Thanks TFH, enjoy your well-deserved break. You got some real stinkers… I mean, we all do, but I feel like saying that trivializes how uniquely awful each two week shift can be.

Oh, so we’re carrying Sunday’s setting over into today’s strip? Well, that’s one way to make Funky sympathetic after last week’s behavior… stick him next to Les the following week.

“Bunged up”? Is Funky continuing to morph into Crankshaft or is he suddenly a British chap with a bit of a knee allergy? Either way, Funky has apparently had the kind of knee trouble that keeps you off the tennis court for over four years (shout out to that Rick Burchett artwork). And, of course, Les got better results from tennis lessons than Funky did. Of course.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

39 responses to “Rent-A-Fiend

  1. Banana Jr. 6000

    Rented friends are the only kind you’ll ever have, Les.

    • billytheskink

      And he won’t even keep those for very long if he continues to refer to them as “it”.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        This sort of thing is a sign that Batiuk is trying to cram in some punchline that’s not a punchline. “It” could mean the tennis instructor service, in which case it’s not wrong to say “I think of it as a rent-a-friend.” But who the hell talks like that? If panel 2 was “I used a coaching service,” it would be a little better. But even that isn’t an answer to what Funky asked. Batiuk obviously writes the conclusion first, and then just crams whatever words onto the page he thinks make it happen.

  2. William Thompson

    Les has to rent his friends? Well, that explains why the best-selling author has to live like a cheapskate. How many people would be his friend for less than a thousand dollars an hour? And wouldn’t you demand a non-disclosure agreement as part of the job?

  3. Epicus Doomus

    “Did you play any tennis while I recuperated from my latest age, obesity and/or decrepitude-induced injury, Les?”

    “Why yes, loser, I did. In fact, I took the opportunity to better myself, something you have not and never will experience, given your advanced state of decay since high school.”

    “You sure have grown since high school, Les. Now excuse me for a moment while I gasp for air and writhe in pain.”

    “(Wry smirk) Ha, ha, that’s my old buddy Funky all right.”

    • Gerard Plourde

      Is TomBa really this clueless or is he intentionally increasing Les’s total jerk quotient?

      And I’m pretty sure the US Supreme Court has ruled that a week of Les being supercilious and superior constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment.

  4. KMD

    Based on the strange smirk on his face–the usual smugness of a TB character—Funky seems to think Les is talking about prostitutes.

  5. Panel 1: “Bunged knee”: Already discussed in the OP. But my 5-second Google research expedition suggests that the term refers to a congestion of some kind in the UK. Does Funkhole have a snot-plugged knee?

    Panel 2: Funky and Les are little more than stick figures. Ayers doesn’t care anymore. Me neither, brother. Respect.

    Panel 3: This seems to have the cadence of a punchline, so I guess it’s supposed to be funny. (Apologies to P&R’s Perd Hapley.)

  6. I recall Holly’s ankle injury, but I don’t seem to recall any arc where Funky damaged his knee, or where he was depicted in any way as limping or hurt. I guess it’s just one more thing that TB pulled out of his bunghole.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Funky is The Great Cornholio. He needs TP for his bunghole.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        By the way, there are some new 2022 episodes of Beavis and Butt-head. If you loved the classic show like I did, you should be pretty satisfied:

        As always, the video-watching segments get the most laughs. They take on things like TikTok videos nowadays.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          I was surprised at how well their schtick held up. Mike Judge nails popular culture.

  7. Gads. Well, so it’s a Les Moore week. But on the bright side … uh …

  8. J.J. O'Malley


    • Banana Jr. 6000

      More importantly, did Funky get to take home the stale cookies?

    • Hannibal's Lectern

      What estate? Flunky’s will consists of one line: “Be grateful you live in a country where debts aren’t inherited.”

  9. Y. Knott

    As an authentic British person (albeit one who hasn’t lived there in 35 years), I can attest to the fact that “bunged up” is a not uncommon turn of phrase. It’s approximately equivalent to “messed up” — you can use it in polite company to mean something is broken and not working properly. Examples: “My car got bunged up in an accident, and is in for repairs.” “My elbow’s all bunged up since I started playing tennis.”

    However, in the same way you’d say “messed-up knee” and not “messed knee”, you would not say “bunged knee”. A “bunged knee” is not a thing.

    Or, more accurately, a “bunged knee” is a Batiukism.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I’ve been using “bunged up” for years, but then again I enjoy throwing around archaic, rarely-used colloquialisms just to screw with people. Like calling umbrellas “bumpershoots”, things like that.

  10. be ware of eve hill

    Funky Winkerbean 2022. S.O.S.D.D. Same old shit, different day.

    It’s the year of two old farts sitting on their keisters and yakking away like magpies.

    Batty, this isn’t entertaining at all. Is this the only story you know how to write nowadays?

    Blah blah blah. Dull… Dull… Dull. 😴💤

    Can we please have some kind of conflict? Something? Anything? A late mozzarella shipment? A teacher strike? A broken coffee machine? A case of pink-eye? A paper cut?

