Where Have All the Good Jokes Gone?

Cindy deathly ill?! Click here for the shocking evidence!

Now we KNOW Batiuk is stalking this blog. He saw our intense discussion a couple weeks ago about the best guitar solos, and needed to weigh in.

And yes, Tom, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” has an absolutely screaming guitar solo. Good call.

Name dropping quality limey rock music won’t save this strip from being carefully dissected for all the logical and continuity failings within.

Let’s go panel by panel.

Panel one, Cindy thanks Funky for letting The Reunion Committee borrow the jukebox. This implies that Cindy is back on The Reunion Committee. For the 2015 Time Pool arc, Cindy ceded up Chairman of the Committee to Les because she was moving to LA to work for BuddyBlog.

The Jukebox Awaits…

So after settling in in LA Cindy decides to join the committee again despite the long distance? Plausible I guess. Most planning for these things is done online anymore. So Cindy was on the committee for this reunion. A reunion held in the high school (gym, cafeteria, commons?) with a pizzeria jukebox as the DJ? NOT PLAUSIBLE.

RIP Mary Sue Sweetwater Blevins.

Moving on. Would they seriously transport a 250 pound classic jukebox to the high school for a bit of kitchy flair to go with their careful decorating scheme of random balloons, crepe paper, and pink frilly table cloths? When a cell phone hooked to a speaker would give you better sound and a better selection?

Logically dubious.

The jukebox has a the B-side to The Kinks 1966 best selling “Sunday Afternoon”? Plausible.

Cindy chooses the song. Plausible. Because it’s a killer jam. Yeah, it would have come out when they were in Middle School. But so what. “Sweet Child of Mine” charted when I was a fetus, and I listen to that all the time.

Plus, she just came to her 50 year reunion looking 40 years younger than her cohorts with a handsome movie star on her arm. She’s been a national news anchor, won an EMMY, and lived in New York and LA. She is literally not like anyone else there. Plausible.

Funky finds her song selection interesting. No. Not unless Funky has it in his brain that Cindy doesn’t have an appreciation for proto-punk rock. Even Cindy choosing the song as a flex isn’t implausible and Funky should know this.

Cindy confesses that, “She never felt like a part of things in High School.”

Cindy practically RAN the social circles of the high school. She was at the very apex, dictating who was in and who was out and what all the cool kids would be doing. She ranked every single person and made sure she was at the top.

Where. Is. Carrie? TOM!

Maybe she did feel disconnected from everyone else. Those who seek to dominate others rather than befriend them often do. But I don’t feel sorry for her for a second. Because unlike all the poor kids she put outside so they’d have to look in at HER, her alienation was entirely self-inflicted.

When I was in middle school, I looked up to who my mom had been in her school days. She’d been a cheerleader, and a homecoming queen, and gave the class valedictorian speech. I, on the other hand, was a chunky, geeky, midget with a propensity for uncontrollable bouts of weirdness. My mom sat me down and told me a story.

She said that when she was younger, she looked up to her older sister, who was also super popular and glamorous. She asked her sister how she got so popular. My aunt said, “Be nice to people, be nice to everyone you can. If you do that, nothing else matters, you will be popular.”

Maybe it’s because I was in a medium small school. Maybe my class was just friendly in general. But I followed my mom’s advice, and in my own weirdo, class clown way, I was popular. Maybe I didn’t get invited to the parties of other cliques, or have football players beating down my door for dates, but people weren’t unhappy to see me sitting next to them in class. I was fondly thought of by the majority of my classmates and even occasionally admired for my self-confidence to be unbearably weird.

All because I realized early on that I didn’t have to be a part of everything to be a part of things. That people didn’t really care how good I was at stuff, how pretty, how tall, as long as I was a friendly face that treated them like they had value. There were a few jerks this didn’t work on. But they were few and far between.

In honor of this week, I pulled out my senior class book. There I was, voted one of the four “Most Creative’.

What I said I’d miss the most? “Nurse’s office.”

Unbearably weird.

