48 responses to “Getting the runaround

  1. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    I think this needs a “melting faces” tag. That drawing of Hillary (right?) is an embarrassment.

  2. Did you know President Bill Clinton likes to jog? I sure didn’t…

    Didn’t you, billytheskink? Didn’t you?

    • comicbookharriet

      I watched this as a child on a VHS tape my mother had, and through it have a touchpoint to Clinton’s dealing with Somalia. Watching old SNL is like a mini history lesson into the news, memes, and overall zeitgeist of an age. A good old SNL sketch serves the same valuable social function as the Old Comedy of Ancient Greece. (Read something like Lysistrata or The Wasps and tell me it isn’t a prolonged SNL sketch from 2500 years ago.)

      New SNL is shit.

  3. TryingTires

    Has someone checked in with Bathak? This is surpassing his normal inability to know how the real world works.

  4. Mr. A

    Haiku of the Day:

    Too good to be true?
    In a saner universe,
    Rachel would be right.

  5. Epicus Doomus

    Sigh. One again I wildly overestimated BatYam. Here we are, right in the middle of his “big twist” and he’s already just killing time. “Gee, do you really think Bill Clinton will help Adeela?”…uh yeah, right Rachel. And am I to believe that Montoni’s shirt has survived for all these years? What do they make them from, asbestos or something?

    • Mr. A

      I didn’t even notice the shirt on my first read-through. Has it been a standard part of Bill’s jogging-outfit rotation since 1993? Or has it been sitting at the bottom of some drawer, waiting for Bill to dig it out in honor of this…er…”special occasion”?

      • Epicus Doomus

        So apparently we’re to believe that after hearing from his old pal Funky and fondly reminiscing about that slice of pizza he ate twenty or thirty-seven years ago (it varies) he a) remembered he owned the shirt and b) immediately put it on? I mean, that’s pretty f*cking weird and not really “ha-ha” weird but just plain stupid weird.

        • Cabbage Jack

          Oh, and then thought “how best to have an important phone call? Perhaps I, a 74 year old man, should do so while actively running.”

  6. This is basically a story that a toddler would tell. You know, someone two or three years old. How do you point out flaws in the storytelling without seeming like a terrible person who hates children?

    Gotta admit, Batiuk’s “thought this one out” if his goal is to be crtic-proof.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s true. Most if not all of his Act III stories read like they were written by a third grader.

      “The lady was from another country and came here and then the police thought she was somebody else and they arrested her and they were gonna send her back to her old country but her boss called President Clinton and asked him to get her out of jail and he remembered the pizza he ate because it was so good!”

      And panel one is just shameless. He just couldn’t figure out how to make it a single-paneler so he threw in some totally needless dialog, from Rachel no less, who’s already a serious contender for the most useless recurring character in the strip.

      • A third-grader would make a more interesting story, and he’d put rockets and explosions in it (see: “Armageddon.”). This is a story told by someone who has just learned to talk and isn’t very good at it.

    • none

      Someone said it about the Moronia subplot with Jff & Skppy. Who knows how far back it can go. To the cited Act II meeting with Clinton? Further?

      “So, so, so Rachel, Rachel was going to have a date night with Wally, and then Wally wasn’t there and Rachel didn’t know why, and then, and then, and then Wally shown up with Adeela, who just got her Driver’s Licence, and then Adeela delivered a pizza, and, and, and then Police ICE set up the delivery to arrest her because they thought she was someone else, and then, and, and everyone met at Montoni’s to talk about what to do, and then a lawyer whose parents named him Amicus and Rachel knows shown up at 3AM to help, and then, and, and Amicus and Wally went to Police ICE HQ, and they couldn’t do anything, and then they went back to Montoni’s, and then, and then that’s when Funky’s wife Holly remembered that Funky met President Cliinton more than 25 years ago, and then Funky called Bill Clinton, and then Bill Clinton answered, and now Bill Clinton will take care of everything! Yeah!”

      Meanwhile you silently nod and smile because you don’t want to say anything to crush the child’s spirit, and hope that dinner will be served soon so that this can all end.

      Was it billy? Someone else here previously said that this whole arc is just one gigantic advertisement for Montoni’s, and that was before today’s entry with Willie wearing a Montoni’s shirt. Isn’t this strip supposed to revel in helplessly bemoaning endless misery? Shouldn’t we be seeing Adeela confined to some unknown cell and mentally distraught and reconciling her plight with her prior desire to be a US citizen? Any of that? No? Just more Montoni’s every day?

      Can someone tell me why is this strip still carried by any newspaper now? Anyone?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I don’t know if Billy also said it, but I’ve been complaining about the endless parade of Montoni’s logos in this arc. Adeela Montoni’s ICE Montoni’s pizza pizza pizza Montoni’s pizza Montoni’s Montoni’s Montoni’s. It’s like watching an Adam Sandler movie.

        I want to take this entire month of strips, and photoshop in the Domino’s logo every time Montoni’s appears. It would really show how aggressively the story shoves the logo down your throat.

        Serious question: do enough people around Cleveland know that Montoni’s = Luigi’s Restaurant of Akron, Ohio that this is essentially an ad for Luigi’s?

  7. TheBigBoot

    Is this Clinton’s redemption arc for Elian Gonzalez?

  8. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    Did Bill wait until he went jogging to place this call? Or was he put on hold for 2 hours and finally got through?

  9. erdmann

    Sweet Jumpin’ Jebus! That face — and I use the term loosely — is supposed to be Hillary?! Is The Donald ghosting the strip this week?

