Dej-UGH Vu

We can only hope that today’s strip marks the end of this story arc and the depiction of this unhealthy and unsettling Melinda-Holly relationship for some time (infinity is a time, right?).

With that, I will focus my commentary on Holly’s use of term “EMS Vehicle”. So, did TB just not like the way “ambulance” fit in the word balloon or does he have a thing for using awkwardly bland language? I mean, its not an incorrect term of course, but if Holly calls an ambulance an “EMS Vehicle” then Melinda ought to have said “medical facility” or something like that yesterday instead of “hospital“… y’know, to maintain this strip’s reputation for exceeding consistency.

38 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

38 responses to “Dej-UGH Vu

  1. Wow, this strip is terrible! Just like the last 8,000! Talk about deja vu!

  2. Mr. A

    Both links currently go to Friday’s strip.

  3. Sourbelly

    “At least you’re not on fire.”

    I could see that being Westview’s most popular motivational poster.

  4. William Thompson

    “On the other hand, you’ve been strapped down like a mental patient on her way to the Happy Home, so my night isn’t a total loss! Let me take a picture for the album!”

  5. Epicus Doomus

    “At least you’re not on fire”…this could only be a punchline in FW. Or a joke about a drowning man who’s also being shot at and bitten by sharks. Which would be a damn fine FW premise, as long as it was Les.

    Now see, a less cruel and less sadistic author might have allowed Holly to perform a spectacular comeback performance, THEN have her break her leg at the end, but BatHam simply doesn’t roll that way. Bonding with her mother in the ambulance is the HIGHLIGHT of the story for Holly, which is deeply sad and depressing on so many levels. So one wins in FW and no one breaks even either. It’s like a casino where the machines never pay out and you know that going in. But you go in anyway, just to see what kind of person would gamble there, then the next thing you know you’re there every day, making fun of the entire casino itself and wondering how and why it continues to remain in business after all these years.

    • The Duck of Death

      I hate to contradict you, Epicus, but there is someone who wins. Dinkle wins, all the time, every time. He has 5 or 6 jobs he currently holds down, and each is a triumph. He will march at the head of the Rose Bowl parade. Pretty sure he could apply for a job as pilot of Air Force One or Chief Thoracic Surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and get accepted right away, as soon as they hear about his awards for selling turkeys and chocolate. #WINNING

  6. Hitorque

    Did Holly even wear her asbestos onesie tonight?

    And how the hell was she supposed to catch fire in a torrential downpour? That *would* have been an amazing trick!

  7. erdmann

    “Shut up. At least the bunnies are on fire.”

  8. be ware of eve hill

    Thus, the story arc ends. Not with a bang. Not with a whimper, but with a sigh. A BIG sigh. * SIGH *

    The other day, I predicted Melinda would grab the spotlight from the hobbled Holly and perform the flaming baton trick. I was so sure I promised…
    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.

    It looks like I can stay, and the asylum will have to wait for another day. Despite my paranoia, Batty’s thought processes are exclusively his own. YaY!

    • batgirl

      Honestly, despite how schlocky that outcome would have been, it would still be an actual plot twist and story conclusion, that could have led to more shenanigans (Melinda starts the Menopausal Majorette squad, performs with Dinkle’s Gospel Choir as backup!).
      But you know, we can’t be having shenanigans. That’s for those shallow gag-a-day strips.

  9. The Duck of Death

    “At least you’re not on fire,” Melinda said, wistfully recalling the halcyon days of second- and third-degree burns after every game. Sighing, she put a cigarette in her mouth, and put a lighter to the tip. “Don’t light that!” cried the EMS man attending to Holly, “this ambulance is full of oxyg —“

  10. Dood

    Of course, the sainted martinet Harry Dinkle bears no responsibility or culpability for this, nor is it even worth offering a note of concern or a get well soon. A-holes gonna A-hole.

    And where the eff is Skunky Funkybuns?

    • Epicus Doomus

      Sadly, Skunky was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and is serving ten to twenty years at the Medina penitentiary. Tito and Cherie began dating shortly after Skunky began serving his sentence.

    • William Thompson

      Until next week, when he marches the band through the ICU. He’ll do it because seeing him lead the marching bland will, he will say at great length, cheer Holly no end.

  11. robertodobbs

    Deja Vu is the strange feeling that one has experienced the present situation before. It is not merely experiencing something that one has actually experienced before.

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Shouldn’t Holly be in mind-wrenching pain right now? Broken bones hurt. A lot. And there’s no way any pain meds have kicked in yet.

    The fact that she’s all smirky and nostalgic about this adds another layer of sickness to it all. Oh, Holly was so fussy that her mother was criticizing her practice and trying to make her stretch. But now she’s in an ambulance with a crippling injury, and everyone’s all happy again. Remember when Melinda said “it’s your funeral?” Now we’re at that funeral! And it’s smiles all around! Nothing creates cherished memories like possible lifelong disfigurement. Even better, Holly’s at an age where broken bones can cause serious long-term problems. Why, she may never even walk again! Yaaaaaay!

