Nocturnal Dietitians

Link to today’s strip

So they left an hour after the fair closed…and then drove a funnel cake to the Bedside Manor? How late is it? Our county fair closes at 10:00, and I’m guessing that is about standard. It’s got to be approaching midnight. What kind of nursing home lets people just wander in at midnight?

And poor old Gramps has been abandoned alone in his wheelchair, completely clothed, in the middle of the night. Where’s the nurse on call? The only reason he’s calm and smiling is from huffing the cheap nitrous oxide they slip into his ‘oxygen’ tanks to keep him passive and pliable. What kind of cut-rate elder warehouse is this? The kind where the miserable staff hide from the patients in their break room snitching jello snacks and swapping pills.

I mean, look at the heavy lidded eyes of the lady in panel one and tell me she isn’t baked out of her mind on a delicious cocktail of the nursing home specials, oxycontin, seroquel, vicodin, and Miralax. Dinkle could come marching in with an entire rock band, and she would barely be able to blink.

20 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

20 responses to “Nocturnal Dietitians

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Have these two had a date that didn’t end with them visiting “Gramps”? Are we supposed to see the notoriously curmudgeonly Crankshaft as a sympathetic figure now? What was supposed to be “entertaining” about any of this? I don’t know, you don’t know and apparently BatNard doesn’t know either.

  2. This–this is how you do an epic crossover arc between two realms. This…this is how you satisfy the unslakeable hunger of those who want to see Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft united in an expanded universe that will, no foolin’, blow your mind.

    …said no one ever. Not even in the saddest fantasy, no, never uttered even in jest, or as an offhand whim.

  3. Charles

    This is terrible. Let’s count the ways…

    1. Mindy helpfully starts us off with an obvious expository exclamation. Why would she need to tell Pete this? Pete should already know why they’re there.
    2. Pete’s line is Batiuk back-patting himself for his joke that he describes as hilarious.
    3. Crankshaft is sitting fully clothed in his room appropriately doing nothing at all. He’s not watching TV. He’s not doing anything. Well, he’s probably sitting in his own filth, but he’s not doing anything else.
    4. His door is unlocked. I wonder how many dementia-suffering neighbors he has visit him unannounced throughout the day.
    5. Mindy lies to him about how she got the tiger. Pete didn’t win it. He got it because he managed to exasperate the carny enough to give it to him out of pity and/or disgust. This engagement is off to a roaring start as Mindy can’t even be honest about what happened.
    6. These two goofuses get engaged and THIS is the first thing they do.
    7. Pete still has never said anything to Crankshaft in all these visits.
    8. Crankshaft thinks this pathetic story, even if she didn’t lie about it, is all his beloved granddaughter deserves from a husband.

    • Epicus Doomus

      If he had even a sliver of imagination or drive he could have done a flashback story about “Gramps” proposing to “Grams” at the very same county fair, but instead he had Pete get hustled by a carny followed by a visit to a decrepit and dying Crankshaft’s pitiful nursing home room. Like I always say, no one spins a yarn like Batiuk does.

      And how does Pete not remember or realize that this old guy is the bus driver who used to terrorize WHS and the entire town?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Let me add one more:

      9. She uses the confusing term “engagement tiger” with no explanation at all.

      I don’t know if Crankshaft is supposed to be senile, or if only his body is giving out, but this is NOT how you talk to someone in that condition. You make things easy for them to understand. You say “Pete and I are engaged” or “Pete proposed to me.” (Which he didn’t, but let’s ignore that for the moment.) The sad thing is, even if Crankshaft did understand what she said, it still wouldn’t make any sense to him.

      What a rude way to treat a beloved grandparent.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    I think she could have said “Gramps. stapler Pete argle-bargle orange hamster omnibus engagement fair fair fair” and gotten the same reaction. That man is clearly not logged on.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    A couple of questions –

    In what universe does a nursing home have unrestricted visits?

    Also, is the county fair really such a major event nowadays?

