Real Pain for My Sham Friends

J.J. O’Malley
February 20, 2022 at 10:54 pm
[A]t what point in this week’s proceedings will the paparazzi show up at the restaurant to snaps photos of Ms. Winters and Mr. Jarre canoodling in their private booth, with the resultant publicity throwing Cindy into a violent, shoe-throwing fit of jealousy and sending Marianne on a nighttime visit to the Hollywood sign for a cord-free bungee jump?

This friendly luncheon between the two costars does seem to be taking a decidedly datelike turn: Mason’s arm is now around or at least behind Marianne, and he orders another “calamaro” and some champagne. Wonder what they bring you at Musso and Frank when you order champagne without first perusing the wine list? Especially when you tell your waiter “You can bring us a bottle of champagne” like he’s the butler.

When Mason’s right, folks, he’s right:
Unless you consume it by the gallon, choosing Champagne over wine or beer represents the diet option. Sort of. A small flute of brut Champagne…is usually 80 to 100 calories, fewer than in a [6 oz.] glass of wine and far healthier than a pint of beer. –Guy Kelly, “5 reasons Champagne is surprisingly good for you,” New York Post, December 9, 2015



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

43 responses to “Real Pain for My Sham Friends

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Today I’m not even bothering with trying to decipher what, if anything, the gag here is today, as I don’t think there is one, whether actual or attempted. It’s like he suddenly remembered the premise, then decided to prove it by rehashing it for no other reason. Maybe he could have considered running this one on Monday. Yes, out of context the calamari line would have been confusing as all f*ck but no more so than anything else that happened this week.

  2. William Thompson

    The waiter knows Jarre’s tastes and will bring him a suitable bottle of the bubbly. Is Tuesday morning a good vintage?

  3. Over at the Batty blog is another Autopsy, I mean Anatomy of a Cover post revealing the “creative” process of that schlocky Elementals Force cover of a couple Sundays ago.

  4. Sourbelly

    In panel 1, is Marianne stroking out or is she trying to wink for no good reason?

    There’s more, but, gawd, who cares?

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      Marianne grows more grotesque with every panel.
      We all know this is going to circle back to Perfect Auteur Les and all the ways the tertiary characters can stroke his ego while he sulks, so I really wish they’d just get on with it.

    • billytheskink

      I dunno about a stroke, but I do know that Johnny Rodriguez wants his hair back.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      I think she has a couple of calamari tentacles stuck between her teeth and she’s trying to fish them out with her tongue.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That is the face of someone who farted at a fancy restaurant and got away with it. In Panel 3 she’s thinking “enjoy that squid fart, Mason.”

      • be ware of eve hill

        Women can’t fart. It’s because of the XX XY chromosomes. Only the Y chromosome has the DNA Gene Programming for releasing gas. Women smell like perfume, butterflies and days of your youth that remind you that life is beautiful.

        This is why us women are so offended by fart jokes. Some women are even jealous.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          You remind me of the observation that horses sweat, gentlemen perspire and ladies glow…and of the conversation Buffy Sainte-Marie once had with Bonnie Bramlett.

          “Ladies don’t sweat, we glow,” said Sainte-Marie.

          “Honey, you may be glowin’,” said Bramlett, “but this here is sweat.”

        • be ware of eve hill

          Well, that attempt at a joke fell as flat as a fart. 😁

          Women do indeed fart. As Banana Jr. 6000 pointed out, women are far better at concealment and do a far better job of deflecting the blame.
          Mr. be ware of eve hill: Did you punk?
          Me: Wasn’t me. It must have been Rusty.

          Rusty is our Dane Shepard. When he farts, you know it. He can clear a room in no time.

          As my husband jokes; Rusty doesn’t bite, his bark will stun you, but his farts will leave you unconscious for a week.

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    First, thanks for the mention, TF. I know it’s silly to expect Batiuk-written characters to behave in any sort of consistent manner, but you’d think that, after the last time, Masonne and Ms. Winters would be wary of any Tinseltown press staking out L.A. eateries shortly after the Oscar nominations were announced so they could snap photos of any impromptu celebrations. It really wouldn’t make any sense for him to come onto her at this point in their professional and personal relationships, but one never knows, do one?

    Speaking of consistency, is it just me or does Mr. Jarre seem to age a decade in each panel of today’s strip? At least Marianne looks like she has a mouthful of half-eaten “calamaro” throughout (and why is the plate on the table so clean? Did a starving Masonne lick it?).

  6. billytheskink

    Champagne? That’s not what I remember Mac Tonight craving…

  7. The Nelson Puppet

    My God. Those are some UGLY ASS people.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      This is what happens when “all arcs must last one week” is your most important storytelling principle. It’s like the story has completely forgotten why these two were even meeting. Why are they, anyway? There’s nothing we need to know beyond the award nomination. 14 strips, and 13 of them serve no purpose.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    Do these two not have ANY other friends? Or any idea how to behave in public? They’re supposedly the biggest action stars in Hollywood, and all they can do about a Best Actress nomination is brag to the waiter? Pathetic. I can just see him thinking “congratulations, sir, you’re the third one today.” And wasn’t Marianne trying to avoid attention? Whatever, it’s not on the man’s agenda so who cares.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well this modeled after the time Batty took his wife to Luigi’s to celebrate his Pulitzer nomination. They shared a mozzarella stick and watched the band box play.