    Funky Winkerbean is sick.

    • none

      It truly is. In the midst of all that happening, she apologized to her mother about it. Apologized.

      It’s appalling.

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    Wow, Skip drove to NYC…must have been fun steering. Hope his car has an automatic transmission.

    I’ve never been inside the Flatiron building, thought it would be nicer. Likewise, I thought the greedy hedge fund would have spent all that stolen dough on better digs. Batty missed a chance to be more ham fisted with this stupid story. At least he added in lots of unnecessary quotation marks.

    • Hitorque

      He’s just going to drive all the way to Manhattan without an appointment, a point of contact and at least a couple of attorneys in tow?? This will end well. He’ll either find out that Mordor is an empty shell corporation that only exists as a mailing address and a telephone answering machine, OR some receptionist will keep him in waiting room limbo forever.

      I know he’s an old-school guy, but Mr. Skippy knows that planes and trains exist, right?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Hey Tom Batiuk, Frank Capra called. He said “you’re laying on the schmaltz a little thick here, buddy.”

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        Frank Capra could admit to his movies occasionally being “Capracorny.” Has anyone used the adjective “tombaticky” for this strip? Or “crankshaftery” for the other?

        Perhaps only helots (see “Meet John Doe” to get the reference).

  14. batgirl

    I defer to those with more in-depth knowledge, but is Abusive!Melinda and Abused!Holly a newish development? Reading back through the previous alumni band arc, Melinda was a bit of a stage mom, but Holly had fond memories of her baton days, and was disappointed that the mother-daughter fire baton trick was refused. The conflict was more between Melinda and Funky (cue the very tired MiL jokes….)
    Now we are almost at Jfff levels of toxic mothering, but Jfff got counselling and recognized the dysfunction. I guess for Holly to recognize the issues, she’d have to be someone TB could identify with, like a middle-aged male comic book fan.

  15. Suicide Squirrel

    I guess this counts as a happy ending in the Batiukverse. No one has died… yet.

    Melinda: “How about if I set you on fire? For old time’s sake!”

  16. Zwinn Mu

    Like this vehicle isn’t going to hydroplane and tumble off a cliff.

  17. Once again, a Westviewian who is more-or-less indifferent toward comic books is given divine punishment.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Didn’t Holly come to enjoy *Starbuck Jones* as a a kind of four-color cousin to “Downton Abbey”?

      I guess you need to worship at the shrine of “Flash of Two Worlds” to escape divine punishment.

      Incidentally, Georgia Stitt has written a lovely song called “Palimpsest.” Look for it on YouTube.

  18. Gerard Plourde

    The level of disfunction on display throughout this arc almost reduced me to silence, but I can’t help but wonder if TomBa somehow thinks this is normal mother-daughter behavior.

  19. Mr. A

    And the moral of the story is…honestly, I have no idea. Negative experiences can be nostalgic too? Getting angry at someone hurts you more than it hurts them? Listen to your mom when she tells you to stretch, but not when she tells you to kick higher?

    It’s one thing when an author fails to evoke the reaction they’re aiming for, but at this point I can’t even tell what Batiuk was trying to do.

  20. Mela

    He has just retconned Holly’s entire Act I into total misery. WHY??? Only in FW is catching on fire a tradition instead of a one-time accident. Not only was a baton incident never shown or even referred to in the strip (please correct me if I’m wrong), but we’re supposed to believe that it happened every year-as if the school would have ever allowed it to continue after the first time. AND it’s no longer a happy thing she used to do in high school, it’s now an activity foisted upon her by her overbearing mother and done only to please her. We have an alumni event with no alumni band, no Dinkle, no football team, just the focus on a 50-60 something Holly being injured and further humiliated by her mother as a bonding moment. I get that her mom has always been pushy, but this is way beyond dark humor-it’s disturbing. The rather pleasant Sunday strip at the mall with her mom in the middle of this arc makes it all the more infuriating. I’m not necessarily a Holly fan, but I absolutely hate what he has done to her here.

    It has been pointed out many times but since I’m on a roll: Les can be an ass all day long with no repercussions and self-appointed king Dinkle is the go-to person for all jobs in the Westview vicinity without question, but heaven forbid a woman in this strip have a happy moment on her own without it being in twisted obedience to someone else.

    Sorry folks, I haven’t been this furious since Cindy’s “You’ll never knoowww”
    b.s. with Les.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Cindy is the only woman who is allowed to be happy…and she reverse ages!

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      It’s sort of like Ann Fairgood feeling that her marriage to Fred had robbed her of her literary hopes…when we’d previously thought that she was very happy with how her life had turned out.

      Charles Evans Hughes said that while the U.S. had a Constitution, it was what the judges said it was. Continuity here is something like that, only our judge is also jury…and executioner.