    Also, again: I miss Phil Hartman. Sigh.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I’m no fan of Bill or Hillary, but I actually feel sorry for them that they are associated with this strip.

      I miss Phil Hartman too.

      James Randi passed away yesterday. I got to meet him years ago when he came to Cleveland. And unlike Batty, Randi loved book signings. He talked with everybody as if they were a friend. The line for his book signing was so long because he took his time with everyone. No smirks, just smiles.

      • Maxine of Arc

        Randi was one of my heroes. I got to meet him a few times and he was always gracious and wry. I’m sorry he never had time to write an autobiography; he had so many great stories about his very eventful life. (He would not, however, teach me to bend spoons.)

  10. William Thompson

    Wouldn’t the Clintons have a Secret Service detachment accompanying them?

    • Mr. A

      Maybe the woman is a Secret Service agent. It would explain why she doesn’t look like anyone we recognize.

      • billytheskink

        She looks like a 4 year old’s drawing of Linda Hamilton from that Terminator sequel that bombed last year.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Yeah, that movie was almost crappier than this strip, almost.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            OFF TOPIC RANT: No franchise undermines its best installment more than Terminator. The whole point of Terminator 2: Judgment Day was: screw destiny. “No fate but what we make” is bullshit. Nothing is destined to happen, and humanity can make a better future for itself. T2 was a perfect ending to the franchise: hopeful, but still uncertain.

            Then Rise of the Machines comes along and says “You know how we said Skynet could be stopped? Yeah, well, sorry, it can’t. That last movie with the scary liquid metal cyborg and the motorcycle chases and the heroic sacrifices was a complete waste of your time. None of that mattered. Claire Danes is here now to tell you the real story.” I don’t think I’ve ever been so pissed off at a movie.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Ohh, I assumed the panel three jogger was a Secret Service agent who, for some reason, had plastic surgery in order to pass for late 1980s Elton John.

      Also…WHERE are the delivery car and insulated bag?

  11. Hitorque

    I try to find the bright side in these shitty situations and the best I can say is at least Batiuk didn’t try to drag Obama down into his hellish perverted Funkyverse fantasy, because I swear to Christ I will fucking WALK TO OHIO JUST TO KNOCK ON HIS FRONT DOOR AND DENT HIS SKULL 💀 IN AND oh my goodness gracious Obama is going to make a surprise appearance in Montoni’s a week from Sunday to return the delivery car and warmer pouch bag, isn’t he?

  12. Ansel Hebertrotten-St. John

    This is loosely based on a true story, doubters! Bill Clinton got me off a double murder charge and cured my Aunt Agnes of Stage 4 philobrititis. He also changed a flat tire— in the rain!!— for Sally Kellerman.

  13. Those faces in panel two look pasted on. I wonder if Batiuk was trying to think of a celebrity he could use and just came up with one at the very last minute.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I agree that there’s something to your speculation. I suspect that a scene of some character running at this time of year is a much a staple of FW as his falling autumn leaves. (This would normally have been around the time of the Lisa’s Legacy run.)There’s no reason why Bill Clinton would make the Adeela call to ICE during his daily run. (Does he even still run following his heart surgeries in 2004 and 2010?)

  14. batgirl

    Is this some sort of alternate reality where Clinton is again president? I’m not American, but surely you don’t get to call yourself President Lastname in perpetuity? I guess he’s just going to order the plane turned around and Adeela let out – or will they give her a parachute and fly low?

    • Bad wolf

      Sadly you do get to keep using whatever your last elected title was, in perpetuity, here. Somehow this squares with all the stuff in the founding documents about no landed or hereditary titles. *shrug emoji*

      I think someone already suggested that perhaps TB isn’t just doing these a year ahead but has a 4-5 year lead, and he thought this was going to run just in time for HRC’s re-election. Makes as much sense as anything else

      • Mr. A

        Well, it’s not a landed or hereditary title because there’s no land involved and it’s not inherited. Also it’s not really a “title” in the sense of nobility, just a mode of address. And as far as I know, it’s not even established by law; it’s just considered polite.

      • batgirl

        Thanks, that’s interesting. And yeah, even if HRC were the current president, it would be typical for TB to have her husband do all the actual talking.

  15. batgirl

    The timing of this arc – haha, ICE are the Keystone Kops with flakvests, and deportation is easily solved by calling in a favour – is particularly egregious when the current news is that 545 of the children caged by ICE may never be reunited with the parents who were deported without them.
    But given the way children disappear without comment in Westview, maybe family separation isn’t such a big deal.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      To be fair, they couldn’t have foreseen that story being prominent right now. But still, this arc is in VERY bad taste overall. I wonder how it’s going over in parts of California and Texas, where a lot of people have been through ICE/deportation nightmares, or know someone who has.

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    Again, look at Amicus Brief trying not to make eye contact with anyone. Like he knows Funky’s going to rip him a new one the second he spots him. Why is he still in the story? If the whole theme here is “rely on your friends at the pizza shop to solve your problems”, why didn’t they dismiss him? He’s not friends with anyone. Lawyers don’t hang around with you after their work is done. It’s as if Batiuk has no idea he can just remove this character from the scene and we’ll piece together that he left.

  17. Don

    Clinton: “Put me through to the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement”
    Person on the other end: “No” {CLICK}
    Remember that ICE didn’t exist when Clinton was President

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I also think a former POTUS would find out the actual name of the person he wants a favor from. And call from his desk, not while he’s out jogging. Sheesh. Everyone is so rude in this world.

      • batgirl

        On the other hand, this arc may have established an all-time Funkyverse record for characters Using Their Cell Phones instead of Showing Up At the Door Unannounced.