April 17, 2022 at 11:23 am
At least Crazy didn’t run up to Lisa and loudly insist that she get a certain part of her anatomy examined. That might trigger some alarms.
Guess we’ll start calling you Prescient Tommy! Yep, Crazy, almost as an afterthought to brokering the eventual marriage of Lisa and Les, remembers something important that he probably ought to relate to young Lisa Crawford. Our security guard Cliff seems to have administered some kind of Vulcan Nerve Pinch, which renders Crazy Harry mute before he can blurt out “…a mammogram! Ask your doctor or your Mom but you must listen to me! Please!”
45 responses to “Yes Mam…No Mam…”
The idea that a grown man with fifty years of comic strip experience sat down, wrote this gag and found it amusing is deeply unnerving. This is just depraved, sick and ghastly beyond belief. Crazy travels to the past, runs into Lisa, then gets dragged away by WHS security before he can spit out the word “mammogram”…and it’s played for laughs! Ten years ago, Lisa’s cancer being used as a punch line in a daffy Crazy Harry arc would have been unthinkable. Yet here we are.
Things it is always safe to say when discussing Funky Winkerbean: “It gets even stupider after this.”
Hard to say how it could get stupider from here, but I have every confidence that Batiuk will somehow find a way.
Also safe to say: “Yet here we are.”
This is despicable. I can’t imagine what Batdick thought would be entertaining or important about this story arc. I mean, this one truly pisses me off.
I can’t imagine what Batdick thought would be entertaining or important about this story arc.
Lisa! Comic books!
I guarantee it. After all, it’s only Tuesday. This one, though, really stands out. Having Crazy run into Lisa is bad enough, but having him attempting and failing to advise her to get a breast cancer exam is deeply, deeply warped. It’s not like it’s a desperate situation where Crazy is puling out the stops to save Lisa, it’s an off-handed throwaway gag, based on the premise that Lisa is going to get cancer and die. He’s spent almost fifteen years reminding his readers that Lisa’s death was a serious and momentous event, then he does a goofy gag where Crazy travels back in time and fails to help her. It’s one of the most insane things I’ve ever seen in this strip.
Is it meant to be a nod to *Superman* stories in which Superboy couldn’t change the past because, when he went to save Abraham Lincoln in 1865 Lex Luthor was hiding from Superman and used Red Kryptonite on him and took away his voice?
Or to Krypto changed into Mrs. O’Leary’s cow and causing the great Chicago fire?
The best part is that Batiuk realized, at least a little bit, that an old man going up to a high school girl who doesn’t know him and talking to her about mammograms was inappropriate enough to have a school security guard drag him off.
And then he just went ahead with it anyway, instead of scrapping it.
I thought maybe he was just tone-deaf and blind enough to not see it, but nope.
If, for example, Crazy ran into Cindy Summers and told her she’d eventually marry Funky, followed by Cindy summoning security, the gag would work in a more or less harmless kind of way. Likewise, if Crazy ran into his future wife and made some sort of dumb remark, only to be dragged away by the security guard (or, in an ideal scenario, tased and beaten by the police), it would have been at the very least a harmless and inoffensive little gag. There are just so many ways one could go with this premise and that scenario.
Given that they have no significant character history together, choosing to have Crazy bump into Lisa is an odd enough choice. But to do a cheap, throwaway gag where he tries and fails to give her breast cancer examination advice is just off-the-charts bizarre. Is the “funny” part supposed to be seeing the crazy old man dragged off, or is it that Lisa is destined to die no matter what? Because while one of those things could, in theory, be amusing, one of them isn’t, no matter how sick your sense of humor might be. And as far as I can tell, Crazy failing to say “mammogram” is the joke here.
I kind of have the feeling that the joke is that Cliff thinks Harry is being a creep, when actually he’s trying to save Lisa’s life. But no, he actually is being a creep too.
Were security guards even a thing at middle-class, suburban Midwest high schools in 1980? Ours didn’t have one, though Lord knows it might’ve been a good idea.
