44 responses to “That’s A Tall Order.

  1. William Thompson

    “The Pizza Monster! It–it’s here! And it stole the background!”

    A Great Writer like Batiuk can stretch this scene for a week, right? “What are you looking at, Cody? Or are you Cory? Come on, talk! And don’t give me that old he’s-right-behind-you schtick!”

    • Epicus Doomus

      Dare I say, I almost kind of sort of miss ol’ Owen and Cody. I wonder what they’re doing now? I assume Owen works at the local vape shop, selling Delta-8 and kratom to local hooligans who mercilessly mock his dated Spin Doctors hat, while Cody was just kicked out of community college again for lurking outside the ladies’ room door…again. I mean, I can’t lie and say I ever genuinely enjoyed their imbecilic antics, but they were like f*cking Martin & Lewis next to the current sad-sack lot of WHS kids.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    If I absolutely had to guess, I’d say Batom himself doesn’t know who Pizza Monster is. I genuinely don’t think he’s thought it out much beyond that, at least not yet. I also assume that if he ever does unveil PM it’ll be someone unbelievably lame, like maybe Batton Thomas or some “Crankshaft” character or something. I mean, it’s not like he’s suddenly going to break out an interesting plot development now, as it’d be wildly out of character and would fly in the face of everything we know about FW.

    • be ware of eve hill

      If somebody put a gun to Batiuk’s head and forced him to reveal the Pizza Monster’s identity, I’d expect it to be the most ham-fisted and ridiculous reveal ever.

      I could see Batiuk revealing the Pizza Monster to be someone like Bernie Silver. Bernie is too short, too fat, and most likely can’t see two feet in front of his face without his glasses. He’d need his inhaler after climbing down the ladder from the rooftop. Bernie would also need his mother’s permission to be away from home after dark.

      The mental image of Bernie as the Pizza Monster would be adorable. His little love-handles peeking out from between the boxes surrounding his torso. His little arms flailing as he tries to regain his balance. His eyeglasses on the outside of the boxes on his head, kept in place by the eyeholes.

      Sorry to embarrass you, Bernie. Cheer up. I’ll buy you a pizza.

  3. billytheskink

    I see the Pizza Monster has already taken Cory’s soul, and Funky’s old soul is next. He’ll be disappointed when he gets to Les, though.

    Of course this dumb non-story arc doesn’t deserve this level of analysis, that’s what makes your efforts so entertaining, CBH.

  4. If I could bring this to a quarter-inch within reality for a moment–

    I’ve never seen the Luigi’s Monster in motion, just still pictures. But that has to be an awkward costume to move around in, let alone hang from helicopters while wearing.

    I keep picturing Frankenstein’s monster, in a suit of armor three sizes too big for him, and still strapped to the gurney where he was brought to life. And he’s trying to run a forty-yard pass in the third quarter of the big game.

    I have to imagine that the real Luigi Monster…well, he has to be assisted in everything. Someone has to open the door for him, and someone else has to lead him to his yearly pizza. And that person leads him back to the door, where the first person holds it open again, and helps him step through it. And there’s another person who has to carry the pizza while he slowly shambles away.

    And all the while people are telling him directions. “No, no, not that way, Mr. Muckle. Not that way, honey. That’s right, a bit more left, Mr. Muckle. Just keep steady on, dear.”

    In short, we’re not looking for a person wearing the corresponding Montoni Monster. We’re looking for a team.

    The entire town is in on it, except for Funky.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Upvote for everything…but especially for the “It’s a Gift” reference.

    • Epicus Doomus

      If BatYam reads SoSF (and I very seriously doubt he does) he’d be LOVING all the speculation, as it’s no doubt what he thinks his “regular readers” are doing, but non-ironically. Another beloved running gag, like band turkeys, Claude Barlow, no one ever remembering Crankshaft’s name and Funky’s ongoing heart woes.

      Just speaking for myself, if I was working in a pizzeria and was suddenly confronted by someone wearing a costume made from pizza boxes, my first impulse would either be to spray them with water or set them on fire. But that’s just me, Mr. Socially Awkward.

    • ian'sdrunkenbeard

      I was also thinking about the “real” PM, BC. That costume would be carried in the trunk of the car, and put on in the parking lot. They would probably put on the head just before entering Luigi’s. Maybe Luigi’s lets them get ready in the back and enter and leave the dining area through the kitchen, but that doesn’t seem likely.

