The Dirty Jobs

Such a weird joke today. I’m thinking that this “momentary lapse” Funky mentions was in November ’19, when he mused aloud about installing a shower in the guest bathroom for Holly’s mom. But that conversation took place face to face, and not over the phone. Does Holly surreptitiously record all their conversations, for use as leverage to get her way? Apparently there are third-party apps that allow you to record phone calls, but it’s not a feature of iOS. At any rate, Funky knows he’s been hornswoggled, and is none too happy about it. Even though profanity standards have become pretty lax, “damn” is still kinda salty language for any newspaper comic strip not named Doonesbury. And does Funky/Batty realize that Steve Jobs has been dead nearly ten years?


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

23 responses to “The Dirty Jobs

  1. William Thompson

    Steve Jobs has been dead ten years? Piker! This strip nailed being dead long before Jobs even thought of dying!

  2. J.J. O'Malley

    Merciful Minerva, what is up with panel-two Funky? It looks like he’s either in his third trimester or is pantomining the opening credits to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” I thought this bozo was a semi-regular jogger and gymrat.

  3. bayoustu

    Speaking of “renos”: looks like Funky had an addition installed in his apron in panel 2. Time for another hilarious gym arc.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    You know what would really help this story? If we had any idea what the goddam problem is. Holly wants a “reno” for no reason, Funky is bothered by this for no reason, and we’re watching him explain this non-problem to someone else. If I may paraphrase from Ron White: I’m third-generation don’t give a shit.

    And didn’t I say last week that whenever someone talks to Les in Montoni’s, it’s always Crazy Harry? Seriously, there’s no other character Funky could have had this non-conversation with?

    • I think that Harry is probably the only character in the strip who wouldn’t insist on placing his own baggage on top of Funky’s.

      Les: “Yeah, Lisa wanted to reno our kitchen. SOB!”
      Skunk: “Yeah, well, comic books, and my wife lost her arm.”
      Pete: “Yeah, well, I have a deadline.”
      Dinkle: “Well, what have you done for me, lately?”

  5. billytheskink

    This would be exponentially funnier if you replaced Steve Jobs name with J. Edgar Hoover’s. That is to say, it would become kinda unfunny instead of actively unfunny.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It really could have been a generic smartphones gag, I really don’t see why he felt he needed to drag Steve Jobs into it. It’s not like iPhones are particularly noted for their conversation recording abilities.

      The word “damn” really fascinates me here. I have to imagine he’s probably used it before, maybe in the original cancer arc or something, but that kind of salty language is very rare in the Funkyverse. Of course I assume that “Crankshaft” has already covered that ground with some sort of Tourette’s arc, but that doesn’t count.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    “I have to do it because she recorded me agreeing to it on her fancy iPhone” is a plot point a middle schooler would come up with in 1995. Every family I’ve ever been in ran on the principle of “if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” Maybe that’s my southern-ness talking, but I’ve never seen a married woman have to resort to such cheap blackmail. And again, we don’t even know why this is important, except for Holly’s “starving fat guy sees buffet” eyes in the Sunday strip. God, this is terrible storytelling. I shudder to think what Tom Batiuk’s marriage must have been like if this is how he thinks these things work.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah, this is a really peculiar and hostile sort of gag, which you don’t see too often in the Funkyverse. I don’t ever recall seeing the word “damn” spelled out like that in the strip before. Usually it’s *%$# or whatever. Downright salty by BatHam standards.

    And Steve Jobs? FW rarely references real people like that. I know what he was going for here but to me it reads more like a complaint about the way modern technology has changed the way married couples bicker with one another, which I doubt was his point as it’s just a tad too clever.

    Coming later this week: FW breaks new comic strip ground as Funky actually uses the F-word…”friggin”. Irate newspaper readers plan nationwide protests at the offices of leading newspaper publishers but they’re called off upon learning there aren’t enough handicapped parking spaces to go around.

    • none

      “Sucks” gets edited when Summer says it but “damn” doesn’t. OK.

      I’m personally all for the latter, anyway. Editing with grawlix or punctuation belittles intelligence and draws attention directly to the words which we’re supposed to gloss over. It’s chicken shit. If you’re going to swear, fucking swear or don’t. That goes particularly for people who pride themselves on their prose. If you’re such a god damned genius of a word smith, you can waltz around the profanity.

      • William Thompson

        This reminds me of the “Dragnet:1987” movie. I’ve stayed awake through both versions, so I’m entitled to an opinion on it. The original version has a scene where a witness is swearing a blue streak while speaking to Joe Friday. It’s, um, funny in a way, I guess because that’s the sort of real-life thing the show couldn’t get past Broadcast Standards. But the edited-for-TV version of the scene has the woman spouting some reasonably creative insults that improved the scene.

      • Margaret

        I’ve sometimes wondered what Sarge is actually saying when he swears at Beetle, but I think this is one case where the grawlixes are a lot funny than the actual words would be.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And look what the word is used on: a nothing arc about a home repairs argument. Not having his eyeball split open, not having an employee taken away by ICE, not having a beloved teacher and coach suddenly die in a car crash.

      Even calling this story a “home repairs argument” gives it way too much credit. Funky Winkerbean is so conflict-averse that it can’t even depict a common spousal disagreement. It has to be implied. Just as none said “fucking swear or don’t”, Batiuk’s writing needs to have a conflict or don’t.

  8. Mr. A

    “A momentary lapse”? Are we to understand that Funky is perpetually guarding himself against the possibility of agreeing to a renovation? “A moment of madness” would fit the joke better.

    Panel 3 actually got a laugh out of me, purely because the stilted dialogue reads like the petty rantings of a low-level supervillain. Just replace “Steve Jobs” with “Batman” and you’ll see what I mean.

  9. I don’t know about “damn” but boy is that one awkwardly contrived sentence. And, say what you want about 2021 but we’ve seen more of the title character this year than we have for the last ten.

  10. sgtsaunders

    “Reno work” is right up there with “Vendo” and “solo car date” in the TomBat pantheon of cringeworthy nonsense.

  11. There’s already a perfectly good word to take the place of “reno” and as a bonus, it’s the same number of letters: “redo.”

    I guess Batiuk figures that using obscure terms means his work is deep and meaningful.

    • William Thompson

      Or that these o-suffix words he creates help create a sense of a unique local culture, where everyone speaks their own language. Which I guess would be named schizo.

  12. batgirl

    To be fair, here in the PNW, I hear the word ‘reno’ (pronounced REH-noe) used quite commonly, usually as ‘house reno’, or ‘home reno’, sometimes ‘renoes’.
    Also, because of the housing crunch in Victoria and Vancouver, the usage of ‘renoviction’ – when your landlord kicks you out so they can finally do some repairs, increase the rent substantially, and rent out to someone with a higher income than you.