62 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

62 responses to “Where Have All the Good Jokes Gone?

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Your post title…I get the reference!

    What a load of horseshit. If Funky was rolling his eyes here, it’d be a semi-decent gag. But apparently, we’re supposed to take this seriously, and just sit back and watch while Cindy completely retcons herself for no reason other than to give BatHam an opportunity to pimp an old Kinks tune he really likes. Cindy was part of EVERYTHING in high school, it was the foundation of her entire character. But now, out of nowhere, she was the alienated outsider, struggling to find her place. I mean, come on, Tom.

    And why would anyone lug that old crappy jukebox to the high school instead of using an ordinary, easily obtained MP3 player and a speaker? I mean jeez man, it’s 2022, surely Batom is aware of the existence of portable music players…right?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Remember when it was a total ordeal for Funky just to move the jukebox downstairs for the pandemic?

    • Jimmy

      Batom just assumes that no one else can find an aux cord for his Zune, so this is easier.

    • Perfect Tommy

      Hey Funky, we need some tunes for the coming reunion. Can you bring your Sony Diskman? “Ha Ha! And risk damaging it? Nope, I’ll lug my 70 year old, super heavy jukebox filled with scratchy 45’s. Everybody bring your quarters! Now who’s ready to party?!”

  2. William Thompson

    So Batyak also likes “Without You” from Nilsson Schmillson and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Carry On”? The timeframe fits for a 1972 class’s reunion, but the juke box? Aside from crappy sound, will it need to be fed coins to play?

    However, I can believe Cindy feeling like she never really belonged. Being a cynical, narcissistic manipulator is bound to insulate you from the people around you.

    • anneki

      Great sleuthing on the partial song titles.

    • Y. Knott

      Although on this jukebox, it would appear to be Without You by knock-off artist “Nillson”.

      • The Duck of Death

        Pish-posh. It’s obviously “Meant for You” by “Brian Willson.”

        You know, from the Beach Boyss.

      • William Thompson

        Could be. I’m hazy on the performer’s name, and I think I conflated it with an album title. All I remember about the song is that when it would start on the radio, I’d switch it off as fast as I could. I did listen to a bit of it on YouTube and thought that it’s the sort of thing that Batiuk would enjoy.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Anything that isn’t Johnny Dowd is a massive improvement.

  3. anneki

    Oh Funkyverse Mavens — please help out a newcomer. Can someone tell me how Funky, the schubby guy with a boring job and no charisma, came to be married to Cindy, who has surely always thought of herself as woman who doesn’t settle for less than the best?

    • William Thompson

      Maybe she “settled” for the one who looked easiest to push around. Either that or Bathack wrote under the “opposites attract” rule.

  4. RudimentaryLathe?

    Ohh, I missed the guitar solo discussion last time. Here’s a couple of my faves:

    And the grandaddy of them all

    As for today’s strip, boo-frickin-hoo, poor little rich girl.

    • Mela

      Roy Clark performed this on an Odd Couple episode. Even in character, Oscar and Felix knew they were in the presence of greatness. Simply amazing……

    • erdmann

      Some damn fine tunes, there, RL. Listening to “Sultans” has stirred up some memories. Ah, good times.

      Oh, and put me down as one more vote for Cindy — and by extension the entire strip — being completely full of horse flop.