      I only live about 5 miles from Luigi’s. A few years ago on Halloween (I posted about this nothing burger at the time) I was going to Jilly’s Music Room, the bar next door to Luigi’s. Just for the hell of it I went into Luigi’s and asked the cashier if the PM had been in yet. She said the PM had made an appearance at six o’clock, but alas, I was there about nine.

      I wanted to see if TB was escorting the PM, because I seriously doubt if he dons the cardboard mantle of PM himself. Hell, I wonder if he even bothers to drive the 25 miles from Medina for this. He might make his grand kids do it (does he have grand kids?), or maybe poor Chuck Ayers has to take one of his grand kids. I would recognize Ayers much more readily than I would TB.

      I do not plan on going to Jilly’s or Luigi’s this Halloween, so I guess the mystery will be unsovled for another year.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Wow, another Funky Winkerbean detractor who lives/has lived in the Akron area. There sure seems to be a lot of us.

    • Professor Fate

      Obviously a team – at the least the person flying the helicopter has to be in on it in some manner – if only because they were paid. Which is another clue – well off enough to do something like hire a helicopter.
      A bit off topic but it’s irritating that Funky is show as being afraid of a man dressed in pizza boxes.

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      Good observations, which lead me to two likely suspects: Masone Jarre and Cliff Anger. Masone’s already been mentioned, given his well-established habit of chartering aircraft for no reason. Both he and Cliff performed action-movie roles in those “Starsuck Jones” space suits, which looked almost as awkward as the Pizza Box Monster costume.

      Like everyone else here, I am WAAAY over-thinking this.

  5. Jimmy

    I can’t tell if the sleuthing is real or if everyone already knows it’s Wally. My sarcasm meter broke.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    May I just take a moment to point out how utterly unfunny and pointless the dialogue in today’s utterly unfunny and pointless episode in this utterly unfunny and pointless arc is? Funky, if Cory had seen the PM, don’t you think he would have led with that information instead of saying “I looked for the Pizza Monster out back”? And what happened to Rachel and Holly (how far could the latter have gotten with a bum leg?)? This attempted humor isn’t even on a par with “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”; it’s more like “Speed Buggy” or “Goober and the Ghost Chasers.”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Goober and the Ghost Chasers sounds like a bad band name you’d come up with after getting your cat drunk on Halloween.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Myself, I would have gone with Undercover Elephant, Woofer and Wimper, or Galtar and the Golden Lance…but not Baggy Pants and the Nitwits.

        • billytheskink

          If we’re going Clue Club here, Holly and Rache are appropriately poor substitutes for Pepper and Dottie.

  7. Sourbelly

    Let’s not forget Flush Floppyface, aka Flash Freeman. In a mild breeze, his inflatable tube man body might reach a height of at least 7.5 feet. It wouldn’t work physically, and he wouldn’t have any motivation to do this…so I think that makes him a top contender.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Maybe it’s Buck. They’ll unmask him in the Sunday strip, then some Bedside Manor employees will arrive, say “he has his good days…then he has his bad days” and escort him away as everyone looks on wistfully. It’d really put a nice depressing bow on the old CTE story arc.

  8. I hope our host — and others — weren’t discouraged by my stating yesterday how I didn’t think the pizza boxes were drawn with the level of rigor needed to really draw conclusions from. If you enjoy this sort of logic puzzle, by all means, enjoy it. I’m no judge of other people’s fun. I’m a person who owns more than one book written by someone with the name “Duncan” about the history of calendar reform. Different Duncans. You know fun much better than I do. I want only to express that the art can be suggestive but not conclusive.

    Also I don’t mean to suggest the art is wrong for (as I think) being loose about how many pizza boxes would be needed to fit over a person. It’d be a bad use of time to make the Pizza Monster more photorealistic. It plausibly would make the cartoon too busy, with too many lines in the art, to be easily recognizable in print. The artist is right to stop at a funny picture that gets across the idea.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I agree wholeheartedly. Drawing 14 to 15 pizza boxes per torso, per panel, would not make the art better at all. The art is by no means conclusive. And the lack of consistency in those small details isn’t what makes it bad. (everyone having morphing sameface, and horrifying fleshtoned walls make it bad) I don’t even think my treatise on height today is as ironclad as I pretended.

      But, boy is it fun to try and nail jello to the wall.

      • Anonymous Sparrow

        It’s less heartbreaking than trying to find a backbone in a chocolate eclair, that’s for sure.

