I guess that’s why they call it refuse

Les continues to set Funky up for this tiresome Crankshaft schtick in today’s strip. Why? Why is he doing this? Is.. is he enjoying this? He’s even more monstrous than I thought!

The real story behind the name of pickleball is (not-widely) debated, though all of the purported origins clear the low bar of being more interesting than the one put forth in this strip. I’m surprised, actually, that pickleball has not caught on in Westview, given that it was invented by a guy* who died of cancer

*apologies to the late Joel Pritchard


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

36 responses to “I guess that’s why they call it refuse

  1. William Thompson

    Because you would have to look like you’re sucking on a dill pickle? (Which still wouldn’t explain Funky’s lopsided face in P2.)

    Man, it’s like Batiuk is perfecting an algorithm to make each strip more snark-proof than the last. Dull, pointless and unamusing, true, but snark-proof. I guess we should admire him for having a goal, however insignificant.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    It’s only Wednesday and he’s already riffing on things only tangentially related to tennis. By tomorrow they’ll be talking about squirrels or something. Like TomBat, pickelball is something I’ve only recently become aware of, and like Tom, I really don’t care, although only one of us is getting paid to write about it.

    • sorialpromise

      Consider yourself, Epicus Doomus, tonight’s winner of an authentic SOSF “No-prize”! (Better than money)

      • Epicus Doomus

        I checked my email after posting that comment, and the complex where I live sent out a message about the new pickleball courts they’ve just installed. And I thought to myself, I’ve thought about pickleball more today than I ever have before or ever will again. Then I wondered how long it’d take me to forget all about pickleball and be as blissfully ignorant about it as I was before. And the answer is one second.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Many of the seniors in my neighborhood play this and a lot of them are in really great shape. They are an inspiration to me as I get older.

          I have had a lot of positive role models with respect to aging. My father is 83 going on 23. My mom died in her 60s but always said she was 17 and she acted that way too!

          The point is, Batty is seemingly out of touch with seniors too, and that is his key demographic.

  3. The word “pickle” is used as a pun today. That’s all. There is nothing more to talk about. “Snark-proof” indeed, William Thompson.

  4. sorialpromise

    After this week’s series of non-strips, is it any wonder that we turn to postings about “Mary Worth” and “Beavis and Butthead”? We really aren’t picky. SOSF is quite happy to pick through assorted scraps, and then banter on for days. Remember riveting storyline when CH went back in time? Scintillating compared to this. Even Les receiving his overdue Oscar (Hint: satire), produced genuine emotion. I may be weirder than most of you. I actually check SOSF about 930pm the night before. Lately, it must be due to rote repetition.
    On a more fulfilling note: I was reading about one hit wonders, and came across “Telstar” by the Tornados. I remembered hearing the tune a lot, but never knew its name. Quite surprised when I played it last night and learned its name. Pretty advanced for 1962!
    1) Be Ware of Eve Hill’s first dance with her husband was to Telstar.
    2. ComicBookHarriet has never heard of Telstar in her life as either the song or the satellite.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Can confirm 2.)

      Found it on YouTube. Sounded like some ending credit music to some really cheap 60’s sci fi show. Like a sub Star Trek.

      One shift, I had to talk for an entire week about Funky having a heat stroke and talking to an imaginary robot. This week reminds me a lot of that one. Except Les only showed up in one strip at the end. Lucky Me.

      We always remember the Talking Murder Chimps and the Phil Holt Resurrections, and the LA Fires. But we forget about the ‘Les Buys a Coat’ or the ‘Funky Goes to the Gym Again’.

      The difference this year is that, apart from the wedding and the Oscars, nothing has been happening to these characters. It’s ALL filler. They’re all just standing around, reminiscing without a goal or conflict in sight.

    • Mela

      Re: Mary Worth-at least the light has gone on for Dawn and she realizes she doesn’t want to become like her jerkassed father Wilbur. FB characters could use a bit of self-awareness.

      My dad used to play The Ventures version of Telstar a bunch when I was growing up. Great tune!

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      If you’re interested in one-hit wonders, One-Hit Wonderland by “Todd in the Shadows” is a good YouTube channel. Snarky but well-researched, and has a surprising amount of video for some pretty old songs like “Eve of Destruction.” His latest video was about… that dance craze from 1996. I’d say its name, but I fear I might summon it.

      • sorialpromise

        I will check out One-Hit Wonderland by “Todd in the Shadows”. I am sure it will bring back a lot of memories. I will have to be careful though, I am very sensitive to Snark. I can’t take very much. It gives me gaseous output into plastic helmets! 😛

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Todd’s pretty mild as snarkers go, unless something pushes one of his hot buttons, like Chris Brown. The “Scatman” episode is a good one to start with. It’s positive, but he does criticize when called for. Otherwise, he’s probably covered a one-hit wonder song you’re interested in, so just find one you like. Have fun.

    • be ware of eve hill

      1) Be Ware of Eve Hill’s first dance with her husband was to Telstar.

      Ow! Was that a jab about my age? 😉

      For the record, I was one year old when “Telstar” by the Tornados was released. I believe we learned about the Telstar satellite when I was in the second or third grade.

      It is highly doubtful the song was our first dance together. I’m not even sure I heard ‘Telstar’ before today. 🤔

      To be honest, I don’t recall what our first dance together ever was. I’ve always been a person who loves to dance. My husband, not so much. I remember trying to teach him popular dances on bar dance floors when we were dating. Dances such as ‘The Electric Slide,’ ‘The Monorail,’ and the ‘Texas Two-Step.’ We danced together at a few weddings before tying the knot. I would really hate to think our first dance together was ‘The Chicken Dance.’ 😩

      I do remember our first dance together as a married couple. Our wedding dance was ‘In Your Eyes’ by Peter Gabriel. We agreed upon it rather quickly. It was a popular song at the time, with appropriate lyrics. My husband is a fan of progressive music and Genesis, so the Peter Gabriel angle worked for him.