    • sorialpromise

      RudimentaryLathe?
      Thank you for posting Clark’s Malagueña. Did some research and parts of the music go back to the 1800’s. Then Ernesto Lecuona produces the current work. So strong. So beautiful.
      I am very eclectic in my music tastes. I am more attracted to greatness than to certain genres. From Coldplay’s Fix You, to certain examples of classical, I am moved.
      Such as the 1812 Overture, I freaked out my nursing desk at the mental health hospital when the cannon exploded. Good times. Good times.
      Then there is Jean Sibelius. I love him. His works tend to be shorter. So easier to listen to. So current. He wrote his work “Finlandia” to covertly protest the abuses by the Russian Empire. But it is his 2nd symphony that has grabbed my soul.
      In the early 1980’s, I worked 3-11 at a paper warehouse in KC. Got off work and stopped to get a burger at all night Town Topic. On my way home, I played the classical station KXTR. They were playing this totally mesmerizing music. THEY DIDN’T REPEAT THE TITLE!!!! Got home around midnight and called them. No answer. Got up the next day, and gave them the time of the music. BINGO! Sibelius 2nd Symphony, IV movement. Bought it. Fell in love. I have mentioned before that I write. Some books are a fantasy around the time of Noah’s Flood. That IV movement to me is Noah’s Flood. When I need inspiration, I play Sibelius. So much, that in a 4 book saga. I wrote book #4 first. Because of the flood.
      Thank you again for inspiring me tonight!

      • RudimentaryLathe?

        I love Sibelius too!

      • be ware of eve hill

        I love Sibelius too.

        Valse Triste. So sad. So beautiful. 😭

        My parents used to have season tickets to the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and they invited me along once. This piece made an impression on me.

        • sorialpromise

          RL and Eve,
          I will listen to Valse Triste today in honor of you both!

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          We have some sophisticated tastes on this blog.

          • sorialpromise

            Yes. Isn’t it wonderful! That’s another reason we enjoy you Banana Jr. 6000 and your sophistication. You help make this blog special.
            As far as Valse Triste: I listened to Karajan and Järvi’s versions, and for good measure, I listened to swing drummer’s Gene Krupa’s take. I loved the drums.

  5. Unca $crooge

    Ray wrote the song for “The Animals” but they weren’t interested in it. One of the few Kink’s songs written by Ray but with Dave on lead vocals. One of the best versions appeared on “ToThe Bone” where Dave has three solos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzQEoSDURdA

    • Charles

      I enjoyed it immensely at the end of the Sopranos episode Cold Cuts. It’s such a savage scene that covered so many of the overarching themes of that series.

      Funky Winkerbean could never have a scene as visceral as that, because no one ever changes, and certainly no one ever tries to better themselves.

  6. billytheskink

    Boo-friggin-hoo Cindy… It must have been so hard in high school having Carrie and that other blonde girl whose name I don’t recall hang around you all the time, catering to your every whim and trying to help you regain your materialistic memory after that soccer-induced head injury turned you into a kind-hearted hippie. It must have been so hard being able to rent out the entire mall for your graduation party, which was so big that every teacher and student attended except for Les… so big that MTV sent Karen Duffy to cover it live for the network. It must have been awful to have left such an impact on your high school that your kid sister felt she could never come close to living up to your reputation.

    If Cindy wasn’t “a part of things” in high school, it was because she didn’t want to be. She could have done ANYTHING she wanted.

    Anyways, here’s a more appropriate jukebox selection for this reunion:

    • Epicus Doomus

      Like I said above, if Funky was rolling his eyes here, it’d be a halfway decent gag. But he’s playing it seriously, like this is a heartfelt, wistful conversation about days gone by. And it’s totally ludicrous. It’d be like Les saying “I really wish I’d have made the football team back in 1970”. Cindy was the “popular” one, the entire fictional WHS social scene centered around her, a point that was driven home hard literally hundreds of times. It’s not just another lapse in continuity, it’s completely ignoring the character’s entire history.

      • Mela

        Funky is the last person she should be spouting that b.s. to seeing as they were married to each other. I love days like this when CIndy becomes just as insufferable as Les. As others have said in prior posts, it’s like nothing matters after high school. No accomplishments, no good things, no blessings in life ever allow these folks to appreciate anything. There are just gaps of misery and smirk between reunions.

        If there were a category for “most ridiculous retcon” (that might be a hint CBH), this would be in the running.

        And we could have had the Kinks’ “Misfits” on the jukebox, but the guitar solo isn’t nearly as cool.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        This is like watching Darth Vader lament the tragedy of Alderaan. Cindy’s entire reason for existing was to exclude people from things. But she can’t even let them have that. She has to be a bigger victim than everybody else too. On top of every other way she’s lording over everyone else: the movie star husband, the home in Malibu, and not aging a day in 50 years. Somebody should really give Cindy some freelance dental work. Or at least a good “the reason you suck” speech.

