No Barrel of Laughs

There’s really not too much to make fun of in strips like this one, unfortunately. I do get a kick out of the wild disconnect between the art and the dialogue. Holly’s expression makes her either seem like she’s senile and has no idea what’s going on, or she just found out that Cory stepped on a landmine behind Montoni’s.
I would like to know how much time has passed since Holly’s surgery. It feels like it’s only been a few days, so I feel like the doctor would have given her some actual real pain medicine rather than having to go through so much Advil.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

50 responses to “No Barrel of Laughs

  1. The Duck of Death

    “…But they do sell Wild Turkey by the barrelful, and trust me you’ll be feeling no pain! I got a couple fifths in the bag right here. I’ll get the rest from the car!”

  2. William Thompson

    “Advil by the barrel?” If she asked for that, she must have been joking. “By the barrel” would be incredibly expensive, although taking that much would kill you before you could worry much about paying off your credit-card debt. Or is this going to turn into some joke about her doctor’s incompetent pain-management skills?

    And isn’t the usual format for this type of joke “good news first, then the bad news” like “The good news is, I can get Comics Kingdom again. The bad news is, I can get Comics Kingdom again.”

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    They don’t sell Advil by the barrel? Really?

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Way to promote responsible NSAID use there, BatYam. I would imagine that in Westview, pain and inflammation is routine to the point of not even being noteworthy. Compound fractures, exploded knees, cancer, amputations, CTE, deafness, Alzheimer’s, sure, those will generate their fair share of wry wisecracks and weak smirks. But some pain and swelling? Bah.

    Montoni’s probably uses Advil as a pizza topping. “Yeah, I’d like to place an order for delivery. Gimme a large, half heparin and half codeine, and the poppy salad with the insulin dressing”. I’m imagining one of those old fashioned gumball machines over by the rest room, all full of pills, and a small cooler full of ice cold Ensure and milk of magnesia.

    • gleeb

      Poppy salad? Let’s not overlook the fact that what the real place Montoni’s is modeled after calls a salad is a pile of shredded mozzarella with a couple of iceberg leaves underneath. But hey, they have a band box.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    As spacemanspiff85 points out, when a patient is released from the hospital following surgery (or after treatment for an injury that might exhibit residual pain) the standard of care includes a prescription for a stronger level of pain reliever than is available over the counter.

    I’m surprised if TomBa isn’t aware of this, but it’s more likely that reality has once again taken a back seat to what he perceives to be a hilarious joke.

    And Holly appears catatonic.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Remember, though, this is Westview Hospital. You go to the ER there with appendicitis and they just rub some dirt on it and send you home. The coronary department is take-a-number. And the cancer ward is bigger than two MGM Grands sitting side-by-side. They built their own airport just for the oncologists. So I would imagine they’d sneer at Holly’s “pain” over her “fracture” and tell her to just gut it out and stop whining.

    • be ware of eve hill

      More tales of the past from Eve Hill.

      A friend of mine was prescribed Tylenol with Codeine by her general practitioner after she strained her back. Her back healed faster than expected, so she never needed to finish the prescription. She’s a believer in the proverb “waste not, want not.” If you do not use too much of something now, you will have some left later when you need it. She even kept the tablets after the expiration date on the pill bottle.

      Years later, she threw her back out again and decided to take a few of the tablets. The tablets helped relieve her pain, and she put the rest away.

      A short while later, she applied for a new job and successfully passed the interview. The final hiring hurdle was the drug screening. Yep, you guessed it. She failed the drug test due to the presence of codeine. She had the pill bottle for evidence but still had to get a note from her doctor proving he prescribed the painkillers. Ultimately, she got the job. You can bet she tossed the remaining pills.

      The moral of the story: Throw out your expired medicines. It’s possibly unsafe and can cause complications in other parts of your life.

