Winkerbean’s Wieners

It really does amaze me how much mileage Batiuk has gotten out of a man cooking peas and hot dogs. It made no sense at all with Les (did he serve Summer nothing but peas, hot dogs, and Montoni’s pizza the entire fifteen or so years before he married Cayla?) and even less sense with a literal restaurant owner. And it is fun that Batiuk is able to get yet more “humor” out of Funky being in AA.
That fourth panel is going to haunt my nightmares. That is an absolutely horrible expression for Funky to be making when he’s talking about wieners. I’m sure people who are more skilled with Photoshop than I am would have absolute field day with it.
Comic Book Harriet will be taking over tomorrow! Hopefully she won’t have to deal with an entire week about wieners and legumes, but you never know.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

43 responses to “Winkerbean’s Wieners

  1. William Thompson

    Peas flammbe? Okay, whatevs, but doesn’t the alcohol get all burned up in the process, leaving behind just a flammbe flavor? Or does Funky mean he has no alcohol in his kitchen? Does that mean he avoids most brands of vanilla and other bottled flavorings, which use grain alcohol as a solvent?

    And shouldn’t this burned-out offering end with a group of Vikings singing “Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam?”

  2. Banana Jr. 6000

    No soap radio.

  3. A man who has dismissed “gag a day” as beneath his lofty and unique talents, should not try gag-a-day strips. Since he shed his sense of humor, Batiuk’s attempts at same have worked only in the sense of “Well, it’s not down and depressing at least.”

    It’s kind of like a garbageman, I guess. “Last week’s load from here was about 75 pounds! I almost got a hernia! This week’s load was only about 30 pounds, so it’s a much better day for me.”

  4. Epicus Doomus

    This is a terrific example of really, really bad writing, BatYam-style. The whole premise behind the “hot dogs and peas” gag was that Les (that dick) was a woefully unprepared widower who lacked the shopping and cooking skills to make anything else. As pointed out yesterday, Funky owns a restaurant, thus the gag makes no sense when he’s using it.

    On top of that, today Funky is talking about using his kitchen skills to prepare hot dogs and peas in a variety of ways, thereby further undermining the already-flimsy gag. It’s almost as if the joke is that they simply don’t have any other foods, which is of course insane, as Funky owns a restaurant.

    Then, for no reason whatsoever, he throws an AA mention in there, just to remind us that aside from being a babbling buffoon, Funky is also a former degenerate alcoholic. A simple gag-a-day-type Sunday strip that manages to fail not just on one level, but multiple levels, all at once.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Everything undermines everything else. There’s no two things in this whole week that go together. So many plot points are raised and just never talked about again. Nobody’s facial expression is consistent from one panel to the next. Nobody has the ability to speak out against, or even question the strangeness of, this vomit-inducing dinner choice. Holly calls it “okay” like she’s going to be beaten if she doesn’t, while Melinda tries to glare holes into the walls. Neither of whom neither acknowledges the week of conflict that led to this point, and to Holly being severely injured. It all looks like a bad attempt at dadaism.

  5. Mr. A

    Wow, Funky has just gotten more and more pleased with himself over the past week, hasn’t he?

    • Charles

      And it’s a real commitment to being an ass. Look at how more and more pleased with himself he gets as he continues his monologue as his audience of his wife and mother-in-law look at him silently, going from confused to skeptical to annoyed to finally resigned to acceptance that Funky’s just being an asshole. (Actually, Melinda seems to know Funky’s just being an asshole from panel 1)

      Which makes sense, because this isn’t the standard “man can’t cook” stereotype humor. It’s “man refuses to cook because it’s woman’s work and thus beneath him” humor so Funky’s going to make as big a production out of being an asshole as possible because his wife put him in this situation. He can of course cook more than simply peas and hot dogs, but he’s not going to because his wife might like it, and if that happens she might emasculate him again and again by asking him to make dinner in the future. He has to make this situation as painful as possible for her to protect his manhood.

      Which, yeah, Batiuk sure does seem to have issues with women.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Also bear in mind that Holly didn’t injure herself while picking up her Amazon packages or making Funky dinner, she injured herself in front of a packed house while trying to recapture her former high school glory days. She no doubt feels humiliated, old and useless, so naturally Funky decides to break her balls over having to make dinner. It’s like insult to injury to insult.

  6. Y. Knott

    “Order up for the Montoni Special with sausage and peppers!”

    “On it! Here’s your pizza topped with cut-up hot dogs and peas!”

