Not a Yacht of Space.

Link to today’s strip

As luxurious as Masone’s sailboat looks with just two people standing in it, I doubt its going to be so posh when he crams another five people on the darn thing. Judging by the artwork it couldn’t be more than twelve feet across. Where are they all going to sleep?

They better hope that Jeff asphyxiates in that cave, or they’re going to have to put up with the old guy staggering over the prone bodies on the floor to the tiny cabin toilet every 30 minutes all night long. My advice, put him on the deck and tell him to take a leak over the railing.

Les is giving Marianne some serious side eye in panel three. In a more ambitious strip, or maybe Act II, I would agree with the commenters that suggest we’re about to rock that yacht with a little post rescue adultery. But remember this is Les, in Act III, and the deepest form of intimacy he can show another person is to reminisce about Lisa with them. It’s how he bonded with Masone. It’s how he proposed to his purported second wife on his cancer bench, confirming to Cayla and everyone watching that he sees Cayla as a appendix to the beautiful story of his relationship with Lisa.

And she still married him. Sometimes I think we pity CauCayla too much. She worked at Westview high for years with him. She knew what she was getting into marrying the sad sack. I’m going to give her the agency that Batiuk doesn’t, she married Les for his house and money because their daughters got along. She got money for her daughter’s college, and when Les dies of mopey artist syndrome she gets it all. She’s not sad he’s emotionally distant, she’s relieved.

You go girl!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

53 responses to “Not a Yacht of Space.

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I warned you. Prepare for pathos…lots and lots of pathos. Maybe some wildly implausible flirting, but the odds of Les putting the moves on Lisa 2.0 are exactly zero point zero. Dick Facey’s pals are in grave danger, so expect his primary focus to be on Lisa, Lisa and, of course, Lisa. Her life, her death and, of course, her death again. And again and again and again.

    Coming next week: after returning with Pete and Mindy, Mason hoists the mizzenmast and sails the A Jarre Is Born over to Nostalgia Cove, where all the old 1930s movie caves are located. Pete uses his decoder ring to signal Jff and Young Imaginary Jff, who uses an old Gilligan’s Island prop raft to make his way to Mason’s boat. His imaginary younger self falls overboard and drowns, forcing him to deal with reality, which predictably does not go well.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Of course Les isn’t going to make a move on Marianne.

      Marianne is going to make a move on Les.

      • William Thompson

        That’s understandable. That yacht looks to small to have its own head.

      • SeaCountry

        Because what hot young actress could possibly resist an English teacher from Ohio who’s twice her age? But in her defense, she forgot he’s married.

        • Epicus Doomus

          Also note how despite being the stars of the very same movie franchise, Mason is the heroic manly fearless hero, while Marianne is still the star-struck waif, in total awe of Mason’s rather ordinary boat. Strong female characters.

          • Charles

            Yep, I mean, Christ, she should own something similarly impressive, which may very well be being destroyed at just this moment, which doesn’t bother her at all.

  2. Y. Knott

    Has Les said literally anything throughout this whole sequence?

    And can he possibly keep it up?

  3. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    It’s a nice idea, but you can’t trust that Les’s will doesn’t stipulate his estate must be converted to gold and melted down to make a statue of Lisa.

  4. SeaCountry

    OK, but I still think Cayla has a surprisingly large life insurance policy on L*s. I also still hope to see her ride into the sunset with Cancerview in the rear-view mirror and her daughter doing well in the WNBA. They deserve it.

    Speaking of things with a surprising size, you’re right, that boat is *small*. It’s a nice party boat for the weekend, but certainly not a high-end yacht. (My name comes from the fact that I’ve lived in quite a few small-ish seaside towns and am happiest in them; y’all can trust me on this.)

    Speaking of Jff and his urination issues, maybe there’s a way he can help control the fire after all! So Batiuk had a good reason to mention it! Call it Chekhov’s Prostate.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I’m with you that Les’ shabby treatment of Cayla should have had repercussions by now. Even Edith Bunker told Archie to ‘stifle’ after a few years. But this comic strip has no clue that Les’ second marriage is even problematic, because it has even less of a clue that Les Moore is one of the worst people on Earth.