  7. At no point has this felt anything like a high school reunion. In fact, it doesn’t really feel like any kind of social gathering at all. It’s all been one-on-one joke-free conversations. Fun stuff.

  8. be ware of eve hill

    ComicBookHarriet, your mother sounds great. How I envy you.

    • sorialpromise

      Eve, some envy you

      To start out as you did
      To end up as you are
      Providence, purpose, and protection

      A loving family takes you in,
      A mom, a dad, two brothers,
      No one is perfect, but offers stability.

      Was there a road not taken?
      Who can say that life is fair?
      It is what it is.

      And for today?
      A fulfilled person,
      A loving wife,
      A good mother,
      A phone-called grandmother.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I was going to try and brush off this compliment in my typical midwestern way. But no, my mom is pretty great. And people within my friend group envy me for it. She’s not perfect, but she knows it, and that flawed humility is so much more loveable than actual perfection would be.

      From what I’ve read from you, I’m sure your kids and grandkids are just as lucky as I am.

      And look! You inspired SP to artistry again! You must be doing something right.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I need to stop posting late at night. When I’m tired, my posts tend to be a little melancholy.

        I didn’t mean to portray my mom in a bad light. In many ways, she was the greatest mother in the world. She drove me crazy and was a complete pain in the ass sometimes, but she loved me and would do anything for me.

        And the most important thing is that she was there. When I woke up, she was there. When I went to sleep, she was there. When I needed her, she was there. When I didn’t need her, she was there. Even when she wasn’t there, she was there.

        She was there for the brownies and the girl scouts. She was a P.T.A. mom, would volunteer to chaperone field trips, and was always willing to bake cupcakes for my class. One year in Sunday school, she taught my class. When I played organized sports, Mom would volunteer to help run the concession stand. When I wanted to go to college out of town, Mom got a job as a teller at a bank to help pay for it.

        Mom never had an email account or ever logged onto a computer. Mom never owned a cell phone. Mom never quite got the hang of viewing cable TV and often needed help after pushing the wrong button on the remote. Mom was often busy “moming” about the house and caring for the rest of the family. Mom was always cooking, cleaning, dusting, laundry, ironing, shopping, paying bills, sewing buttons, and mending clothes.

        Mom hated clutter, and my room was rarely messy. She cleaned my room with me. “What’s this?” “Where does it go?” “Do you still play with this?” “Are you still wearing this?” “Let’s look through your closet and see what we can give to the church rummage.”

        Mom was a classic worrier. Do you remember when Holly wanted Cory to call her on his honeymoon? My mom asked me to call her during my honeymoon. I didn’t (Cut the apron strings, Ma. I’m 25).

        People who knew her frequently told me how nice they thought she was, and I never heard an ill word about her. Quite a few people said, “I love your mom.”

        Unfortunately, she’s gone now, and sometimes I feel guilty that I wasn’t there for her more after I grew up. Every time there was a chance to leave home, I seemed to take it. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes I saw myself as a burden and tried to relieve my parents as soon as possible. I have regrets about feeling that way.

        While she was a great mom, she wasn’t what you would call a “fun mom.” We rarely joked together, and her idea of fun was something like emptying a bookcase, so you could move it and clean behind it.

        So, yeah, I do envy you because your mom sounds like a lot of fun. Mostly, I envy you because you can spend time with your mother.

        Sometimes as a mother, I feel like I tried too hard to be a friend to my son and left the discipline up to his father. Whatever we did, he seems to have turned out okay. His time in the military helped quite a bit too.

      • be ware of eve hill

        I need to stop posting late at night. When I’m tired, my posts tend to be a little melancholy.

        I didn’t mean to portray my mom in a bad light. In many ways, she was the greatest mother in the world. She drove me crazy and was a complete pain in the ass sometimes, but she loved me and would do anything for me.

