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 youngerself galavanting merrily beside the (time?) pool.
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…
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?
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.
OK, I don’t know who this is, but his mouth is huge
The shirtless Nazi who gets shredded by a propeller in Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Dorothy Hamill (what’s with all the sports people?)
Today’s strip begs the question, if Lefty has to print 47 pages of things not to do for her band students, why is she taking them all to Columbus for the Ohio Music Educators Conference? Or rather, why is she taking any students at all to the Ohio Music Educators Conference? I guess they make preferable company to her typical OMEA companion Dinkle, but so does a moldy dish towel. I would take bets on whether or not the kids’ presence at the conference ultimately gets explained, but I cannot find any casino willing to give me odds on “yes”.
And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow, same time… same station, as spacemanspiff leads us all through what is hopefully something other than a return to Funky at the eye doctor. Frankly, I hope tomorrow’s strip is something other than a lot of things, including but not limited to: Les, Lefty and Dinkle, the Lisa movie, Cindy complaining about her looks, and Batom comics remembrance.
Let’s all bid a hopeful farewell to Batton and, especially, Les in today’s strip. Les will sadly and undoubtedly return (please not for a good long while!), but what of Batton? This week’s story arc served to make him even les relevant than he seemed when he first appeared, and that’s saying something.
Not that doing interesting and relevant things is really a requirement to appear in Funky Winkerbean these days, but unless Batton gets cancer or (a year from now) the COVID-19 it is hard to see what else TB has for him to do. He’s appeared at Free Comic Book Day and he’s stood in front of Les’ class. What else is there? Well, if Batton ever does return, it’s a sure bet it will be during one of my stints writing this blog. I’m two for two so far, lucky me.
Now if Tom Batiuk himself is excited about writing this strip, he sure can hide it. He lost control years ago, and he probably likes it…
You know, this whole “young lovebirds just starting out” arc would have made more sense if a) Boy Lisa and Jessica were fifteen years younger and, you know, young lovebirds just starting out and b) Jessica had moved back to Ohio with Boy Lisa THEN went out to California to film the Buckner Brigatoni documentary. BatGak STILL never bothered to explain what Jessica was doing out there, but at this point it doesn’t really matter anyway. They’ll be perpetually “getting their burgeoning careers on track” for the rest of FW’s run, whether that’s three years or three hundred (don’t put it past him). The truly scary part is that the Bucket Briquette arc HASN’T EVEN STARTED YET which means he’ll be flogging the Boy Lisa & Jess thing for months, if not years. Sigh.
And on that note allow me to step aside and turn the microphone over to TFH, our SoSF king of kings!