      I remember visiting a dollar discount store out in the boonies of Montana that sold expired OTC medications for a dollar a box/bottle. I wonder if you had to sign a waiver?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Most major pharmacies, like CVS, will take back any unwanted/unused medications and properly dispose of them. When I lived in Florida, my county sheriff’s office did that too. Be careful about flushing them, because some medications can release nasty stuff into the water supply if you do that.

  6. Lord Flatulence

    There’s that dumb “pinch fingers” gesture again.

    • none

      The “quarter inch pinch” strikes again.

      Well while I’m here, may I ask – If that’s the bad news, what’s the good news? That he was able to get any drugs at all? I mean, OK then, sure…

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Yeah, ‘quarter inch pinch’ needs to be one of the tags from now on.

      • The Duck of Death

        The crazy thing is that IRL this is a rarely-seen gesture. It’s only used to mean “teeny tiny” and even then I hardly see it, and I live in New York where people are big on gesticulating.

        Trump (NOT A POLITICAL DERAIL) used to do a pinched-finger gesture, but he would extend his other three fingers, which is the more common way to do the gesture.

        So, basically, WTF, Batiuk?

  7. Sourbelly

    This BARREL-LY makes sense [SMIRK]!

    Just kidding, it makes no sense at all. I mean, I get that this is Westview: Maybe, in the treasured tradition of FW doctors, Holly’s doctor is an incompetent asswipe and didn’t prescribe adequate pain meds. So now she’s an Advil junkie. What an idiot, expecting lots of Advil to ease her misery. That’s pants-shitting comedy!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      It’s amazing how often this comic strip tries to find humor in things that are… just plain wrong.

      Advil isn’t rare. It’s sold in large enough bottles to get Keith Richards high. Even if it wasn’t, you can just buy multiple bottles, because it’s not restricted like cough syrup. Holly just got out of surgery, so she’d still be in prescriptions for more powerful painkillers. Which is what she needs anyway. And which we just saw Funky go to the drugstore to pick up for her!

      And how the hell does Mr. Serious Stories About Social Issues not see the potential of an opioid addiction arc? The over-prescription of powerful, addictive pain medication has been a social problem for a decade and a half. And it’s taken the largest toll on places exactly like the Funkyverse: small, white, dying rustbelt nothing-burbs with 86% unemployment. Westview might as well be called Methview. But no, let’s see what Rip Tide: Scuba Cop is up to.

      How does he get this many things wrong all at once?

  8. billytheskink

    I hope the good news is that Funky found out they brought back the birthday cake-flavored Kit Kat bar.

  9. I would have thought six weeks of Holly breaking her ankle would be boring beyond description. But Batiuk has managed to make it even more boring than that.

    I can’t believe a) he gets paid for this and b) he thinks this is interesting in any way at all.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      But is it more boring that a week of envelope opening? One is spread out over a longer span of time, the other is envelope opening.

      • The Duck of Death

        It’s more boring than a week of envelope opening, but less boring than a week of Adeela approaching a door so slowly she became the living embodiment of Zeno’s paradox.

      • Maxine of Arc

        At least it could be argued that he was trying to create suspense with the stupid envelope opening. There’s absolutely no excuse for this.

  10. Epicus Doomus

    Hey, check out the BatBlog. There a new Rip Tide comic book cover on the way! It’s about damn time, too.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And with that, the rest of October is booked:
      This week: the conclusion of whatever the hell this arc is
      Next week: Atomic Komix
      Halloween week: pizza box monster

      • The Duck of Death

        November (just spitballin’ here): Funky bitches to his AA meeting that even though Thanksgiving is coming, there’s nothing to be grateful for because the world is going to hell in a handbasket what with global warming, COVID, losing one of the last two CD Walkmen in the known galaxy, the Centerville Sentinel going out of business, yadda yadda. And Job thought he had it tough, but Funky has it far tougher, yadda yadda. A heavy-lidded man in the back, zonked on Klonopin, Wellbutrin, and Antabuse, holds a donut absently as the stream of verbal negativity washes over him.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          If we’re making predictions for November and December arcs, here’s mine:

          – Dinkle is congratulated again for being chosen to the Rose Parade
          – Dinkle sells candy door-to-door for the Rose Parade
          – Dinkle is back teaching band at Westview High School with no explanation whatsoever, and tells the band he needs their help preparing for the Rose Parade
          – Dinkle makes the entire school practice until 2 AM to help him prepare for the Rose Parade
          – Atomik Komix spends a week making a comic book cover entitled “Band Leader Man at the Rose Parade”
          – Dinkle telling everyone else in Westview he’s going to be in the Rose Parade
          – Dinkle and Harriet spend a week flying to the Rose Parade
          – Dinkle actually appears in the Rose Parade
          – Dinkle and Harriet spend a week coming back from the Rose Parade and talking about how great it was

          • The Duck of Death

            Sandwiched in there somewhere is a plot development full of unbearable tension. In P3 of a strip, Funky asks, panicking, whether he’ll get his special uniform in time! In P1 of the next day’s strip, it arrives. In P2, it fits perfectly. In P3, Harriet beams that that’s why Harry is known as The World’s Greatest Band Director.

  11. Mr. A

    “The good news is that medical marijuana has been legal in Ohio since 2016. Time to chase that three-o’-clock high!”

  12. Suicide Squirrel

    It’s the storyline we’ve all been waiting for. Holly gets hooked on heroin!

  13. J.J. O'Malley

    “The good news is, I drove past Montoni’s and there was a guy in front selling Fentanyl by the bucket! Here you go!”

    Even ignoring the lack of good taste given the country’s current opioid addiction crisis, where is the joke here? That Holly asked for a barrel of Advil and Funky apparently thought she was being serious? That yesterday she was calmly sitting doing needlepoint and now she’s in desperate need of pain medication? After reading the past four (!) weeks of this arc I find myself reaching for the Advil before retiring.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Speaking of drug abuse: do you remember when this happened?

      That was FIVE DAYS AGO. Did Holly consume all those medications (plural) in half a week? Is that the joke? And in the two-day interim, she’s super-energetically started using her mobility cart, and angrily taken up needlepoint. What’d they give her, cocaine?

      Why wasn’t this Monday’s strip? At least that would have looked like Funky was just now returning from his initial drugstore trip. You know, the trip he made for Holly because he’s Such A Nice Guy (TM). FFS, this whole story makes no sense, and it’s in the wrong order to boot! I haven’t been this bored and confused at the same time since I watched Napoleon Dynamite.

      • Mr. A

        I heard once that the famous Netflix algorithm is completely confounded by Napoleon Dynamite. That is, it is nearly impossible for Netflix to predict whether you will like or dislike the movie, regardless of how much data they have on your viewing habits or what those habits are. (Personally, I like the movie.)

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          I think it’s the closest thing to a live-action Funky Winkerbean movie that will ever actually exist. A bunch of boring, unlikeable, developmentally stunted people, wandering around a dead town they can’t see past the end of, doing nothing, in a random order. And when it’s not stupefying, it’s creepy.

          I did like Pedro, though. He was the only character who seemed to notice what a farce it all was. Though I’m not sure if Pedro knew he was in a ridiculous town, or if the actor playing Pedro knew he was in a ridiculous movie.

  14. The Duck of Death

    “The good news is: For once, I didn’t compulsively start with the word ‘So.’ The bad news is: There’s no joke here. There’s actually a sort of joke vacuum that sucks in humor from all sides, inverts it, and turns laughter to tears.

    Also you have cancer.”

  15. The Duck of Death

    “Oh, and the other bad news: I haven’t realized that those big, cheap bottles containing 200 ibuprofen are actually full of generic Advil. Oh, and the other, other bad news. I didn’t read the recommended dosage on the label, and thought you should take Advil by the barrel, and about half an hour from now you should be hemorrhaging violently.”