      We have a video recording of our wedding and reception. A friend of my big brother had a camcorder and only required the cost of tapes and an invitation as payment. He did a fantastic job recording events into the evening and understandably must have gotten tired. He eventually placed the camcorder on the tripod, loaded a new tape, pointed it at the dance floor, and let it run. I’m glad he did because it’s funny. I danced with everyone. A song would end, and I’d walk off the dance floor, only to come rushing back in. Ooo, I love this song! Now and then, my husband would follow me. He’d stand lumbering around on one spot as I literally danced circles around him. My Father In Law joked he looked like he was standing on a quarter and was afraid somebody would pick it up if he moved.

      How do you dance to ‘Telstar’? I guess you could say I orbited around my husband like a satellite around the earth. 😂


      • sorialpromise

        Nothing implied about your age!🤪 you are timeless. And that’s the thing about music, it is eternal. Telstar came out in 1962, yet you and ComicBookHarriet heard it for the first time today. Even better, both of you had sweet posts about the song. I think that is my purpose in life. I open the door, so you two quiet, demure, SHY, hesitant ladies can open your hearts and bring joy into our lives. Batty should be so inspired!

        • be ware of eve hill

          Mr. bwoeh: My wife, a quiet, demure, shy and hesitant lady?

          I’m not sure whether Batty needs a better muse or just a swift kick in the pants.

        • be ware of eve hill

          The father-bride dance was actually much more memorable. Traditionally, the bride chooses the song, but I had trouble finding an agreement with Dad. Dad jokingly mentioned he was paying for the wedding, so he should get to pick the song. He chose ‘In My Life’ by The Beatles. The song was a great choice, but what Dad said to me while we danced was what made it so memorable. He said he was so proud of me and how happy he was to have had the honor to raise me. By the end of the song, we were both in tears. It brought down the house.

  5. Captain Gladys Stoatpamphlet

    I’m glad the last panel is in silhouette. I couldn’t bear to see that gargoyle face Funky is making in detail.

  6. Jeff M

    Today’s Funky blog made me genuinely sad. I think it was the description of that view from his San Diego hotel room as “spectacular” that brought a lump to my throat unfelt since the last time I watched “The Best Years of Our Lives.” I mean, it’s not like he came home from the war a double amputee, or an alcoholic, or with undiagnosed PTSD, but in its own way, it’s equally…aw fuck it, it’s not equal, it’s sad in a boring way. If that’s a spectacular view, I’m Myrna Loy.

    • Y. Knott

      “Sad in a boring way”: the mission statement of Tom Batiuk.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The view was “spectacular.” The courtesy was “typical.” The comic book character was his “favorite.” The article was “terrific.” He proudly shows off his collection of badges, the most prominent of which says “Invited Guest.” It’s as Batiuk is constitutionally unable of making anything seem interesting.

  7. RudimentaryLathe?

    That P2 artwork is rather curious. Les reacts to the term “pickleball” as if it’s a scat fetish that also contains a racial slur, and Funky is concentrating *way* too hard on his racquet cover.
    I’m not familiar with the sport myself. Showing my age maybe but I thought golf and bocce were the preferred outdoor games of the rapidly aging.

  8. erdmann

    My neighbor plays pickleball. She’s kind of like an older, more leathery, even less likable version of Crankshaft’s neighbor Lillian. That may have something to do with my general apathy toward the sport.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    This is what happens when amateurs try to mimic Seinfeld, It’s people talking about nothing, but in a bad way. Batiuk has no talent for writing witty conversation or character study. He mimics the style without having any of its actual qualities.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Sadly, I do think that he’s trying to imitate Seinfeld in these kinds of strips. He doesn’t realize how much effort that writing takes. (Or maybe he thinks that it doesn’t take any effort.)

    • William Thompson

      The irony is that Batiuk would have made an ideal Seinfeld character.

  10. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Everyone” would ever tell someone they need to “switch” to a less strenuous sport than they one they’re playing. Except for very specific reasons. Like if they’re a physical therapist, and you need to lower stress on a body part. Or they want you to join for social reasons. But after Funky’s seminar performance, I doubt anyone wants to spend more time with him.

    We never see these people play tennis, and we never see Funky having any real knee problems. But now all I’ve a sudden the story is acting both factors have long been self-evident. And why? So Les and Funky can talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. There’s no plot or even any movement here. The strip doesn’t even have any real history to talk about.

  11. My question is, does Wilson make tennis racket covers that say “Willy” as a kind of cutsey thing (like people calling McDonald’s “Mickey D’s”)?

    Or is this Batiuk trying to have a brand without using the actual name? If so, why is it so prominently displayed? Does he…think it’s funny?

    (from the forthcoming book by Al Jafee, Stupid questions about Boring Comics)

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      My pet theory: it’s a monogrammed tennis racket cover. After 50 years, the strip has inadvertently revealed Funky’s real first name! He’s Willy Winkerbean. The joke is that Funky Winkerbean was actually MORE dignified than his real name all this time.

  12. Perfect Tommy

    Just this week a friend suggested our group take up pickle ball.
    I am now fairly alarmed.

  13. Dood

    Funky plays tennis with his Willy? That tracks.

  14. be ware of eve hill

    The community center across the street from where I work has painted pickleball courts on one end of some tennis courts. The lines are in a different color, but it still looks like a jumble to me.

    Player One: Was that in?
    Opposing Player: I’m not sure. What lines are we using?

    I assume you have to call ahead of time to have the net moved.