Slipping through the craaacks

As someone who has broken a bone after slipping on wet grass, I must admit that I briefly chuckled at today’s strip… briefly.

And that brief chuckle is the sole redeeming payoff of a story arc that began (checks phases of the moon) three weeks ago?! That’s… better than a lot of TB’s story arcs to be honest.

But what of Dinkle and the alumni band? OK, I don’t care one iota what Dinkle is doing, but the alumni band has been waiting three YEARS to perform! Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot until today that TB did this whole alumni band thing, complete with majorette performance, pretty much three years ago on the dot. I forgot about how it all started with Holly and her mom reminiscing (though then it was on a car trip from Florida). I also forgot that Holly and Melinda were told “no” on the flaming baton trick back then too. I forgot that it all ended (after taking up a whole MONTH), not with a performance, but with this. And worst/best of all, I forgot all about all of this despite being the blogger on duty when it all happened.

I was going to say “you’re welcome”, but I had to go and remember all of this today.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

50 responses to “Slipping through the craaacks

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Another FW development that seems so obvious in hindsight, yet no one saw it coming. At least she didn’t set herself on fire or get cancer, which would have been downright predictable. Prepare for a slew of “Funky is useless around the house” gags in 3…2…1.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Be patient, there’s still a good possibility they detect ankle cancer when she goes to the doctor.

      • The Duck of Death

        Dare we hope for an amputation? The Crankerbeaniverse already has two characters missing their entire left arms. Looks like Tommy’s got some kind of fetish thing going on.

        • Ralph the Wonder Llama 🦙

          Holly goes in for a foot amputation and the surgeon lops off her left arm?

        • be ware of eve hill

          In Crankshaft today, Skip’s chair broke its “ankle”.

          Coincidence… or another strange Batiuk obsession?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            When you work in a company that’s laying off employees left and right, you know what’s NOT a problem? The availability of replacement chairs. There’s two chairs in unused desks right next to him! Just take one of those! Where’s he even wheeling that thing to?

            Hell, the first time I had my own office was at a job when I was one of the last employees in a dying company. But Tom Batiuk is so desperate to find drama in everything, he tries to find in situations where the exact opposite would be true,

  2. If it was Les or Dinkle, today’s would have been hilarious. Funniest thing I’ve seen in ten years.

    But it wasn’t so it isn’t. It’s more garbage.

  3. Sourbelly

    What is that white fist/lightning bolt thing that’s hitting her head in panel 3? Why is a 60-year-old woman having PTSD-like flashbacks to something her 88-year-old mother said two days ago? Why is she out there alone? Where is the Alumni Band?

    Anyway, Holly broke her ankle. It is to laugh.

  4. none

    Fuck decorum and karma. Fuck politeness.

    If Tom Batiuk sees it fit to ceaselessly portray misery befalling his characters, it is my sincere, earnest, most deeply heartfelt desire to see him physically and mentally suffer at a level beyond that he has ever depicted in this strip.

    I want someone to come to one of his book signings and smash his wrists with a hammer.

    I want someone to burn his fucking house to the ground and destroy the year’s lead worth of work and his PC with his blog scripts on them.

    I want someone to tackle him, kick him repeatedly in the groin, screaming the word “CANCER” with every strike, and then lean in to ask him this question as he writhes on the ground – “How does your winkerbean feel now? Does it feel… funky?”

    If he is so fond of suffering, then, for once in his life, he needs to suffer himself.

    It is beyond sickness – it is beyond a mere mental tic – for a strip like today’s entry to exist. Today’s strip features a 60+ year woman horrifically injuring herself out of … spite. For her mother. As she performs for some high school thing in the rain.

    How is this strip supposed to be parsed? What emotion are we supposed to have? Pity? Empathy? Nobody can empathize with this situation. Shock? It’s not if you know the strip’s body of work. Amusement? Are we supposed to find this humorous? Anger. Is there anything but pure anger left? This is the climax to three weeks of incongruent events within which no currently living human would have nor allow to occur as it all developed.

    This is why I need to take breaks from even looking here. I don’t need this kind of response in my life to something as so completely useless and as bereft of redeemable quality as this strip.

    He gets paid for this.

    • spacemanspiff85

      It’s funny, because he’s in the middle of a three week and counting “arc” in Crankshaft bemoaning how nobody pays newspaper employees anymore, and yet this is how he chooses to use the valuable space in newspapers he has.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I understand your frustration but I will still choose politeness.

