R.I.P., Funkman’s Discman

I love that third panel. Funky used to be one of the few characters in this strip I could tolerate. Lately I’ve just gotten sick of how Batiuk constantly has to dump on him and portray him as just a pathetic fat loser every time he appeared. But now he’s just rambling on about yet another nostalgic obsession like everyone else in this strip. I doubt he reacted as much to Wally getting kidnapped or Cindy leaving him as he does to that Discman “floating” to the ground.
Oh, I don’t think an AA meeting is really the best place to talk about how you stepped off a moving treadmill and did something clumsy because you needed a “drink” so bad. Has Batiuk forgotten where Funky is? It would’ve been so much better just to say “water” instead of “a drink”.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “R.I.P., Funkman’s Discman

  1. Epicus Doomus

    It’d have been a more clever story if Funky, demoralized by the tedium of running on his treadmill, decided to say “f*ck it” and decided to pour himself a “drink”, as in an alcoholic drink. Then the falling Discman and/or resulting serious injury would save him. It’d also have something to do with AA, which the story as it’s currently being told does not. Sigh. I wouldn’t even ask him to pay me for these ideas, I’d gladly give them to him gratis and just sue him later.

  2. billytheskink

    I wish this was amateur night at the Apollo, because Funky never would have gotten this far before the boos drove him back behind the curtain.

  3. Gerard Plourde

    Funky got off a moving treadmill? And how did he propose to get back on again, since its movement is in the opposite direction of Funky’s. If TomBa has actually tried this it may go a long way in explaining why the strip is the way it is.

  4. Mela

    So is this what tempts him to fall off the wagon? Breaking his CD player when he just said he owned two of them?

  5. bayoustu

    I know this is asking for a lot, but I’m really hoping that tomorrow’s strip reveals that the “second-to-last Discman on the planet” was catapulted off the still running treadmill and sheared off Funky’s scrotum.

  6. William Thompson

    How on Earth, and I mean that literally, does a falling Discman “float” to the ground? Have we already added gravity to the list of things Batiuk doesn’t understand? Because the only option is to believe that Funky has discovered a way to change the force of gravity, which would drive Sir Isaac Newton to drink.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    You know, every time I look at the AA wall posters, I have to stop myself from singing “This is it. This is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball…”

    Why does Funky’s expression in panel three remind me of that paper towel TV commercial where the father freaks out in slow motion because his child just goosed him with a pirate sword and he’s about to spill his beverage?

    Out of idle curiosity, I just checked on FleaBay under “Sony Discman,” and I found more than 1,400 listings for the actual players, with at least half of them available for under $60 plus shipping. Is the Funkster exaggerating the emotional turmoil of losing (?) his beloved musical device in order to keep his audience’s attention before one of them tries to talk about some off-the-wall topic like, say, alcoholism? Or could it be that he was planning to donate the still-packaged one to the Smithsonian as a tax write-off, and now he’ll have to open it?

  8. none

    Yesterday he mentioned (in essence) that he “owns the last two” players – as opposed to saying that he “owned the last two” – so that means that there’s no tension to today’s strip, right? He already revealed that everything will be fine, right?

    Five hundred thousand people dead in this country and maybe, possibly, this bumblefuck might end up having lost an old music playing appliance. Why does he write these strips this way. Why.

    • Mr. A

      I suspect the “twist” is that the Discman will be fine (a point which Batiuk has already spoiled, as you said), but Funky will injure himself trying to catch it.

  9. Hitorque

    1. God damnit, can he just stop with that “last Discman in the world” bullshit? There’s a hell of a lot more discmans still in service than say, a Microsoft Zune…

    2. Unless Funkmeister was drunk or high as all FUCK when this happened, I don’t see how this story is the least bit relevant for an AA meeting… He’s going to look really fuckin’ idiotic when other people start telling pandemic stories about losing their jobs, stress about political instability, friends dying and families torn apart from the strain of the lockdown *and* alcohol abuse while he’s wasted a half hour talking about a precious Discman that he never should have been using in that manner to begin with… Maybe next he can tell us about the time he had an original Picasso on display at Montoni’s and he decided to use it as a kiddie tablecloth…

    3. The best part of this is Funkensteiger didn’t have a brain fart, he didn’t make a mistake, he didn’t have a senior citizen moment of absentmindedness — HE MAKES IT A POINT TO *TELL* THE AUDIENCE THAT HE “DECIDED” TO LEAVE THE TREADMILL RUNNING IN TOTAL WILLFUL DISREGARD OF SAFE OPERATING PROCEDURE AS HE STEPPED OFF FOR A COLD DRINK(!!) First he was humble bragging about how good the pandemic was to him, and now he’s literally boasting about how fuckin’ stupid and reckless he can be even when totally sober… What a great example to set, Rundfunk…

    • Hitorque

      4. I also love how much work the Funktopus put into making sure his Discman was placed just so, his dongle chain connected properly and his EQ levels set just right so he could blast Grand Funk Railroad all the way to 11 through his earbuds for his workout BUT HE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT HAVING A COLD DRINK BOTTLE HANDY BEFORE STARTING? Cup holders have been a thing on treadmills for 20+ years!!

      5. Christmas, 1992 — I’m 16 and my dad (1942-2009, God rest his soul) got me a high-end Sony Discman which had the latest anti-skip whatever, bass boost and a light display that could light up in bright green or warm amber (and no, I don’t still have it)… Because my father was a highly intelligent man and knew that teenagers and fragile bits of portable technology don’t always mix, he also got me a custom-made shoulder-slung carrying case — It had thick padding, enough space for my Discman plus five CDs and two extra batteries; it even had my initials stenciled on the flap… I’d ask why Dumbassed Funkman doesn’t have something similar, but then if he did, he wouldn’t have a story to tell, would he?