But guard or no guard, this strip is especially offensive. This is when Batty tries to be funny? I shudder to think of the wacky hijinks we’ll be exposed to next March when we catch up with Cody and Owen during their ill-timed vacation in Ukraine.
My prediction for next March’s plot is that Wally will enlist to Ukrainean army and will be blown up by artillery or so everybody thinks… Then he will return ten years later and it is found out that he was actually a prisoner of war.
Wouldn’t that be an original plot, eh?
It is as if he received complaints about the insipid Time Pool story and misinterpreted every one of them to the point that he believed the problem was that the Act III characters didn’t warn Act I Lisa about her impending cancer (neither did Act I Les, the young monster).
Yeah, that’s my problem… Harold may be a dumbass but at least he tried to say something unlike all the characters in that bullshit school reunion flashback (yes I know it was all Les’ fever dream after suffering cardiac arrest and passing out, but still)…
Also Harold fucked up by not trying to tell her he was from the future so at least his warning might have carried some weight no matter how dubious it would have seemed to teenage St. Lisa…
And yes I do really hope that guy is county po-po and Harold is under arrest and he’s about to be thrown in a room and asked some very uncomfortable questions… Of course by that time he’ll probably wake up in his 2022 attic
It might have been funny if Crazy Harry had been allowed to finish bungling his advice. “Get tested for a mammal! It could kill you!”
Lisa: “A mammal could kill me? So I should avoid mammals? Wow, maybe I’ll be safe with Les Moore!”
Argh! Cliff! You can’t haul Crazy away before he tells Lisa she was right! She was right about everything! No, not Lisa Crawford-Moore-Cancer here. Lisa Clumperman.
This stuff is so cringe. But I have to ask, would getting regular mammograms have even saved Lisa? She caught the cancer the first time pretty quick, and had a mastectomy. Then it is in remission/gone for years.
The strip even subtly implies that getting pregnant and having Summer is what killed her in the long run, by having a strip where they acknowledge that the hormone changes of pregnancy can trigger cancer to return.
She discovered the lump quickly and went straight to treatment. Then she was told the cancer was in remission. Then she chose not to get it treated anymore. More mammograms wouldn’t have helped at any stage, unless accompanied with the very specific instruction “don’t believe doctors when they tell you you’re in remission.”
It’s here because Batiuk thinks Lisa is some kind of public awareness icon, like McGruff The Crime Dog, and “get a mammogram.” is her catchphrase. Even though it wouldn’t even have helped in her case! That’s how desperately Batiuk wants to be the spokesperson for cancer. Lisa might as well turn to the camera and say “Hi, I’m Lisa. Early prevention could have saved my life. Tom Batiuk warns you to get a mammogram. And please give him a Pulitzer.”
Oh, this is so on point. “Don’t believe doctors” was ultimately the message of Lisa’s story’s end. The lab full of medical professionals messed up and let Lisa believe her cancer was in remission when it wasn’t (in a year TB will retcon that the lab responsible was Theranos, won’t he?)… it wasn’t Lisa’s fault. Pretty much nothing was Lisa’s fault in Act II. If she had any faults or made any poor decisions they were pruned away (anxiety) or retconned (the willingness of her participation in Durwood’s conception). She had to be perfect, and TB made sure she was… which, frankly, made her unrelatable and preachy, a terrible spokesperson for anything. Not that TB realized this.
Here’s a real life example of a cancer screening awareness campaign that is everything Lisa’s Story is not (real life, effective, self-aware, humble, etc.). Though not as famous or accomplished as his uncle Mario or cousin Michael, John Andretti was an excellent race car driver in his own right and an almost universally beloved presence in the garages of the many different racing series he drove in over the years. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2017 and shortly thereafter he and his family launched an awareness campaign called #CheckIt4Andretti to promote getting screened for colon cancer. Andretti very frankly admitted that he was diagnosed at a much later stage of the cancer than he should have been because he put off getting a colonoscopy for years beyond when recommended for men his age. He publicly admitted his mistake because he wanted others to not make the same one:
“You know how much I really didn’t want to talk about this or do this, because I don’t want it to be a story about me… But the way to help your family is if you don’t do it for you, do it for your family. Because everybody’s life that you affect, that you’re a part of, I think is really important.”
