Weird is Relative

Um, Harry, shoehorning “Lisa’s Story” wherever you possibly can is the absolute least weird thing in this strip. It happens constantly. It should’ve seemed inevitable that Donna reminiscing about her glory days would lead to the Lisa Bench.
So I guess Harry has travelled back in time (again). Which makes this all even less weird, since this is now the second time that Harry has “travelled back in time”. Or, since he’s seeing the Dead St. Lisa Cancer Death Memorial Bench, it’s possible he just died. Which would make Donna’s insistence that he wear the helmet instead of her very interesting. Really, the only weird thing today is that a helmet his wife wore as a young teen fits old man Harry perfectly.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

60 responses to “Weird is Relative

  1. Mela

    Is this going to serve as the 50 year retrospective?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Yes. And the 51-year retrospective, and the 49-year, and the 52-year, and the 48-year, and…

  2. William Thompson

    Is Harry going to advise his younger self to invest in autographed first editions of Lisa’s Story? He can’t be that crazy . . . can he?

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      No, he’ll tell him not to buy Tarzan books, because he’ll just have to sell them, and it’ll be too painful for words…

  3. Epicus Doomus

    “Funky Winkerbean? What the hell is that?”

    “It’s a comic strip.”

    “Like in the newspaper? Never heard of it. What, is it about a jazz musician or something?”

    “No. The title character is an overweight dreary sad-sack who owns a pizzeria, but the main character is a smug bearded asshole whose wife died horribly from cancer. This week’s story is about the crazy one, named Crazy. He finds his wife’s old gender-disguising video game helmet in the attic, puts in on, and gets teleported somehow.”

    “Huh…OK. I’m gonna go stand over there now.”

    This is why I never discuss FW with civilians. In the time it takes to explain it all, I could be doing something more important, like cleaning the cat’s litter box or scratching myself. I’ll tell you this, though…I don’t like the looks of that park bench at all.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Me: Oh, let me guess. Crazy Harry puts on the helmet, and it gets stuck. Hilarity allegedly ensues.
      Epicus Doomus: No spoilers, but it’s SO MUCH DUMBER than that. Allegedly.

      🤦‍♀️ (headdesk for two full minutes)
      Oh, how right you were. I committed a classic blunder. Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Never attempt to predict a Funky Winkerbean story arc.

      The pull of Lisa’s Story in this strip is stronger than that of a black hole.

      * sigh *

      • ComicBookHarriet

        It’s Inconceivable!

        • be ware of eve hill

          You keep using that word, I don’t think you know what it means.

          TPB is one of my son’s favorite movies. 👍

          • ComicBookHarriet

            There’s a shortage of perfect movies in the world…it would be a pity to remake this.

      • Epicus Doomus

        Predicting what BatHam will do next is a fool’s errand. You can try to dumb it down as much as you’re able, but he’ll top you every single time.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Some people have a gift. That’s a strange one, to be sure.

        • Charles

          Thing with that is that by trying to imagine where he’s going to go, you’re already applying yourself creatively more than he himself does.

          By thinking “Okay, where can he go with this?” you’re already one step beyond him. We make assumptions about his basic storytelling qualities that are entirely reasonable in general, but for him just don’t apply.

          Most roads lead to Lisa, but they don’t go anywhere, however.

      • Hannibal’s Lectern

        From the standpoint of Hollywood financial people, “Dead St. Lisa’s Story” IS a black hole. First there was “Lust For Lisa,” which sucked up money and ended with no movie and an ignominious “kill fee” to Less; then there was “Dead St. Lisa: The (Not Very) Moving Picture,” which bombed so badly at the box office that its co-star gave her Oscar™ away rather than remember her involvement in this turkey.

        “How do you make a million dollars filming ‘Dead St. Lisa’? Start with a hundred million.”

        • be ware of eve hill

          What could possibly be left?

          Lisa’s Story: The Animated Story?
          Lisa’s Story: The Miniseries for Television?
          It’s a Lisa’s Story Christmas?

