A Little To Do

I have no idea what the gag here is even supposed to be. It just seems like a reject from Crankshaft (for a gag to be rejected from Crankshaft it would have be extraordinarily craptacular). Most of the gags in that strip just seem to be “one word sounds sort of like another word” and don’t even approach what anyone would call worldplay. Or this could just be a sex thing, and Funky is saying nobody wants to do him or Holly.
Also, I think if you can fly from Ohio to Texas and back regularly to visit a doctor, you’re “to-do”, whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

42 responses to “A Little To Do

  1. William Thompson

    merriam-webster.com defines “to-do” as a “bustle, stir or fuss.” None of which applies to the static existence of the Funkyverse, so, uh, I guess Funky is stating the obvious? And if Montoni’s was closed, are we going to be told that Adeela’s near-deportation and that other Montoni’s story were just fever dreams?

  2. Epicus Doomus

    So this arc is set in the present, presumably April 2021, but Funky is talking about the pandemic and his struggles dealing with it in the past tense, like it’s all over now. So obviously when he wrote this one he assumed that by April 2021 it’d be all over and there would be no reason to have the characters wearing masks, as it might upset and or confuse his readers who don’t know he does the strips a year in advance. Which in hindsight turned out to be a very optimistic gamble, which quite frankly surprises me.

    What doesn’t surprise me at all is the shittiness of that “well-to-do” gag, which would embarrass the hell out of me if I’d written it. I mean if that’s all you have why not just ignore the pandemic entirely? Who’d notice or complain?

  3. erdmann

    At first I thought this was a reference to the failed New York store (mentioned in comments just yesterday) but then I realized it was talking about the pandemic shutdown we never saw. So, apparently FW and Crankshaft both time-jumped to post-pandemic days are simultaneously occurring in 2023 or something.
    On the bright side, maybe next week we’ll learn the COVID-related troubles that plagued Diamond Distributing killed Atomik Comics once and for all.

    • billytheskink

      Montoni’s New York location failed because of “a bunch of greedy, amoral morons” rather than a pandemic.

      It certainly didn’t fail because Montoni’s quality badly slipped while it was trying to make it in the most competitive pizza restaurant market in the world. No sir. That would be ridiculous…

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        FAIR?! Who’s the fuckin’ nihilist around here, you bunch of fuckin’ crybabies?!

        Jesus H. Christ. Not since Albert Haynesworth and Heath Shuler have two assholes have been handed more money for being shit at their jobs. And all you ever do is whine about it. And let me guess, is that the precious Lisa bench? That no one else in New York is allowed to sit on?

        Donnie, these men are cowards.

      • Charles

        Hell, most restaurants fail in their first year, pandemic, economic crisis or no. It’s just what happens. Plus, why New York City? It’s an extraordinarily bad idea. No brand recognition. It’s, as you say, in an extremely competitive market, and Funky appears to have set the place up in a part of NYC that has some of the highest retail rents in the city. Why did he spend what must have been a huge amount of money to set up a restaurant in a city a few hundred miles away, a city he doesn’t know, when he could have used that to move closer to the Cleveland market instead? Set a restaurant up in Centerville. Then put one in one of the richer Cleveland suburbs. That would be two expansions that would cost less than the money he blew to open one in NYC. And they’d have people going to them who might have heard about the original Montoni’s.

        He’s clearly not the best businessman in the world.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          But this is what bothers me. Funky was portrayed as being a captain of industry type, and certainly it takes money to open a business in NYC. But now, for the sake of today’s joke he is suddenly middle class.

          As for why NYC, Batty and boomers in general see NYC as their Mecca. They turn their heads eastward with awe and reverence. Sure, I like to visit for a couple of days to visit a museum and enjoy some nice meals, but if you want to see a functioning modern city, you need to go to Asia.

          • Gerard Plourde

            “As for why NYC, Batty and boomers in general see NYC as their Mecca.”
            There is truth in what you say, but the “magnetic” draw of NYC is primarily seen in members of certain professions, usually finance-related or in theater or media (print and electronic). TomBa’s attraction to New York was likely fueled by the fact that the dominant comic publishers were there.

            In addition to the implausible Montoni’s branch, there’s Les and Lisa’s inexplicable idolization of the city. They got engaged in Paris, for crying out loud. Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to have an outsized attachment to the City of Lights?

            It’s actually sad that he didn’t use his strip to become more of a booster of Cleveland, which like my home city of Philadelphia, is often unfairly caricatured and maligned.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I’m glad Batty doesn’t cheerlead for Cleveland, we get enough bad press as it is!

            Good point about Paris, I forgot about that.

          • Gerard Plourde


            As a Philadelphian, I hear you and can empathize.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            “Wouldn’t it make more sense for (Les and Lisa) to have an outsized attachment to the City of Lights?”