    Two caveats – I’m from the East Coast Megalopolis, so the concept of a county fair is totally alien (although, on a slightly related theme, my school district, Philadelphia, has had an agricultural high school for decades). Second, Pennsylvania does not have a state fair – instead it holds a Farm Show every January (which is the largest indoor agricultural event in the US).

    • comicbookharriet

      I am from the Midwest. The county fair is more or less as shown, depending on the size of your county. Westview and Centerview seem to be similar in size to the local county seats around here, (9,000-13,000). Still a big enough deal to the locals.

      • Yeah, I’m from New Jersey originally, so didn’t grow up with the county fair/state fair Thing. But I live in Michigan now, and my love and I just spent this evening at the county fair. We also brought elephant ears back to my love’s parents, who weren’t able to go out to it. We get to at least one county fair every year, more as our schedule allows, especially if the fair has a roller coaster.

        It’s a genuinely fun thing, but we are people who like amusement parks and the like. So we go to a county fair figuring yes, we are going to have fun here because we like the rides and the questionably wise food and trying to take photographs of the turkeys before they come attack our cameras (the big shiny lenses seem to rile them up) and reviewing the 4-H kids’ posters about rabbits and guinea pigs for accuracy and all that.

        And, what the heck: our engagement became a declared thing at an amusement pier. It was a place important to our personal history together (it was where we’d had our first real date) and I’m glad we did that. Putting a personal milestone in a place like that can be good, as then one happy thing is also a reminder of the other.

        • We’re assuming you had already purchased the engagement ring before going to the amusement pier.

          • It happens I had not. After we made our engagement official we talked about what kinds of rings we wanted (I didn’t want one) and my love found one that was just right, and I bought that. Which I don’t mean to sound snide for people who do buy an engagement ring before ‘properly’ asking. It’s just that I had never had the chance to learn what kind of ring my love would want. So the sensible thing was to forego surprise.

            Well, and then things went a little weird because we ordered it online, and the box never arrived, so I had to request a replacement and missed the chance to present the ring on a nice appealing date. Apparently the original ring was mis-delivered to another address in the development, a remote neighbor who was in Florida all winter. A couple months after all this the original ring showed up in my mailbox along with a note apologizing that they’d had this and hoped it wasn’t too much trouble.

            The ring-seller took it back, although their e-mails gave me the impression they had already written off the whole thing as ordinary business losses and now this was an extra ring they were going to have to do something with.

      • Gerard Plourde

        Thanks for that input. It’s really a shame that TomBa doesn’t put enough effort into the arc to give a real idea of what the experience can be like. Instead, he finds another opportunity to have his characters make the Seinfeld crew seem altruistic.

    • Jimmy

      I learned something today (namely, that Pennsylvania does not have a state fair). I thought every state does, and there are usually dedicated facilities for it.

      Colorado’s state fair is coming up in Pueblo, and it’s a big deal.

      • Gerard Plourde

        The Pennsylvania Farm Show, held every year in January, is our equivalent. It’s held in Harrisburg (the State Capital) and does have its own dedicated buildings, lots of food in the food court from the various Pennsylvania Agricultural Commodity Organizations (e.g. Pa. Beekeepers, Pa Dairymen’s Association, Pa Livestock Association, Pa Maple Syrup Producers Council, etc.) but no rides or games of chance.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk’s definition of “crossover” seems to be “excuse to run fair jokes in both of my strips at the same time, even repeating the same jokes in both strips”.

    • LTPFTR

      Yep, an occasion to celebrate the delicate genius of him while not bothering to make use of the enlarged canvas to do any creative storytelling. #PeakBatiuk

  7. Paul Jones

    I wonder how Batiuk will react when it finally gets back to him that his not referring to Crankshaft by name in the hopes of stirring reader interest in the character and his strip (which I don’t know how is supposed to work either) makes it look like he’s a forgotten man slowly withering away in a pile of his own filth.

  8. Jimmy

    I have to say, comicbookharriet’s breakdown was 10 times more interesting than the strip today. Seriously, what kind of cut-rate joint is this facility?

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    I’ve tried that cocktail, it goes down easy but the next day I was wondering what the heck happened and the mess….

    This strip illustrates why guys like Pete end up as incels.