And just like that, the whole situation is defused. This is a good example of Batiuk’s poor writing choices. In the normal Archie-type sitcom scenario we’ve been seeing this week, the situation would be resolved when the wife confronts the husband, and it’s the husband who has to explain how everything is innocent. Here, it’s like Batiuk is thinking, “Well, everyone loves my characters and I can’t keep implying that they’re doing bad things, so I’d better stop this now.”
So, Wally’s helping Adeela get her driver’s license. So, purely innocent…and rather helpful on Wally’s part. Those of you who, earlier in the week, guessed that something more interesting was afoot…well, sorry. It wasn’t.
I’m really surprised Wally offered to help her. Everything he encounters seems to trigger him into a psychotic breakdown–and given his history with women in cars, I should think this would be even more of a nightmare for him than showing up at Kent State to go to class. According to that story, Wally leaving the house was a major milestone for him.
I think he would probably refuse to get into any car, let alone one with another person, where that person might be charged an arm and a leg.
But that’s the Funkyverse–where consistency doesn’t even apply to milkshakes.
40 responses to “Defused”
Tomorrow, shoe shopping and a dentist visit!
Now *that* would be a red-hot date!
Kind of an assholian comment by Cory there. Of course she has questions!
What a stupid few days of strips. Maybe Rachel should just go upstairs and get dressed, or at least put her backpack down.
So the “joke” this week was how Rachel thought her husband was having an affair with Adeela, along with Cory’s disgust with Rachel’s questions and women in general. Hilarious stuff right there.
Yeah, I like how Cory and Lucy Van Pelt in panel two act like Rachel is being selfish here. “Well, of course your husband is off with another woman at the time of your arranged date. How’s she supposed to pass her driver’s test? Duh!” Minimizing the legitimate concerns of others is a form of psychological abuse.
This story also has no clue that blowing off, or forgetting, a date with a significant other is a serious red flag in a relationship. Tim Allen would have to sleep on the couch for a week, and go to talk to Wilson, if he did this in his sitcom. But this will have no repercussions whatsoever. Cory won’t even apologize.
Tom Batiuk thinks this is cute. Oh, those wacky women and their crazy demands, expecting you to show up when you say you will! It’s not cute, and it’s not funny. It’s misogynist, and it’s just plain mean.
Those women drivers!
Yeah, pretty bad. I want to say “What’s that say about Batty?” Then again, I read the strip and took the time to respond. What’s that say about me?
You’re right, BC, it’s like he wanted to make absolutely sure that there was no risk of entertainment value at all. “Wally gave Adeela a ride to the DMV. She’s getting her Ohio DL”…that’s one panel worth of story that BatCon stretched to fill six ponderous days. More than one story development per week is apparently just too taxing for both BatYam and his readers, or so it would appear.
So Adeela can drive now…why would anyone care? I mean where’s she gonna go anyway? She works at Montoni’s and the comic book store is right next door, thus her every daily need is within easy walking distance. Check out that tilty-headed goo face Wally’s making there in panel three, that’s obviously from the Les template. Blech.
Probably the mosque in Akron and to make deliveries too, but yeah.
But the Halal food market is three hours away. How else is she going to find something to eat?
Good job, Cory, drawing attention to the serial comic crutch of using the first panel to reestablish the previous day’s strip.
“I feel free!”
Oh Adeela… This is Funky Winkerbean. Not even the dead are free.
“I feel free! Free to travel as fast as I can along Nobottom Road!”
And of course Cory couldn’t just just tell Rachel Wally had taken Adeela to the DMV back on Tuesday now could he? After all, that would be the totally normal, non-dickish, thing to do.
But wait, there’s still hope this could turn interesting. They seem genuinely happy as they leave the license branch and as we all know, no joy — not even the single, tiniest drop of it — can long go unpunished in the Funkyverse. Perhaps tomorrow’s entry can be titled “Disarmed.”
Ewwwwwww….if anyone should be traumatized by that, it’s Band Leader Becky!
Ah, Becky, the one character who makes post titles (the hardest part of the gig) easy. “Disarmed”…LOL.
BMV. That’s what the sign says. Also, apparently, that’s what it is actually called in Ohio (Bureau of Motor Vehicles).
So what is left for Saturday’s strip? Two or three panels of Wally and Rachael eating Montoni’s pizza? Or a sideways panel jammed with text where Wally explains that Adeela was not permitted to drive in whatever country she came from?