      • SeaCountry

        Even Homer Simpson (first 10 seasons) knew there were times he needed to be extra-nice to Marge. His friends would tell him so, his kids would tell him to let their mom talk, etc. It doesn’t have to be a scorned-woman country song with illustrations, either. Where’s a good friend who will tell L*s to do something special for Cayla for once? Why hasn’t his young adult daughter said anything? Why hasn’t Cayla complained to a friend over wine? It’s just so damned weird to me.

  5. William Thompson

    That boat is small, but the marina doesn’t look much better. The only marinas I can find on the Los Angeles county coast, north of the Palos Verde Peninsula, are at Marina del Rey (one of which I think appeared in the opening credits of “Gilligan’s Island.”) Both of those marinas are bigger and more crowded than this thing, which barely seems able to handle toy boats.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I suppose Mason doesn’t need a FEMA trailer, unlike the millions of ordinary people this fire displaced, you shallow bitch. By the way, doesn’t your mother live nearby?

      • SeaCountry

        Hell, doesn’t *she* live nearby or have a friend or relative to stay with? Hasn’t she considered checking on her mom, friends, or even her own place? It ain’t like she’s an out of town visitor.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I assume that Mrs. Winters is hanging out with Rocky’s mom, Wally Jr., Crazy Harry’s kids and all the other long-forgotten FW characters who just kind of vanished over the years.

  6. William Thompson

    As a side note, “sad sack” is an old Army term. Despite what you may have seen in the old comic strip and Jerry Lewis movie of that name, it does not mean “affable loser” or “loveable klutz.” The full expression is “Mister, you are the saddest sack of shit I ever saw.” As in “slacker,” “malingerer,” “whiner,” “deliberate bungler,” “coward and bully,” “asset to our enemies” and, well, Les Moore.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    As Mason and Cindy drive back into a raging inferno to save people they don’t even know, Les and Marianne look like they’re waiting to get a sales pitch for a timeshare. Would this story at least pretend there’s some danger?

    • SeaCountry

      Hand to God, Mary Worth’s story about a failed attempt at banana bread and Wallace the Brave’s story about an animal control officer who thought a dirty little boy in a striped shirt was a raccoon had more drama and suspense than this.

  8. billytheskink

    I guess Mason has repaired his boat since Durwood’s Japanese pen dream

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    Quick, Les, now’s your chance to impress pseudo-Lisa by bragging about the size of your dinghy!

  10. Charles

    That’s Les’s “oh, how jejune” face. Even though he’s just seen untold destruction in the largest, most destructive wildfire in history, and just had to save a woman’s life, he’s not going to act as if he hasn’t done this all before.

    What an asshole.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      To be fair, it’s not just Les. Nobody seems at all impacted by anything they’ve seen and been through. The women don’t even need medical treatment, which they would if they were coughing and unable to move under their own power. They’re not moved by the horrible scope of this catastrophe, the awesome power of nature, or the fact that they were just minutes from horrible flaming death. Mason had a determined look on his face as he drove through the fire, but I think he’s living out his own The Three Amigos fantasy.

  11. Barnaby Scones

    The real crisis here is that Les seems to have lost his pen.

  12. Petula Clark Five

    Well, okay. LA is being destroyed. They’ve managed to not die. Instead of being thankful, they’re standing there making caustic jokes about their “sanctuary”?

    How can we not love these people?

    • Charles

      That’s how Batiuk’s a terrible writer, and he’ll show it this week when he devotes his strip to showing Les and Marianne discussing Lisa or Les’s book or something else that has nothing to do with what they went through.

      Marianne just had to be carried out of a burning building, where she would have died had Les and Mason not barged in like Rambos without jockstraps. Her house has no doubt burned to the ground. Her mother may be dead for all she knows. Everything she ever owned may be destroyed by now. All her friends’ homes may be destroyed and her friends may be dead for all she knows. (HA! She doesn’t have any friends. Who am I kidding?) Her career may very well be over due to how much her employers have lost.

      Les just had to overcome his default wussiness and run into a burning building to save a woman. His life was in jeopardy multiple times as he was essentially a hostage in an insane man’s car in the middle of a wildfire. He may have just seen the last of Cindy as she rode along with Mason as he drove back into the wildfire to save someone else. Mason, too, although again he doesn’t really seem to be friends with Mason as he so obviously does not respect him.