            For most couples, yes. For Les and Lisa, no, and here’s why:

            Their relationship was never about love, romance, or even liking each other very much. Les and Lisa were co-dependent partners. They were a perfect match only because Les has a savior complex, and Lisa had a victim complex. Coming out of high school, that might have been okay, maybe even kind of cute. But not into their 30s. Especially if we’re supposed to believe that he’s become a published author desired by multiple women, and that she graduated law school despite having been so anxious that she physically ran away from standardized tests.

            So I get why the world’s most romantic city would hold no charms for Les and Lisa. It’s much more fitting of their relationship to go to New York City, where they can walk around and pretend they’re big shots. And I get why Les’ idea of honoring Lisa’s memory is a park bench in a faraway city that no one who knew Lisa will ever see. He’s going to force the world’s most important city to acknowledge Lisa’s existence. By making her one of the 850 million park benches that have to be maintained. What an honor.

          • Gerard Plourde

            Banana Jr. 6000,

            Great analysis. That makes perfect sense. And as for TomBa’s scripting, an example of even a stopped clock being right twice a day.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          @banana great analysis! I know of one restaurant owner that actually opened a branch of their pizzeria in Akron, the original is in Brooklyn NY.

          I believe her Uncle owns the one in NY and she just used the recipes…large New York style slices, etc. it does very well.

      • Hitorque

        Rundfunk decided to expand Montoni’s not to Cleveland or Columbusbor West Virginia, but TO GODDAMNED NEW YORK?!? That has to be a top five dumbest ever Funkyverse stunt, and I’m talking some truly legendary company on that list…

        Please tell me Funky’s so-called friends or attorney or God forbid his fuckin’ accountant tried to talk sense into him… Please tell me Holly reminded him that just because he had the pizza market cornered in his little one stoplight podunk town that he might not be ready to take on the Big Apple… Please tell me that eternal killjoy Les Moore reminded him that world famous food chains and chefs have tried to break into the NYC market and failed horribly… Please tell me that Funkensteiger’s bank manager laughed his ass right out of the office when he filled out a loan application… Please??

  4. billytheskink

    And it’s not just the Ohio to Dallas visits to the doctor for something as simple as an annual physical… Funky lives in the largest house of anyone in this strip not named Chester Hagglemore. He has hired pretty much everyone who has come to him begging for a job. He can afford cataract surgery and a complete bathroom and kitchen remodel at the same time. His wife goes to ComicCon and buys expensive comic books on a whim. He has his own septic tank. They guy is, by all accounts in this strip, extremely well off.

    Good to see at least some of the AA group not buying this sob story.

    • Don’t forget that his wife outbids Chester’s $50,000 auction bid so DSH and Harry can get a huge collection of comic books…and they can pay her back “whenever.”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Another example of Batty using something from his personal life and then assuming everyone does things similarly. Are you telling me people don’t travel out of state to visit their primary care physician?

  5. erdmann

    Ugh. I just noticed my poor choice of words in my last sentence. When discussing COVID there is nothing funny about the word “killed.” My apologies.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    So, does that mean that Montoni’s never got its snazzy new handicapped sidewalk ramp last fall? How can they be welcoming to all people now?

    Seriously, Tom, we all read your stories last year. We remember all the times Crazy Harry was sitting at the counter drinking coffee. You can’t gaslight us like this and pretend it didn’t happen.

    Also: Why not “We’re certainly ‘crust,’ but we’re definitely not ‘upper’!,” since Funky owns a pizza place? Or “We’re certainly ‘nouveau,’ but we’re definitely not ‘riche'”? “We’re certainly ‘hoi,’ but we’re definitely not ‘polloi'”? “We’re certainly “laissez,’ but we’re definitely not ‘faire'”? Any one of them would make just as little sense as Battyuk’s choice.

    Lastly, and I know this one will date me: Is that Mitch Miller just above Funky’s head in panel one?

    • none

      He gaslights himself and nobody else who would be in a position to make him care about being called out on his bullshit bothers to do so, so he keeps getting paid for this and another day draws to a close.

      Funky is not rich when he decides that he’s not rich on a given single day, and other days, he is; and if you notice this, you’re just a troll.

      For a week that seemingly won’t have Les, Dinkle, or vapid children’s comic book masturbation, it sure is rather infuriating all the same.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        “ Funky is not rich when he decides that he’s not rich on a given single day…”

        I should have read your post first because you nailed it better than I did. This is what bothers me so much. Batty acts like his characters are deep and rich with their own unique identity, but in reality they are amoebas that get molded as needed to fit the current story.

    • billytheskink

      No guff from me on the Mitch Miller sighting. I mean, I once compared a background character in one of these strips to Kay Kyser…

  7. Hitorque

    “Financial stresses?” Seriously?? All those clowns he had on the payroll who did nothing but play grabass in an empty restaurant with zero customers for an entire shift??

    I mean it’s not like Rundfunk doesn’t have a local high school buddy who is a multimillionaire after selling his book to Hollywood TWICE, or has former president William Jefferson Clinton’s personal phone number or something…

    Oh let me guess… Les’ millions magically vanished during this retconned pandemic because he had to make up for the financial shortfall in the Lisa’s Legacy fund?

    • Charles

      Yep, financial stresses. Batiuk has gone back to this well multiple times since 2008, but the simple fact is that it’s nothing more to the characters than the opportunity to whine again.

      Nobody lost their job in this pandemic. Funky hasn’t had to let anyone go. Nobody’s had to suspend their mortgage or rent payments. It’s just something that allows them to whine about how unfair the world is.

      And all the 2008 financial crisis did was force Funky to close the NYC location of Montoni’s, a place so inessential to the strip that I bet most casual readers never knew it existed. All it did was enable Funky and Les to whine about how the world is cruel to them.

      Westview High had its levies consistently voted down, but nobody at the high school ever lost their job. Batiuk frequently referred to methods that the school was employing to raise necessary funds, but they always fell on the kids who weren’t characters in the strip. They may have made football players pay for all their own equipment, but there was never a football player and his family in the regular cast. The worst thing that happened was that Summer’s senior basketball season was almost cancelled, but then “not-well-to-do” Funky somehow stepped in and saved the day by raising enough money to save the season. There was never any economic stress on any of the characters even though we were told this was a financial crisis. All it did was give them license to whine about yet another thing.

      So yeah, don’t buy the whining about financial stresses. These puds will be all right. They’ll actually welcome it because whining about the unfairness of it all is the most valuable thing of all to them.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I think Westview High did lay off some teachers once. But of course, the main cast wasn’t affected. And if Les, Linda, and Kablichnik were good enough to keep, then I shudder to think who they got rid of. I’m glad they kept Becky, because she seems competent. And because I don’t want them re-hiring Dinkle.

        • Charles

          I’m pretty sure all of the teachers laid off from Westview High were either teachers who were only referred to but never shown in the strip itself (Klabitchnick stealing his fired colleague’s desk chair) or were teachers who were shown once and never again, prompting us here to speculate that they got canned. (The art teacher who enthusiastically went door-to-door promoting one of the levies, to the great annoyance of the “good” characters)

      • Hitorque

        The mere fact that Funkmeister didn’t go bankrupt after the New York venture means he either had a huge assed mountain of cash reserves to fall back on, or he tried to expand in the cheapest penny pinching bargain basement manner humanly possible, selling Vienna sausage and ketchup on triangular bits of cardboard from some old bombed out newsstand in South Jamaica, Queens…

  8. Jupitera Kitt

    I can almost look past the crap writing, stupid “narratives”, and the dipshit facial expressions, but the big sticking point for me is I don’t care one bit about any of these assholes.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  10. Gerard Plourde

    “It was hard to talk about the stress I was feeling about having to close Montoni’s”.

    In what universe did that occur in any of last year’s strips?

    And given that TomBa established as canon in 1992 that Funky and his cohort graduated from Westview in 1988, that the four college years were skipped in order to match the present year and that the strip proceeded chronologically from that point up to Lisa’s death in 2007, then experienced a ten year time jump, isn’t Funky speaking in the year 2031?

    TomBa’s retcon rate has certainly accelerated.

  11. It seems to me that Montoni’s, with its fleet of Eastern European delivery vehicles and its pizza app, would be uniquely prepared to handle the pandemic conditions. Sure, Funky would have to close the restaurant to dine in customers, and Cory would be out of a job since the counter won’t need wiping any more, but anyway, when’s the last time we actually saw a dine in customer there before the pandemic?

    • billytheskink

      A good point, but I’m trying to think of the last time we say a delivery order that wasn’t for ICE as well.

  12. Dood

    “One day at a time.” The motto of anyone reading this shitty strip.

  13. Sourbelly

    “OK. Very good, uh, ‘Funky’, is it? Please have a seat, and someone will call you an Uber. Now, let’s get back to our ‘One Day at a Time’ Fan Club meeting.”

  14. Mr. A

    I can shrug if the punchline is merely unfunny, but this is getting me worked up. What is the pun here? What does it mean for people to be “to-do”? What on earth is happening?

    Here, let me try. “I suppose people think we were dealt a lucky hand…we’re certainly lucky, but we’re definitely not ‘hand’!” Do you see, Batiuk? Do you see how nonsensical this sounds?

  15. Chyron HR

    To Do: Write Joke (He Didn’t).

  16. Maxine of Arc

    Headscarf Lady is all of us.

  17. Professor Fate

    As others have noted – Just when the hell did Montoni’s shut down? And is there it chance it won’t reopen? Nah – God would never be that good to us.
    And that last panel well it’s as if TB was making notes with an idea into making this some kind of joke later on and then just left it as stands.

  18. erdmann

    It just occurred to me that if Montoni’s closed down there would be widespread starvation in Westview. After all, it’s the town’s primary food source.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And widespread unemployment, since a cast of thousands works at Montoni’s, at least part time.

  19. Westview Radiology

    Hey there’s Summer and Pre-CauCayla !