So the non-issue has been resolved? Don’t worry, Batiuk can still blow it. Next week, Adeela drives them home, does thirty-one in a twenty-five zone, two Ohio State Troopers decide to pull them over for speeding, and RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Apart from the obvious flaws (Wally could so easily have told Rachel about this, Cory could so easily have told Rachel about this, cell phones are a thing…), it’s between lunch and dinner. There’s more to pizzeria work than wiping counters. Shouldn’t they be chopping vegetables, preparing dough, getting meats portioned out, that kind of thing?
And at Montoni’s, most important of all: getting those Jack’s pizzas you bought at 5 for $10 last month at IGA unwrapped so people will think they’re fresh and made to order so you can charge $12.95 per pie.
Oh, you’re right. I was thinking of good pizzerias.
What exactly would the purpose be in chopping vegetables, preparing dough, and getting meats portioned out if all those items will be rotting away in the refrigerators because there are NO CUSTOMERS!? Not a single shot of someone eating pizza at the counter, no panel of Cory the Cleaning Rag Man pulling a “fresh” pie out of the oven, nada.
Adeela feels free now, sure, but just want until she deals with the annual maintenance costs of owning a Batiukmobile.
I hate to say this, but I’m actually more interested in what Pete is doing at the counter there at the BMV in panel 3. Not much more, but more nevertheless.
Coming next week: Wally brings Adeela over to Crazy Vladmir’s House Of Motor Cars on Rt. 99 in Centerville to price a few 2011 Vendas. After nearly falling for the undercoating scam, Adeela leaves the lot in a spiffy robin’s egg blue Kartgo. Hilarity ensues when she arrives at Montoni’s and discovers that the rotary engine is already leaking kerosene.
Saturday: On the way back to Montoni’s to celebrate getting her license, Ardeela takes Wally on a scenic drive along Nobottom Road, where they’re confronted by the ghost of Nearly Headless Bull Bushka. Hilarity ensues.
P3: “One Hour Ago”? Uh, oh, tragedy has already struck! Even as we speak, in fact, tragedy is picketing the scene of a horrible accident where Buddy piddled on the traffic cop who stopped Adeela for speeding. She and Wally died in a sleet of bullets, all of which missed Creepy Les.
Has Batiuk introduced a single character in the last twenty years who had any background whatsoever? I swear to God, they show up and it’s as if they didn’t have a life before Les or Bull or Wally tripped over them.
None of them have friends or even people they’re social with. Only a couple of them have family members. They just slide right in and their relationship with the main cast is the only thing going on for them.
Also, no one in this world understands emotional queues. Rachel clearly has a problem with Wally not being there and driving off with Adeela and Cory and Rocky are completely oblivious to that. Guess that’s kind of necessary in Batiuk’s world when he’s going to rely on Idiot Plots as often as he does. After all, you can’t have idiot plots if your characters aren’t all idiots!
Yes, I agree that it’s really odd that he brings SO many characters into his strip, and then never gives most of them stories, character, history, or does anything with them that any of the others couldn’t do just as well. Some of them do have background and history, like Wally, but then they disappear from the story for years. And the oddest thing to me is the lack of family for the main characters who show up all the time. Holly has a mother (who I think was last seen more than a year ago). Funky has a father. Who else has any parents? Les, who has become the main character, seems to have no family of origin at all. As far as I recall, not a single relative attended his and Lisa’s wedding. I know Lisa’s parents disowned her or something, but now that he’s married to Cayla, Les has in-laws again, which you would think could be a good source of jokes.
He used to give his new characters too much back story, but in Act III he gives them none at all. Like Buck, who mysteriously wandered into Bull’s life completely out of nowhere. Or Cliff, who spent sixty years sitting there doing nothing until Pete rescued him from obscurity. Or Chester, whose entire life revolves around buying rare comic books out of sheer spite.
1. I still want to know why Wally skipped a week’s worth of work, and why he told his wife to be at a time and place he wouldn’t be at…
2. You just KNOW Batiuk wanted to have Cory drop a “YA DUMB BROAD!” but he just couldn’t pull the trigger
I do think it’s hilarious how Batiuk specifies that Adeela got her license a full hour ago and they’re still not back at work yet. Unless the Westview BMV is somehow an hour’s drive from Montoni’s, there’s still plenty of time for them to be having the affair that Rachel is so furious about.
As noted elsewhere Wally’s not exactly the person you want driving given his record – of course that one hour ago gives us plenty of time for Adeela to as she’s driving back from the DMV to have an accident and for Wally to lose an arm himself. Again it probably won’t happen but a man can dream.
