I don’t know what happened to him at his mid-central Ohio post office of choice but judging by his unrelenting hate for the USPS I’d be willing to wager that it was quite unpleasant and inconvenient. But putting his terrible trauma and lifelong grudge aside for a moment, it IS the post office, not the Make Tom’s Day office. You go in, you do your mail business and you leave. Sometimes there’s a line and sometimes the employee you deal with is a real dick. We’ve all been there and we all stew over it during the walk back to the car, but then we (meaning normal people) forget about it almost immediately. In other words, he really needs to get the f*ck over it already. It’s Christmas for God’s sake.
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
20 responses to “Post Offal”
It looks like the clerk is the good guy and Frau Frump is the current nuisance in his life. It’s a perfectly acceptable and humorously biting comic strip, and Batiuk must be wondering what got into him.
That’s true. This is running on Christmas Eve after all, when no service will promise to deliver by Christmas.
The common denominator in every one of TB’s hellish Post Office strips is not the USPS’ services or their employees… it’s an FW regular being insufferable.
Also note that everyone who’s being depicted as working in the Funkyverse is inevitably downtrodden and completely miserable, regardless of what they’re actually doing. Postal worker, comic book maker, cancer book writer, teacher, athletic and or band director, pizza maker, it doesn’t matter as it’s all just different shades of the same soul-murdering slog anyhow.
Also note how one seemingly innocuous throwaway holiday strip inadvertently tells us way, way more about the mind behind the Funk than perhaps we’d like to know. Between his attitude regarding work and his pathological hatred of the USPS a picture begins to come into focus, an unflattering and sort of weird picture.
Even when people have their literal dream jobs fall into their laps, they’re still miserable. The only situation people in this strip seem to be truly happy is when they’re in the attic reading comic books and their wife/mother is bringing them cookies and milk. There’s a gold mine in this strip for someone qualified to psychoanalyze it.
He could have had the postal clerk smirk as he said it with Holly smirking in recognition of his wryness and just like that it’s a pleasant interaction between two relatively normal non-miserable people. But he chose to emphasize the clerk’s deadpan emotionally detached reaction instead, which heavily implies that at the least this anonymous postal clerk is miserable and unfulfilled, most likely because he is employed by the hated and despised USPS.
And the falafel guy who found Worstview so miserable, that he went back home to Afghanistan.
It looks like the clerk is the good guy and Frau Frump is the current nuisance in his life. It’s a perfectly acceptable and humorously biting comic strip.
It would be, if not for the tone. When Les makes a wry, condescending response to a dumb statement, everybody’s all smiles. Look at the level of contempt in this man’s face. And the earnestness in Holly – she’s genuinely disappointed her December 24th package won’t get there by Christmas! Both even in the first panel!
This premise and punchline could be funny, but they’re drawn with more negative emotion than anyone showed at Bull Bushka’s funeral.
Also, what’s with the mailman display on the left? That looks like some kind of attempt at irony, what with the smiling mailman braving the snow, mail bag in hand. Or is he waving from the other side of a glass window? Frozen in position and signaling for help to an indifferent clerk? Shooting a bird?
First he made his zaniest, most “way out there” character a mailman because irony, then he blew a post office up, then he closed another one down, so these USPS gags aren’t just light-hearted digs at the quality of customer service at the post office. It runs deeper than that with the guy who writes this thing. Something happened, something that enraged and traumatized him so much that he’s never been able to let it go. Maybe the gave him a Canadian dime with his change when he bought stamps, maybe they bent the “Flash” comic he won on Ebay, maybe even something worse.
It’s been my experience that people who spend more than a few minutes a year at the post office are either Ebay sellers or bored old people. I wonder what BatHam sells on Ebay?
Five’ll get you ten that the ‘secret message’ turned out to be an ad for Ovaltine and he blames the postman for gypping him.
I used to be an Ebay seller and I spent quite a bit of time at the Post Office. The whole time I was selling, I only had one bad experience. 99% of the people at the PO are very nice, competent and friendly. Of course, I never went to Westview.
Who the fuck is she shipping a package to? Everyone she knows is in Westview!
I have a feeling either one of two things happened. Batiuk went to the post office to mail copies of Lisa’s Story. They asked if it was media rate, he smirked and said “No, it’s art”, and they overcharged him.
Either that or one of his Flash comics he ordered online came in slightly bent.
His hatred for the USPS even pre-dates “Lisa’s Story”, as one time he had an entire post office fall on her, long before she died. It was very exciting and stirringly patriotic as well.
And for years the Crazy Harry character was a stereotypical lazy weirdo mailman, a big goof-off who spent most of his day sitting around Montoni’s in his uniform and forgetting to do things and etc. Then that gold mine of comedic fodder was suddenly upended when Harry’s beloved USPS fled Westview forever after kicking him to the curb like a big bag of garbage. Harry was forced into comic book servitude and yadda yadda yadda rarely seen.
So it’s definitely a pattern. He could have chosen to crush Lisa under a library or a parking garage but he chose a post office. And using the USPS to destroy Crazy Harry was just plain spiteful. Maybe someday he’ll address this topic with a 20,000 word blog post, which I for one will definitely read.
If Batiuk really hates the USPS, he should move to another country. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled when postal workers hold his package hostage until he pays them the bribe they’re expecting. And then if he complains, he’ll love it when important mailings both that he’s expecting to receive and sending somehow never manage to make it to their destination. He’ll also love it when he receives a postcard from a friend on vacation…. two years after the friend got back from that vacation, because most of the time, that postcard never actually makes it to him!
Basically, a postal service full of Crazys, who rather than being a loafing dipshits, actually use their position malevolently for their own benefit.
Wait a minute. Where’s the long line of senior citizens waiting to buy books of stamps and pay for them with rolls of pennies, and other amusing things old people do at the Post Office?
Of course, the USPS will deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day, with rates starting at $25 or so, and maybe some package services will do so as well, but what is reality compared to a classic “Boy, is the Post Office slow!” wowser.
Seriously, rather than ask “What kind of idiot waits until Dec. 24th to try and send a package for Christmas?,” we should be wondering “What kind of cartoonist waits until Dec. 24th to run this ‘joke’?” Today’s strip could have easily been flipped with Saturday’s Darwin-Chester laughfest and it wouldn’t have hurt either one.
Also, today’s “punchline” might have been saved if TB had taken a page from “Gasoline Alley” and had the role of the postal clerk played by the late, great Frank Nelson (“OOOOhhhh, will it? Yes, next Christmas!”).
That’s a good observation. Holly should be shipping the package on December 22, and Chester should be getting the gift on December 24. The jokes would make a lot more sense that way.
He has the same unrelenting and stupid hatred for the airline industry because they treat him like a boring, ordinary person. That must be it, I think. The USPS treat him like he’s the minor celebrity he is instead of how he’d like to be treated. It’s why he had his sock-puppet whine that people who criticize this slog through the mind of an ingrate were bullying him.
We haven’t had much in the way of mail clerks going postal in years. It this something Toddles is trying to reinstigate, or commentary on the deep state?
So, Holly brings in a package on Christmas Eve and thinks/asks if it will be there before Christmas? This would have been better if it was run a week ago, then the joke makes sense. But, not even a knot head like Holly woudl ecpect it to be the in 1 day.