    You’ve created your little fantasy world where there’s no worry or strife. Everyone gets everything handed to them on a silver platter.

    That’s not how life works. A quarter inch from reality, my backside.

    This blows beef jerkies. IT’S SO FREAKING BORING.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah, as others have mentioned, this strip is becoming another Crankshaft

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I question which strip is becoming more like the other. That useless couple in Crankshaft just got handed huge raises, vacation time, and personal parking spaces by the TV station for no reason at all. These essential media stars being the same people who turned the Valentine theater into the All Phantom Empire All The Time Grindhouse (and, indirectly, a strip club). And their child aged eight years in about six months.

        • be ware of eve hill

          I call Mitch “Mitchfield” because his hair resembles Garfield’s ears.

          For a while, Mitchfield’s age varied depending on what the story required. He could be a five-year-old in one strip and a toddler sitting in a highchair the next. Mitchfield appears to have leveled off as a seven or eight-year-old.

          Fact: Mitchfield was born in the Valentine theater in the Thursday, February 27, 2020 Crankshaft strip. He should be two and a half years old.

        • be ware of eve hill

          I get confused with all the blondes in both strips.

          I was thinking the other day, of course they’re getting their jobs back at the station. That’s Jessica, the daughter of the news legend John Darling.

          Oops. That’s not Jessica, that’s Hannah.

      • be ware of eve hill

        Sometime in the past year, I defended Crankshaft on this website. I actually enjoy the exploding grills, the ridiculous Beans End purchases, and the hackneyed running over of Keesterman’s mailbox. I usually enjoy the story arcs where Ed is causing damage. You know, action and conflict.

        You and Banana Jr. 6000 have a valid point. I’m sad to say Crankshaft can be argued is morphing into another Funky Winkerbean. Within the past few months, there have been noticeable similarities:

        1.) Story arcs without adequate conclusions. For example, the story arc about saving the local newspaper abruptly ends with no conclusion. Will the story of ‘The Sentinel’ be revisited? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
        2.) Sunday strips where Pmm and Jff are sitting on the couch commenting about a program on the TV.
        3.) A story arc about Lillian McKenzie being nominated for an award (which also ended abruptly on a Saturday, with no follow-up the following Monday). Will Lillian win that coveted Ohioana Book Award?
        4.) Geriatric sex. Shades of the Dinkles. Ed and Mary engage in hanky-panky at the drive-in (next to a car with children).
        5.) Funky is turning into Ed Crankshaft, Jr. The story arcs featuring the perils of healthcare for the aged. The cantankerous behavior.
        6.) The gang goes out for pizza at Montoni’s.
        7.) The ladies receive supporting roles, usually setting up Ed or trying to keep him out of trouble. How often have we seen Pam start a comic strip saying, “What are you doing, dad?” There is the occasional story arc featuring Lillian, but the less said about those, the better.
        8.) Crankshaft features not two but three old farts sitting on their keisters yakking away like magpies. This occurs at least once a month.
        9.) The recent story arc where Max and Hannah Murdoch are failing upwards. Undeserved gifts bestowed by the creator (Batiuk).
        10.) Much like Chuck Ayers, as of late, the quality of Dan Davis’s artwork has noticeably declined.

        On the other hand, there is some hope. Unlike Funky Winkerbean, there are sometimes consequences for Ed’s misbehavior. Ed had to rebuild Lillian’s fence (with Mitch). He was also recently stung by bees. There has been much less komix in Crankshaft. There have been strips in Crankshaft that made me chuckle. Something Funky Winkerbean hasn’t done for quite a while.

        I’d like to see TB keep the strips separate. Keep Crankshaft as the lighter strip with humor. Leave the drama and award chasing to Funky Winkerbean.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Funky Winkerbean just needs to be retired at this point. With Crankshaft at least Batiuk feels some compulsion to pretend he’s telling a story. It engages in most of the same narrative failures, but still might be salvageable with an editor.

          • be ware of eve hill

            Dude! You just started here as a guest blogger. Don’t wish yourself out of something you enjoy.

            Perhaps a new website? ‘Stuck Cranky?’ ‘The Crankshaft Critique?’

  11. Smirks 'R Us

    I will hold out hope for a forehand directly to Less’ nuts.

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Funky was resting his knee? When did this happen? Holly (not Funky) broke her ankle (not her knee). And Funky got cataract surgery. But he apparently had a major knee problem that was never mentioned at all.

    • Gerard Plourde

      This is just more confirmation that TomBa writes the first thing that comes into his head – no need for continuity, revision, or any semblance of effort. Hi and Lois has a more cohesive storyline.

  13. Hitorque

    “I like to think of the person helping me get better at tennis as a rent-a-friend, instead of ‘instructor’ or ‘teacher’ or ‘sensei’ because I’m an insufferable douche! And yes I’m fully aware of the irony that I’m a schoolteacher myself…”

  14. We should start a GoFundMe so we can rent a cartoonist.