Nice to see Adeela again, wearing Montoni’s Red Apron of Shame and carrying what’s either a server book or that architect diploma she got from Westview Community College. Dinkle’s unnamed friend continues his musing about retirement. “Long days, short years” does work pretty well as a wry comeback, and we’ll start taking bets now whether Tom Batiuk uses that very same aphorism when and if he ever chooses to retire.
The part of the tablecloth is being played today by Pete’s shirt.
Big ups to Epicus Doomus for the last two weeks of posts. In addition to crafting great posts and post titles, Epicus manages the guest author rotation and is my right hand man around here. Without him, there would be no SoSF.
In a rare bit of Funky fortuitousness, today’s strip involves alfresco dining, an activity that’s more popular right now than it’s ever been. What at first appears to be an old married couple in panel 1’s aerial perspective turns out to be Harry Dinkle and a friend. Judging from how non-generically the other gent is rendered here, he must also be a real-life friend of Batiuk and/or Ayers.
I donned my PPE and took a deep dive into the Act II archives for a refresher about the circumstances surrounding Dinkle’s “retirement.” Near the end of Act II, Becky Winkerbean, as she was known then, took over as band director when Dinkle was promoted to WHS’ music supervisor. His actual retirement happened “offscreen,” during the second 10 year time jump. Shortly thereafter, his beleaguered wife Harriet pleaded with, and possibly bribed, the school board president to install Harry as director of the performing arts center that bore his name, just to get him out of the house. It’s doubtful whether that director role entails hanging around the high school and basically serving as Becky’s co-band director. Look at him smirk in panel 3 at his friend’s quip. Harry Dinkle doesn’t know the meaning of retirement. No, seriously…he doesn’t know the meaning of retirement.
Link to today’s strip
“I think I was starting to hallucinate.”
No Funky, you had an entire conversation with a non-existent robot.
If the heat and your exertion is causing you to hallucinate a talking robot, then you probably should seek medical help immediately, as heatstroke can lead to brain damage, organ damage, and death.
There’s another possibility here of course. The possibility that Isaac has been Les all along. That Funky was seeing Les as he really is: a smug, soulless machine, created to serve his master by doling out smug superiority and cancer books, while every thing around him decays into lumps of stagnant, half-realized notions as the creator loses interest.
For one brief conversation, the horrific reality that is Les Moore was made visible to Funky’s eyes, until his brain caught up and applied the protective illusion that allows Funky to enjoy what he can of his two dimensional existence.
Funky hadn’t started hallucinating, he had just, for a moment, stopped.
Link to today’s strip (eventually).
Today’s strip was not available for preview, but thanks to Fearless Leader’s diligence, we got a tiny glimpse of it. Looks like the pizza monster has obtained his yearly token of appreciation and left in a hurry. And there’s some speculation as to the identity of the fiend, with guesses of Crazy Harry and John, and a request for the monster operator’s initials.
Again, presented sideways–because Art has to Hurt or it isn’t REAL Art.
Looks (from the “preview”) like tomorrow’s episode will show Funky exerting himself, and…that’s all my eyestrain can take. Seriously, I already have ailments, I don’t need vision-related ones based on a gag. A gag, I note, that started out with a bit of promise, but as always with this strip, soon succumbed to the author’s inexplicable need to lower all standards. Can’t he tell a single stupid joke? Apparently, at one time, he was able to, but that ability was traded away for some magic beans labelled “Respectability.” And we all know what beans are best at producing.
Happy Halloween, everyone! Here’s hoping you enjoyed the holiday. It’s sometimes fun to be scared, but never fun to fear what comes next in Funky Winkerbean. Because the abyss is always looking back.
(I bet trick-r-treaters have learned to avoid the Batiuk house, since all he gives out are copies of Lisa’s Story. With the flourish of a felt-tip and an offer of an autograph.)
Link to today’s strip.
Looks like we’re in for a whole week of sideways strips. And once again, the format is pointless. Does Batiuk think New York Times readers will enjoy his daring staging? OOOoooOOoooOOooo…so avant garde! Expanding the boundaries of the comics page!