While chemotherapy successfully put Andretti’s cancer into remission in late 2017, it relapsed in 2018 and again in 2019. John Andretti passed away from the complications of colon cancer in January 2020 at age 56.
John was also closely connected to Riley Hospital for Children here in Indy and did a lot of work with them, including co-founding the annual Race For Riley go-kart race fundraiser. And yes, he became a huge advocate for early cancer screening and no doubt raised awareness with the #CheckIt4Andretti campaign. Hate it that we lost him so young (race fan talking here), but glad that he did so much good in the time he had.
Again: who needs Lisa when there are better stories in real life?
This is the most important aspect to this entire arc, such as it has developed now.
Even if everything portrayed in this arc were otherwise actually true events and not a dream, even with this knowledge and advice, nothing in Lisa’s life and death changes at all. The post remission cancer resurgence and everything else that happens will occur regardless of what has happened in this strip. It will occur regardless of if Lisa figures out what Harry was intending to say here.
I’ve never heard a doctor say a shot feels like a “dull pinprick.” Actually, considering I’ve never had a doctor give me a shot, let me say I’ve never heard a NURSE say that. I’ve heard them say describe it just as “a pinprick” or “a little stick.”
But who am I to argue with the Les, the Great Lord of Language? I’m sure he knows more about little pricks than I do.
Now, please excuse me. I feel the need to get comfortably numb.
When Tom was a child, he caught a fleeting glimpse.
Out of the corner of his eye.
He turned to look and the Pulitzer was gone.
He can’t put his hands on it now.
The strips are drawn.
The dream is gone.
Tom has become comfortably dumb.
Tom has become
Dull Pin Prick is a great way to describe Les, however.
A dull pinprick would feel a lot worse. The sharper the pin, the easier it goes in and the less you feel it.
Even if teenaged Lisa heard Crazy Harry’s plea, what’s she supposed to do with the information? Harry was unspecific about the time frame. What is she going to say to her doctor? A complete stranger confronted me out of the blue and told me to get a mammogram? Even if a teenage Lisa believed it, would any doctor back in those days even allow the procedure?
Would ten years later have made any difference? The denser breast tissue of a younger woman can interfere with a cancer diagnosis.
Lisa needed to play more tackle football.
Hey I predicted this days ago 🙂
Now all Crazy has to do is sneak back in during football practice and tell Bull what CTE is and to get his head xrayed before he plays any more
Ha! Like anyone cares about Bull.
If he was included in this storyline at all, it would be something along the lines of Harry getting revenge for Les being bullied (or only pretend bullied, Batiuk can’t make up his mind) by knocking him out and giving him a concussion, then winking at the camera.
Epicus don’t get all worked up over this We are obviously in a Crazy Harry dream. By the last panel this week we will probably find that Crazy fell asleep on his couch wearing the helmet He wakes up and tells his wifr about his strange dream How he went back to 1980 and met his younger self, realized he used to be a brat Visitef Westview High, saw Lisa, tried to warn her but the guard dragged him away .etc The past wasn’t as good as I remembered it, he says sadly ‘Cheer up honey lets go eat pizza’
They head over to Montoni’s, where they start to head in and the sign on the comic book store above it now says ‘Crazy’s Comics’ ‘What the…?!’ ‘Where’s John?!’ ‘John?’ ‘Its his store!’ ‘Don’t be ridicilous Crazy, its yours! You opened it before we were married
Don’t you remember? You said some old guy came into Montonis when you were fifteen and gave you the idea’
Oh, now it’s supposed to be funny?! No words. 😡
(Also, no idea why this was posted as a reply!)