          * shudder * 😱😱😱

          • Charles


            Lisa’s Story Begins
            Lisa’s Story Omelettes

            Batiuk’s going to scrounge around for things for Mason to do and they’re right there.

          • Y. Knott

            Lisa’s Story: The Audio Book
            Lisa’s Story: The Podcast
            Lisa’s Story: The Board Game
            Lisa’s Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story (where it really doesn’t matter which choice you make — you KNOW how it’s going to end!)
            Lisa’s Story Trading Cards — collect ’em all!
            Lisa!: The Musical

  4. Sourbelly

    “This is stupid!!”

    FTFY, Harry.

  5. billytheskink

    Oh Harry… if only this rose to the level of “weird”. If only.

  6. Gerard Plourde

    Does this somehow fit into TomBa’s disclosure to CBH that the ten-year time gap he set up between FW and Crankshaft is being eliminated? Or did Harry get transported to an alternate universe? I’m sure what’s in store for us this week is far more mundane than either of those possibilities.

    • Hannibal’s Lectern

      He’s horribly claustrophobic, and when he put the helmet over his head he had a panic attack. His technique for consciously relaxing during a panic attack is to visualize himself at the Lisa Bench and imagine Less is buried under it.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    Oh, for the love of…

    That’s it, I’m out of here for the next week. Good luck, all, and I’ll send you all a postcard from either “Hi and Lois” or “Six Chix.”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      No! Come back! Who will save me from the voodoo-animated mannequin they dressed as Maddie in the first panel!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Don’t head for Mary Worth, that storyline has been dragging for weeks. I was hoping we would see Toby in a bikini soon, but I doubt we will even see her in a short skirt. Boo. Boo.

      • Mela

        Yes, how many days in a row have we seen “what happens if that nasty gossiping busybody tells everyone I’m doing something I’m not really doing?”

    • Margaret

      Both better than staying here to watch Les and Lisa appear, but I think hanging out at the water cooler and talking about food with Dagwood would be nice and peaceful. And while you’re there, try to find out what the Dithers Company actually does. I’ve always wondered.

      • J.J. O'Malley

        Why, they dither, of course!

        I’ve always assumed they buy and sell some undefined products, just like Foofram Industries in “HI and Lois” and whatever firm Henry Mitchell works for in “Dennis the Menace.”

  8. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  9. Hitorque

    Is Harold on drugs? Because I don’t see how this costume prop magically becomes some kind of VR headset…

    And isn’t there a thousand better ways to segue into a nostalgia-powered flashback? I mean, we could have skipped all that bullshit about an arcade game and cross-dressing.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Harry is hallucinating because the helmet is too tight, and it’s cutting off the oxygen supply to his brain.

  10. The Dreamer

    He’s going to run into young Bull Bushka and apologize for not going to his funeral

  11. Suicide Squirrel

    I’ve always wondered, what is that tube-like thing connected to the helmet supposed to be?

    A ‘crazy straw’ for drinks during marathon gaming sessions? Where is the cup holder?

    Is it a snorkel? Kind of a stupid thing to put on an open helmet.

    Is it an antenna? Eliminator phone home.

    Is it a feeler? Shouldn’t there be another on the other side?

    Whatever it is… the damn thing seems to be moving. It’s alive!

  12. The Dreamer

    Maybe old Crazy has permamently teleported back to Act I. Where old Crazy gets to watch young Crazy and his friends go through high school again. But his old self can try to change things like sneak into the gym and help young Les climb that rope!

    Lets face it, Act III was getting stale anyway 🙂

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    Harry is unstuck in time. Ok, that has been done before.

  14. The Duck of Death

    Dammit, not the bench again. I grew up a few blocks from the canonical location of the “Lisa Bench” and it never ceases to aggravate me that The Bench is always portrayed in a void, with a token tree nearby.

    The actual Central Park is very hilly, full of trees, and of course surrounded by tall buildings, especially near the edges (where Dead St. Lisa’s bench is). What makes this infuriating is that Batiuk seems eager to note how much time he’s spent in NYC, and the city is a touchstone in Les’ and Lisa’s relationship — so how does he get this broad stroke so very wrong?