Or does he think they enjoy stretching their necks? If so, at least reward them with something worth the effort.
Which this decidedly is not. I thought the week started out well, as noted a tiny bit whimsical, but now it’s just more revenge porn against Funky. Yes, we are supposed to believe that Funky is so stupid he thinks this is a real monster, and he’d better cater to its wishes…or else. I mean, the damned thing is weaponless. Any sudden movement would send it to the floor in a heap.
Sigh. Heaven forbid you were the popular kid when Batiuk was in your high school class. How dare you be popular, and well-liked, and generally normal! Don’t you know Les’ wife died of cancer twenty years ago!!
In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems that the “Lisa’s Story” garbage was thrown into the strip to point out to “new” readers that, yes, Bull died…but that’s not the death you need to concern yourself with. Just imagine the panic that must have gone through his mind when he realized people might say, “Funky Winkerbean? Oh, yeah, that’s the one where the coach died.”
Panel 1 Mason appears to have caught whatever caused Cindy to have Stupid Hair in Act I. I would much rather focus on that than Mason apparently saying Les is a true hero, and he wants to portray him. “You made the big time after your wife died, you’re a real hero, Les!”. What the hell has Les ever done that’s close to heroic? Not curling up in a ball and dying after Lisa died? People do that every damn day and they do it in a far less pretentious way than Les.
My money is even more on Cindy portraying Lisa now, since I can totally see Mason saying that’ll add to the “realism” of the movie.
The stupid Bull storyline and interview are really starting to seem like massive baiting. “I’ll lure them all in with a moving storyline about a trendy topic, and as soon as they’re hooked, I’ll move on to Les Moore, the Greatest American Hero!”. Seriously though, has someone related to this blog done something to Batiuk, or hacked his computer, and taken over the writing of this strip? Because about the only explanation for any of this is someone really wants to make the writer look like an obnoxious ass.
Montoni’s is busy in today’s strip! What? And Holly is flustered to the max and jealous of unhealthily self-conscious Cindy all the sudden*? Crazy!
Speaking of Crazy, his advice… isn’t ironic? I don’t know, actually, but I do know it’s been relevant to TB for decades. If only TB would take it one day.
Wait, Montoni’s is busy with regular FW cast members. Sheesh, this strip doesn’t even truly earn its “the rare Montoni’s customer” tag. This, THIS level of business has Holly frazzled and exhausted? She is as cut out for food service as Funky is for giving out marriage advice.
* Holly being self-conscious about her body hasn’t happened in a while, but to be fair, it actually isn’t new. It even goes back to when she was the other shoe.
Thanks for putting up with me and my blue tongue for the past two weeks. Thoughts and prayers for our next blogger…
Link to today’s strip.
I remember when Dullard left, Funky was worrying about filling his position and Wally volunteered for the job. Funky dismissed the offer out of hand, and now we know why: you can’t be a manager if you don’t have a degree. Why, the absurdity! Being a degree-less schmo is fine if you’re just washing the disease off the plates, but manager? Never!
Apparently, though, someone was hired to manage the place during the night…someone who we’ve never seen, and whose existence has never even been hinted about. (But probably had a degree.) I suspect this being quit so that it could join its fellow cryptids like the Fresno Nightcrawler, the Flatwoods Monster or the Hopkinsville aliens.
By the way, is Funky talking about a closing manager? Because I would think the night would have much bigger crowds than the lunch shift, with that much more responsibility as well. Wally still seems right on the edge of frail, so I don’t know what a large, boisterous crowd would do to him. Ha! I kid…like Montoni’s ever had a large crowd.
A closing manager for Montoni’s would just add up the mediocre receipts, see that the equipment looks clean enough, cage the apes, weep quietly and so on.
Not much else to say about this one…it’s dull, unfunny and the events therein (Wally being a manager) will be ignored in the future anyway, so that boring, poorly-constructed word-play can be made.
Nice to see that continuity is still as much ignored as always. The other day, Tony had a red sweater. Today, it’s black. Either someone in quality control slipped up, or Tony was covered in blood and it has now coagulated.