I know what you’re thinking, “How can today’s strip be any worse than this past week?”
Les. The most dreaded name in the newspaper. The name that even alone evokes the most dire of thoughts. “Les” is the sound that a rattlesnake makes before it dies in a brush fire. It’s the Florida State Police code word for a sinkhole. It was the name of Francisco Franco’s pet canary. It is far and away the worst part of the title of Les Miserables.
I don’t know what possessed this poor poor child to wander near Les’ table, but I do know that if he winds up reading Lisa’s Story he is not going put it down disappointed that only one person dies. No, he’s just going to think that the wrong person dies. And he would, of course, be right.
Poor Phil the Forecaster is still getting fired in today’s strip and Alex (the bearded news director who is probably supposed to remind us of smarmy John Darling regular Reed Roberts) seems awfully chipper about replacing him with an unpaid intern. Firing Phil as a cost-saving move (rather than for a variety of good reasons covered below) tells me that Channel One will soon be one of those stations that airs Family Feud reruns in primetime. Alex might want to start worrying about his own position.
That Phil remained Channel One’s weatherman into 2017 is remarkable, in both positive and negative ways. He debuted in Funky Winkerbean in the mid-70s, giving him a 40+ year tenure at Channel One that would be a legitimately impressive career in real life.
He also kept the job for decades despite the running gag that he was terrible at it. And if Brenda Harpy is to be believed, he also kept the job despite being a certifiable nutcase who engaged in terrifying workplace violence on at least one occasion.
He wasn’t wrong about John Darling and the ozone layer, though.
Oh, did you come here for Funky Winkerbean snark? Sorry, but today’s strip is a John Darling comic, presumably part of a JD revival that few will get and surely fewer asked for.
Yep, this is “Phil The Forecaster”, weatherman for Channel One.
Well, former weatherman for Channel One now, apparently… Back in the JD and early Act I FW days, Phil was the subject of a running gag where, get this, his forecasts were always wrong!!! And everyone made fun of him for it! Ha Ha! Oh man, can you believe it? A TV weatherman getting the forecast wrong… Brilliance.
Anyways, Phil just got fired.
Les finally remembers his creepy Centerville contemporary in today’s strip, something he lied about just two strips ago.
While this comic would like you to believe that Les’ memory was jogged by this girl’s foolish belief that she was going to meet George Clinton and Co. on a school-arranged trip to Washington DC, let’s be honest here. Les really remembers her because she looked like a proto-Lisa back then.
Still talking in today’s strip
Took a creepy turn
So, what is the deal
Les leaves his writing around
Women pick it up
And just like before
The woman who picked it up
Keeps it for decades
Why was this two arcs
Really, a baffling story
Why even one arc
Still, creepy woman
Has not purchased Lisa book
Holding up the line
She kept a high school essay
I just can’t even
Today’s strip finds yet another person who has waited in line to not purchase Les’ book. Slightly more reasonable than waiting in line to actually purchase Les’ book, I suppose.
Les won something when he was in high school? I’m sure the circumstances surrounding that were more convoluted than the making of the Starbuck Jones movie. Les being Les, of course, doesn’t remember someone whose writing was better than his… which I think is a safe assumption given that Les was Westview High’s substitute valedictorian with a C average and that Ms. Nebbish here lived in Centerville before Crankshaft drove its collective IQ down 40 points (he was a Westview bus driver in Act I).
Well, at least the customer in today’s strip seems to have an idea as to why he has been waiting in line. In fact, he has just become Les’ number one fan and, for the first time in recorded history, Les seems genuinely pleased to be at one of his book signings.
I suspect, however that is less because WASP-y Tony Montoni just bought three copies of The Last Leaf and more because Les likes the way this guy thinks. Giving one’s ex a book about a happy re-marriage is pretty low. Giving one’s ex a book about a happy re-marriage whose subject also implies that you wish said ex had died of cancer is the kind of thing judges issue restraining orders over.