A most sincere congratulations to everyone who correctly guessed yesterday that the ‘WHUP’ onomatopoeia was a helicopter. William Thompson, and Cabbage Jack; your predicative Winkerplot skills, honed from years and years of skillful beady-eyed nitpicking, have served you well.
I must also second a sentiment I saw from a few of you in the comments, I don’t hate the Pizza Box Monster. I hated last year’s arc with him, but that was because it became as awkward, offensive, and misogynistic, as an elderly Bill Clinton slowly eating a bacon burka off of Adeela’s face. The first year was fine. The concept is fine.
But, who is the Pizza Box Monster? Of course, the real answer is that the Pizza Box Monster is the Pizza Box Monster. It’s a faceless reference to a annual prank at Luigi’s, as Batiuk was happy to point out in a blog post during the very first Pizza Monster arc in 2019.
Batiuk put him in the strip because he pursues patronage from minor Ohio based corporate entities in a manner that’s practically antediluvian. He’s like a modern day Virgil, putting prophecy of the greatness of Caesar Augustus (Luigi’s, OMEA, Ohiana Book Festival.) and the glory of Rome (Ohio) in the mouths of revered characters in his epic, all so the king of the world might toss him a bone instead of an exile. (Tough luck Virgie boy.)
Does Batiuk have any idea who is in that weird boxy suit? Maybe not. It’s probably no one, just an idea. A literary device. But in the universe of the strip, he (or she) has to be someone. Someone who knows Montoni’s. Someone who knows Funky enough to want to prank him three years in a row. Someone who would take all this time and effort to annoy a middle-aged man on Halloween. Everyone has a motive, and no one does.
Who can we rule out? Well, certainly characters who have been seen at the same time as Pizza Monster.
Funky and Holly. As well as the Mr. Monster cosplayer.
And now Rachel and Crazy Harry.
I didn’t want to rule Harry out a first. But while Crazy Harry is crazy enough to have gone from standing in an alley, to putting on an elaborate pizza box costume he’d stashed in a dumpster, to climbing on a roof, to clinging to a rope ladder dangling from a helicopter. To letting go of the helicopter, climbing back down the fire escape ladder, and sneaking in the back of Montoni’s, I doubt he is strong or agile enough to do that without breaking a hip.
We also can rule out these customers, who were unfortunate enough to witness the Pizza Monster the last couple years.
Whoever these customers were, we know two things about them. They have stomachs of pure iron, and they aren’t the Pizza Monster.
Also we can rule out Mopey Pete’s shirt for appearing twice.
But who ELSE can we rule out? Who is our most likely cardboard costumed culprit? Tune in tomorrow.