Trust Fall

Way to set the tone, jackass. As if the crossed arms and manspreading weren’t off-putting enough: Funky has to respond sarcastically to Seminar Guy’s innocuous icebreaker inquiry. It’s not like this guy showed up at their front door at dinnertime to pitch financial services. Loretta and Leroy–I mean, Holly and Funky–showed up at his seminar, sat in the front row, and are drinking his coffee. Is it asking too much to have them just sit and listen?

31 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “Trust Fall

  1. spacemanspiff85

    It really amazes me how much mileage Batiuk has gotten out of:
    1. Someone does their job/acts the way a normal human being was.
    2. One of the main characters is a completely a-hole to them, for absolutely no reason.
    And we’re supposed to think it’s funny or endearing somehow?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      What’s worse is that I think these scenes are modeled after how Batty behaves in the real world.

      Yeah those slimy salespeople, always ripping people off. They are nothing like the good people toiling away in the comic book industry.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I think they’re modeled after how Batiuk wishes he could behave in the real world, but can’t. Because the speaker won’t (and shouldn’t) tolerate it, and because he’s not charming or witty enough to pull it off. So he makes this world where everybody defers to his Mary Sue character of right now, no matter how obnoxious and unfunny they are. It’s like a bad webcomic. Batiuk might as well put all his characters in fursuits and give them anime eyes.

        • Y. Knott

          Yup. One man’s sad little wish fulfillment fantasy. Like almost everything else about this comic strip.

    • William Epps

      Exactly. Batboy, seems to think being an A-hole, is witty or clever. His characters talk like no real human half the time, and the rest of the time they spend smirking and acting like total d-bags.

    • Westview Radiology

      I find Flunky to be a total A**hole. I actually prefer the Les centric stories.

  2. RudimentaryLathe?

    Looks like Charles called it yesterday: we’re gonna get a week of Funky being a dick to the speaker (who inexplicably won’t steer the conversation away from him or call security on his ass). Because estate planning is a waste of time that wives drag us into, I guess?

    • Y. Knott

      Charles absolutely called it!

      Mind you, I’m not sure Charles will take pride in the fact that he can think like Tom Batiuk. So for his sake, maybe we’ll just keep this quiet…..

      • Charles

        It’s not that I think like Batiuk, it’s that he’s pulled this so many times before that when you consider his default laziness, it’s just the sort of thing he would do.

        Never would have considered that he would bring Phil Holt back after he killed him, (to make him a major character, no less!) or would have Marianne win an Oscar that she would give to Les rather than just have Les win one himself.

  3. Yeah, Funkface is being a real choad* here. Which makes it even harder to care about his his Estate Planning than it already was.

    *I know it’s often spelled, “chode”, but “choad” just feels right to me. You can’t change my mind about this, etymology be damned.

  4. Cabbage Jack

    So the “beloved hero” of our tale signed up for and decided to spend his Saturday at an estate planning class for the sole purpose of being an abrasive jerk.

    That’s as “on brand” as Funky Winkerbean can get without Dead St. Lisa

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    You know, of all the comic strip characters who could have re-enacted Sharon Stone’s interrogation scene from “Basic Instinct,” I would not have put Funky Winkerbean anywhere near the top of the list, yet here we are.

    I wonder how Funky feels having to act out rejected “Crankshaft” scripts.

  6. William Thompson

    I’ve met people who inspired an almost immediate distrust, but the key word is “almost.” The distrust didn’t begin until they’d done or said something that set off the alarms. I don’t see any sins of that with the planner. Funky comes across like a brat who wanted to stay home and play with his Gameboy.

    • William Thompson

      “Signs,” not “sins.” That’s the sort of Freudian slip you can expect when discussing Batiuk’s work.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    “What’s going on here”…a financial planning seminar he voluntarily attended? Because that is actually “what’s going on” here. No one has yet tried to scam, swindle, hoodwink or badger Funky out of any money, and thus far there’s been no indication that anyone will. So why did he even bother going at all? To please Holly? If that’s the case, how does petulantly complaining “please” Holly? Funky is just being a dick for no reason here, which might have made sense if he’d somehow set the gag up with, well, anything.

  8. ComicBookHarriet

    I know I said it yesterday. But if Batiuk is going to repeat himself, then so am I!

    YOU ALREADY HAD A ONE ON ONE ESTATE PLANNING MEETING WITH A LAWYER FIVE YEARS AGO!!! WHY WOULD YOU BE ATTENDING AN OPEN SEMINAR BY A GUY YOU DON’T TRUST?!?

    • Epicus Doomus

      2017 WAS FIVE YEARS AGO??? Gulp. Seriously, I don’t remember this one at all, not even slightly. I wonder how many FW weekly story arcs I’ve forgotten over the years? It must be in the high hundreds, at least.

      • LTPFTR

        However many you have forgotten, you can rest assured that Batiuk has forgotten at least one more.

      • Sourbelly

        Oftentimes I’ll realize early on in an arc that I’ll forget all about it a week after it ends. It happens quite frequently. I blame Batdick, not my memory.

