In today’s strip, Les and Summer’s visit to Montoni’s continues. To recap: Summer has returned from being out of town for a decade, and she and Les are celebrating her decision to write a book that will no doubt become a seminal event in the history of Westview.
Shouldn’t Summer’s stepmother be along for such a momentous event in her step-daughter’s life? This wasn’t an impromptu trip to Montoni’s. Les and Summer have both changed out of their jogging clothes and into more formal dress. They had to go home to do this. Did they just walk in, silently shower, and leave again without even telling Cayla where they were going?
Summer’s relationship with Cayla should be a lot more complex than it is. Cayla was more a part of Summer’s life than Lisa ever was, though that’s not saying much. Cayla’s daughter Keysha has been Summer’s closest companion. But Summer treats Cayla just like Tom Batiuk does: as a prop to be brought out for Lisa- and race-related stories, and ignored the rest of the time. Everything revolves around what Les wants.
And what Les wants right now is another Lisa fetish object. I can’t imagine why he needs one: every known object and human activity reminds this man of Lisa. Bird feeders, cancelled checks, VHS tapes, book ideas, class reunions, time travel journeys, motion picture production, and of course his hand-delivered Oscar for Best Actress. I shudder to think what that statuette has seen.
Funky Winkerbean thinks it’s a realistic comic strip. But no wife would accept being ostracized from family activities, or being made to accept ridiculous monuments to ex-wives. Cayla has already been way too indulgent of Les’ inability to move past Lisa’s death. In the Lisa’s Story era, you could argue that she was putting aside her feelings to support his work. But that justification doesn’t exist anymore. Lisa’s Story is over. And despite being Les getting an Oscar-winning movie made to his exact specifications, he still can’t move on. Now he needs a pizza sign because it reminds him of Lisa.
Les Moore is a sick, sick man. Everyone in this town needs to quit enabling him. Starting with the two other people in today’s strip. Summer’s reaction to this sickness is to throw jazz hands and try to steer the conversation back to herself. What she says makes no sense, but her facial expression is clear: “It’s time to talk about me some more. I’m writing a book, remember?”
Even Funky should be interjecting here. He tried telling Crazy Harry that salad dressing wasn’t a good anniversary gift, so he should be hinting to Les that this is a much worse idea. He could at least offer some pre-fab divorce papers, like Atomik Komix does if you buy a life-size Iron Man figure. But Funky’s more interested in making a sale. He’s grinning like he knows someone else wants to buy that sign, and Les is going to bid the price through the roof. Great guy, that Funky Winkerbean.