      Yes I rip on this strip but if I ever bump into Batty ( and I’m surprised I haven’t), I will be polite and give a friendly hello.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I don’t wish Tom Batiuk physical harm or illness. If anything, I wish him some counseling. There’s something very unhealthy with his mindset, and it is writ large in Funky Winkerbean. The constant, pointless misery; the arrested development; the inability of anyone to move past anything in life, especially high school; certain people always being acceptable targets, while the most detestable people in Westview are constantly rewarded; the harsh rules on how everything must be done correctly; the deeply self-indulgent subject matter; his phony white knighting of women; and the overall lack of effort he puts into anything. It’s all a picture of a sad, petty little man who hates his job so much he’s not even trying to do it adequately anymore.

  5. Hitorque

    I 100% forgot about it, too… And there is almost certainly an angry profanity-laced rant under my name on the day in question, as well….

  6. Gerard Plourde

    I do wonder what TomBa intended the takeaway to be. Is it “try to show off and karma will get you”? Or “Melinda was such a toxic presence in Holly’s life that Holly suffers the effects to this day”?

    On second thought, whatever it is, I’m not sure I want to know what triggers these excursions into toxic relationships and resultant physical injury.

  7. be ware of eve hill

    Oh no! Poor Hully. I hope she’s not going to be put down. They shoot lame horses, don’t they? What about middle-aged ladies with unihorns?

    On the bright side, that kick was really high. Well done!
    * golf clap *

    What’s going to happen now?
    Calling Sparky the telegraph operator.
    * beep bip bip beepity beep beep *
    I think Batty is telegraphing his next ‘twist’ in the story.

    Majorette down! Who can we get to finish the show?!

    Announcer: Is there anyone in the crowd who knows how to twirl a baton?

    (Melinda standing on the bench, arms akimbo)

    I really hope I’m wrong about this. If I’m right, you’ll have seen the last of me. The prospect of sharing a thought process like Batty’s is too horrible to contemplate.

  8. Lord Flatulence

    This is horrible.

  9. Xr-46a


    I am Xr-46a.

    Mr. Batiuk is on leave and I am creating this installment through information fed to me by randomly generated


    I am

    Please check connections

    Fed to me

    How fopugiggijg

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I’m working on a python program that generates Battyspeak .

      I was training it using old FW strips. As the program learned it gradually started erasing itself from memory. I was left with the words Lisa Cancer on the screen.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      As long as you’re not XR-4ti. That car got me in a lot of trouble.

  10. Gerard Plourde

    I think you could be right about the twist ending of this strip. (Shudder!)

    The arc runs through Saturday. Something has to fill those two days (and possibly even the Sunday strip).

    It also dovetails with the increasingly “Pluggers”-esque tone of TomBa’s work.

  11. The Duck of Death

    In P3, the pain is so extreme it’s caused Hanna-Barbera Face, a syndrome often accompanied by zany sound effects, descending trombone scales, and the voice of Bea Benaderet.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I had to perform a web search on Bea Benaderet.

      From now on, whenever I read Melinda’s Budd’s speech balloons, I’ll be imagining her voice as Witch Hazel (the Looney Toons witch). 👍

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    I did one alumni band event. It wasn’t much work for anyone. We signed up, they mailed us the sheet music. Then a day or so before the event we met for a rehearsal and they gave us a t-shirt to wear

    There weren’t tons of seniors in the band or in the crowd. What is it with Batty and the elderly?

    • Ralph the Wonder Llama 🦙

      Cheer up, Holly. Old people usually break one of their hips.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      Any majorettes in your alumni band?

      I posted a similar experience on Monday. Our experiences appear to be pretty much the same. We played before the game, and our songs consisted of the Star-Spangled Banner, the school’s Alma Mater, and the school’s Fight Song. Tunes we played thousands of times and didn’t need to practice much. Marching was limited to on and off the field. It was a nice, warm evening.

      I don’t recall any senior band members at all. …And no meddling retired band directors.

  13. will

    The strip I hate, but the banner is perfect today.

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    Funkyblog news: he explains who the one-armed reporter in Crankshaft is.

    Back in the day Skip (Rawlings) was the sports reporter for the (Centerville Sentinel) paper and he covered the short but sweet baseball career of Eddie Crankshaft with the Toledo Mud Hens.

    And that’s it. It doesn’t explain why he’s missing an arm. Because who cares about that? The important thing is that he’s yet another 100-year-old full of wistulfness for a mythical past! Oh, those overpaid baseball players and owners! Hi, I’m 1915, have we met?