    For anyone who’s curious just how wrong, here is the general location of the presumptive Lisa Bench on Google Maps:,-73.9733248,3a,75y,1.76h,75.96t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s71iHK1R7cAJ0kVbMWK8Zwg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Oooh. New York Lisa Bench!

      I always wondered if there’s a real world equivalent to the Lisa Bench Park with Gazebo in Ohio somewhere.

      Someday, I’m going on a cross country road trip of exciting Funkyverse locales. Bronson Caves to Lisa Bench in one summer!

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Visually closest Ohio gazebo’s I can find are in either Bellville or Medina.

        • ComicBookHarriet

          I say Medina might be it. The park has that center gazebo, radial paths, pattern we see….

          Why do I care? Why has this infected my brain? I used to be able to name 40 obscure elves from the Silmarillion….but I’ve lost at least 20 to Funkylore.

          • be ware of eve hill

            According to his biography, Mr. and Mrs. Batiuk live in the boonies of Medina, Ohio.

            If you can find out his address, you can pop in for a visit!

          • Gerard Plourde

            I agree that Medina is the template for Westview. I feel sorry for Medina.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yes, it is Medina. He goes to the ice festival every year and typically posts pictures on his blog.

            It is a very cute town. Watterson used to hang out in Chagrin Falls which is similar to Medina.

    • be ware of eve hill

      Somebody felt the need to obfuscate the bust’s face on Google Streetview?

      We must respect the statue’s privacy! 😂

    • batgirl

      As always I am amused that Google has auto-blurred the statue’s face.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The name on the statue being MOORE gave me a little chuckle.

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    I’m stunned. I can’t believe it’s THIS. AGAIN. I was so interested in the Defender angle, and how this story looked like it wanted to explore some less-seen characters for a change, and I and… it’s about Lisa, because of course it is. How could I be so blind? I mean, absolutely nothing logically pointed to this being a Lisa story, but I should know better by now. Hell, the less something should be about Lisa, the more I should expect it to be. I feel duped.

    Tom Batiuk is like your friend who joined a pyramid scheme, or a pushy religion. It quickly becomes the only thing they talk about. Every single conversation gets hijacked into join my downline, or come to our meeting. To the point where you don’t want to be around them anymore.

    Honestly, it’s pretty sad. TB wants so badly to be liked and respected, but his work is so self-indulgent it alienates anyone who would ever want to. So go pitch your Lisa books again, Tom. This is what you wanted. Get on with it.

    • sorialpromise

      You are being duped again, but not by TomBa. This is the clever continuation of TF Hackett’s and CBH’s April Fools Gag. No way would Mr. Batiuk segue from the beloved story revisiting the Eliminator into a tired, revolting tale about Lisa. This has CBH’s fingerprints all over it. Nice try, CBH! But you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me. (Only someone getting up to feed cattle could get up early enough to fool me.)

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Oh well, I guess I’m just a big dummy then. The universe runs on Poe’s Law nowadays; I don’t even try to distinguish stupidity from parody anymore.

  16. Maxine of Arc


  17. Hannibal’s Lectern

    In response to yesterday’s comment by Charles:

    “…one thing you can count on is that Batiuk’ll have a 25-30 year old child be substantially smaller than their parents.”

    Subsisting on an all-Montoni’s diet will do that to you.

    As for today’s strip, I’m still thinking that tube is a drug-smoking mechanism. Yesterday I assumed crack (hence Donna’s high-speed fingers), but now I’m leaning toward peyote.

  18. batgirl

    It’s beyond annoying that Donna/Donald is giving up the helmet that was (retconned to be) such a vital part of her childhood psyche – symbolically giving her last sliver of autonomy up to the man in the room – but it’s just confusing that Donna’s childhood rebellion leads straight to the Lisa Bench.
    Did 11 yr old Donald even know Lisa? Did 16 yr old Crazy Harry notice her? He mostly hung out with Funky, not Les, anyway.
    Is Lisa’s spirit possessing the helmet? Or is it Les, pervading the attics of Westview like a particularly pernicious mould?