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    Hmm: A nebbishy guy in his 60s or 70s is vainly trying to stretch out an unfunny joke over several examples, and his audience just sits there and tolerates it, knowing that this is as good as it’s going to get and there’s no hope that he’ll ever change his ways…

    Are we 100 percent sure it’s Lester Moore that is Battyuk’s artistic avatar, because today’s exercise in futility seems to sum up Act III FW “far above our poor power to add or detract.”

    • none

      Les is how he thinks people should perceive his writing.
      Funky is how he thinks people should perceive his humility.
      Batty Sue is how he thinks he humbly presents his work.

      Dinkle is his unfiltered pride.
      Cory is his unfiltered petulance.

      Pete is his work ethic and methodology (and honestly, “anything that comes into my head which I smear onto paper is fine as long as it’s on time” has worked for him for the past 40+ years).
      Chester is what he thinks he would have been if he would have just collected comics instead of reading them.

      Cindy is who he calls The One That Got Away, but that’s because he never tried due to correctly knowing that he would have been rejected.

      Bull is what he thinks all non-sportos think of sportos for the entirety of their post high-school lives.

      Anyway, I’m a bit surprised that he didn’t have Funky try to justify today’s and yesterday’s trash by implying that they were economically hurting. Maybe that’s yet to come when he reports this dinner to Les – the latter of whom is never in a financial bind. Isn’t that interesting?

      • Rusty Shackleford

        See today’s Crankshaft. Sports are fleeting, but writing is forever—unless you worked for the Centerville newspaper.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Oh and now we are to believe Ed was a kid in the 50s? WTF?

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Specifically, 1958-1959, because those are the only seasons both those two men were on the Cleveland Indians. Ed would have been in his early 40s by then. Unsurprisingly, they align perfectly with Tom Batiuk’s childhood, since he was born in 1947.

            This is how selfish and unimaginative Batiuk is a storyteller. He can’t even imagine an older man having baseball heroes from his own childhood. Everybody’s nostalgia has to be Batiuk’s nostalgia, right down to the same players, It’s the same attitude we see in comic books, where only his Silver Age superhero comic books, and later ones of that style, have any merit.

            What’s weird is how antithetical this is to being a fan, of baseball or comic books. Baseball’s extensive lore is central to its appeal. It’s fun to investigate questions like “who would be Ed Crankshaft’s baseball hero as a kid?” Which is very easy to do nowadays. As for comic books, he’s so closed-minded he refuses to acknowledge the existence of anything outside his personal taste.

          • none

            That’s truly atrocious. Wasn’t there some week or arc in Crankshaft about him playing in exhibition games during World War 2 as a minor leaguer? Something about not finding a hotel because of a black player on the team as well, if I remember right.

            Well, whatever. It’s nothing more than the latest item in an interminable list of plot points and history which he has cast aside like trash for the sake of a current single strip. It’s called writing.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            @none That Jefferson Jacks story was Tom Batiuk at his worst. More empty award-whoring, while wiping his ass with both real-life history and his own strip’s backstory, so one of his pet characters can get more undeserved recognition.

            As Ed Crankshaft loves to point out, his baseball career was ended by World War II. Integrating white baseball teams was not even attempted until 1946. And only then on a very small scale, within the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. Which means… Ed Crankshaft can’t be on an integrated baseball team. Period. The end. Unless it’s in some alternate history, or there’s some other explanation for it. Needless to say, we don’t get this.

            And why? So Ed Crankshaft could be a bastion of racial sensitivity in the 1940s? Gimme a break. It’s contrary to Crankshaft’s core personality trait, which is “sucks to be you.” He would not have been the first baseball player to sleep on the bus in solidarity with his black teammates.

          • Hitorque

            I guess it would have looked too strange if Ed dropped a “Tris Speaker” reference given his heyday was a century ago…

            And for once in my life I can sort of sympathize with TomBa here… Sometimes you just have to move up your characters’ childhoods and continuity be damned… Case in point: Homer Simpson, who originally graduated high school in 1974(!)

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    I’m not worried about CBH. Her breadth of knowledge spans from pork products to comic books. I always learn something from her.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    That fourth panel is going to haunt my nightmares. I’m sure people who are more skilled with Photoshop than I am would have absolute field day with it.

    Here ya go:

  10. Have Also

    What the hell kind of gaffe have we also have in panel 3?

  11. Dot Dash

    So the hot dog & peas schtick made it to the Sunday spread? Wow. Nothing like telegraphing it in.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      But it is well known throughout Westview that this is what Les serves when he has to cook.

      So now does it make sense?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Yeah, really. It’s like the “working Star Wars into the church music” thing from a couple weeks ago. It doesn’t work because the reader can’t imagine it, in what’s supposed to be a realistic setting. No real person would ever try and mix those two things together. And if they did, other people wouldn’t eat it! But Melinda and Holly just there silently and choke it down.