      These should be traumatized people. Hell, the only way they have to escape this natural disaster, the only way they’re going to survive, is by fleeing the land onto the ocean. Who knows where and when they’re going to be able to land.

      But instead, they’ll presumably be talking about fucking Lisa, because Lord knows Marianne would doubtlessly want to hear more about this goober’s wife who died when she was about 3 than anything else that might be going on.

      I mean, Batiuk has an encounter that he wants these two to have, and he doesn’t care at all how absurd it must be to get there. He’s going to do it. There’s nothing here more important to him.

  13. Paul Jones

    So the man is able to afford nice things. So what? That doesn’t diminish you slobs!

  14. Hitorque

    1. And the lameassed jokes just keep coming… Batiuk is in the zone!

    2. It’s funny because Marianne Winters just starred in a billion dollar movie and her two billion dollar sequel is a couple of weeks away from release and she is the single hottest “it” girl in the industry which means she’s at least worth $100 million personally and yet she steps aboard Masone’s raggedy-assed 35-footer (which he obviously bought used) and she acts like it’s Shahid Khan’s yacht?!

    3. Forgive me, I can’t get over Marianne being oh so impressed over Masone’s 35-footer unless this is literally the first time she’s stepped on any kind of boat. Where I live, that’s the kind of boat dentists and attorneys own. And if Marianne was conservatively worth 100 million, then Masone must be worth at least twice that. Maybe he needs to invest in a big boy boat commensurate with his income and ego?

    3a. It’s funny because Marianne not only has no idea how FEMA works (since by law all Funkyverse women have to be pinheads), but she stretched herself so hard to force a joke that she’s completely ignoring hundreds of people are dead and hundreds more dying and hundreds of thousands of NON-millionaires just lost everything they own including their place of employment… But yeah, tell us more about how wealthy Masone is, you bint.

    3b. Nevermind the fact that Masone’s beach mansion in Malibu should still be fine, right?? I mean, it’s right on the beach and surrounded by sand and rocks, iirc. Which makes that dumbassed FEMA joke all the worse.

    4. I don’t know what’s worse: Les not calling his wife to let her know he’s safe, or his wife not ringing his phone every 90 seconds to see if he’s safe…

    • SeaCountry

      Yep. It’s a nice boat, but definitely not at all what Mason or Batiuk claimed it to be. It’s certainly not a temporary shelter for 7. Also, we didn’t see L*s or Marianne take her purse. Shouldn’t she be at least mildly upset about not having her cell phone to make calls to *all* her contacts, credit/debit cards, and ID? Finally, I can’t believe I’m about to post this, but a “thank you” to L*s seems to be in order here. Definitely more so than that nonsensical FEMA joke.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      About #2: it depends on the deal Marianne signed to do the movie. She wasn’t famous beforehand (as far as we know), and would have had no negotiating clout. So she may not be all that wealthy.

      Donald Sutherland is a famous case of this. He was the only big name actor a certain movie could afford, so they offered him $25,000 or a percentage of the gross. He took the $25,000. The movie in question was Animal House, which earned $120 million in 1978 alone.

      Also, Marianne strikes me as naive enough to fall for the “percentage of the profits” scam. To hear Hollywood accountants tell it, no film in motion picture history has ever made a profit.

      • William Thompson

        Marianne was famous before she wasn’t. Before she appeared Batiuk described her as an A-list star who preyed on her male costars, a revelation which torqued off Cindy. When she appeared she was an ingenue who was dazzled to have landed her first role in a movie. There’s bo telling what the next retcon will do to her–reveal that she’s actually Jupiter Moon, transposed to our dimension from a Starbuck-Jones reality?

  15. William Thompson

    No, Marianne, Mason won’t need a FEMA trailer. He can afford to get out of the disaster area, find a new place to live, and go back to work in the movies. Unless he rescues Mopey Pete, in which case he’ll be blacklisted as the ham who saved the hack.

  16. Paul Jones

    A lot of this appears to be coming from her realization that when the dust clears, she herself is going to have to find a new place to liv.

  17. Add “sailboat” and “marina” to the list of things TB has either never actually seen and/or has no interest in depicting accurately. Unless this boat is a floating Tardis, there’s NFW that the boat interior we see in the first and third panel belong to the boat we see in the second panel.

