I viscerally, personally know that things have been cold in the Midwest, but has anyone checked to see if the polar vortex has reached Hades?
Because, this is three days in a row now I’m not annoyed at Funky Winkerbean. This joke is tolerable. It’s kind of edgy for a guy who retconned a machine gun nest into cardboard. And its a little clunky, because obviously he’s only putting drops in the eye that was operated on, and that information is necessary for the joke, but he uses the plural in the first panel. But I can’t get mad at it.
Maybe we’re the ones who have broken under the torture. The cataract saga is nearly a month old at this point. We got a brief break from it for the most anemic OMEA arc I’ve seen in ten years. But we’ve had dozens of strips of Funky cracking wise to an annoyed health professional. Weeks of the punchline being, “This joke isn’t funny, sir.” And now, we’ve had three beautiful days of inoffensive. Yeah, we’re back to ocular humor, but this one doesn’t leave a bad taste.
You know what the difference is? Funky’s talking to Crazy Harry, his friend, and not some poor doctor, nurse or orderly. We’re not seeing two humans failing to connect, a wall slowly growing between them, as one assaults the other with misplaced quips. Friends are the kind of people you’re supposed to trade lame jokes with. The bonds of brotherhood can overcome all pun punishment, safe in the intimacy of bad humor between comrades.
I mean, it wouldn’t work as well if this was Les. His inherent Mooreness poisons his every interaction. Les is ‘best’ when he’s interacting with strangers who hate him, because it’s what he deserves. But he’s the exception. As far as I’m concerned Crazy Harry and Funky can sit here watching quality cartoons for my entire two week shift. They’re having fun, and I’ll find some tangent to run off on, and everything will be groovy.
But still, we’ll always know it can’t last. Hidden behind the panels of this strip, in the gradients at the corners and the darkness in the doorways, there’s something out there waiting for us, and it ain’t no man.
It’s Lisa’s Legacy.
17 responses to “Gitmo Drops In”
Poor, poor Funky. I knew it wouldn’t last. Today it’s eyedrops, tomorrow it’s blurred vision, Friday it’ll be a hemorrhage, Holly will pull the plug on Saturday and the funeral will be on Sunday. It’s all so clear now. I really hope that BatHam didn’t have any dental issues last year, as I just can’t handle a six week root canal arc right now.
Two sets every five minutes? Sounds excessive. The first week after surgery, my wife had to put five drops in her eyes at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The second week it was twice a day and the third week she is down to once a day. Things are always done differently in Ohio.
“I’m basically waterboarding my eyes. Get it? It’s a hilarious joke about torture and mistreatment, like that time a couple of months ago when one of my employees was mistakenly detained by ICE and held against her will with the threat of deportation hanging over her head. Yes, sir…good times, good times.”
Luckily the warming bag was rescued.
What a crazy coincidence, “I’m basically waterboarding my eyes” is exactly what I said the last time I was reading Funky Winkerbean and someone asked me what I was doing.
I’m pretty sure Hell, Michigan is frozen over if that counts. I do wonder how long this relative reprieve can last.
I’m sorry, but the wording of this joke is horrible. In addition to the tense problem, the joke contradicts itself further by saying the eye that’s NOT getting the drops is about to confess. If putting in eye drops is like waterboarding, then the eye getting the drops is the one being tortured, and should be closer to confessing. The other eye isn’t getting any “torture” at all! Why would it be anywhere near confessing?
How did this get through quality control? Even by this feature’s standards?
Yeah, I do not get the “it seems like” part.
I think the idea is that the undropped eye is seeing what’s happening to the dropped eye, and thinks it should go ahead and confess before the drops start coming its way. Saying the joke is badly phrased is like saying the strip is poorly drawn.
If that is the intent, then I still think it fails miserably.
1. You can’t see your left eye with your right eye or vice versa. In fact, I recently saw a cartoon where this was a plot point.
2. The eye that had the surgery, and therefore is actually receiving the drops/torture, is the one holding out.
3. There’s nothing in the story to support this. Compare:
This joke works because we know Milo Bloom has a strong personality, and Mike Binkley has a weak one. Here, there’s no reason one of Funky’s eyes should be more susceptible to torture than the other.
4. Waterboarding is not visually gruesome. If you wanted to coerce confession by showing torture to someone, a different method would be better. Unless the target has been waterboarded before, in which case see #3 above.
5. As CBH pointed out, putting “drops in his eyes” at the beginning and then saying only one gets them confuses things further. Yes, a person might say “my eyes” when they mean just one eye, but that’s just another thing we have to figure out.
6. The whole thing is too wordy. It includes multiple unnecessary details that distract from the joke.
This is a straightforward joke. It needs to be told straightforwardly. It’s got a good central premise: equating eye drops with waterboarding your own vision. But Tom Batiuk’s writing style messes it up. He thinks he’s being clever by introducing all these extra details we have to piece together. But he’s really destroying the joke, because the absurdity has to hit you all at once to be effective.
I think my re-write is a lot better:
Yup. Much better and more concise.
Thanks, I’m glad you like it! Here’s everything I altered:
– “it seems like”
– 2 sets of drops
– every 5 minutes
– “eyes” vs “eye” confusion
– the eye that’s getting the drops vs the one not getting the drops
– this in turn eliminated the problem of the “tortured” eye being the one holding out stronger
– “to everything”
– changed “2 days ago” to “yesterday” (just sounds better)
– changed Harry’s line slightly (just sounds better)
The removed details are all unnecessary to the joke or to the overall story.
It’s called editing.
He could have gone anywhere in the world with his metaphor, and he choose “waterboarding”? Lame, unfunny and in highly dubious taste…
If only Westview’s sole Muslim resident was around to hear that humdinger… Wonder how she’d take it?
We are only “seeing” this because just over a year ago Batty had cataract surgery.
Yet his comic vision remains hazy.
Two sets of drops, every five minutes? I use three different kinds of drops. The doctor says to leave fifteen minutes between drops applying drops. And Funky is only doing this for a few days, so of course Batiuk has him whine about it.
Why does he have to leave the room? Can’t he just put the drops in on the couch?