  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Oh boy, today in Crankshaft we learn what SOS means. Yeah it’s about saving their local newspaper, which is already owned by some greedy people who only want to make money. Sigh.

    Well we knew Batty wouldn’t be able to tell an interesting story.

    • Gerard Plourde

      I see Pmm and Jfff next to Crankshaft in the first panel of today’s Crankshaft. If I remember correctly, The Author’s email to CBH said he was eliminating Time Jump 2 (the ten-year jump following LIsa’s death). Does that mean he’s going to de-age Pmm, Jfff, and Crankshaft in their FW appearances? He appears to have frozen Lillian in time. And I guess we don’t have to wonder about the twins (whose names I completely forget), since Westview High School only occasionally appears when Dinkle harasses Becky.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I know, it’s all so stupid and unnecessary. All in service of a dumb plot about saving a newspaper that doesn’t need saving as everyone except Batty is getting their news online. Heck even people older than Batty are using Kindles and tablets to read the news.

        And this is more environmentally friendly than printing things on paper. Hey didn’t Batty do a recent arc about climate change? Way to be consistent BatBoy!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The only thing worse than Batiuk’s endless selfish axe-grinding is how dead wrong and stupid it is.

      How can you “save” something from a group that rightfully owns it? In what sense does “the Sentinel” still exist to be saved, after its one employee quit? What’s stopping anyone from just starting a competing paper? If one-armed, 111-year-old Skip wanted to save the Sentinel in its current form, the first thing he needed to do was not quit it!

      And God, I am so tired of the “everyone rallies around Tom Batiuk’s pet peeve” stories. If Hell’s library is nothing but story problems, Hell’s story collection is all Tom Batiuk books.

  10. The reason this is written so poorly is that Tom Batiuk knows no one reads it…including Tom Batiuk.

  11. Westview Radiology

    Panel 3 shows Harry Dinkle wearing a blonde wig. Marianne looks like Summer Moore on Meth.

  12. William Thompson

    When was the last time Batiuk showed us Cindy Season? Has Batiuk decided to drop her character? Is Marianne Moptop going to casually ask Masone Jarre how he’s been since the divorce, which would fit Batiuk’s “style” of tossing off big, shocking revelations? Or is this just another pointless week in the Funkyverse?

  13. be ware of eve hill

    The story arc of the past week and a half reminds me of when I was in high school. There were times when I badly missed my curfew.

    Dad would always be up waiting for me. As soon as I walked in the front door, Dad would be standing there frowning. His hands in his pockets, rattling his change. His body would be slightly turned as he glowered at me over his glasses, one eye squinting.

    Intimidated, I’d ramble on for a minute trying to come up with an excuse. Eventually, Dad would cut me off and invariably say,

    “Is this going anywhere?!”

  14. hitorque

    This isn’t a date, this isn’t a lunch between good friends, nor is it even a lunch between professional colleagues who only know each other casually…

    For two weeks, Marianne has assumed the persona of some ingenue who literally just fell off the turnip truck from Hicksville and now she’s completely lost and vulnerable in the big bad city; while Masone has had the slimy, reptilian demeanor of a predatory car salesman or a small-change con artist who’s laying it on too thick… The inane banter, the arm around the shoulders, the smug know-it-all, been-there-done-that attitude, the craptacular HAR-DEE-HAR jokes, the loud public proclamations, never letting Marianne get a word in edgewise, the whole “I’m in YOUR corner!!” -vibe, etc… I keep asking myself “Masone is clearly working towards a sales pitch here, so what’s it going to be and when is he going to drop it?” What, does he want a three-way with her and Cindye? (in full costume roleplay, naturally) Is he getting ready to lure her into Scientology? Is going to pitch her on this new script he received, a musical called “Easy Capture: The Walleye Winkerbeane Story?” Is he going to sell her some prime real estate in Death Valley? Did Masone decide to get into writing comic books full time and wants Marianne to be his first employee? Does he need her to make a short trip to Mexico and bring back a “package”, no questions asked? Or maybe he’s about to lure her into a Ponzi scheme?

  15. newagepalimpsest

    Let’s just fast-forward to the part where Les accepts his Best Actress Oscar. With Ghost Lisa hovering over his shoulder.

  16. be ware of eve hill

    TFHackett, thanks for posting the link for the Musso & Frank wine list.

    It’s funny that the word “champagne” doesn’t appear anywhere on the list. The restaurant refers to them all as “Sparkling Wines.”

    Snobs insist that only sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France have the right to be called “champagne.” They make a big deal about identifying and shaming sparkling wines that “don’t deserve” to use the word “champagne” on their labels.

    I wonder if the Musso & Frank Grill had a “Champagne” section on the wine list at one time but decided to remove the heading after receiving flack for “mislabeled” bottles.
    M & F Grill: The hell with it! From now on, they’re all sparkling wines, regardless of where they’re made.

    The funny thing is, each and every one of the French sparkling wines on the list is produced in the Champagne region of France. Even the world-famous Dom Perignon champagne is listed on the wine list as a mere sparkling wine, along with the Italian and American brands.
    (double bird salute to the snobs) 🖕🖕

  17. WheresFather

    Off topic here, but I was Brother Bing-ing around and found this blog entry:

    This guy needs to be part of our little community!
    Oh, and in my daily game of “What’s worse, the writing or the art?” I think poor Marianne wins it for the artiste.

  18. Majicou

    Shampoo for my real friends, real poo for my sham friends.