Tag Archives: trees

The Les He Knows, The Better

More word zeppelins in today’s strip… Not as bad as yesterday, but still, get your bookmarks out, folks!

You know, this is actually one of TB’s tidiest retcons, probably because it is one of the very few intentional ones he’s ever undertaken. It takes the original scene and changes its context (slightly) by depicting a previously unseen scene. Tidy. The pieces actually fit together. There are no loose ends, deleted original context, or unresolved conflict with the originals scene. See? That’s not so hard.

Heck, as a bonus it even (unnecessarily but adeptly) explains a silly detail from the original scene, why Les has a camcorder and this Hari Seldon story readily at hand as if he was waiting for Lisa to lament about all the things Summer she will never get to experience. Turns out, he pretty much was just waiting on the chance to whip that camera on out.

Tidy as it is, this retcon was no more entertaining or less irritating because of it. In fact, it makes the origin story of the Lisa tapes tremendously off-putting. The focus shifts away from the impending reality of Summer growing up without a mother seen in the original scene to the needs of Summer’s nogoodnik parents… First, Lisa wants to record the tapes so she can live vicariously through Summer’s adolescence in her imagination. Then, Crazy and Lisa hatch this cockamamie plan to let Les take credit for the idea to record the infamous tapes, which only soothes his ego and bolsters his hero complex. These people are awful and I hope I never wind up sitting next to any of them on an airplane.

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Burning Man

One bad turn deserves another, I suppose. Today’s strip sees Les take his revenge on Funky for two strips’ worth of Crankshaft schtick with some ‘Shaft-level quote muddle-ment of his own. Where did you pull this piece of unwisdom from, Les, I Chong?

The master says: Piles of excrement comes out of both ends of Les, but only one pile can can be flushed.

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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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Modest Louse

I neither understand nor care what Les is droning on about in today’s strip, though I do find it hard to believe any student would invite him to a graduation party… including this one. Les was invited to Montoni’s alcohol-free graduation party in ’98 (not by a student), it was about as well-attended as you would expect.

If the party is alcohol-free, then why are they switching from present to past tense mid-sentence?

Cayla, for her part, is a strange combination of scandalized by a swimsuit style that has been fairly common and quite popular for half a century and nonchalant about seeing her younger self galavanting merrily beside the (time?) pool.

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( ••) ( ••)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

But seriously… be sure to read today’s strip before David Caruso‘s lawyer does.

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Guilt blip

As our sharp-minded posters have already noted, Oscar statuettes cannot be given away or sold without first allowing the Academy the right to buy them back for $1. As such, what Marianne gives to Les and what she keeps should rightly be flopped in today’s strip.

But we’re not in reality (we’re 1/4″ away from it), so what we are left with is a false modesty competition between Marianne and Les that offers nothing we did not already know yesterday. It’s a good example of Les showing his true colors though… If Les really and truly felt guilty about taking the Oscar that Marianne is stupidly and inexplicably giving up, then he wouldn’t wait until she flew across 70% of the country to tell her. I’ll bet he also excuses himself to go to the restroom just before the check comes at a restaurant and then returns to sheepishly offer to pay the bill just as his dining companion is handing their credit card to the waiter. Cue Ben Schwartz saying the thing

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You’ve come a long way, baby

Ah, the classic tug-of-war between privacy-invading exuberance and false modesty… who wins that race to the bottom in today’s strip?

Les’ false modesty does, of course. For one thing, it’s coming from Les, which makes it an additionally off-putting version of an already off-putting behavior. The biggest reason, though, is that Cayla’s desire to “let people know” is essentially moot, everyone already knows. Anyone who cares saw Marianne tell the television cameras that she was coming to give her Oscar away to Les this week. Yeah, if she’s trying to organize a mob to meet Marianne then that might not work if by “on the way” Marianne means that she’ll be there within the hour… but with Marianne’s very public announcement of her planned visit and the relatively specific time frame she gave, the Taj Moore-hal should have been descended upon by pushy celebrity obsessives and Starbuck Jones fans days ago. Where are they? Where’s Lenny and Frankie and (ugh) DMZ? Why am I asking you?

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My mother, the car

Quite the crowd on hand in today’s strip, with the first panel serving as the Batiukverse equivalent of the semi-famous crowd reaction photo from the 2017 Academy Awards’ wrong envelope incident. While the crowd of stars watching Marianne are not quite of the same wattage as those in the 2017 audience, I still spy some big names.

  1. OK, I don’t know who this is, but his mouth is huge
  2. The shirtless Nazi who gets shredded by a propeller in Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  3. George Foreman
  4. Dorothy Hamill (what’s with all the sports people?)
  5. The giraffe that stole David Cassidy’s hair
  6. A Dilbert cosplayer
  7. General/President Ulysses S. Grant
  8. Who invited Creepy Pete?
  9. Christopher Columbus (not that one)
  10. Soft-serve ice cream
  11. SHEMP!

Quite the menagerie present to hear Marianne call back to the time she went AWOL, nearly committed suicide, and then quoted her mother quoting an actress who was one of Hollywood’s most famous suicides. Anything to fulfill your parent’s dreams. How inspiring!

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