    • hitorque

      It’s a shame that a city the size of Toledo doesn’t have their own dedicated local newspaper to cover a minor league base- Oh wait:

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        That confused me, too. It’s hard to work out how Centerville can be close to Westview (which is clearly meant to be exurban Cleveland), and also close enough to Toledo to warrant coverage of the latter’s minor league sports teams.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Batty has family in Livonia Michigan which is outside of Detroit. They had to drive through Toledo to get there and so they probably stopped off to watch a game. The Mudhens are pretty popular as there aren’t any other big teams in Toledo…people there go up to Detroit for that.

          But Batty just likes to shoehorn in old Ohio memories wherever he can, interesting storytelling be damned.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            So it’s all about him. I guess I should have seen that coming. And Batiuk’s conceit that the universe revolves around his pet characters. Who the hell would be writing a news story about a pre-WW II minor league pitcher after 1987? Maybe once, but Ed Crankshaft doesn’t have much of a life story to tell. “Barely missed the major leagues” is not a unique or interesting tale. Unless you’re Brian Mazone, Larry Yount, or Adam Greenberg.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yes, it’s always all about him. Also, remember Livonia was one of the original FW characters.

      • Ralph the Wonder Llama 🦙

        I’ll have to read up on that Akismet spam link. I tried twice to post a link the other day. One time I used code tags. Neither went through.

        Back in June, Batyuk had a similar story arc in Crankshaft. Ed, Jff, and Pmm were discussing reduced newspaper delivery and the sad decline of newspapers. The link I tried to post was from an editor of a newspaper in Warren, Ohio. She was telling the readers to pay no attention to the man with the crappy comic strip.

    • Gerard Plourde

      “yet another 100-year-old full of wistulfness for a mythical past”

      I’ll say. Crankshaft’s baseball career preceded World War 2.

      TomBa’s elastic timeline strikes again.

  15. Mr. A

    Thanks for the history lesson, billytheskink. Now that I know Holly and Dinkle did this same thing three years ago, the Sept. 22nd strip makes even less sense.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Thanks for reminding me of that arc BTS. I also had completely forgotten. I am fully expecting to forget both arcs as soon as I look away from them, kind of like that weird Dr. Who alien species.

      The Alumni Band…Silence will fall…

  16. hitorque

    At first I was going to say “Well Holly hasn’t picked up a baton since nineteen freaking eighty-seven so what the hell were we expecting exactly??”

    But then my mind drifted over to 80-year-old Morton Winkerbean playing some Grammy-worthy jazz trumpet, 85-year-old Harold Leroy Dinkle successfully holding down five jobs and five side hustles with no signs of slowing down, 91-year-old Cliffe Angere getting back into acting without missing a beat after a 60-year hiatus (AND he’s also opened his own talent agency with 82-year-old Vera!), 88-year-old Ruby Lith still publishing new, original comics every week, 89-year-old Phillip Holt moving from California (probably Mexico) to Cleveland so he could work alongside 87-year-old Frankie Freeman… And who could forget 60-something Jerome Bushka and his contemporary Hank Hill playing one-on-one football all day?? And of course there’s my all-time favorite, Mrs. Cindye-Sommerse-Winkerbeane-Jarre who has literally been aging in reverse…

    This entire strip has been about old folks doing amazing feats and having miraculous comebacks, like Don Ameche strolling out to a Miami nightclub and breakdancing in 1986’s “Coccoon”… So why is Holly failing so miserably here? Is Batiuk a sociopath? Is Holly’s failure some kind of Faustian debt Batiuk had to repay in exchange for all these other seniors having guaranteed worry-free success in whatever they undertake??

    • The Duck of Death

      My take is that Holly unluckily falls into the intersection of two classes of people Batiuk likes to punish:

      1) “Sportos,” cheerleaders, anyone who was considered popular or successful or sexually desirable during high school; and

      2) Women.

      • hitorque

        The frustrating part is I would pay real American money$$ for this happen to Dinkle just once… Just to see his “Pride of Akron” Goodyear Blimp sized ego get popped as karmic justice for all his hubristic bullshit… BUT NOOOOOOOO — Dinkle is always coming up roses because he’s biologically immune to failure, like Tom Fucking Brady who’s still going to be terrorizing the NFL ten years from now in the most smug and face-punchy manner possible…

        Batiuk doesn’t realize that someone who always succeeds falling flat on his ass for a change would actually be FUNNY…

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          And if Dinkle (or Les) ever did fail, they’d be shielded from any consequences.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Whenever I see Tom Brady play, I always wonder when the devil will collect on his debt. In the 4th quarter of a Super Bowl with one minute left in the game and Brady’s team down by two would be sweet.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Maybe it’s some sort of subtle revenge against anyone who was moderately successful in TomBa’s high school.

  17. newagepalimpsest

    Oh Holly, at least Funky still gets a kick out of you.