This is an odd strip. I guess the joke is “Funky isn’t feeling anything because he’s been ‘sedated’, even though sedation and anesthetization aren’t the same thing, if he’s freaking out and yelling he sure doesn’t seem sedated”, but I don’t get why he’d be dead set on having to feel something before he goes in for surgery anyway. Shouldn’t be relieved that he can’t feel anything before he has a knife inevitably poke out his eye?
I like to think of this as Funky just admitting that he’s dead inside and has no emotions anymore, because I’m very tired at the lame attempts at humor and very much want this strip to jump back into overblown melodrama. At least that was slightly entertaining.
19 responses to “Cataractastrophe”
Nurse Humor: “And if you keep trying to cop a feel, mister, I’ll give you something in common with that band director who keeps harassing my son Thatsnot!”
Yeah, taken out of context, an unsuspecting reader might believe there was some sort of existentialism-type thing going on here but alas, it’s just another sad wordplay-based gag, one that doesn’t have any resolution either. Maybe if he passed out in mid-sentence or something it’d sort of make sense, but as usual BatYam f*cked it all up again by taking his beloved wordplay too far. You’d think a guy who’s been doing these shitty gags for two hundred years would eventually just stumble into some humor just by chance but it never happens. The consistency is just astounding.
I think Funky means by “feeling something” he means “the anesthetic taking effect.” It’s actually not bad for word-play, but the fact that it’s not easily spotted is points down.
I do think that’s what the gag is supposed to be, but Funky’s anger kind of mess it up for me. I could see mild confusion (“Are you sure the shot is working? I don’t feel a thing!”). But yelling with that look of panic make it a lot stranger.
Here’s what he should have said:
Now it’s actually horrifying. Funky’s worried that he’s going to have his eye cut open with nothing to numb the pain. Which may actually be the joke, because he only got sedation, and sedation doesn’t do that. Or maybe the joke is the sedation didn’t work, because it’s supposed to calm you and Funky isn’t calm. Or the joke is that Funky said “I can’t feel anything” when that’s what he should want. I honestly have no idea what he’s going for here.
And the nurse’s dumb expression doesn’t tell us anything either. If she smiled, or said “he’s ready”, or started indifferently wheeling him into the operating room, that would help.
On a side note, apparently there are a lot of different approaches to preparations for cataract surgery: https://www.eyeworld.org/article-cataract-severity-may-determine-anesthesia-choices
Reminds me of the rumored ending to Roger Corman’s “X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes” in which Ray Milland’s last line was allegedly “I can still see!”
I agree. I also have a theory that the punchline is supposed to be “funny” (your mileage may vary) because it plays on the idea of a man getting a woman drunk so he can sleep with her. “I’m not going home with you until I’m really plastered!”
In addition to the unclear wording, the characters’ expressions confuse things even more. The nurse’s face goes from chipper to worried, as if there’s an actual problem happening. If Funky is just babbling because of the drugs, she would remain chipper.
Funky looks loopy in the first panel. Which is fine, because he just got the sedative. But in panel three, he’s suddenly alert, worried, and too coherent for a sedated person. We know Tom Batiuk will show when a character is slurring (“Jff and Pmm”) but he’s not doing that here. Did the sedative not work? The scene could add up to that, I guess, but the reactions still aren’t right. They’re too small to change the mood of the story. The random moods and lack of clarity in previous strips just adds to the problem.
This week’s “Funky annoys nurse” gags probably don’t play too well in the COVID era, (nor does Crankshaft’s current flu story arc). Most cartoonists would have realized this months ago and scrapped these strips, even if they already had them made. TB is a remarkable combination of lazy and tone deaf.
I am really looking forward to the week long arc where Crankshaft goes on and on about Lena’s brownies kill more people every year than COVID, and how he wishes he could mandate a brownie mask, and then culminating in a gag about how Lillian’s store is empty due to social distancing. Followed the next day by Ed and a bunch of old women packed into a room for a garden club meeting, and then school bus jokes, and Ed and his friends hanging out at the restaurant like normal.
Funky refuses the surgery and decides he wants to go blind rather than risk it Funky wants to die But then in the middle of the night who should appear at his hospital bedside but the Ghost of St.Lisa and the Ghost of Bull Bushka. They each take one if his hands and tell Funky that he must live! That he can’t risk dying and being forced to walk the earth in purgatory like them. “Funky! Imagine dying and NOT making it to heaven and having to roam Westview forever in ghost form!”
I’ll admit, I’ve no no choice but to feel something week: an iota of sympathy for Holly. Then I remember that she walked into this with both eyes open (no pun intended) and knew what Funky was like.
Funky and Holly are the only married couple in Funky Winkerbean who seem to actually like each other. It’s nice that she’s there with him going into this scary surgery. Funky’s boorishness aside, I think he would do the same for her. The story frames it all wrong, but there is something nice here.
Now imagine Skunk Head John getting surgery; do you think one-armed Becky would be there for him? She’s got band practice! And to be fair, she is the only relevant wage-earner in the family. If Cayla ever had a serious problem, would Les…. well, you can finish that sentence.
Someone here mentioned Nietzsche Family Circus, so I’ve been reading that lately. Today when Epicus said that some might mistake today’s strip for existentialism, my path became clear.
The first page of my search yielded back to back quotes by Franz Kafka, Philip K. Dick, and Søren Kierkegaard. Emulating our favorite author, I said, “Meh. This’ll do.” Copy, paste and voila! – another strip improved. You’re welcome, TB.
Ah yes, forgot about that, am going over there now! It beats this crap.
Everyone I know that had cataract surgery said it was no big deal, but for Batty, it seems that he had a hard time of it.
It’s understandable, I think. I don’t like the idea of someone poking sharp things in my eyes, though I suspect once it was over I too would think it was not a big deal.
I agree. Cataract surgery is routine nowadays, but the idea of having one’s eye cut open is still squicky as hell. This arc really drops the ball on a solid premise.
There’s also this webcomic – https://existentialcomics.com/