Springtime…a time of rebirth, flowers blooming, leaves sprouting (as opposed to falling), sunshine, mailboxes full of junk mail…yep, a time when a psychotic old bus driver’s fancy turned to the ol’ mail order catalog. No wonder everyone hates him and/or can’t ever remember his name.
Then there’s Pete, who understands ol’ Crankshaft all too well (and has to make the conversation all about himself and comic books, of course). Apparently HE sat on pins and needles waiting for the new “Starbuck Jones” to drop even though it may or may not have already run its course ten or thirty years before he was even conceived. WHY are these two talking about old mail order catalogs at a nursing home? What prompted this completely random old memory? Why is Morton lurking suspiciously in the background? Is he going to buy Chester’s old catalogs for his ol’ pal Crankshaft?
Of course he is. Crankshaft sold his catalog collection to Chester who’s going to sell his catalog collection to Morton who’s going to give them to Crankshaft, because that’s how things always work in the Funkyverse. Then Crankshaft will die and some cold unfeeling health aide will unceremoniously toss his life’s work into the dumpster and the circle of junk will be complete. I mean just look at ol’ Cranky…what the hell is he going to do with two hundred pounds of old catalogs? No one sentimentalizes old garbage quite like BatNut does. Just look at how he keeps re-packaging that stupid old Lisa story…ZING!!!!
19 responses to “Mope Springs Eternal”
Man, I hope tomorrow Mort pulls out a gun and blows Pete away out of rage over the Mr. Sponge Clone Conspiracy.
Seriously just what the hell is Mort doing here?
I hate that we’re supposed to “get” all this. And I hate that we “get” all this.
Wait What? Starbucks Jones was a quarterly? That’s the only way Mopey’s comment would logically tie in with interchangable young blond female model type’s comment.
Apparently my subconscience had nothing better to do last night than think about FW and Crankshaft. Mopey’s comment is even more of a non-sequitur. If I remember correctly Crankshaft was a big time gardener and Bean’s End was a seed catalog, so Starbuck Jones would to have been an annual to even vaguely tie to her remembrance.
Mindy’s life STILL revolves around her grandfather. I don’t know if the fact that her grandfather is Crankshaft makes that more pathetic or sad.
Chester sold his catalogs because he needed the money to run his comic book company. I would take it to mean that he wants a LOT of money for them. Does Morton have that kind of money?
We all know Holly has enough money to throw over fifty thousand away on comic books, but Morton has never struck me as someone with a lot in the bank.
A few years ago Mort didn’t even know where he was. He’s Batiuk’s worst retcon ever.
John Lennon once said this about Paul McCartney, but it could equally apply to Tom Batiuk: “You’re all pizza and fairy tales.” Except it would be “pizza and comic books”.
I could do a lot worse than pizza and fairy tales at this point in my life… Where do I sign up?
Batty knocks on BurchHack’s front door in tears.
“Hi, Tom. What can I…”
“We’ve talked about this. I do NOT like the way you draw bricks! Bricks… bricks are the Rectangles of the Gods! You need to draw them in loving detail. Look what you’re doing here! You draw a brick here, a brick there, then you only IMPLY the rest!”
“Okay, but I really doubt anyone cares whether…”
“You need to draw every brick! Do it like me! DO IT LIKE ME!!”
“Tom, I’m really busy. This is a bad time. I gotta go. Listen, next time you have a helpful suggestion like this, it’s okay to call, e-mail, or text. I’m easy to reach. You don’t have to have your mom drive you all the way over here just to talk about bricks, okay? Hi, Mrs. Batyick! Tom, I gotta go. I’ll talk to you later.”
* SLAM! *
“Hmmff. Some children WERE left behind. Mommmmm, can we go to McDonald’s?”
Mmmm, McDonald’s pizza.
It’s time to play “Spot the most pathetic loser.” The contestants are
a) The moribund living corpse in the wheelchair who is finally paying for a life of malice, petty vandalism and selfishness.
b) The whining drone steering every conversation to his obsession with the worst of junk culture
c) The grinning victim-woman who has based her identity on catering to the whims of offal like Pete and Crankshaft.
It does my heart good to see Crankshaft acting as his own Picture of Dorian Gray- as his body twists into a hideous, literal manifestation of all his (unfunny) cruel malice, hatefulness, and mailbox running overness.
I take it from the visage in this week’s masthead, that other members of the Bedside Manorisms (or whatever that crappy band is called) will get involved. Perhaps they’ll use the proceeds from their recent CD release (which has doubtlessly rocketed to the top of the Billboard Geriatric 100) to buy back the catalog collection for their comatose comrade.
You know what would be awesome? All the members of Bedside Manor drain their retirement accounts to purchase these stupid catalogs, and on the day they’re going to present them to Shankcraft, they find out he died the night before.
Just think about it for a moment, Tom; imagine the sheer misery of everyone involved. Eh? Eh?
so wait, wasn’t Crankshaft Pete’s school bus driver at Westview? this is like Funky a few months back not knowing Harry Dinkle!
I’m struck by how Mindy and Pete don’t actually “visit” Crankshaft. All of the panels where they’ve shown these visits, Mindy’s kneeling on the floor with her hand on Crankshaft while Pete stands off to the side with his hands in his pockets like an asshole. Mindy looks at Crankshaft then looks up at Pete and says something inane about Crankshaft. They don’t, you know, sit down and have a visit and speak to each other. Hell, Pete rarely speaks as if he thinks Crankshaft can hear him. There also doesn’t appear to be any other furniture in the place except for Crankshaft’s wheelchair.
I also have a question for those of you who follow Crankshaft more frequently than I do. Has Mindy ever had a relationship with Crankshaft in that strip that would justify the level of affection shown in these strips? I don’t ever remember seeing much of a relationship at all between the two of them, but I rarely read Crankshaft so it’s possible I’ve missed it. I mean, all Mindy is these days in FW is someone who eats at Montoni’s, goes to movies at her brother’s theater and visits this decrepit, mouldering mound of body odor and broken dreams. This is the extent of her contact with other people. Shouldn’t it have been better established than this? And shouldn’t Mindy have more things to do with a new boyfriend than constantly taking him to an assisted living facility.
And Pete’s best friend thinks this means he’s really getting it on with her. Sheesh, the level of absurdity in this damn strip….
If only that level of absurdity were even slightly amusing. Or even interesting. But no, it just sits there like Shankcraft’s semi-corpse and stinks the place up.