        If town of Westview ever caught on fire, the entire cast of Funky Winkerbean would die. Because they wouldn’t even try to escape. They’d be all “oh well, I guess it’s my turn to burn to death” (smirk, eyeroll).

  12. Suicide Squirrel

    Blah blah blah. Can somebody with artistic talent please convert the useless word balloons in today’s “comic” into balloon animals? At least there would be something amusing about today’s Sunday unfunny.

    15 comments at 9:10 AM EDT? When was the last time we were so uninspired? I got nothing.

  13. Welp, again, TB shows why he didn’t win a Reuben Award last night (and probably won’t for the foreseeable future with this kind of storytelling).

  14. Hannibal's Lectern

    Since it’s firmly established that Funky can prepare food well enough to make a living in the pizza business, I have to assume his speech about how Melinda and Holly are going to be eating nothing but hot dogs and peas* for the foreseeable future is a form of passive aggression. Which is of course one of the themes of this strip. Still, it’s sad to see Funky, the closest thing to a normal, functioning adult human being we’ve seen in this comic (the only one to have escaped High School California, where you can graduate any time you want but you can never leave) being turned into someone as detestable as Les.

    *I am familiar with hot dogs and beans (in a brown sugar/BBQ sauce), as they were a childhood staple in the trailer park, but… hot dogs and peas? How would this even be prepared? My mind goes to something like the SOS my mom occasionally prepared, with Carl Buttitch pressed cured beef substance and peas in a bland white sauce, served over toast… ugh… food at its most penitential.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      After what Holly has been through and with all the meds she is taking, I would expect her to want simple comfort food.

      When my friends are sick, I prepare them a tray of my homemade Mac and cheese. A silky creamy sauce with a nice crunchy crust on top. Comfort food at its finest!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Melinda and Holly eating nothing but hot dogs and peas for the foreseeable future is a form of passive aggression. Which is of course one of the themes of this strip.

      But why is Funky being passive-aggressive to Holly? And why has it been going for two weeks? Holly gets seriously hurt. Funky goes to the ER where he makes jokes, acts bored, and complains about having to hold her purse. Then on the drive home he’s her “medical sugar daddy!” He goes to the pharmacy for her, twice, and brings home a bunch of random junk that isn’t the medication she seriously needs. Now he’s intentionally feeding her awful food when he owns Montoni’s, which is the height of global cuisine to this bunch of rubes. And even if he somehow can’t cook, he could easily have his employees prepare some dishes he could stick in the oven.

      The more I try to understand this, the more awful it looks. I have to ask: is this all because Funky still bitter about that “reno” he didn’t want? And this is how he’s expressing it?

    • Mr. A

      Based on the strip that Rusty Shackleford dug up yesterday, “hotdogs and peas” is literally a single hot dog, sans bun, sans condiments, served with peas on the side. It’s not so much a “recipe” as it is a plating scheme.

  15. So the joke almost worked yesterday, since it could be interpreted as Funky trolling Melinda with a suggestion that he would be preparing hot dogs and peas, but it fails miserably today when Funky actually follows through on his threat. Somehow, I would expect Les’ “hot dogs and peas” fetish to be a closely guarded dark family secret/inside joke, and not something that is common knowledge among Westview residents.

    Anyway, with any luck, today will be the last we ever hear about Holly’s injury.

    • batgirl

      On the contrary, Les is extremely smug about only knowing how to cook hotdogs, and especially about sweeping Cayla off her feet with his showmanship in including a vegetable side of frozen peas.

      The issue is admittedly confused by another strip where Summer is astonished and confused by Cayla’s anecdote about being served a hotdog and peas for her first dinner with Les – even though internal evidence argues that Summer must have been raised on hotdogs (with frozen peas for Sunday dinner maybe).

  16. Sourbelly

    I guess Funky deliberately served Holly and Melinda terrible food…as a joke? Tomorrow night, will he ramp up the comedy by serving them franks and legumes laced with bath salts?

  17. none

    I have to add since I don’t think anyone else has at this point –

    Panel two shows Funky with a steaming mug for a beverage.

    Yes sir, there’s nothing like a piping hot mug of … coffee? tea? cocoa? to go with your dinner of hot dogs and peas.

  18. Professor Fate

    This is fifteen feet below the bottom of the barrel – blank word balloons would be more entertaining.
    Really why is he still doing this – it’s obvious HE hates this strip as much as anybody.

    • spacemanspiff85

      I feel like he passed off the actual writing of this strip to someone else years ago, and that person really hates him (probably because they get paid in Lisa doodles) and is deliberately doing a crappy job to ruin whatever legacy he might have had.