  16. be ware of eve hill

    Okay, that’s the “bad news”. What’s the “good news”? Will we find out tomorrow, or will Batty totally forget?

    My money is on the latter. 😂

  17. hitorque

    1. It’s funny because Ohio is like the illegal opioid capital of the Midwest which means Funkmaster could have easily found a ‘wholesaler’ on his own street if his ass bothered to look…

    2. It’s funny because there’s a Costco in Mayfield Heights, a Sam’s Club in South Cleveland and a BJ’s in Warrensville Heights and any one of them would have been happy to sell Hollyberry a “bushel” of Advil…

  18. be ware of eve hill

    I love Holly’s expression in panel #3. She looks like she’s about to snap.


  19. The Duck of Death

    Meanwhile, Crankshaft, which is already a ghastly trainwreck, invites a plane to crash into it to become an even ghastlier planetrainwreck.

    Timeline so far:
    1. Crankshaft reads an editorial in the Sentinel in which Skip tells the story of how he, the sole remaining employee, has already quit. Apparently he wrote, laid out, printed, and distributed the last issue by himself, pro bono, after quitting and somehow rushing back home from NYC and not finding himself locked out of the Sentinel building.
    2. Crankshaft shows up as Skip is packing up his desk, somehow still not having been locked out of the building, even though he has admitted to industrial sabotage and has been threatened with jail for it. Skip suggests going to “that pizza place in Westview.”
    3. At Montoni’s, Skip says the Sentinel building has been sold to be developed into condos. In a few hours? Even though it would most likely require rezoning and countless permits and inspections?…
    3a. …Even though Skip angrily told Lex Hagglemore Fisk, evil bald tycoon, that “now he owns nothing”? Who sold the Sentinel building, then?


  20. Banana Jr. 6000

    Crankshaft continues living up to Tom Batiuk’s lofty storytelling standards. Mordor Financial has now sold the Sentinel building. Even though it’s still the same day Skip published his story, cleaned out his desk, and went to Montoni’s with Ed.

    And if the newspaper had only one employee, what did they need a whole building for anyway? They were probably floor space this whole time. Because only greedy, evil hedge funds try to make efficient use of their resources. And why does it matter that it’s being converted to luxury apartments now? Especially when the buyers, not Mordor Financial, would have made that choice? What the hell does Centerofnothingville need with luxury apartments anyway, when we’ve seen that strip clubs are already taking over the retail space?

    Finally, the one thing we were all worried about… what’s Skip going to do next with his life? Because a fourth-tier character who’s well into his 100s needs to find a new job right away. Don’t worry, though: printer ink is in his blood. Which should be obvious from the fact that he’s been a reporter for the same newspaper since at least 1941.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      probably *renting* floor space.

    • hitorque

      As I mentioned last week, there are plenty of hotspots around the world where Skippy can continue to fight the good journalistic fight since he’s such a big talker… Hope his passport is in order.

    • Mr. A

      what’s Skip going to do next with his life?

      Start a new paper above his garage, obviously. Or maybe Crankshaft’s garage. Max and Hannah can work for it, since they’re going to be hanging around there anyway.

  21. Perfect Tommy

    Today’s strip gave me this strange vision of a dystopian society with a THX 1138-style state-sponsored religion that dispenses powerful psychoactive drugs. Weird.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Remember your Aldous Huxley:

      A gramme is always better than a damn . . . A gramme in time saves nine . . . One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments . . . Everybody’s happy nowadays . . . Every one works for every one else . . . When the individual feels, the community reels . . . Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day . . . Progress is lovely

      O Brave new world that such Funky in’t!

  22. The Merry Pookster

    I’ve been buying Advil by the Barrel ever since I started reading this comic strip… do u think the opiode crisis started?

  23. Late up vote for getting me to look up Zeno’s paradoxes – I think my mind is blown. But I was a quarter-inch away anyhow.