Meanwhile, over at Crankshaft, Batiuk has a pair of Siamese cats named “Peggy” and “Lee.” I considered giving him props for the “Lady and the Tramp” reference, but then I thought about all he’s done in Funky Winkerbean during the last month or so.
I decided instead to follow the Pulitzer committee’s course and give him nothing.
Really, Lillian, you can’t take on a cat from the bookstore you helped put out of business when you already have two cats? Or even try to help find it a home? Because you’re “at your quota”?
Lillian’s attic bookstore is another one of Tom Batiuk’s idyllic, stupid business ideas that he’s completely blind to the consequences of. The two bookstore closings are implicitly blamed on the Internet, but not Lillian’s unfair business practices. Nor the pandemic that has done huge damage to every industry, especially ones that rely on in-person contact. Or the fact that Lillian is an utterly horrible human being.
Speaking of poor writing choices: this whole week should have been about Adeela. Her story is far more interesting! A woman getting an American driver’s license, from a cultural perspective where women are discouraged from driving, would have been an intriguing topic. And the Rachel story still could have been worked in as the B-plot.
But this week didn’t just ignore its better storyline. It killed any possibility of exploring it in the future, by having Adeela instantly succeed in getter her license. We don’t get to see her learn, overcome any obstacles, or make any observations. Nope! She’s got a license now, that’s all that matters. “I feel free” is the only insight or emotion we will ever see.
Tom Batiuk wants awards and recognition for writing about difficult subjects. Choices like this are a perfect example of why he doesn’t get it.
You’re really on to something here. All of his “prestige arcs” suffer from this avoidance of the real story. Let’s take a look at a few:
1. Bull/CTE – The actual effects that Bull would suffer from were barely explored. How it would affect those around him wasn’t even touched.
2. Wally’s return from ten years of captivity. Beyond a superficial nod to PTSD, what about the gigantic issues created by Becky’s marriage to DSH and the effect this would have on his two children (Rana and Wally, Jr.)? Also, notice that in ten years Becky and DSH haven’t produced half-siblings for these kids.
3. Les/Cayla. What about dealing with the issue of blending a family? The whole arc of Summer and Keisha learning to be a family would be a very rich vein to mine.
4. Missing parents/ex-partners. Cayla and Linda didn’t produce their children by parthenogenesis. Where are the dads, or, at least an explanation of their whereabouts?
5. Lisa’s cancer diagnosis and abandonment of treatment. Medical malpractice swept under the rug. Lisa’s decision to forego further treatment treated a a heroic rather than a tragic choice (mainly, I suppose, because TomBa wanted a quick and easy resolution to his storyline, rather than explore what stories living with advanced cancer could provide).
I know this has become a rant. Sorry. It’s just frustrating to see how much potential is consistently ignored.
Don’t apologize; you are spot-on. I think you didn’t even include the worst case: Les never having to deal with being a single parent after Lisa’s death. Batiuk just parked him and Summer on Lisa’s Bench and skipped ten years. When a loved one dies, returning to day-to-day life without them is large part of accepting the person’s death. Which you’ll notice Les has never achieved.
This is a side effect of Batiuk’s aversion to anything difficult: it destroys all character development. All the horrible things Cory’s been through haven’t shaped him at all. He’s the same smirking asshole as everyone else. Hell, just being in the military drastically changes a person. Nothing ever has any effect on these characters, and part of the reason is Batiuk never makes them go through the difficult parts.
Now another Veteran works at the pizza couter too!?!?!
Wally has been driving with Adeela for weeks, right? And he’s never said word one to his wife? I’m not even touching on the stupid infidelity assumption (wimmen they be jealous) but that is NOT a good sign for a marriage. Or for a workplace, given that they all work at Montoni’s and two of them live above it. They’re together for 8-12 hrs, conscious, with apparently very little interruption from customers, and Adeela never says anything to Rachel about how helpful Wally is (or not) or worried that she won’t have enough practice under her belt, and Wally never says anything to Rachel about how Adeela is progressing — but Cory and Rocky know all about it?
Watch. Rachel will end up having to apologize for ‘doubting’ Wally because he’s done this thoughtful thing (and brave, either for overcoming his antipathy to Adeela or his guilt/fear over the wreck that crippled Becky, depending which one TB remembered at the time) and completely disregarding his poor behaviour in shutting her out and missing their date.