        And the most important thing is that she was there. When I woke up, she was there. When I went to sleep, she was there. When I needed her, she was there. When I didn’t need her, she was there. Even when she wasn’t there, she was there.

        She was there for the brownies and the girl scouts. She was a P.T.A. mom, would volunteer to chaperone field trips, and was always willing to bake cupcakes for my class. One year in Sunday school, she taught my class. When I played organized sports, Mom would volunteer to help run the concession stand. When I wanted to go to college out of town, Mom got a job as a teller at a bank to help pay for it.

        Mom never had an email account or ever logged onto a computer. Mom never owned a cell phone. Mom never quite got the hang of viewing cable TV and often needed help after pushing the wrong button on the remote. Mom was often busy “moming” about the house and caring for the rest of the family. Mom was always cooking, cleaning, dusting, laundry, ironing, shopping, paying bills, sewing buttons, and mending clothes.

        Mom hated clutter, and my room was rarely messy. She cleaned my room with me. “What’s this?” “Where does it go?” “Do you still play with this?” “Are you still wearing this?” “Let’s look through your closet and see what we can give to the church rummage.”

        cont’d

      • be ware of eve hill

        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        Oh, no! Mr. Moderator! Can you help, please? 🥺🙏

        I posted a huge reply to ComicBookHarriet. The comment said it was under moderation and disappeared after refreshing the page. I tried cutting the comment in half, but encountered the same result.

        I was posting about my mom. Could there have been a sentiment overload? No links. No videos. No images. No profanity. No politics. Just a whole lotta love.

        Have I exceeded my comment quota for the week?

        Has this webpage become sentient and grown tired of me?

        Where’s my lawyer?!

        • be ware of eve hill

          Oops, never mind. I see you’ve taken care of it. Pay no attention to the prattling nutter. Thank you.

          • ComicBookHarriet

            I love this. I love all of this. Your mother sounds so much like my own mom’s sisters. Type A worriers. Aunts that I absolutely treasure while at the same time thanking my lucky stars they’re just my aunts and not my mom.

  9. J.J. O'Malley

    Didn’t Batiuk demonstrate back at Cory and Rocky’s wedding in June that he is aware of how several jukeboxes worth of music can now be stored on one tiny electronic device which can be hooked up to speakers for auditorium-sized events? Why on Earth would they have to lug a vintage jukebox crosstown?

    Also, if memory serves me right most jukeboxes played 45s with two songs per side. Why is only one song listed, and not even the A-side at that?

    This isn’t going to stretch out into some out-of-the-blue retcon of Cindy’s secret feelings of high school isolation, a confession which will draw out long-dormant feelings in Funky as he talks about his three-quarter-life crises, ending with Saturday’s strip of Holly and Masonne finding the two exes making out in the cloakroom, is it?

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Pardon my own lack of technological awareness. I meant say “45s with a different song on each side”–“American Pie” notwithstanding.

  10. The Dreamer

    TomBat stalks this blog? I thought it was well known that Batiuk writes these strips up to one year in advance Which is why it took a year to see any pandemic references TomBat therefore cannot be reacting to anything anyone did or said here in the last two months as right now hw’s probably doing next year’s fourth of july panels

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Well at least we are done with Rolanda.

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    Crankshaft: Oh no, we aren’t going to see the kids save the day using some low tech means to broadcast some old forgotten nonsense show that Batty likes, will we ? Ugh, we probably will.

  13. Jimmy

    The 50th reunion makes no sense, since that would pre-date the strip, when it was established they were all in high school. As noted above, this is the 34th-year reunion.

    THAT is unbelievably weird.

  14. The Duck of Death

    If the only A/V equipment they have is the jukebox, how are they going to project Dead St. Lisa’s VHS tape #31,210, “For Les, on the Occasion of the 50th Reunion I Shall Never Be Able to Attend, Because I Am Dead”?

