rent?

    So Funky listened to some bad advice from the TSA… he deserves this? And from his wife of all people. Holly, who chides him about being unhealthy while looking none too healthy herself. Funky jogs and works out with a personal trainer, when was the last time you saw Holly move? Holly, who refused to discipline her delinquent son and rarely backed stepfather Funky’s attempts to punish a deserving Cory. Holly, who traveled around the country spend who knows how much on rare comic books while Funky stuck around to manage their only source of income.

    I generally exaggerate in my comments on SOSF for an attempted humorous effect. I’m not doing that here. I really and truly hate today’s strip.

  8. Epicus Doomus

    billytheskink: My personal theory is that he deeply hates and resents the Funky character because he named the entire strip after him all those years ago and has been saddled with a really dumb and unmarketable strip title ever since. No character has been tortured like Funky has, it’s a history of unyielding woe and misfortunes, one after the other. It’s (at least by FW standards) understandable why Cindy is so insecure about her looks or why Bull has a degenerative brain disease or why Crazy Harry is a scatterbrained moron. But Funky never had any well-defined character trait, he was just “Everyguy”, middle of the road, average, nothing that would prompt such revenge.

    So it has to be the name. I’m assuming that he dreamed up Funky’s annoying moniker at KSU or wherever as he was using one of his The 1910 Fruitgum Company album covers to clean the stems and seeds from the bag of oregano the cool kids sold him and it no doubt seemed hilarious at the time but it turned out to be an anchor when the word “funky” rapidly declined in popularity a few years later.

    So Funky is some sort of overly-anxious moron for following the official airport security recommendations? That’s a weirdly specific gripe. Sounds to me like someone got to the airport a little too early sometime over the last year and maybe had a little too much time to think.

  9. @Epicus Doomus:
    What he used to tell people is that he asked a bunch of his students what the silliest first and last names they could think of were. He stupidly followed their advice, stuck his strip with an audience alienating name and has been mad at the character and the world ever since. If he’d bothered to name the character himself, we’d probably be watching Andy Archer grouse about airports this month.

  10. Charles

    My personal theory is that he deeply hates and resents the Funky character because he named the entire strip after him all those years ago and has been saddled with a really dumb and unmarketable strip title ever since.

    Related point: It’s been my observation that Funky represents everything that Batiuk hates about himself, while Les represents everything Batiuk loves about himself.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    I always arrive early at the airport and have never seen it closed. Generally airports are open 24hrs.

    It’s time for Batty to retire, even Johnston knew when to put the pencil down.

  12. Some bizarre irony that this arc arrives while real life drama is taking place at US airports nationwide. We know of course it’s total coincidence, as he writes a year out. But I could see how folks unaware of that could take it as his veiled political statements about politics, immigration, etc. that said, I could also see them taking it as grossly insensitive to make joke at immigrants expense. And I could also see them scratching their heads WTF? when the airport gags turn out to make no sense whatsoever in that assumed context… We would all win I guess if papers yank FW for being insensitive, though!

  13. Gerard Plourde

    It may indicate how circumscribed his world is that the Akron-Canton Airport does close between 1 am and 4 am. He may not use the Cleveland airport, even though it’s busier and may offer better fares.

  14. Max Power

    Boy Crankshaft is really angry at Funky in panel 3.

  15. Hitorque

    What kind of backwoods podunk airport are they flying out of?? And Funky knows the TSA two-hour recommendation doesn’t apply to podunk airports, right?

    Did I miss something? Is this Funky’s first flight in the post- 9/11 era?

  16. Epicus Doomus

    Hitorque: Actually Funky flew to a different medical appointment a few years ago, he got the results via text message after he boarded the plane.

  17. Bobby Joe

    I guess Westview International has a limited time they are open. Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 and 5. Are they flying on TWA, Pan Am or Midway Airlines?
    As many have mentioned why would they be flying anywhere for a physical when the Cleveland Clinic is undoubtedly at their disposal? Do they have double coupons for the no name Dallas hospital they are going to?
    More reality based bull shit.

  18. Hitorque

    @billytheskink: Yeah, Les’ grand anniversary idea to take Cayla to rural China so she could see hundreds of slaves making $5 a day bind together the cover of Les’ next book didn’t seem all that romantic… Mercifully Batiuk invented some reason to back out of that trainwreck, but to this day Les still hasn’t made good on his promise of a special anniversary present for Cayla… Guess that’s why we haven’t even seen her in ages…

  19. Hitorque

    @Paul Jones: What pisses me off the most is not one character young or old has ever taken the “Funky” ball and run with it to deliver some sweet nicknames like “The Funkmeister”, “Dr. Funkenstein”, etc…

  20. spacemanspiff85

    @Paul Jones:
    Oh, you just know he’d have named the character “Flash Batiuk” if he could’ve gotten away with it.

  21. Bobby Joe

    That technician should be fired on the spot. She is not paid to interpersonal or discuss results with the patient. I’m sure the doctor would not skip over 5his finding. Another ” reality based” screw up by Batty. What reality does he come from.

  22. Bobby Joe

    I meant interpret not interpersonal. Damn auto correct.