Here, Tom, let me punch up that joke for you:
So on top of how tasteless this is, he also whiffs on an easy callback to one of his most famous strips:
As a former teenage girl, allow me to assure you that if some strange old man had accosted me outside my school insisting I get regular mammograms, I would put off that screening indefinitely because in addition to the physical pain of having my squishy bits smashed flat for radiating purposes, I would remember that weird gross encounter EVERY TIME I WENT.
I most definitely can see your viewpoint, but I thought the opposite when I first read today’s
When I used to arrive at high school, whether riding the bus as an underclassman or carpooling as an upperclassman, it was always with a few friends. If a goofball like Crazy Harry came up to one of us and advised us to get mammograms, we would have told the perv to get lost, walked away and laughed ourselves silly. Safety in numbers, I guess. The Blessed Saint Lisa is walking alone here. I’m not sure how I would have reacted in the same situation.
In the late 1970s, when I went to high school, things were a lot different. There had been no Columbine and no need for security guards.
I’ve been trying to think of what event that occurred a year ago triggered this time trip TB is on. Yes, there were discussions of Marvel’s multi-verse, but I honestly don’t think TB picked up on that in a way that would have launched this fantasy, unless Harry is about to be sacrificed to bring Lisa back. Harry left his time traveling helmet in the park which I guess “the eliminator” finds. Harry now has no way to get back to his time and becomes a paradox which the Time Variance Authority (see the Disney+ series Loki) has to remove. Lisa still dies and Harry finds out that he fainted when he originally put the helmet on and this was (to him) all a dream. TB, I’m available to help you with any other writing project you may have.
Hey, remember when Harry didn’t want to mess with the timeline? He’s now tampered with his own future (by telling himself to be a better student), Lisa’s relationship with Les (by revealing it before its time), and Lisa’s cancer (by giving her vague advice that reveals it, but doesn’t help her avoid dying from it).
I will endeavor to use my newly – found powers for the betterment of mankind.
Because with great power must also come great responsibility.
So C.H. sees Lisa and the first thing he does is try and fix the poor girl up with (shudder) Les and he only thinks to mention breast cancer screening to her as he’s bein’ dragged off by security? Yep, he knows what’s important.
As usual, Batty’s latest crack pipe special has left me baffled.
Doesn’t Crazy Harry realize that this is a dream or hallucination? After he wakes up or regains consciousness, he has to understand nothing he has done will have changed anything? Right?
Is Crazy Harry’s brain so fried that he genuinely believes he has traveled into the past after putting on Donna’s Eliminator helmet? Don’t bogart the helmet, dude. Pass it around.
Don’t do drugs, kids. Drugs are bad, mkay?
To be honest, I rarely even remember my dreams. When I’m having a lucid dream, it’s always in color, and I’m just along for the ride.
Do any of you have dreams like Crazy Harry’s? Dreams so vivid and real you can actually change what’s happening?
I have had one dream (that I remember) of that type. Towards the end of the dream, I was dropped off (passenger in a Volkswagen Bug) on a narrow dirt road at the top of a tall rise – say, 4, 5 storeys up if it were a building – and realized the place I needed to be was at the bottom of the hill, a long and tiresome walk. Then I thought ‘but this is a dream! I could just fly down!’ and I jumped off and flew.
It’s variable whether I remember my dreams, but the ones I do remember have impressive set design and SFX budgets.
Nice to see a security guard earning his paycheck. Whenever I see a security guard, I always think of the one at an office building where I used to work. As a contract worker, I had to sign a logbook whenever entering or leaving the building. This security guard was always reading a book and wouldn’t even notice you until you stood directly in front of him. He’d be startled almost every time.
I never really thought much about it until one of my coworkers pointed out that the guy was the only line of defense if a shooter entered the building. It was the corporate headquarters where more than a thousand people worked.
I understand security there is currently a hell of a lot better. The corporation hired a head of security, who is ex-military and resembles Dwayne Johnson. People who work there refer to him as ‘The Rock’. The entrance is more secure by adding a keycard access system and placing the security guard in a glass enclosure. They made the changes at about the same time as the mass shootings started occurring. They even have had classes on what to do if a shooter enters the building. Run, hide, resist, etc.