    • WHOA I missed your comment yesterday, CBH, but yeah, I remember it now.

  9. billytheskink

    After a recent archive dive, I’m convinced that Funky is such an unpleasant and deliberately unfunny fellow in public around Holly because she has a terrible laugh that he is trying to help keep suppressed…

    • If Holly sounded like Gilbert Gottfried when she laughed, it…wouldn’t make her less endearing.

      • billytheskink

        True. And I’m not absolving Funky with that Act II strip either. I mean, look at it… his response to Holly’s tale of woe (cheated on, divorced, single motherhood, AND cancer) is to smirk!

  10. Charles

    “You’re welcome to leave, sir.”
    “But…”
    “Good day, sir.”

    It’s the solipsism all over again. No one here exists except Funky. Even Holly doesn’t count. Their needs, concerns or feelings don’t matter. All that matters is Funky pulling all the attention onto him by being a dick. The guy whose professional career probably depends on the success of these sorts of presentations doesn’t matter. He’s so insignificant to Batiuk that Batiuk doesn’t even think for one moment about how he’d react to this.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You don’t necessarily throw him out on the first offense, but you’ve got to stomp on him hard.

      I used to do software training seminars. Sometimes I had to deal with customers who didn’t want to be there because their employer made them buy us when they wanted a competitor. My response to the first sign of this was always “I know some people like X, but today I’m going to show you our software can do anything X can do, and then some.” My software was good enough that I could say that honestly, which made my life a lot easier. It never became a serious problem.

      I’ve taken standup comedy seminars, and I take my “how to deal with hecklers” approach from them. Mainly the part where you’re actually *encouraged* to be vicious to someone who is actively disrupting your presentation. In comedy, heckling is part of the show, but you can’t let it go too far. I’ll never forget how it was explained to me: “first time, do nothing. Second time, start to look at him. Third time, look at him like you’re starting to do something, but don’t. Fourth time, send him to the bathroom to kill himself.” In other words, make sure it’s justified before you declare war. But if you decide to declare war, fire the nukes immediately.

      You can’t be that brutal in a workplace environment, but you can apply the same principle. Which is to make the heckler think he’s in less trouble than he really is. If someone is there just to be an annoyance, they’ll cross the line, and you can justifiably throw him out of the room. And you can say something like “I gave you three warnings, sir. These people are here to see a show, and your name’s not on the ticket.” Most hecklers aren’t funny, and the audience is glad to see you humiliate them and throw them out of the room.

      It’s this speaker’s job to have a response to this line. Something like “well, trust is an important part of your relationship with your advisor. Our company is rated the most trusted financial advisor in the JD Power survey, and today we”, blah blah blah and then just segue into what you were going to say anyway. You can’t let this bozo ruin the presentation for everyone. But I bet it’s what we’re going to see all week.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Funky Winkerbean has a nasty ethos about abuse, and how people react to it. Whatever rudeness or misfortune life hands you, its default attitude is “you just have to take it.” So many people in Westview choose to suffer in silence rather than fight back against anything.

    I’d like to think this is trying to capture something about the Ohio mentality. Apparently good Ohio people choose to passive-aggressively seethe and roll their eyes at problems rather than confront them. But here’s the problem:

    Les, Funky, and Dinkle are all masters at exploiting this tendency in others.

    Les knows full well that he’s never going to be fired, divorced, kicked off a project, told to shut up, or get punched in the mouth. He knows everyone around him is too passive to stand up to him, so he runs roughshod over them. Even Hollywood people, who are supposedly so big and phony and egotistical, walk on eggshells around him to keep him happy. Even though Les never actually says what he wants, or what he doesn’t like. He just pouts and makes you guess it. Go find any internet article about how sociopaths and narcissists manipulate their victims, and you’ll find a list of Les Moore’ character traits.

    Funky is quickly approaching Les with his rude behavior at the doctors’ office, AA meetings, and now this estate planning seminar. Dinkle acts like this too, but it made sense for him because of his role as a teacher in a high school. I daresay this trait is what he was originally intended to satirize (like the Pointy-Haired Boss). But Funky Winkerbean has drifted so far from having a point that now he’s just another character you wish would die painfully.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life and I’ve never seen people do this as a general rule.

  12. sgtsaunders

    Hes has also defined “humor”.

  13. batgirl

    Did TB get dragged to a time-share presentation at some point? Because this seems way more like a response to that kind of questionable setup than something responsible like financial planning.
    I defer to anyone who has actually attended estate planning presentations. Are they in fact sketchy?

    • We’ve attended a couple of presentations on financial planning for retirement (both at decent restaurants where we were seated at tables) and we’re attending a medicare planning presentation next week at a chinese buffet. In no case did I feel the presentation was at all sketchy. They were conducted by professionals who spoke well and had a good command of facts, and did not try to pressure us into signing up for their services.

      Of course, I never encountered anyone in the crowd who showed that level of skepticism and disrespect right out of the gate. That’s behavior that even Larry David would find cringeworthy.