Low Water Mark

Link To Today’s

SIGH. Yet another pandemic gag that (I assume) seemed clever at the time, only to fail badly thanks to BatYam’s unique blend of ineptitude and stupidity. I don’t know why Les drinks water from bottles by throwing the water from the bottle into his mouth, but based on their expression in panel three, Linda and Jim have clearly seen this and been amused by it before. The real question here is what did Les say there in panel two? Was it “shit”, “f*ck”, “dammit” or something else entirely?

Pound sign, squiggle, explosion, lightning bolt and skull and crossbones…whatever it was it must have been pretty obscene to merit that skull and crossbones. I also like how the bottle is helpfully labeled “water”, just in case there was any doubt. Seriously though, has anyone out there actually done this or found it to be a problem? I mean sure, I do some pretty stupid things at times but I haven’t sunk to this level yet, thank God.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

64 responses to “Low Water Mark

  1. So here’s a question: what is Linda doing there? I was pretty sure she retired to take care of Bull. Obviously Bull doesn’t need much care-taking these days, but can you just “un-retire”?

    She should be home writing “Bull’s Story” and get in on the Living Death Industry.

    • billytheskink

      Given that the school has long let Dinkle just show up whenever and wherever he wants, I’m sure no one questioned Linda when she showed up in the teacher’s lounge one day.

      • I’m thinking because there were only four teacher characters–Les, Klabitchnik, Bull and Linda, and he needed more than two characters in the lounge.

        Are there any other (non-fired) teachers?

        • Oh forgot Becky. How could that happen!

        • Epicus Doomus

          There’s the rarely-seen Art Teacher and assistant girls’ basketball coach Ann Fairgood. Other WHS employees include Principal Nate and Cayla. Then there’s Dinkle, who’s “sort of” still an employee but not really. I think there used to be a female PE teacher a long time ago, I believe she’s still pictured in the cast “photo” on that blog of his. And Becky’s meddlesome mother is on the school board, I think.

          • be ware of eve hill

            I remember a Miss Mancuso who was the choir director. She’s most likely retired though because she was a contemporary/rival of Dinkle.

            Query for anyone: When Dinkle became deaf did he “retire” immediately? I thought I remembered something about the school honoring him by creating a title like Music Department Director. Could that be why he’s still haunting the school?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            @eve hill He did get some kind of emeritus position. But that was forgotten just like his deafness was.

          • be ware of eve hill

            @Epicus Doomus
            Sorry to tag this reply on your post, but I can’t reply directly to @Banana Jr. 6000. In the future, I need to count the thread levels before I ask a question. It’s poor form to ask a question and not leave room for an answer.
            Rule: Ask no questions if on the fifth level.

            @Banana Jr. 6000
            That makes sense. Nobody wants a department head in their late 70s or 80s. It’s not like he keeps the position for life. Duh, eve.

            Thanks for the reply. Cheers.

        • Perfect Tommy

          Not that he would be welcome in the lounge, but I’ve always admired Janitor Guy. JG stays in his lane, above the fray. While the Illuminati hide in their ivory tower, plotting and scheming, JG is boots on the ground, doing the real work. It’s brave people like him, running the gauntlet of WHS propaganda and student detritus alike, that keep these hallowed hall of learning viable. A brave new world indeed.

  2. Banana Jr. 6000

    As much as I like the idea that Les is too stupid to drink from a bottle, you know who could have made this joke work better? Bull Bushka. And a squeeze bottle. Because jocks actually drink bottled water like that. Even Funky, during one of his ill-fated forays into fitness, would have worked better.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Good point. Apparently Les drinks water like a marathon runner or a prizefighter, something that would make much more sense for a jock character to do. Too bad he killed one of the strip’s jocks and banished the other one to nine years of college.

      • billytheskink

        Plus, Les canonically doesn’t drink water like this.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          This is the sort of historical detail Tom Batiuk expects his readers to remember, but he’d call us “beady eyed nitpickers” for bringing it up.

        • Epicus Doomus

          I don’t think ANYONE drinks water like Les is doing today. It’s what makes that panel so weird and jarring.

