Charles: I just realized that with Mason being on the masthead, the guy tailing Les is Mason, who is surreptitiously researching Les for his role.
Holy moley, I think that’s got to be correct. It’s so utterly stupid (on Batiuk’s part, I hasten to add) that it has to be real. I can just see Mason thinking (if that’s the right word) “I’ll follow Les as he drives to and from work, so I can get his driving pattern down perfect, for the movie to be real.” (Let’s not bring up that it’s actually Cayla driving.)
Because I can just as easily see someone in the Valentine audience wrinkling his face with disgust and saying, “This movie is total garbage. Everyone knows Les does a ‘rolling stop‘ when he drives away from the high school. He also tends to weave leftward. I’m leaving and I want my money back.”
Because I can thirdly see Mason imagining the above scenario, and breaking out into a cold sweat.
Speaking of cold sweat, our “mysterious” driver seems to be experiencing one, despite the fact that a) he could simply go around and continue on the road, and thus allay suspicion, and b) the sight of a racing Les, arms flailing, is one of the most hilarious things this strip has shown. Our mystery driver should be shaking with laughter.
It’s a pity that “Shoot!” in panel three is just a thought balloon, rather than an order to a guy with a shotgun sitting in the passenger seat. That would lead to the greatest Saturday strip in the history of Funky Winkerbean. I wouldn’t even mind the sideways comic-book tribute Sunday strip showing the funeral.