Tag Archives: park bench

Turn And Face The Lame

Oh, Les. I think the book agent will know exactly what’s coming their way, when you call Ann Apple and tell her your directionless 29-year-old daughter wants to write a book.

The “make Summer a famous author” train is steaming ahead, folks. It’s Wednesday, and Les is already talking about getting an agent for his no-talent sprog. For someone who hates Hollywood people, he sure does act like one.

“Westview is changing?” How would Summer know? She’s been away for ten years. Having Summer make an occasional visit to foreshadow this observation – or anything at all about this complete rewriting of her personality and interests – would have been helpful.

Also:

The town in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village is more receptive to change than Westview. These people all have the same high school social structure, the same friends, eat the same pizza, read the same comic books, mourn the same dead person, hate the Internet, and think The Phantom Empire is the greatest movie ever made. And don’t you dare suggest anything otherwise.

Summer says her book will be “an oral history, but also about social dynamics on a micro scale.” Did she change her major again in the middle of that sentence?

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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

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Dr. Schmoe’s

Did you know Funky is old and injured? He’s so old and injured, y’all… see today’s strip for reference if you don’t believe me. When did this happen? Funky being old and injured has NEVER been mentioned in this comic strip before…

Les, though? Les is probably YEARS away from qualifying for his own cancer run’s over 65 division even though he graduated high school the same year Funky did. Look at him, no orthotics of any kind. Heck, he doesn’t even bother putting a strap on his glasses to play tennis.

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Rent-A-Fiend

Thanks TFH, enjoy your well-deserved break. You got some real stinkers… I mean, we all do, but I feel like saying that trivializes how uniquely awful each two week shift can be.

Oh, so we’re carrying Sunday’s setting over into today’s strip? Well, that’s one way to make Funky sympathetic after last week’s behavior… stick him next to Les the following week.

“Bunged up”? Is Funky continuing to morph into Crankshaft or is he suddenly a British chap with a bit of a knee allergy? Either way, Funky has apparently had the kind of knee trouble that keeps you off the tennis court for over four years (shout out to that Rick Burchett artwork). And, of course, Les got better results from tennis lessons than Funky did. Of course.

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Rhymes with Attic

“There, there, lie quiet now. You just had a bad dream.” Yep, it had to be the “off-gassing of the plastics” in a helmet that’s sat in the attic since 1980. In addition to her prowess at video games, Donna’s also some kind of an expert in plastics chemistry.

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Heeeeere’s Johnny!

I can’t recall whether “Johnny” Howard was even part of the Act I cast. But as Funky Winkerbean retcons go, having young Johnny appear in today’s strip is pretty inoffensive. Though I wonder why coming into possession of what would become the most valuable comic book in history didn’t result in DSH John being “set for life,” to quote Crazy Harry. Being from the future, of course Crazy would understand the potential value of this comic. Would “Johnny’s” find inspire him to go on to open the Komix Korner? It certainly didn’t make him rich. In fact, it required the sale of a comic book from another time travel arc to keep his business from going under.

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Is This Blip Really Necessary?

I think that most of us, given a chance to travel back in time to relive the days of our youth, might opt to spend more than just an afternoon in the past. But Crazy’s ready to return to his present day life. Not sure why he assumes that the Magic Helmet will automatically transport him back to 2022. Also not sure why he’d so carelessly leave his precious Spider Man comic on the park bench.

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Creepy Harry

Of course, you can’t have a time travel story without Lisa. It’s inevitable.

It’s already creepy enough for sixty-ish Harry to be walking up to a high school girl who doesn’t know him and address her by name, but telling her he’s been to the school before doesn’t help. Lisa really should know better than to stop and engage some random old guy who’s approaching her, but this is Lisa after all, she clearly has bad judgment when it comes to men.

I’m positive someone Harry’s age is bound to have friends or family who aren’t alive in 2022 anymore, but apparently he doesn’t care at all about seeing them. All he cared about was himself (literally), and visiting high school again, which is so typical of characters in this strip. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he somehow enrolled in high school again (it turns out he’s missing a credit!) or becomes a teacher, and that lets Batiuk reboot everything.

It’s been great being able to comment on one of the weirder recent arcs. TFHackett gets to take over tomorrow, when Harry probably tries to make Les and Lisa get married as teenagers or something.

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Humor Fluid

So, apparently when Harry was a teenager, any random old guy could just give him change for a dollar and tell him he was him from the future and he’d believe it, no questions asked. I don’t think “Crazy” is the right adjective to describe him.
This really is reminding me of the Dick Tracy storyline, where he got to use a classic comic character and all he did with him was have him carry boxes. Batiuk is such a big sci-fi fan, but when he finally does a time travel story, all he’s done with it so far is a guy going back into the past to play an arcade game with his past self.

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Back to the Past, Again

Okay, so Harry has apparently gone back in the past. And the first thing he does is leave behind the helmet that enabled him to travel through time. For such an avowed nerd he’s doing one of the silliest things possible in a time travel story. If there was any chance of this being actual time travel and not an imaginary story, I would really be rooting for Harry to get stuck in the past forever.
I’m sure it won’t be explained at all, but I am a little amused by Harry also travelling in space for some reason, I guess because the Westview Town Square is a beloved landmark that every reader would immediately recognize, and Harry’s attic isn’t? Although it would be far more amusing for Harry to randomly appear in someone else’s attic in the past.

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