The Ladder of Divine Ascent

Link to today’s strip.

Here we have the quintessential “tell, don’t show” strip as everyone stands around marveling at a display of which we, of course, get barely a glimpse. Instead, we get to look at a quintet of imbeciles.

The real treat is panel three, where Tony speeds out of Montoni’s with a huge ladder, that was apparently just sitting around somewhere. Funky looks puzzled, Wally looks at the floor, and Adeela’s face is almost covered by a crucifix! There, that’ll show her! Based on what we can see, she’s either amused or about to throw up.

Holly’s face is that of sheer terror. Tony’s face seems to say “Ha ha, fooled you!” and I think Holly is about to yell to Funky, “Stop him! That grotesque old gnome is stealing our only ladder!

But no, he’s just using one of the non-black Santa hats to plop onto the Montoni’s mascot. Giving us, in the process, another unneeded look at his fat ass. Something tells me that hat won’t survive the first gust that comes along, but at least someone actually tried to do something without bemoaning the oncoming failure.

I will say this: the street in that last panel is very well presented. It looks like it’s wet from freshly melted snow, so good on whoever was responsible for that detail.

And that’s it from me for this go-round. Tune in tomorrow when Epicus Doomus sits in the center seat. See you on the Funway!


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

16 responses to “The Ladder of Divine Ascent

  1. J.J. O'Malley

    Well, I for one know I’ll be haunted in my nightmares by the image of panel four.

    By the by, what happened to the accessibility street ramp that was the focus of a week’s worth of strips back in the fall? I really wanted to hear Tony’s opinion of it. And did the street in front of Montoni’s always back pull-in parking instead of parallel?

  2. Epicus Doomus

    I can see why Adeela would be shocked by an eighty-whatever year old man suddenly conjuring a ladder from out of nowhere, but why are the rest of them confused? Surely they’ve seen Tony do this dozens of times already, no? And watching him climb that ladder is one of the most painful looking things I’ve ever seen in this strip, which is saying a real f*cking mouthful, too.

    • The Merry Pookster

      YES… Tony is at least inhis upper 80’s… he runs, carries a huge wooden ladder, he climbs and in a flower shirt. It’s a Christmas Miricle.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        I had a neighbor who was doing stuff like that into his nineties: keeping a garden, mowing the lawn in criss-cross, cleaning gutters, and after he was widowed kept up on a three BR house, until his kids saw it getting to be too much. I was embarrassed by my lack of domestic skill.

      • Westview Radiology

        Meant that as an upvote pookster

  3. William Thompson

    The sidewalk is much wider than usual, which leads me to conclude two things: (1) it’s an alien life form which thrives on Montoni’s pizza and (2) its uncontrolled growth has caused it to consume the new wheelchair ramp.

  4. billytheskink

    Old old Tony atop a tall ladder that is resting on an icy sidewalk with no one holding it?

    Looks to me like Funky has a plan to assume full ownership of Montoni’s, and he he co-conspirators…

  5. Floyd the Barber-ian

    And of course that hat is 100% weather-proof. That thing is toast with the first 10 mph breeze and a 30-second sleet storm.

  6. Eldon of Galt

    I like William Thompson’s idea of the sidewalk as alien life form. It’s width expands from four feet to twelve or so. It ate the wheelchair ramp. It’s like that sentient ground fungus in that X-Files episode.
    Also, according to a diagram on Batiuk’s blog a few days ago, the parking in front of Montoni’s is neither parallel nor pull-in, it’s angled.

  7. Count of Tower Grove

    Merry Smirkmas!


    Panel 2 is giving me a headache. The wall color and the placement of the decorations suggests they are still inside, but the lovingly rendered bricks and the snow up against the wall indicates they’ve all trundled outside with only Tony remembering to put on a coat. For further continuity conundrums, Funky now has a coat in the last panel. Maybe Holly brought it out to him when she decided to join the rest of them. Tom Batiuk–master of details!

  9. batgirl

    Chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, he mounts to the rooftop with his team of reindeer. Lively and quick he springs up a ladder and goes straight to his work, bringing smiles to the faces of even the glum pizza team.
    Is Tony Montoni really St. Nicholas?
    On the other hand, I did not laugh when I saw him, in spite of myself.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is the culmination of “decorate until dawn night”? A bland display of cheap store-bought decorations, pizza boxes, and a Santa hat on a the corporate logo sign? The whole store looks like about 90 minutes of work, tops. There is no warmth, creativity, charm, or Christmas spirit. Yet between Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft today, nine different characters are transfixed at this display. Yes, Montoni’s decorations are so amazing they had to be talked about twice. When in real life, stuff like this exists:

    Since we all know what an actual impressive Christmas display would look like, what are we supposed to conclude from this? It almost feels like a meta-commentary on how low these people’s expectations have fallen. Except Tom Batiuk isn’t anywhere near that clever. He thinks this really is amazing.