The Springhead of this Country

Link to today’s strip.

Many thanks to TFH for his outstanding work for this underwhelming strip. A week of moaning over renos followed by Les exalting his own genius, and TFH is still among us!

Today, Jessica overhears Pete and Dullard talking, and her first reaction is to get worried. Yes sir, this is a marriage on firm ground, all right. They could be talking about a surprise party for her, or something nice, but she’s no doubt thinking Dullard has spent the rent money on comic book art again.

Which is, come to think, a genuine worry for her. Dullard seems rather irresponsible, money-wise, considering he’s the sole breadwinner and has a young son. Yet he acts as if money is no object and gives away valuable comic art for Lisa’s Legacy. (I’m kind of surprised he didn’t buy it all back.)

This makes me wonder why he and Jessica are together at all. They don’t seem to share any interests and rarely communicate with each other. Jessica did buy two tickets to the Flash Museum…so Dullard could go with Pete. And of course that “story” mirrored this one, only Dullard thought Jessica was cheating on him. It’s become a routine with them, like a comedian saying his catchphrase.

I’m positive that today’s episode will not provide any lasting changes, though. How do I know this? It’s Funky Winkerbean. Despite Mr. Batiuk’s touting his own ability to make his characters grow and change, they never do.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

27 responses to “The Springhead of this Country

  1. Epicus Doomus

    The funny thing about it is that Boy Lisa and Jessica have been together since high school during Act II. They were already married when they got booted from The Big City and showed up at Les’ door ten years ago, so they presumably got married sometime during the time skip. So they’ve been married for eleven years at a minimum and they’ve been a couple for at least twenty-five years and probably longer than that.

    But, God bless ’em, they’re still having these hilarious Mr. Roper-esque “misunderstandings” that send Jessica into one of her silly girlish tizzies, even after a quarter century together. I guess it keeps things “fresh”, as they say. I’m sure that we’ll soon discover that Boy Lisa misplaced her comic book or something, because really, what else could it be?

  2. billytheskink

    This is believable, I think. It’s easy to keep secrets when no one can remember the last time you were even seen speaking to your wife, Durwood.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This is like those Family Guy cutaway scenes where Stewie says to the camera “Are we really doing this? We’re doing this. Okay then. Ahem. ‘Brian, does Jessica know about this?'”

  3. J.J. O'Malley

    Oh, good, a nonsensical misunderstanding that could easily be resolved with just a question or two, but will instead snowball to depict a wife/fiancee/girlfriend jumping to conclusions and getting all emotional like gurrls do. Haven’t seen one of these since the “Adeela’s Driving Lessons” arc last October.

    So, I assume that by the end of the week we’ll see it’s nothing more than Durwood designing a new character (for yet another new series he and Pete are doing) based on Jessica, or maybe the big news that the boys are planning a trip to New York to tour the Daily Bugle, the Baxter Building, Avengers Mansion, and the Coffee Bean Barn (Hey, after their Flash Museum pilgrimage anything is possible).

    By the by, last time I checked, the Atomik Comix Bull—-pen consisted of Mopey, Durwin, Mindy, and Ruby, with Chester having his own office. Do they really need a separate cloakrooom, or did Chester have one put in to facilitate eavesdropping?

    • billytheskink

      Of course they don’t need a separate cloakroom, but Chester owns the building (which he bought to house himself and his 2 employees initially…)so they may as well use the space and they don’t have to worry about rent or anything. Of course, the bullpen would probably trade the cloakroom for a restroom on their floor.

  4. William Thompson

    A misunderstanding between two dolts? The tension approaches a level not seen outside of Luann!

  5. Yule Gibbin

    I’m on the edge of my commode.

  6. Charles

    Is Jessica working at Atomik Comix now? Did Batiuk forget that it’s Mopey’s SO who works with them, and not Jessica?