          “No, no, that’s all wrong. I want SPLASHING! You know, like slapstick!”

          “I dunno, Tom. That’s gonna look really odd and besides, people don’t really drink water that…”


          (Sarcastically) “OK then (sigh)…splashing.”

        • Y. Knott

          Forgive me…I genuinely don’t understand what is meant to be depicted in this strip. I guess the football players pictured are supposed to be … passing a very small can of something from one person to the next? And drinking it? And when the last person gets the very small can he … uh, holds it in one hand, and holds (I think, maybe) a taco in the other?

          What am I missing here? Is this something American football players do? I’m serious. This cartoon doesn’t make any sense to me.

          • Mr. A

            The image is low-quality, but I’m pretty sure Les is wiping off the straw with a handkerchief or napkin in the last panel. The joke is that he’s the only one who’s grossed out by the idea of sharing a straw. Though now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be laughing at the dweebiness of Les or the crudeness of the other boys.

          • Y. Knott

            Thanks, Mr. A! (For some reason, maybe because it’s nested too far down, I can’t reply to your comment directly.)

            I guess I can sort of see it. I mean, the gag doesn’t really work as presented, but as an incidental detail in a much better drawn comic, with a relatively snappy comment attached? Yeah, okay.

            Which means that I don’t know if a higher resolution would have helped….

          • billytheskink

            Here is the gag of that strip re-depicted in November 2019, post Bull’s demise.

        • hitorque

          Who the hell puts their lips on a team water bottle?! You’re supposed to SQUEEZE it into your mouth without the nozzle touching your lips!

          God damned disgusting…

          • batgirl

            Speaking as an old, that’s not a squeeze bottle. It’s a bottle with a straw stuck into it. At the time we had very little awareness of the sharing spit grossness of a common straw.
            I remember passing a pop bottle around, and if you were very dainty, you wiped the opening off on your shirt. Mind you, we were about 7-8 yrs old at the time.

  3. William Thompson

    It’s funny because, uh, Ish Kabibble put toxic wastes in the bottle, but Les’s paper mask filtered it out? Uh, because Batiuk just retconned Les’s personality, and now he’s always consumed designer water by aiming the bottle at his mouth and squeezing? Because Batiuk is from zeta Reticuli and still fumbles with the eathling custom of humor?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And I just now noticed that isn’t a squeeze bottle. It doesn’t have the nozzle at the top. The water is just magically flying in an arc towards Les’ gaping maw. Oh well, everything else in this universe is attracted to him, so why not?

  4. Oh for cryin’ out loud, have any of us had this happen while wearing a mask? I do like this panel, though. Not as hilarious as seeing Les foul a softball off his face ten years ago, but hilarious still. Here is the typically meek Mr. Moore in a full fit of pique, his eyes squeezed so tightly shut that he appears to be wearing Chop Suey specs. He angrily utters an expletive, but even Les’ swear symbols are rendered more eloquently.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s a bizarre visual and I have to admit, taken out of context as a standalone panel it is pretty funny in a deranged kind of way. The splashing indicates that Les is forcefully ejecting the water from the bottle and not merely splashing it on himself, which makes it even stranger.

      • Sourbelly

        Yeah, upon a second look at the second panel, I realize that it just might be one of the funniest/most disgusting panels in FW history. Because that sure doesn’t look like water.

      • Bad wolf

        Les is effectively waterboarding himself here. Interesting, something we all dream of doing to him ourselves.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what the talented artists out there in the SoSF multiverse can do with that panel, once they digitally erase Lester’s right arm and the water bottle. A shot of that masked punim cursing while a white-appearing liquid burst splashes over it? The mind reels with possibilities.

      Oh, and today’s strip? Once again, Mr. “I Do My Storylines Up to a Year in Advance, and That’s Never Gone Wrong Before, So I’m Sure While I’m Coming up with This Side-Splitter in Early ’21 That We’ll All Be Well Past Mask Mandates by September” proves why he’s the great prognosticator since Criswell.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Can you prove it didn’t happen? God help us in the future!

