The Gig Haiku-nomy

Over the river
And through the woods, to Morton's
Nursing home we go

Funky knows the way
As he skids on through Copley
In the driving snow


But wait, he's not there?!
As we learn in today's strip
No, he's got a gig

Kinda surprising
That blonde has not mistaken
Funky for Morton

A front desk message?
Who communicates like this?
They're father and son!

OK, to be fair
This weirdness is typical
For this comic strip

If he has a gig
Does that mean we won't have to
Endure skeezy Mort?

Morton the creepster
Has become a Batiukverse
Christmas tradition



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

36 responses to “The Gig Haiku-nomy

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Morton Winkerbean, starring in “The Elderly Are Just Like Teenagers, Part Two”. In this special Christmas installment of the popular series, Morton rudely blows off his totally square kid, the ironically named “Funky”, to go out and jam with his band and maybe score a little strange. His son is shocked to discover that his incorrigible old man is singing Christmas carols, while simultaneously peering down an old woman’s blouse. Oh, that Morton! Majoring in jazz, minoring in ass.

    And this one is another perfect example of how BatYarn frequently ignores the existence of phones. It happens all the time in the Funkyverse. People will travel thousands of miles to have conversations they could have had via text. An Alzheimer’s patient walked up to the front desk of a care facility, said he was leaving to go jam with his band and they shrugged and signed off on this? No one notified Funky? Sounds like Bedside Manor is some sort of Medicaid scam front or something. They knew how susceptible to punny names those Westviewians are. Then they set up shop and reeled in the colorful local codgers. Lord knows there’s certainly enough of them.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Re: The use of phones in the Funkyverse. To be fair, they are complicated devices. First, you have to crank the phone as it sits on the kitchen wall. Then–after ringing up Central–you have to tell Sarah, Westview’s good-hearted but gossipy operator (Centerville’s is named Elsie), whose extension you want her to connect you to. And if they’re on a party line, you have to wait until it’s cleared.

      Yeah, Heaven forbid that Funky call to make sure Mort is ready…or that Mort would to tell his son and daughter-in-law that his band has a gig in case they’d like to see them perform…or that Dinkle would call Funky’s home and try to sell them tickets (those Ohio-to-Pasadena plane fares aren’t cheap)…or that anything regarding normal family behavior would occur.

      What happens tomorrow, I wonder, to put that quizzical look in the masthead on the receptionist’s puss?

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Using phones would deprive Batty of an easy panel-wasting plot device. It would mean he would have two extra panels to fill.

        Checking other comics…hmmm, I am wrong, other strips show people talking on the phone. Batty is just lazy.

        (I always like the way Mary Worth depicts people holding their phones. Gotta be lots of broken screens there.)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I have to admit, “Bedside Manor” is a decent pun.

  2. William Thompson

    I can’t imagine any halfway-competent nursing home staff allowing this “gig” without notifying the family. And I can’t imagine why Funky and Hully would want to bring Morton home, given his behavior the last time. He’ll only have grown worse.

  3. Sourbelly

    Yeah, this isn’t remotely how nursing homes operate. Good lord, has Batdick had any real-world experience with anything?

    I’m guessing this segues into another Dinkle arc, where the Beside Boogie Boys stumble into another cringey debacle, with humorous consequences, or something. Leading seamlessly into – The Tournament of Roses Parade!

  4. Hitorque

    I’m only shocked there’s a gig for the band and The Big Dink didn’t tell the entire state to come out and support the band and pay homage to his immortal greatness…

  5. billytheskink

    Any story involving Morton invites so many narrative knots that even a good writer would have a hard time distracting from: Morton can play with a touring band but also needs nursing home care? Hasn’t Mort shown zero signs for a decade now of the apparent reason he was in a home in the first place? Sedentary Melinda can live with the Winkerbeans but able and trombone-playing Morton can’t? Etc. Etc.

    But TB, being TB, has decided to keep tying more of them. Why would Funky and his father communicate like this? What nursing home operates in this way? What the heck is Holly looking at in panel 3?

  6. The Duck of Death

    In FW, people shun phones as newfangled tools of the Devil. Meanwhile, in Crankshaft… Crankshaft, who not long ago lamented the death of dead-tree newspapers, suddenly thinks people should e-mail Christmas cards instead of sending physical cards. Another case of established characters changing deeply-held philosophies on a whim when it suits a “joke” Batiuk thinks of.

    Also, more ghastly typos in P1 of the strip. Crankshaft says to Lillian, “You know you could save money on stamps if you just emailed your your Christmas cards like everyone else”

    Batiuk letters these himself, no? He didn’t notice that he wrote “your” twice? He couldn’t remember to add a period (or question mark) to the end of the sentence?

