Tag Archives: flimsy guardrails

Schlemiels on the Bus

So does he feel even a slight bit of relief to find out that this apparent potential bridge jumper is merely a stranded motorist? Nope,  Crankshaft is pissed. This is what he gets for being a nice guy. For someone who’s having the “worst day of her life”, Susan’s demeanor has brightened until she’s as chipper as Crank is cranky.

35 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Life’s a Gas

J.J. O’Malley
October 20, 2022 at 12:49 am
Is tomorrow’s strip going to feature Ms. Smith saying to her would-be Clarence the Angel (Second Class), “Oh! You thought I was going to jump? No, I just stopped here because I have a flat tire!”?

Close enough, O’Malley, close enough. A flat tire can happen to anyone, though; a driver of today’s cars would have to be pretty damn hapless to run out of gas. Guess Susan’s still so distraught over having to say farewell to Les (and to her teaching job) to see the “low fuel” light through her tears.

This “Susancide” arc that wraps up tomorrow has been particularly pointless. Batiuk brings back from an eleven year absence a long running, albeit secondary, character who starred in one of his early prestige arcs. But we catch up with her here mere hours after we saw her last. Where is she now?

And where was Ed Crankshaft then? Susan split the scene in July 2011. Less than a year later, Les and Summer were training for their Kilimanjaro klimb when they spotted their old bus driver:

“How do you know that decrepit old man in the wheelchair is Crankshaft, Mr. All-Smart?” Because in ’09, Batiuk & Ayers gave us a week where Crankshaft becomes unstuck in time, flashing forward and back through his life.

Come to think of it, inserting Ed Crankshaft into this flashback gives Ayers an excuse to draw the character the he drew for thirty years: the classic Ed Crankshaft that everyone knows. Not Mindy’s feeble “Gramps,” or that Hector Salamanca lookalike that Rick Burchett turned him into. Even Batiuk himself never drew Crankshaft very well. Dan Davis draws the strip these days, and does a creditable job currently, but only Chuck Ayers could render Cranky’s contemptuous scowl in panel 3!

 

37 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

I Thought Of Quittin’ Baby, but My Heart Just Ain’t Gonna Buy It

(link to today’s real strip).

So today’s what, Thursday? So two more days for this dramatic, life-and-death setup to take an appealing, wacky twist! Did you really think she was about to kill herself over Les Moore, old man? That douchey English teacher over at Westview? You’ve had him on your bus at some point, I’m sure. Yeah, that guy.

45 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Sail On, Silver Girl

Link to today’s real strip.

46 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Crank Calls

I was not so intrigued by Susan Smith’s reappearance yesterday, neither by today’s cameo by a…younger? Ed Crankshaft. Nope, what set these beady eyes to nitpicking was Ed’s peculiar POV in panel one. That angle and that distance just seem impossible on that narrow bridge. My curiosity compelled me to construct the scene from the opposite perspective:

Weird camera angles aside: so it looks like Batiuk’s gonna play the suicide card again, and for the second time on the same female character, and over the same leading man. Unbelievable. At least he knows better than to have Les come hastening after her to talk her down. Unless he’s about to leap out of Crankshaft’s bus. Speaking of old Ed, if indeed this strip is happening eleven years ago, he really went downhill between June 2011 and this cameo in June 2012!

 

63 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Excuse Me, Have You Seen the Bridge?

Several years ago…? Could “several” equal eleven years ago? Because this gal looks a lot like Susan Smith. Her hair and attire even match Susan’s when she said her goodbyes to Les and Westview in late June of ’11.

For anyone who’s just picked up reading Funky Winkerbean (or this blog) within the last decade, here’s a quick recap: Susan Smith was one of Les’ students. Susan quite understandably developed an insane crush on Mr. Moore, and her suicide attempt was thwarted by Les himself. Susan surfaced again in Act II, as the abused girlfriend of Matt Miller (again to be rescued by Sir Les-a-lot); seven years after that she showed up at Westview High as a student teacher.  Early in Act III, she returned to the WHS faculty. She was greeted there by school secretary Cayla, who would become her rival over, who else, Les.  Susan bestowed on Les an impulsive kiss that led to a small scandal that led to, as we see here,  her boxing up her belongings as smug Les looked on. So yeah, I’m guessing that this is the same woman. And given her past, the fact that she’s parked her car on a bridge does not bode well.

A tip of the SoSF fedora to “anita the last vcr” (@saleintothe90s) from whose tumblr I cribbed my knowledge of Susan Smith’s background!

54 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Critically panned

Linda takes a break from baking a meatloaf? a potato grown under the power lines? you know, let’s go with a small boulder in today’s strip to… call Bull on his cell phone. Is… is that really what is happening here?  What the everwhating what?!

If Linda thought Bull was inside the house, why did she not walk 17 feet to try to find him instead of calling him on the telephone? If she knew he was out, where did she think he was and who did she think he was with (Buck?)? Was she really letting him go out on his own? This is her behavior as a caregiver? Even murderers after life insurance money would say she’s trying too hard.

While Bull didn’t survive his trip off Nobottom Road, his cell phone sure did. Much as how folks in our universe wonder why airplanes aren’t made out of the material used to make black boxes, one would think there are folks in the Batiukverse wondering why they don’t make cars out of the material used to make cell phones…

43 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

We left yesterday an hour in the past and now today’s strip hops back to the present and then… back a week?! I dunno about CTE, but this kind of rapid time travel is enough to give you whiplash.

Isn’t this Dr. Jowls, the North Carolina neurologist? Bull and Linda were in North Carolina last week? Why is the nearest neurologist in North Carolina anyways? Bull got pretty much the exact same lines from the apparently northern Ohio-based Dr. Fivehead 3 whole years ago.

Some doctor this guy is, he’s all probable diagnosis and no treatment, and his probable diagnosis does not appear to have done a darn thing for Linda’s quest for disability benefits. Is… is that really the only reason she took him to this doctor in the first place?

38 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

The Wreck of the Old ’97 Hatchback

Hey, so we get a microcosm of this whole story arc in today’s strip, jumping back an hour prior to the wreck that we’ve already seen… much as TB has already spoiled how this important story arc ends.

The worst thing, though, is that poor, lonesome, neglected potted plant 8-and-a-half feet up on top of the kitchen cabinets… or maybe its that Linda’s oh-so-clever hiding place for the car keys was the top of the unlocked junk drawer? The dadgum JUNK DRAWER, Linda?! The place EVERY sentient being knows that EVERY key-sized thing winds up in at one time or another? Were you even trying?

38 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

@#$% What? Rollers. No. Yeah. @#$%

Hello folks, I’m billytheskink… but you don’t care about that. You’re here for the grisly details about the award-winning (pending) suicide of one Bull Bushka. So here you are: Today’s strip in all its g(l)ory!

Here comes the state police to 10-50 PI (code for accident/personal injury) the smoldering remains of Bull’s subcompact. This’ll undoubtedly take all week, so pack some snacks. Even so, one day in and it’s better paced than Linda and the letter at least. High praise, I know.

Also, big kudos to @tauycreek on Twitter, who pointed out Bull’s TB’s inspiration for this vehicular mayhem…

Yep, back in the summer of 1998, an intoxicated Wally drove himself and Becky right through a guardrail and off a ledge. Not sure why those two only lost Lefty’s arm and Bull lost his life, but that’s the Batiukverse for ya.

39 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky