Take a Pass Too, Batiuk

Wine with DeWine“. I had no idea what this was supposed to mean until I searched and realized that’s the name of the governor of Ohio. I’m not sure if Batiuk thinks that everyone reading this strip will both remember that it takes place in Ohio and immediately recognize the Ohio governor’s name, or maybe he realizes that nobody outside the state (or his house) pays attention to the strip anymore.
I still have no idea what this is supposed to mean, actually. I’m guessing he’s talking about drinking wine while watching the governor’s press conferences (I have a strong suspicion that this entire “Funky gripes at an AA meeting” storyline was created just because Batiuk thinks it’s funny that “DeWine” sounds like “wine”), but I’d like to think that mister “Not to do” was just hanging out with the governor on a regular basis at his shuttered restaurant.
Also, what work was Funky doing alone in an empty restaurant that was closed for months that he couldn’t do from home?


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

56 responses to “Take a Pass Too, Batiuk

  1. Epicus Doomus

    This one had me befuddled too. Apparently he’s talking about the Ohio governor’s daily press briefings…I guess. They must do things differently out west, as here in the Garden State everyone was already hammered for hours before any afternoon news conferences began.

    But anyway, this is exactly the sort of try-hard wordplay that drives readers away from FW quicker than The Great Gazoo killed “The Flintstones”. If you write a comic strip that requires readers to research things, you have failed. It’s pretty stupid too, as it seems difficult to believe that a pandemic press conference would be the thing that drove Funky to drink given all the woes he’s had to endure over the course of Act III.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yes, this was a thing in Ohio in the early days.

      I did not vote for Dewine, but I think he is doing a good job. He was not as heavy handed as other governors. We had curfews, but things could be open if there was room to spread out.

      Similarly he made it easy to get vaccinated if you so desire. We had drive thru vaccine centers and now almost 40% of Ohioans are vaccinated.

    • Margaret

      That one negative vote must be from someone who loved the Great Gazoo!

  2. I thought the “Wine” and “DeWine” thing meant he was going to drink wine, and then drink something that would remove the drunkenness. Like “tox” and “detox” or something. But then I realized that I was putting way more thought into this than the cartoonist.

  3. Mr. A

    Funky is talking like he hasn’t seen any of these people since the pandemic started. Did this AA group cancel their meetings for a full year? No video calls? Crankshaft and his buddies were doing video calls.

  4. Lord Flatulence

    … and I’d take a piss.

  5. RudimentaryLathe?

    God I wish the gang from “Loudermilk” would barge in and wreak their havoc on this bullsh*t.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      Wow, my first downvote. Don’t I feel special. So, downvoter, please post a detailed description of the “Loudemilk” characters and why their stories don’t qualify as a valid comparison to this current arc.

  6. billytheskink

    Funky would go to Montoni’s and work?! Pandemic or not, someone in Montoni’s working is pretty unbelievable.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      And why was it closed? Restaurants in Ohio had to limit capacity so some to chose to close as they didn’t think they could be profitable.

      But pizza shops had no issues since most of their business is from carry out and pizza holds up well unlike meals from fancy restaurants.

      My cousin owns a pizza shop and they just switched to carry out only as they have a tiny dining room.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    Again TomBa forgets (or flat-out ignores) his ten-year time jump. In Ohio, while a governor can serve multiple terms, they would have to be staggered. The governor can have two four-year consecutive terms but has to sit out a term before becoming eligible to run again for two four-year terms. While it is possible that Mike DeWine could serve through January 2027, decide to run again in 2030, having sat out the necessary term, and be re-elected, he would be 84 years old in 2031.

    But continuity is a very fluid concept in this strip. Which makes me wonder when Cayla will vanish and Lisa will reappear as Mrs. Moore? (But would TomBa subject his favorite creation to aging?)

    • Margaret

      I do find the whole 10 years later thing very confusing, and it sure seems like something that Batiuk should explain on his blog. If he even understands it anymore. But one possible way that it could make sense is that Act II wasn’t taking place at the present time, but was still years in the past when the jump happened. Obviously, act three cannot be taking place before the present time because the pandemic is happening. So maybe the truth is that act three is in 2021, and not 2031, and crankshaft is in 2011. Still very confusing, but a lot more plausible than that technology, culture, politics, etc., is still the same 10 years from now, and that Bill Clinton is still jogging!

      • Mr. A

        But the pandemic is happening in Crankshaft as well. Or rather, the characters have said that it just finished happening. For example…

        (Unless, of course, the old geezers are referring to an entirely different disease outbreak that upended everyone’s lives…which is technically possible, because they’ve never mentioned “COVID” or “the coronavirus”. Plausible deniability!)

      • ComicBookHarriet

        The best explanation I have, and it always fits, is that both Crankshaft and Funky are taking place in present day, ten years apart. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s true. It is 2021 in both Crankshaft and Funky, but in Funky everything in Crankshaft happened 10 years ago. There’s some kind of Wandavisionesq temporal anomaly on the highway between Centerview and Westview.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          My pet theory is that both strips are in the present day. But after the time skip, the characters in FW had 10 years added to their age. Instead of gradating high school in 1988, they graduated in 1978, making them 10 years older in the present day. Thsi even explains Ed Crankshaft: his birthday is 10 years further back in FW than in CS. This is similar to how The Simpsons kept its characters the same age while also keeping its stories current. But Batiuk has made such a train wreck of his continuity that this theory doesn’t fit anymore either.

          • Gerard Plourde

            The ten year time jump between acts two and three wouldn’t matter if he had eliminated crossovers between FW and crankshaft or was consistent. But it becomes really absurd when he follows the rule for just about everyone except Lillian, who, if memory serves, appears identical in both strips.

  8. J.J. O'Malley

    You know, if Battyuk himself had offered me the choice last year between:
    A.) experiencing Rachel’s “date night” jealousy, Adeela’s ICE ordeal, the Pizza Monster/Mr. Monster showdown, the disabled curb ramp construction, Crazy Harry buying salad dressing as an anniversary gift, and live reindeer on the roof for Christmas, or B.) 12 months of a depressed Funky sitting in a deserted, closed Montoni’s and staring longingly at the liquor supply, I think I would have gotten more entertainment out of the latter.

  9. Temperance Swigley

    How profound.

  10. William Thompson

    Has there ever been a mention of beer or wine being sold at Montoni’s before this?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      No, but pizza shops in Ohio generally offer this so I can give Batty a pass on that.

      What doesn’t make sense is Funky having work to do when his shop was closed.

    • billytheskink

      I don’t know about sold, but alcohol has been present at Montoni’s from time-to-time, usually around New Year’s.


      • Gerard Plourde

        From a quick look at Luigi’s, the template for Montoni’s, web site, they do serve alcohol. Of course, that said, we’ve never seen anything depicted in TomBa’s strip to indicate that Montoni’s has the necessary setup.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Yes, and there is a nice old bar in the main room at Luigi’s.

          Never saw anyone sit there and drink coffee though.

    • billytheskink

      Further research indicates that back in Act II Montoni’s had a regular lush who appeared in only a couple of strips so Funky could tell himself he wasn’t an alcoholic… even though a week before this he woke up at home with no memory of how he got there and no car, afraid and ashamed that he may have been guilty of a hit and run of a little girl that he heard about on news radio.

      • Gerard Plourde

        That strip raises an interesting question. Isn’t it illegal in Ohio to serve a visibly intoxicated person? Shouldn’t the server cut “the regular” off before he got drunk into a stupor? Wouldn’t Montoni’s be in danger of losing its license to serve?

  11. Professor Fate

    I like how the expressions on the listeners is “Yeah, Yeah. We’ve heard this before. Anymore doughnuts?”
    You know it would have been nice to have SEEN any of this rather than having it given to us second hand via Wall o’ Text ™. But that would have meant going back over what you had already written and lord we can’t have that now can we? No it’s more important to indulge in treacle soaked comic book nostalgia (again) with the subtle grace of a cider block to the face.

    • Mr. A

      It’s very similar to Les’s most recent book signing. That week had a lot of “tell-don’t-show” in it as well, but at least it threw in a handful of flashback panels (Les at the grocery store, the snow angels). Now we’re not even getting that.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        If Batiuk could create flashback images for a COVID story, he could just use them to tell the story as a current event. The same amount of artwork would have to be done. Which eliminates whatever work it saves every time Ayers draws a room full of talking heads instead of an actual scene.

        There is no bottom to the laziness of this comic strip.

  12. Sourbelly

    Since “Wine with DeWine” has been in the banner all week, I’ve been curious as to how Tombat would make that work in a strip. Turns out, he didn’t.

    • Gerard Plourde

      In this strip, listening to Funky, I think the more appropriate spelling is “whine”.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I give him a pass. He’s talking about the temptation he faces to drink again, which is appropriate at an AA meeting. And support groups need to be non-judgmental to be effective. So Funky can whine if he wants to.

        • Gerard Plourde

          That’s fair. I am confused by the amount of time that Funky has the floor, though. I don’t know how AA meetings are structured. Is there a leader who directs the meeting? Is there a time limit on testimonials? TomBa could do a real service by showing the other members sharing, rather than sitting like cardboard cutouts.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I found a page of AA meeting etiquette: https://www.addictioncenter.com/community/proper-etiquette-12-step-meetings/

            When talking: be brief, speak only once, stay on-topic, address the group, use correct terminology, don’t go off on tangents. When listening: pay attention, turn your phone off, stay in your seat. I don’t know how long Funky’s been talking, but I’ll get it the benefit of the doubt. He isn’t misbehaving… so far.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            When Funky arrives at AA for a meeting, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. He’ll bring snacks, And even better, he’ll fill the silence with his meandering sermonizing. No one else will feel obligated to stammer out their week’s struggles just to break the awkward eye contact.

  13. Of course, the one time that it would have been appropriate to depict a hand lettered, taped up sign on a door (AA meetings almost universally take place in church basement meeting rooms, empty classrooms, or some other temporary/borrowed spaces, and generally have minimal external signage), we see a permanent sign affixed to the outside wall.

    • Gerard Plourde

      The “ARID AA” sign prompted me to check the web. There appear to be incorporated non-profit AA groups and some of these have dedicated centers where several groups meet. ARID is a real thing. I found a number in Colorado and New Mexico. A further check turned up this though.


      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Another real-life entity that needs to send King Features a cease and desist.

        • Gerard Plourde

          Right. But again because of TomBa’s “write a year ahead and forget about it” style, he didn’t bother to find out that the Akron, Ohio ARID center has apparently closed permenantly.

  14. The Duck of Death

    Ah, Tom. The master of “tell, don’t show.” God forbid he show us Funky in a life-or-death struggle with booze; that might entail conflict and drama, God forbid. Better to have him tell us about it when it’s all over.
    The Revised Version of Lord of the Rings.
    As written by Tom Batiuk.

    Book I.
    Chapter 1.

    “Remember back when, Mr Frodo?” said Samwise Gamgee, reclining in his chair. “Remember when we had to get through Mordor and throw the ring into Mt. Doom? What a great adventure that was!”

    Frodo Baggins puffed lazily on his pipe. “Yes. Sometimes I think about Gandalf, the wizard who helped us with his magic and wisdom. I’m glad we defeated the evil Sauron, but it was a close call.”

    “Yes, indeed. What a lot of thrilling characters and bizarre monsters we encountered,” said Samwise. “Oh, the tales we could tell! What hair-raising adventures we had, back then. Well, I’m off to bed now.”

    “Me too,” said Frodo.

    ~~~~The End~~~~~

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Wine with DeWine” is not a Batiukism. It’s an unofficial nickname of Ohio state governor Mike DeWine’s daily 2 PM COVID press conferences. https://www.cleveland.com/opinion/2020/05/wine-with-dewine-an-indispensable-refuge-in-our-day.html

    There’s even merchandise: https://ohioishome.com/shop/homegoods/drinkware/glassware/wine-with-dewine-wine-glass/

    Knowing that, Funky is making a strong point here. He’s speaking to a problem that all recovering alcoholics face: that temptation is around every corner. He’s been talking about the stresses of the pandemic, and the availability of alcohol. And today he adds that even press briefings about the pandemic are now alcohol-themed. So Funky can’t even receive information about the pandemic without having alcohol waved in his face. That’s gotta sting. And it’s a very appropriate thing to say at an AA meeting.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I see our random downvoter is back. Which is no big deal, but… you downvoted THIS post? I was PRAISING today’s strip!

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Yeah must be some random internet idiot.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          You may be right. Usually The Masked Downvoter only hits posts that are critical of Batiuk and the strip. Today it was every single post that existed at the time.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            I picture The Masked Downvoter as a stupid Baton comics character Pete though up while reading internet comments on his comics treadmill.

          • Charles

            Or maybe he just doesn’t like YOU.

            I could see that, some jerk-off who hates the idea of this site yet is somehow familiar with the regulars scanning today’s comment section and thinking, again and again, “oh, it’s this asshole again”, downvoting without even bothering to read the message.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            @charlesnotinwestview We all know that Banana Jr is the most prickly and abrasive of our commenters. Every time he opens his damn text box, we all go, “Look at this this asshole.” (JK)

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            I don’t mean to be prickly or abrasive. I just really, really hate Funky Winkerbean and trying to explain why is a surprisingly good writing challenge.

      • hitorque

        It’s cool… I’m actually flattered that we’re getting on somebody’s nerves out there…

  16. hitorque

    1. Since when did Montoni’s have a fucking liquor license? Hell, I didn’t even think they had a soda fountain since all I’ve *EVER* seen any patron drink in Act III was coffee…

    1a. And if Montoni’s has a liquor license now I REALLY need to fucking know why it has been constantly empty for years (despite being pretty much the only game in town) before anybody ever heard of Covid-19.

    2. Apparently there wasn’t enough willpower to prevent Funkensteiger from trying to *eat* away his depression instead with his walk-in freezer filled to the ceiling with pizza dough and toppings… (Although I have to admit if I had a pizza parlor all to myself you know damn well I’d be cooking up some 40-pound triple-decker Frankenpizzas so dense with meats, sauce and veggies I’d need a chainsaw to slice it)…

    3. I’m thinking the real story here is “Went to my shutdown restaurant to do some paperwork..” is code for: “I had to get out of my house and put some space between my wife and her obsessive-compulsive spending habits. First it was just a couple of hours a day… Then it was all day. I had to continually invent new crises or work-related reasons to leave every morning just to get some distance and enjoy the beautiful silence… Not long after, I bought this surplus army cot and some pillows for the back office and I started spending all night over there, too…”

    But god forbid something interesting ever happen in the Funkyverse…

    4. As bad as this shit is, at least we’re spared from Dinkle’s gospel choir blasphemy… Because he was only a few days away from starting his own cult with him as Supreme Hell Priest…

  17. newagepalimpsest

    I didn’t know that “Wine With Dewine” was a real thing, so today I learned something new!

    That being said, if Montoni’s is 100% closed for the foreseeable future (since whatever pandemic is happening in Funky has been happening since ten years ago in Crankshaft?) they should probably have donated and/or sold their perishables. Beer and wine are perishable. Just like flour and tomato sauce and cheese and OH NO FUNKY DON’T OPEN THE FREEZER DOOR NOOOOOO

  18. Charles

    I initially thought it meant Wine and DeWars, which sounds like a pretty horrendous cocktail.

    The trouble with it is that it’s just thrown in as if it’s vernacular that every reader should be familiar with. There’s certainly a way Batiuk could have phrased it that made it clear to the readers that it was a specific “thing” and not some weird regional tradition or something.