  18. Merry Pookster

    Come on Marianne…. let me take you on a 3-hour tour while everyone else is away.

  19. Perfect Tommy

    I swear to god, if Les starts talking like a pirate………..

    • comicbookharriet

      Look. I’ll take that. It’s something unexpected. Rather than just moping and blathering on about a woman who has been dead for 15 plus years while the world burns around them.

  20. Professor Fate

    In some ways today’s strip is a near perfect example of the Author’s utter failure as a story teller. Consider as others have noted the various plot threads flying about – Masonne and Cindy after their seeing their house burn down are racing to rescue Mopey Pete and his lady friend who have just been evacuated form their hotel because it would seem Los Angeles is on fire. Meantime in Bronson Canyon Jeff and his creepy inner child familiar are confronting the same fire. There is also as alert readers have noticed – what happened to Marianne’s mom? And there is also Cayla who is if you want a bit of tension you could cut to her watching coverage of the fire on TV.
    In telling a story you have to make choices even in a novel you have pick and chose what scenes and action you show. In a daily comic strip you are even more limited you have only a few panels each day to tell your story with so it’s vital that you pick the most important aspects of the story, the ones you want the reader to see to use in that limited space. So what given all the balls in the air the Author has does he do? He shows us a boat and then two people talking about how big the boat is. (and as others have noted the boat shown is way way too small to be the boat in the second panel)
    It’s really difficult to overstate just how bizarre this choice is, with everything going on this this is what he choses to show us. It’s as if during say Die Hard they cut away from the action to show someone a couple of blocks away getting a candy bar out of a snack machine.
    Seriously why on earth would anybody pick this scene? One can only assume that the author was so impressed with his FEMA joke that he decided to shoe horn it into the narrative. Again this is almost Dadaist level anti narrative – which the exception being the Dadaists knew what they were doing – The author. Not so much

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You raise a point I’ve been wanting to make: why is Mason going to rescue Pete, Mindy and Jeff? He doesn’t even know them! He’s a movie star and they’re a bunch of tourist schlubs from Ohio! I’m sure he met Pete at some point because Starbuck Jones, but movie stars don’t risk their lives for writers they met once.

      • hitorque

        Hell, why did Marianne spend her precious day off “tanning” with Cindye when they weren’t ever friends?

        None of the characters know what the hell they’re doing at any given moment; they’ve just surrendered to the notion that some unseen hand in directing their actions.

    • Batiuk’s focus has always been on Les. This scene is the only way he can shift the “action” to Les in this story. Doesn’t matter that it’s dull. The only thing that matters to Batiuk is having Les front and center.

  21. As much fun as I’ve had picking on Les, I don’t really think that Les and Marianne are going to hook up. I think it’s way more likely that they’re going to YOLO Mason’s boat into a burning dockside pub in a few days in order to save the director and/or the producer of “Lisa’s Story.” (If there are no dockside pubs in LA, I’m sure that one will be invented.)

    I would like to see Les apologize to Marianne for the cruel and baseless things he said about her and her acting ability. I would also like Marianne to put the whole tiresome “Cindy vs. Marianne” arc to bed once and for all, somehow. Or hell, why don’t we just turn it up to 11 for once?

    “Can I borrow your phone, Les? I want to phone everyone in my polycule to check if they’re still alive.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That raises a question: does Les WANT to save the movie? He didn’t want to sign the contract, has complained the whole time, and flubbed his cameo so badly it put the film over budget. Oh, and he has a past history of sabotaging movies and collecting kill fees.

      I can see Les driving back into L.A. to find the footage so he can burn it, a la Eric Idle in that Alan Smithee movie.

  22. Paul Jones

    At least we’re not heading towards an unfortunately timed back-to-school arc like they are on Crankshaft…..

  23. Rusty Shackleford

    Cayla omission from recent events makes perfect sense if you look at her from Batty (and Les’) point of view.

    Cayla exists so Batty can brag about how he has dealt with interracial relationships . Thus he should win an award and be granted many more interviews with The New York Times.

    She is also a means whereby Les can show he is more enlightened than his fellow Westview brethren and holds all the correct opinions.

    Viewed in this light you can see why there is no depth to her character. She is just a cheap prop used to make Batty and Les feel superior to everyone else.

