If Only We HADN’T Seen This Coming

Today’s Strip

And today Batiuk goes back to the tired well of Les running into a former teacher who can’t believe that Les is a successful published author. It’s an odd thing, because while I haven’t read much Act 1, I was given the impression that while Les was hapless (usually due to others’ shortcomings), he wasn’t portrayed as an idiot. It’s just Batiuk’s standard “every high school kid’s an idiot who will never amount to anything” trope. It’s so powerful that it applies even to The Delicate Genius of Westview.

Although I can amuse myself my imagining that instead of the obvious meaning of the punchline, Rita can’t believe that Les wrote a sequel to a book that was about a woman dying of cancer. There can’t ever be a sequel less essential than this one.

Plus, “back in Ohio”? You’re in Ohio now, you damn ninny!

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12 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

12 responses to “If Only We HADN’T Seen This Coming

  1. Epicus Doomus

    It’s even funnier because Columbus is pretty much right in the center of Ohio. Did Batiuk actually forget where his silly little story was set?

    Charles: Les was actually portrayed as a good student, something of a brainiac. Hapless yes, definitely, but not academically. I believe he was actually the valedictorian, in fact.

    So this gag fails completely on every conceivable level before you even get to Les’ comma-eye-roll. And that’s not even counting “Rita Wrighton” which is right up there with “Art Teacher” in the WHS faculty name Hall Of Fame.

    • Charles

      I believe he was actually the valedictorian, in fact.

      Now this I remember, because the actual valedictorian killed herself before graduation, and thus the Funkyverse was born.

      That doesn’t mean that Les wasn’t portrayed as a dunderhead earlier in Act 1, of course, but I always assumed that because he had the stereotypical glasses, he was supposed to be a smart guy, because Batiuk could never rise above stereotype. Look at how much more of a dipshit Owen is compared to Cody, for example.

      • billytheskink

        Evidence that Les was portrayed as an academic idiot from time to time in Act I, especially early:

        He was always portrayed as a social idiot in Act I, of course, and often a jerk… which at the time seemed intentional, but now I’m not so sure.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Yes, valedictorian by suicide…only in the Funkyverse. After thinking about that bizarre “back in Ohio” comment (and noticing that this appears to be taking place in a book store or library) I can’t help but wonder if this is supposed to be the “book tour” right now. I thought this was still set in the Columbus Museum, but I guess not. It’s all so strange and so poorly-written, it’s just impossible to tell.

    • billytheskink

      Les was valedictorian, yes, but only because the grades and valedictorian-obsessed Barry Balderman had a nervous breakdown after overhearing half of an awful Fred Fairgood joke about Cindy having the highest GPA in school (if GPA stood for Greatest Popularity of All, ugh). Within a week, this somehow turned into Barry having a nervous breakdown because no one was friends with him and Les wound up giving a single-panel wall o’ text valedictory speech laying into his classmates for not being friends with Barry (or himself). He was booed off the stage.

      By the way, Les’ valedictorian-worthy GPA was 2.71, a “C average” to quote the man himself.

  2. Spacemanspiff85

    “You ever having a wife, I mean.”

  3. count of tower grove

    Less is no Amy Borkowski:
    http://www.amyland.com/

  4. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “I have to say…this book is worse than the crap you wrote for my English assignments!”

  5. Rusty

    They appear to be classmates, so kudos to the new artist making Les even more decrepit.

  6. What she really didn’t see coming is that moron taking her job. Being a teacher means knowing how to deal with people and he has no social skills so she must have assumed that he’d become a vice principal or something.

  7. Somehow giving Less comma eyes in the last panel makes me not want to punch him quite as hard, because who would want to punch good ol’ Charlie Brown? Well played, BatHack.

  8. bayoustu

    Frankly, this is how Mopey Pete should introduce himself: “I’m Pete Reynolds, but I was Pete Roberts… before I became a New York/LA guy!”