        (Particularly all modern girls who’ve been like this throughout the ages, especially at times like these.)

      • William Thompson

        I want to see Les watching Dead Lisa Tape #76,308, “What To Do When You Embarrass Yourself With Fluids.” Lis smiles from the raster-slashed TV screen: “Well, Les, remember all those times when you told me I didn’t need protection? And you wanted me to swallow?

      • Jeff M

        You don’t need to remove the hand, just replace the bottle. And for those SoSF Photoshop artists looking for a substitute I suggest starting with a Google image search on “Tom of Finland.”

    • Mr. A

      To paraphrase something that Charles Schulz said about Bill Watterson’s work: comic strips should be fun to look at. And I can’t deny that this panel is very fun to look at. Props to Ayers and Batiuk.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        But it’s fun for the wrong reasons. It’s fun because the depiction is so baffling, and because something bad is happening to its spoiled, universally detested Mary Sue of a main character. Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes were fun for reasons that reflected positively on the work. Today’s strip is fun for the same reasons The Room is fun.

  5. Sourbelly

    Drinking milk through a mask? (I know the bottle is labeled “Water”, as all bottled water brands are, but come on). Nobody has ever done that. This week’s strips seem like Batdick’s quarter-assed attempt at being corona-relevant at the last minute. There’s just no way more than a quarter-second of thought went into any of these strips.

  6. batgirl

    It would work with a coffee cup. I’ve done that myself, recently.
    It would almost work if Les were running with Funky, but I don’t think he wears a collared shirt to run.

    • be ware of eve hill

      That’s understandable. It’s been more than a year now. Wearing a mask is getting to be second nature. There are moments when I’m not even aware I’m wearing a mask.

      A couple of months ago I was getting my driver’s license renewed. As I was primping for the photo I finally remembered to remove the mask seconds before the DMV employee was ready.

      Observation: Why do most DMV employees seem like they’re operating the license camera for the first time? Every time I have my photo taken they have trouble operating the camera.

  7. Mr. A

    If we take Wednesday’s strip at face value, teenagers are currently the highest-risk group for COVID in the Funkyverse. A high school student body is typically the largest cluster of teenagers in a given town. Ergo, if there is one place in Westview where people should still be wearing masks, it’s Westview High. So either the school board and staff are being negligent, or Les didn’t know what the hell he was talking about on Wednesday. Take your pick.

    • newagepalimpsest

      Les never knows what he’s talking about and he hates his students, so it’s hard to say what his motivation is today.

  8. Hitorque

    1. I’m disappointed that nobody in the Funkyverse grew a “pandemic beard” like I did…

    2. Is Lester’s adventure with a water bottle the lowest and dumbest point of the pandemic in the Funkyverse? Or is it still Funkenstein’s episode with his Sony Discman and that treadmill?

    3. Meanwhile over in the real universe, the conversations this week sound like:

    “Hey Les!/Hey Mister Moore!! How was your trip out to Hollywood and partying with movie stars? I saw you on Masone Jarre’s Instagram! So what’s Los Angeles like? Did you see any Dodgers or Lakers games? When’s your movie coming out? Is Marianne Winters as sexy in person as she is on screen? What other stars did you meet? Can you send something to Mr. Jarre so he can autograph it? Etc, etc…”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I did and so did a lot of my colleagues. But I went back to clean shaven for the summer.

      We were supposed to report back to the office next Tuesday, but now that has been pushed to January.

      I vote for the discman episode as the dumbest.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        My company’s “return to office” has also been pushed back several times. And we were only going to go one day a week.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      I for one would have loved to see Linda with a pandemic beard.

    • Green Luthor

      “Is Marianne Winters as sexy in person as she is on screen?” “Sexier! You wouldn’t believe how hard I got when she told me about her breasts!”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      That only happens a half-inch past reality, not a quarter-inch.

  9. ComicBookHarriet

    Hey. We got to see Les waterboarding himself today. I’m pretty happy.

  10. be ware of eve hill

    Sgt. Snorkel called. He wants his grawlix back.