    • SeaCountry

      Thereby making it even odder that Cayla is now several shades lighter than she was when she met Les, with straightened hair. So she now looks like a slightly darker version of the white women in Cancerview. One can be forgiven for not getting her race right on the first try. (Maybe if you’re feeling really generous, or a new reader, you might think new-look Cayla kinda looks like Kamala Harris. Batiuk won’t be making that reference, though, and almost certainly didn’t have the Senator and new Vice Presidential candidate in mind when he was re-drawing his character.)

      • SeaCountry

        Please note that my intent was only to mention a well-known woman with light skin and some African heritage, not to get political. I’m not trying to win a Pulitzer for my serious stories about relevant, life-altering issues here.

    • Maxine of Arc

      He hasn’t, though. Has there been any mention, let alone discussion, of the fact that Cayla and Keisha are Black? Has this informed their worldview in any way? Have they ever been shown to HAVE a worldview?

    • Charles

      I really don’t think that Batiuk created Cayla so he could brag about how he deals with interracial relationships, for the simple reason that the only time he has ever mentioned it was to use it as a Virtue Shield +3 against accusations of racism when he had Les call Cayla a macaque monkey.

      This is the guy who created Lisa’s Story: Or The Time I Was Brave And Killed a Character With Cancer. He created a media sensation about his limp “Gay Prom Story Without Any Gay People, Where The Message Is That If The Student Handbook Doesn’t Explicitly Forbid Gay Prom Dates, We Must Allow It”. This was the guy who got the New York Times to write about how he was going to kill Bull with CTE and had it be weeks and weeks of Linda feeling sorry for herself. If he thought he was doing something revolutionary or important, he wouldn’t have kept quiet about it.

      Cayla was created when Batiuk decided he wanted to have a subplot of Les annoying and embarrassing his daughter by having him enter into a dating relationship with Summer’s biggest basketball rival’s mother. At this point, Summer’s rival Keisha had already been established as a black girl, so the woman had to be black.

      But Batiuk also wanted Les to remarry. And that’s when he found out how he had painted himself into a corner. He had Cayla dump Les because Les couldn’t tell her he loved her. But he couldn’t have Les hook up with Susan, even though that was the most obvious outcome, because Susan was clearly insane and, again, having Les leave a black woman who he had been dating for years because he couldn’t tell her he loved her, to immediately get into a relationship with a white woman, who he would subsequently marry, would be obviously racist. If he had Les and Cayla break up because Les couldn’t tell Cayla he loved her, to have Les then enter a relationship with and subsequently marry a white woman who had been created for that purpose, that would have been doubly obvious. So no, it was going to have to be Cayla, or he was going to have to forget about Les getting remarried.

      So what happens right when that becomes clear? Cayla transforms herself from an obvious black woman with mini-dreads into Toasted Almond Cindy Summers, the hottest white woman in the strip. And she does this without any fanfare whatsoever. She just shows up and it’s later remarked on in a throwaway line and never again. After that? Les *immediately* loses whatever problem prevented him from telling her he loved her before and proposes marriage. And what happens after that? Cayla loses her personality and any relations she had with her family (even Keisha, for Christ’s sake) and becomes the person who occasionally reacts to something Les does and otherwise just waits on him. She’s not a black woman anymore. She’s not even a woman, really. She’s just someone who’s there because Batiuk feels an obligation to occasionally indicate that, yes, Les actually does have a wife. Lord knows, he’s got a more active relationship with Linda and Ghost Lisa, for God’s sake.

      This was not done with any thought of winning awards for portraying an interracial marriage. This was done so Batiuk would feel comfortable having Les marry a woman who wasn’t white.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Thanks Charles for the thoughtful reply. How could I forget the macaque joke?

        Batty painting himself into a corner is the most likely explanation for Cayla’s story. Thanks, you have changed my mind on this.

        • DreadedCandiru2

          It’s pretty much why Keisha was last seen with Chuck Cunningham; any reminder of a life before Les would remind people that he done fucked up once too often.

  24. DreadedCandiru2

    Given Batiuk’s love of having Les talk about Les, I should think that if challenged about this stupid remark, Marianne will blubber “IT’S MY ONLY LINE!!!”