  15. The Duck of Death

    Typical Puff Batty — he completely misunderstood the obvious point of the song. “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” isn’t a lament, it’s more of a mission statement. The singer asserts that he is above the ordinary, unthinking crowd and won’t just accept what life throws his way.


    If you all want me to settle down,
    Slow up and stop all my running ’round,
    Do everything like you want me to,
    There’s one thing that I will say to you,
    I’m not like everybody else,
    I’m not like everybody else.

    It actually suits Cindy — the non-retconned-to-be-a-sad-loner Cindy. The Cindy we’ve known for decades, up to yesterday, until today’s strip abruptly changed her into someone else.

    P.S.: The A-side was actually “Sunny Afternoon.”

    P.P.S.: 800 quatloos says TB thinks the Kinks’ “Lola” was about a boy falling in love with a sexy girl.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      Well, some will: I had a friend who took “still I know what I am/and I’m glad I’m a man/and so is Lola” to mean that Lola was a woman who was glad that the narrator was a man.

      One of the loveliest Kinks tunes is “Celluloid Heroes.” Do you think Mr. Batiuk feels it falls short of true classic stature because it doesn’t mention Gene Autry and the Phantom Empire?

      • RudimentaryLathe?

        True story: for years I thought the lyric was “I know what I am/in a bed, I’m a man/and so’s Lola” 🤦 Couldn’t understand why anyone thought it was ambiguous.

  16. hitorque

    1. Good old Cindye… Never, ever passes up an opportunity to lowkey humblebrag flex about how much better she thinks she is over everyone else…

    1a. “I never really thought I was a part of things back in high school, yet I still travel back 2,000 miles to every single reunion instead of staying my ass home! Oh and did I happen to mention I flew here in my private Gulfstream and that I’m also married to a Hollywood superstar? He’s got a nametag that reads: “Cindye Sommerse’s Husband”!

    2. Funkmaster and Cindye got **NO** soul at all… Westview will forever be “The Whitest Folks I Know…”

    3. (Upon my better advice, this comment will not be typed out of the tasteful considerations for all the decent godfearing family-oriented folks at SOSF)…

    3a. Oh what the hell, you at least wanted to know the general neighborhood my joke was in, right?? Well it had to do with Funkdoobiest getting some Dutch Courage and deciding he was going to “reclaim” Cindye for himself by challenging Masone man-to-man… That’s the PG-rated version.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Oh, I’d love that scenario. Funky relapses into alcoholism, destroys everyone’s precious class reunion, and loses his current wife in one night? Now that would be a prestige arc. Bonus points if he careens off Nobottom Road before midnight.

  17. So in short, a string of aggravatingly wrong choices. Story of this comic strip, story of my life…

  18. The Duck of Death

    The jukebox thing just sticks in my craw. Apart from how delicate and valuable and awkward to move and downright heavy they are, jukeboxes were already hokey to the class of ’72.

    The class of ’72 were buying LPs with their babysitting and summer job money. The cool ones were buying Led Zep and Bowie, the Stones and Steely Dan. The normies were buying Elton John, the Eagles, maybe Paul Simon/Simon & Garfunkel. The stoners were grooving to the Doobie Brothers and the Dead. There was such an amazing crop of new LPs in ’71 and ’72. No one wanted to listen to a 50s-style jukebox playing 2-1/2 minute pop singles from 1966.

    (I still listen to the Kinks all the time, personally. This is not a knock on the Kinks, who are timeless — just a comment on what HS seniors would have been listening to in ’72.)

    • Perfect Tommy

      It chafes me as well. It could of been an actual joke.
      P1: “Hey, thanks Funky for providing the music for our reunion”.
      P2: (With jukebox in frame). “Although I’m not sure that’s what we had in mind”.

  19. Scott Lovrine

    I haven’t had time to read all of today’s comments, so apologies if someone already mentioned this scenario: Cayla searches the jukebox for Jesse Colter’s song, “I’m Not Lisa.”

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Love it! I listen to a lot of golden oldies country, and whenever that one comes on I think of poor Cayla Moore.