    Since Morton doesn’t seem to need nursing home care any more, maybe Batiuk can take his room.

  7. Banana Jr. 6000

    Sure, Bedside Manor, just the let the 90-something with the history of dementia wander off wherever he wants to, with the vague and ridiculous explanation of having a “gig” that conflicts with Christmas dinner. Do you even elderly care facility, bro?

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Oh, who am I kidding, it’s Dinkle’s band. He probably just walked in and abducted the whole lot of them

  9. be ware of eve hill

    We all witnessed Mort Winkerbean with some form of dementia. Was he somehow magically cured with cigarettes and little purple pills.

    In what wing of Bedside Manner (Bedsore Manure) does Mort live now? Is he in memory care, assisted living, independent living? He seems self-sufficient nowadays. Why not save a ton of money and just rent a little apartment. 🙄

    Mort was shown suffering from some form of dementia. I’d like to think he was in memory care.

    Towards the end of my father’s life, a major problem we had with him is that he kept wandering out of his assisted living building. The retirement home where he lived didn’t have the facilities or the training to handle residents with Alzheimer’s. As a result, we had to move my dad to a memory care facility. My brother and I toured a number of memory care facilities. All of the memory care facilities we visited had the residents in lockdown. A code was needed to enter or exit the residents living area. You can’t have the residents wandering off into other parts of the facility or even out into the street. No memory care facility is going to tell a resident the access code. Even if the residents found out the code it’s highly unlikely that they would even remember it.

    Are we supposed to believe Mort exited the building on his own? How did he get the door access code? Did Bedside Manor let Dinkle take Mort out? The memory care facility where dad lived would only let immediate family take the resident out of the building and that was only for a matter of a few hours.

    The only musical bands in a memory care facility are the ones who are invited to entertain the residents.

    This is beyond stupid.

    • When my mother was in assisted living, she would many times wheel herself out of the facility. The staff put an ankle alarm on her to at least sound an alert when she was trying to leave.

      People in assisted living are monitored quite closely. When a relative picks them up, name, date, time and purpose have to be entered into a log.

      Here, I’m just going to assume Dinkle waltzed in and demanded the group.

      As many have said, this is not how the world works. Not even slightly.

      • be ware of eve hill

        When my dad was in assisted living, in an attempt to curb his wandering, the staff there also placed a bracelet on his ankle that would sound an alarm if he tried to exit the building. I believe it was called WanderGuard? Several times dad cut the bracelet off with the pair of scissors he used to cut puzzles out of the newspaper. The staff then placed the bracelet on his walker and dad still cut it off. The staff eventually confiscated his scissors. The facility was so understaffed, even with the bracelet, dad could walk right past the nurse’s station and out the exit. In the evening, the facility had only two nurses taking care of about sixty rooms. If the nurse was taking care of a resident in their room, they never hear the door alarm.

        This facility was so crappy they ended up on a medicare/medicaid watch list. They were so poorly rated they were threatening to cut off funding. This past October, the facility permanently closed. They blamed it on costs associated with COVID. My parents originally moved into the independent living part of the campus. That part of the facility was actually quite decent.

        My brother says he had to sign a log when taking dad out of the facility. So at least they got that part right. That included trips to dad’s doctor and the bank. Dad didn’t like the staff physician and wanted to be cared by his own physician.

        The denizens of the Funkyverse sure do kowtow to Dinkle.
        Nurse #1: I’m sorry, sir. Unless you are immediate family, you cannot sign this man out of the facility.
        Nurse #2: You fool! Don’t you recognize Harry Dinkle, the world’s greatest band director? Give the man anything he wants!

        Batty needs to leave Chateau Batiuk once in a while to see how the real world works. His excursions shouldn’t be limited to just book fairs and comicons.

        • Phil

          And the Real World answers!
          “No, no – don’t bother on our account. Stick to book fairs and comicons. We’ll be fine. Thanks anyway!”

  10. be ware of eve hill

    I’d like to pose a question to the Comics Kingdom readers who snark on Funky Winkerbean. Is what we do there “trolling?”

    I got into a little tête-à-tête with another reader in the Blondie discussion, of all places. I like Blondie but was defending another reader from the dreaded question “If you don’t like it, why are you reading it.” I unsuccessfully tried to explain to him the difference between snarking and trolling. Maybe he’s too dense to understand but I began to wonder if I was wrong.

    • The Duck of Death

      No, we are not trolling. Trolling is literally baiting, named after the practice of dragging bait under water to catch fish.

      Trolling is designed specifically to disrupt, anger, or annoy the denizens of a group. It has no other purpose.

      Snarking is a form of criticism. We are talking to one another and enjoying ourselves with critiques of this ridiculous strip. It’s the opposite of trolling; we snarkers know what we’re here for and are generally pretty gracious to one another.