  9. Jeff M.

    I apologize if this has been posted here before, but the recent discussions made me think of this guy’s struggle to come up with something to say about the actual Luigi’s pizza. “It’s…..” Kudos to the guy for not actually saying “meh.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL9evc0QGeg

    • Professor Fate

      He wasn’t very excited by the pizza and also said it was ice cold.
      I noticed he said overrated a couple of times and that he found the place less than welcoming.
      Damning by faint praise comes to mind.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I think Luigi’s cash-only policy goes a long way towards making guests feel unwelcome. I also think this is intentional. It’s the kind of old restaurant or bar with old owners and an old clientele, that doesn’t even pretend to care about anyone who isn’t part of their little klatch. And I bet Tom Batiuk loves that. They treat him like a big shot, and indulge his irrational hatred of technology.

    • be ware of eve hill

      I’ve been to Luigi’s a few times, and I 100% agree with the Showtime Pizza Reporter that the place is overrated.

      If you ever go there, do NOT sit in a booth by the entrance. Especially not the booth nearest the front door, directly across from the cash register. There is no place to wait for a table except the aisle between the booths and the bar. There is no foyer. Every time the door opens, you get hit with a blast of air, which is always freezing in the Winter (I remember frequently yelling “SHUT THE DOOR!!!”). Not only that, the people sitting in those booths have to endure being on display the entire time they are there. People are constantly checking out what you are eating and drinking. Expect to be bumped into several times by some inconsiderate clod’s backside. By all means wait for a table in one of the side dining rooms.

      Speaking of the cash register, Luigi’s is a cash-only business. No credit cards or checks. I remember being held hostage for collateral with my mother and brothers while dad had to run home to get more cash because he was short (the late 1970s, pre ATMs). Thanks for coming back for us, Dad!

      Of course, the Showtime Pizza Reporter likes Luigi’s salad. Their house salads are half mozzarella, half iceberg lettuce (would you like some salad with your cheese?). You do get a couple of tomato wedges and pepperoncini. Your only choice of salad dressing is the house dressing, which is Italian.

      I’ve had better pizza, and most of their other entrées are baked to crisp, smothered in mozzarella and marinara.

      Meh! I’d take Parasson’s in Stow, Ohio, over Luigi’s any day.

      • Suicide Squirrel

        The last time I visited Luigi’s, I was with my daughter and neither of us even ordered the pizza. She had something called a meatball casserole, which was meatballs smothered in mozzarella and sauce (no pasta, weird!). Disappointed, she tried to order a vegetable like broccoli. She had to settle for a house salad (hold the cheese), Luigi’s doesn’t serve vegetable sides.

        When my daughter comes back to town, she prefers Mike’s Place in Kent.

  10. sgtsaunders

    I call BS. There is no “Pizza Monster”. Where’s the pizza!? It’s a Cardboard Box Monster. However, if those are greasy-ass used pizza boxes the threat is real.

  11. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    It’s obvious the PM caper is being pulled off by the ICE agents! They certainly have the means and motive. The mysterious unmarked white chopper that lowered the PM was a dead giveaway. They are cheesed off because Bill Clinton sprang Adeela before they had a chance to submit her to enhanced interrogation.

    Submitted for your approval:

    The detainees filed a lawsuit charging ICE with torture for serving Montoni’s pizza. A lower court agreed with the detainees, and ICE immediately appealed the ruling. While the appeal works its way through the courts, the ruling stands. The agents can no longer obtain Montoni’s pizza legally, and have planned this covert op to the split second. As always, should PM or any member of the ICE force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of their actions.

  12. PrezGAR

    Only one suspect has the means to hire a helicopter. Mason Jarre.

  13. Eldon of Galt

    A great post today, ComicBookHarriet. An inspiring take on persevering in the face of this Batiuk-generated crap. I don’t post many comments anymore, because I’m nearly defeated by trying to come up with variations of “this is really terrible”, but I’m reading the site everyday, enjoying the fusillades of abuse directed at this lamest of comic strips.
    Good work, everybody. Spin on, indeed.

  14. Gerard Plourde

    “But it’s worth it. Because when it works, it is a wonder to behold: straw into gold.”

    This week’s outing certainly proves that. With the creativity shown on this site, I hope TomBa continues to provide us with raw material for decades.

  15. Suicide Squirrel

    Thanks for the shout out ComicBookHarriet, even if you were pointing out my confusing shotgun approach to detective work.

    I’m no Dick Tracy. If I were, the PBM would be dead by now.

  16. Has anyone guessed Batton Thomas yet? That guy seems like he has a lot of time on his hands. And like he has a bunch of old pizza boxes at his house…