    Even so, this setup raises questions. If Jessica and Darin are both working there, why didn’t they go to work together? If Jessica’s visiting, why is she hanging up her jacket before telling her husband she’s arrived, especially if she’s within easy earshot of the dope? If she’s visiting, what is she doing that requires that she ditch her jacket? Is she there to assist in her husband’s loafing and neglect of his job? He can do that all by himself, or with the help of his coworkers.

    Anyway, once again we see that Batiuk can’t even set up a sequence without screwing it up.

  7. Hitorque

    Money *is* no object for Darrin, remember?? He’s getting six figures from the Starsuck Jones movies plus merchandising, plus Chester made him and Pete literally the highest paid mooks in the comics industry

  8. Hitorque

    Didn’t we just go through this bullshit with Wally teaching Adeela how to drive??

  9. ComicBookHarriet

    You bring up an interesting point BC, we literally have no idea what draws any two people in Funkyverse together. What do they even LIKE about each other? Physical attraction can only take you so far…and with the lumpy dough people of Westview that distance is about six inches.

    I know what my parents like about each other, my sister and her husband, my friends and their love interests. But every couple in the comic is strangled by the red-string.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I hear Funky has a fetish for sandbags.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      In TV Tropes terms, think it’s closer to Pair The Spares. Secondary characters with nothing in common are arbitrarily paired up with each other during time skips, because the storytelling world needs it. Funky Winkerbean never shows how these odd relationships came about, or just what the hell these two see in each other. John/Becky are Bull/Linda are examples of people who wouldn’t even like each other in real life, much less be married. Lots of writers do this to their characters. but it’s rarely this forced.

      • Dood

        The forced has always been extremely strong with this strip.

      • billytheskink

        I would argue that TB did show us, to some extent, how Funky-Holly, Durwood-Jessica, and Linda-Bull all got coupled up and showed us Lefty and DSH’s initial connection, it is just that pretty much none of it was convincing.

        Funky and Holly – We’re both unhappily divorced lets talk about that… oh hey, guess we should get married!

        Durwood and Jessica – Pointy-nosed nerd has crush on the hot cheerleader since she was introduced in the strip, hot cheerleader has crush on pointy-nosed nerd as well as crippling insecurities, both of which are suddenly revealed after over a half-decade of doing stuck-up hot cheerleader shtick.

        Linda and Bull – Single mother likes the attention she receives from dim-witted assistant football coach who graduated from college when her daughter was already at least 10 years old.

        Lefty and DSH – If you like pina coladas golden age Hollywood and getting caught in the rain meeting in person with people who talk about golden age Hollywood online…

        TB’s most convincing coupling was Crazy and Donna, and that relied on retconning Donna as the Eliminator and her showing up out of the blue on her motorcycle so we didn’t question why her interests suddenly aligned so perfectly with Crazy’s.

        • Margaret

          And the least convincing would have to be Les and Cayla, for which there seems to be no explanation.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            Naw, least convincing is Pete and Minty. The only reason their relationship ‘works’ is that Minty has no discernable personality.

            I would also say that Rachel and Wally wasn’t well explained, but I know too many desperate single mother waitresses who would relish an emotionally starved and broken man with a military pension. That’s a believable relationship that wasn’t believably portrayed. IRL Rachel would have already had a few kids with Wally. One for every time she was worried he might leave her.

  10. Mr. A

    “No… I wanted it to be a surprise.” That’s what a normal person would say in this scenario, right? (Not that I even know what the scenario is, but I’m willing to place some bets.)

    To be fair, not every line of dialogue has to be “what a normal person would say”. It would be weird for every character in a work of fiction to behave in a statistically average manner. But this is such a tired and obvious set-up that Darrin might as well be thinking, “Hmm, how I can phrase this to maximize the chances of a misunderstanding?”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The first bit of dialog gives the game away. A man having an affair wouldn’t say he “hasn’t said a thing” to his wife. Of course he hasn’t told his wife he’s cheating on her! This question doesn’t need to be asked. So, obviously Pete, (because who else would ever be talking to Darren) is really asking about something else.

  11. angusmac

    What happened to the Les book signing tour? I was hoping for more references to get and yell in public how smart I am