      I would say that bursting into an established community of snarkers with bait like “If you don’t like it, why do you read it? Nyah, nyah!” is much closer to trolling, especially if, as is virtually always the case, the poster disappears without answering our questions. Tossing a bomb and disappearing is a characteristic trick of very basic and unskilled trolls.

      On the other hand, we must remember Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Maybe the person accusing you/us of trolling is too dumb to understand what trolling is, and too lazy to look it up. Maybe the people who come in and ask “IYDLI,WDYRI?” [new acronym for this overused phrase, saves typing time] are too stupid to have an adequate answer when asked what specifically they like about the strip, or too lazy to come back and check for resopnses.

      TL;DR: No, snarking is not trolling.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Thanks for the reply, DoD.

        A commentor inquired of a snarker, “Why are you here?” In other words, if you don’t like the comic, why are you reading it. I tried to explain to them that people enjoy reading and writing snark. I even cut and pasted the definitions of “snark” and “internet troll”. Several messages later, they still don’t understand the difference.

        They can’t comprehend that someone could read a comic and enjoy it while criticizing it. I’ve even questioned his grasp of the concept of “enjoyment.” I’ve come to the conclusion that this person is either pulling my leg, or they really are just that dumb. Judging by the gist of the discussion, many readers already consider this person a troll.

        I should have just directed them to this website. A website dedicated to the trolling of Funky Winkerbean? I think not. It would probably cause their pea-sized brain to roll out their ear hole.

        You da man.

        Cheers 👍

    • Gerard Plourde

      I wouldn’t call what we do here “trolling”. I associate that term with someone taking a contrary position for the sole purpose of irritating the others posting in the thread.

      As I’ve mentioned before, I came to this site as a long-time reader of the strip to voice my frustration with the increasingly sloppy storytelling. As imperfect as the stores in Act 2 were, they showed greater effort than anything that’s appeared recently. I get the sense that others here share this frustration.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I can say that I do. I remember when FW was halfway decent, and I’m talking Act I here. It’s become so bad that it’s fascinating.

        • be ware of eve hill

          I can remember when FW was halfway decent too. I grew up in a suburb of Akron. There was actually some pride associated with Funky Winkerbean. Hey, the creator is from Akron. He’s one of us.

          I confess that fact blinded me from the realization of how terrible the comic strip had gotten in Act III.

          One time, I was visiting my brother from out of town and witnessed him snarking in the Comics Kingdom FW discussion. I saw how much he was enjoying himself and started reading the discussion too. When you read the FW strip by itself, you kind of read it, say “meh” and move on to the next comic. The discussion was a real eye-opener. These people are right. It is dreadful!

          Of course, I never realized until later how many good comic strip creators were either born in or worked out of Ohio. There is a LOT.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Thanks, Gerard. I like your definition of “trolling.”

        The commenter I was trying to persuade was the only one who appeared to be annoyed by the original poster of the thread, who posted a snarky comment. The person I was trying to persuade claims not to be annoyed by the original post, but merely “cannot understand why someone reads a comic they don’t like”. Apparently, when someone criticizes a comic strip once, they officially “don’t like the strip.”

        They were the one throwing the term “trolling” about. If they confess to not being annoyed, how can it be trolling? 🤷‍♀️

      • ComicBookHarriet

        I second everyone else in in affirming that this isn’t trolling. We aren’t trying to get a negative reaction out of anyone, not even the creators of the material. Since we continue our analysis and jokes assuming the creators don’t read the comments.

        So many people pearl clutch when they see people having a blast running down bad art, music, literature, movies, or TV shows. And yeah, we put a lot of time into it, and that’s kind of weird. But if they were being honest with themselves, I think almost all of them could remember at least one time that hating something petty gave them joy.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Nobody here is a troll, certainly not you. Calling you one is a way of dismissing you. It’s an attempt to nullify your comments without having to answer them. It implies they are juvenile, lack substance, and exist solely to provoke and annoy others. There are a lot of valid complaints about the notoriously poor quality of FW, and posters here are good at articulating them.

    • Hitorque

      What we do is “hate-reading in the classical quasi-ironic sense”

  11. If I find out that Mort (and the rest of the band) are on a plane to Pasadena with Dinkle (without informing Funky), I will personally go to Ohio, rent a school bus, and run over Batuik’s mail box.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      Psst. Batyuk’s home address and phone number are listed in the Whitepages, but you didn’t hear that from me.

  12. Suicide Squirrel

    Funky: “He’s not here?”
    Nurse: “Oh, you didn’t know? Mort moved out last month to shack up with Lillian MacKenzie in Centerville. He forgot to forward his purple pill prescription. Will you please take these and give them to him next time you see him?” (strains to lift giant-size baggie of purple pills)