Summer’s Finally Over

Link To Today’s Strip

Summer is back in town, presumably “from college”, for the annual Falling Of The Leaves as is customary in Westview. Seeing good ol’ Summer there with her ever-so-twee hair and her trademark gritty hoodie brings back fond memories of how much I detested that character way back in the dark early days of Act III. She was around all the f*cking time with the basketball and the wry wisecracks and the Lisa gobbledygook, it was awful.

Summer was a major player there for a while but after she got the flu and won the Big Game he shipped her off to KSU and that was pretty much the last of her, she hasn’t had an arc to herself in years. Perhaps he just became enamored with his new up-and-coming crop of characters like Cliff and Chester and Phil Holt and post-Alzheimer’s Mort or maybe it was because he can’t write for a female character unless she’s feeding her husband straight lines, but whatever the reason Summer got kicked to the curb in what’s turned out to be one of (only) Act III’s more pleasant developments.

I’m deliberately ignoring the dialog, Les & Cayla’s already inexplicable and credulity-shattering courtship and marriage needs no further embellishment. God I hate that disembodied Les head so, so much. Seeing Les and Summer together like that really annoys me and brings back a lot of FW memories I’d rather keep buried. In fact this one could be my most hated strip of the year so far.

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25 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

25 responses to “Summer’s Finally Over

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Um, wouldn’t Summer know this, since she was living there at the time? Or if not, why has Cayla or Les never told her? And really, this isn’t much of a great, romantic story to be reminiscing about. “Once, when we were dating, your dad microwaved some peas and hot dogs for me!”

    • Epicus Doomus

      She tells the story like they were kids or something and not divorced and/or widowed adults with children at the time, which they were. I don’t even want to speculate on where the inspiration for this gag came from, as I think it’s more than I need or want to know.

      • spacemanspiff85

        My guess: it was Batiuk’s turn to fix dinner, and all he made was hot dogs and peas, and he told his wife she was lucky he even made a vegetable, and that a proper, obedient wife like Cayla would find the incident charming.

      • Louder

        It gives off a nice “when I was alone raising Summer, I couldn’t even be bothered to learn how to cook, because it’s all about me, not my daughter!” vibe…

    • Gerard Plourde

      Also, since St. Lisa died when Summer was four or five, she’d also know that Les can’t cook. And how is it possible that this is Summer’s first experience of Cayla’s cooking?

  2. Jimmy

    “When I was dating your dad, I never saw the red flags. They were even more red than that hoodie you always wear, which must stink. By the way, how does Kent State feel that a, by now former, scholarship basketball player always wears what I must assume is an Ohio State sweatshirt, since we live in Ohio?”

    “Oh, and speaking of Kent State, shouldn’t you have graduated a few years ago? I’m assuming by your stinky hoody that you dropped out and are trying to relive your glory days with some old college chums who also haven’t moved on. Unlike my successful Keisha, who already has a senior position in her company before the age of 25, and dresses like it.”

    “Yup, red flags. Pass the hamburgers and creamed corn, please.”

  3. Hitorque

    What’s so endearing about being a cheap motherfucker?

    • spacemanspiff85

      It’s Les, therefore it’s endearing. Next weekend, she tells the tale of the first gift he left for her, when he forgot to flush the toilet when he first slept over at her place, and how special having his crap in her commode made her feel. I’m foreseeing a last panel along the lines of “Getting his number two made me feel like number one”, with Les smirking.

  4. billytheskink

    TB: So, for the Sunday strip I’m going to have Les and Cayla recount how he once made hot dogs and peas for dinner.

    Editor: Seriously?

    TB: It’s pretty fancy… Usually I don’t write dialogue for the women.

  5. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Bravo! Now there’s a story line I could get behind.

  6. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  7. spacemanspiff85

    Honestly, though, did Batiuk forget Summer was living with Les at this time? As in, Les was the one responsible for her dinners? Did she eat nothing but hot dogs after Lisa died? I find it hard to believe there wasn’t a Lisa tape “Summer Needs to Eat Better Food Than Just Montoni’s Pizza and Hot Dogs”. I really don’t know how she could’ve been any kind of athlete with that diet.

    • Charles

      Yep, single dad for about fifteen years, with a kid younger than six at the start of it, and he never learned how to cook for her. It’s idiotic. It’s your standard dumb incompetent man joke but Batiuk forgets his own damn context. I suppose there’s the possibility that Les pretended to fuck up dinner when he and Cayla started living together so he has an excuse to fob the responsibility off to Cayla, but that just makes him an asshole. Then again, Batiuk has had no problem showing Les being an asshole before, so forget I said anything.

      I also like how Summer apparently hasn’t grown or changed at all in over ten years. At least Keisha’s wearing adult clothing and earrings. Summer’s still wearing that stupid hoodie with her stupid hair and her stupid prepubescent boy body.

      • Epicus Doomus

        And lest we forget, Les was married for years before he met Cayla AND he co-owned the only restaurant in town, too. Batom sure does like to pretend everyone is a “young kid just starting out”.

        I honestly didn’t even notice Keisha, which is fitting, as no one else ever does either. I agree, while Summer’s iconic “twee jock” look was sort of idiosyncratic back in the day, now it’s just kind of sad. She was a major character back in early Act III and I always just assumed she’d eventually end up being paired off with Cory and end up as a WHS gym teacher at some point but Batom lost the thread there and now she exists in perpetual “away at college” limbo, forever frozen in 2011.

        • Charles

          I think Keisha avoided the whole sartorial monument to her high school days by not having a personality at all. That way Batiuk doesn’t portray her wearing a sweatband everywhere or something equally stupid.

  8. timbuys

    “God I hate that disembodied Les head so, so much.”
    Oh, you mean right next to the title character’s name? Almost as if, if we didn’t know ‘better’, any reasonable observer would conclude either that the Les head is named Funky.

  9. Rusty

    Is there anything worse than Les being portrayed as a macho bachelor?

    The splash panel (if that’s what you call it) obscures the porch swing, the best character in the strip.

  10. comicbookharriet

    Wasn’t there a major arc about cutting down the tree outside? Did Batiuk forget that too?

  11. bayoustu

    I’d like to show this strip to someone who’s never seen it before (for which they would curse me forevermore!) and ask them how many Caucasians do you see in the last panel…?

  12. Don

    Er, who’s paying for their college educations? This is their seventh year there, which means it’s (at least) their second year there out of scholarship. Don’t tell me the Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy has brought in THAT much money.

    I’m surprised TB didn’t pull the trigger on (Summer) “Surprise! I’m the new AD at Westview! And as my first official act… (points to Keisha) meet the new BOYS’ basketball coach!”

  13. Paul Jones

    Only Les would pretend to be even dumber and more pathetic than he actually is as foreplay.