      • Charles

        My parents got me a first-gen Discman for Christmas way back when first-gen was all there was, and holy crap, an abandoned infant would have a better chance of surviving a year than that damn thing’s rechargeable battery. Also, the adhesive they used for their pieces, especially that which was used bonding metal and plastic had a nasty tendency to give out. So by the end I basically just jammed the lid clasp into a slot and left the thing open to play it, with it plugged into the wall (at least it was easier to move from room to room than a stereo or boombox). It got stolen straight out of my Los Angeles apartment when a guy came in the window while I was in the next room. I’m pleased the burglar probably felt like an asshole when he discovered what he stole.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        What makes you think he has a story to tell now?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Re #3: Modern treadmills have a “key” that inserts into the treadmill and attaches to the user’s wrist. If you step away from the treadmill, it disconnects the key and the belt stops running. Also, getting on and off a treadmill safely is not that hard.

  10. William Thompson

    What is Funkup’s emotional connection with “the last Discman in the world?” Why are we supposed to care? Was it a gift from somebody important in his life (assuming there ever has been such a person)? I’ve got some objects that give me a sense of connection with people who really matter to me–a century-old slide rule, a hand-carved wooden cane, a pipe, a book, a framed certificate–but why is this CD player supposed to matter?

  11. Charles

    “Hey everyone, this story is too stupid and boring to bother my friends with, so I’m going to share it with you! #blessed”

  12. Sourbelly

    Thanks to Funky’s sobriety-fueled catlike reflexes, he’ll snatch the precious Discman out of the air before it crashes to the floor. Something he couldn’t have done while drunk. There’s your AA tie-in.

    That’s very stupid, but I’m sure we’re in for something even stupider.

  13. Banana Jr. 6000

    And, finally, we reach the emotional center of the story. Not COVID. Not the entire town’s economy being destroyed by it. Not the widespread loss of personal income in a lower middle class town that has no way to replace it. Not the dozens of teachers in this strip having to learn how to teach remotely. Not scarcity of toilet paper and consumer products. Not the death or even sickness of any character. Not the disease’s affect on elderly communities. Not people who can’t visit their dying loved ones, or even mourn them. Not alcoholism. Not stress. Not resistance to temptation during difficult times. Not the difficulty of holding support group meetings during the age of social distancing. Not even having to wear masks. Any of which could have been told by simply reading a newspaper and bringing people’s real-life experiences into the world of Westview.

    No, the emotional center of this story IS A GODDAM 25-YEAR-OLD SONY DISCMAN WHICH THESE IDIOTS THINK IS A PRICELESS ARTIFACT. And I say “idiots” because nobody in the room is questioning Funky’s asinine assessment of its rarity. Or telling him to sit down and shut up because he’s miles off topic.

    This may be the worst Funky Winkerbean arc ever. The WORST. The worst short one, anyway. It starts with a real-world global catastrophe that would fit perfectly into the strip’s world of sickness, suffering, dead-end lives, and lower middle class ennui. What does it give us? A shaggy dog story. This is The Rape of The Lock come to life, except The Rape of The Lock was mocking the idea of such a small thing being important. We’re supposed to take this seriously. We’re supposed to be emotionally invested in this man stupidly injuring himself to save a rare item that isn’t at all rare. After he spent a week humblebragging about how not well-to-do he is, to a group of people that probably have much worse problems. And this is all supposed to be a quarter inch from reality.

    This is crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Shit. Garbage. Crap.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Please envision the following gifs.

      Charles Foster Kane: Clapping.

      Shia LeBeouf: Clapping.

      The entirety of Minas Tirith bowing to Frodo Baggins.

  14. Perfect Tommy

    Throwing caution to the wind, Funkytown engages the “shuffle” button.
    Oh man! I didn’t know which one of the twelve songs would play next!
    Mind blown man! Mind blown!

    • William Thompson

      I know exactly what song will play, and even where the Discman will skip to in the lyrics:

      “Play that funky music, white boy
      Play that funky music right
      Play that funky music, white boy
      Lay down the boogie and play that funky music ’til you die, heh heh
      ‘Til you die, yeah (What?)
      Hear, hear, heh”

  15. Professor Fate

    One thing that is interesting about this arc is that this is what TB decides to show us THIS when time after time after time he has chosen to tell not show. Why this utterly unimportant bit of nonsense (how I broke my discman) rates as opposed to all the other incidents he hasn’t shown is a bit of puzzle.

  16. The Duck of Death

    If only I knew how to attach jpgs to comments, I’d paste this in — but instead, I’ll just refer you all to Thursday, April 2, 2020. In this strip, Funky goes ašs over teakettle after being flung off the treadmill, under the disapproving eye of his musclebound male trainer. He was reading emails on his cell phone, you see.

    No discman in sight, either. Somehow he knows how to read emails on his phone, but not how to stream music or play mp3s on it.

    Not only should he have learned a lesson then, he should have been using his home treadmill in the first place, instead of paying a trainer to watch him use one, and fall off one, in the gym.

    • Charles

      This is the third time Funky’s fallen off a treadmill in the last few years. He had a tumble when he decided, inexplicably, to get onto a treadmill with a woman already on it as if he were a damn pervert molester.

      Funky Falls Off His Treadmill is a bit, apparently. This is a whole story to Batiuk.

      Shouldn’t Funky have gotten an elliptical or stationary bike instead since he’s injuring himself on treadmills at least once a year?

  17. We’re getting two more days of the falling Discman, then he’s never going to mention the pandemic again.