    Les the first Funky Winkerbean character we’ve seen with a drinking problem since Funky.

    #@*🌩️☠️ you, Les!

  11. Dood

    Mr. Year in Advance delivers once again.

  12. Gerard Plourde

    The image of Les trying to drink through his mask is puzzling. Is this reenacting something TomBa did at Luigi’s when mask restrictions were in place?

    • batgirl

      I vote no, on the grounds that TB is believed to be a human being, and no human being can pour water horizontally towards their face, even unmasked. Shouting while mouth and nose are ‘underwater also seems physically questionable.
      And from all reports, TB in person is a pleasant man who wouldn’t yell grawlixes in a public place.

      It continues to annoy me that this gag would ‘work’ if Les were just lifting a cup or glass to his masked face. I know Les’s discomfiture should make up for a lot, but … such an easy damn fix!

    • The only way that panel “works” would be if Les was just out exercising and wanted a splash of water so he could cool down. As that is explicitly NOT the context here, I’m guessing Batiuk meant it as a “funny joke” (one of those things he hasn’t seen in years).

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      In addition to all the other problems in today’s strip, it would also help if he were squeezing the bottle somehow. He appears to be just holding it, while the water flies towards him in ways that reality-defying ways.

    • Charles

      I do admit that I enjoy the irony of Batiuk showing Les as a complete doofus while Batiuk appears oblivious to that fact.

      He just wanted a normal, slice-of-life, “oh, I’ve done that too! Ha ha!” panel and he came up with that.

  13. From today’s Flash Friday:

    if you’re in a cave, then just make up something called cavorite that can repel gravity

    Conversely, you could be someone who has read H.G. Wells.

    • Gerard Plourde

      That raises an interesting question – do you think he’s read The First Men in the Moon?

      • I would say it’s doubtful. (He also could have seen the movie.) Other than Isaac Asimov, I don’t think he has read anything but his own work, over and over again.

      • beware of eve hill

        It’s reasonable to believe that First Men in the Moon has been presented in comic book form. I remember reading classic stories Like Treasure Island, Great Expectations, Around the World in Eighty Days, and The Three Muskateers in comic book form. Classics Illustrated or something like that. Stories from famous authors like Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, and Alexandre Dumas. Surely H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds and First Men in the Moon deserve the same treatment.

        I have to assume Batty came across classic story comic books at some point in his life. Perhaps Batty thought those titles were too much like school, too highbrow, or didn’t fit into his budget.
        Batty: Hmmmm, I can afford First Men in the Moon or the most recent edition of The Flash. Which should I buy? No contest. The Flash wins.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          Classics Illustrated adapted *The First Men in the Moon* as #144 in its series. The cover date was May 1958.

          Tom Batiuk may have passed it up because it cost fifteen cents (regular comics were only a dime) and because that month (cover date May-June) *Showcase* #14 came out, and it featured the fourth tryout of the Flash.

          And the first appearance of Dr. Alchemy, for what it’s worth, who had been Mr. Element.

          • be ware of eve hill

            Thanks for looking it up!

            My older brother had The First Men in the Moon in paperback. I borrowed it for a book report in junior high. A fun read.

            Golden age Flash, silver age Flash, bronze age Flash, it’s all Greek to me.


      • batgirl

        Maybe he read the Classics Illustrated comic adaptation? (Which I have a copy of, in very much not mint condition). In which the text is very clear why it is called Cavorite…..

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      My response to today’s Funkyblog:

      I wonder if (the writers) found it a bit too restrictive to have to keep coming up with ploys using actual elements

      You brought a character back from the dead.

      and so they turned him into Dr.Alchemy so they could just transmute things to any phony element they needed at the moment

      You brought a character back from the dead.

      if you’re in a cave, then just make up something called cavorite that can repel gravity).

      You brought a character back from the dead.

      Not to be out pseudo scienced

      You brought a character back from the dead.

      as the Flash is rocketing through space, he wills his molecules to become anti-matter to repel the cavorite

      You. Brought. A. Character. Back. From. The. Dead. You have permanently forfeited your right to criticize any other writer’s ass pulls.