Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why Taking Your Medication Is Important

I read the comics every day. I read them all (except "Doonesbury," which I gave up last year to lower my blood pressure, and "Cathy," which just plain sucks). The comic at left is "Funky Winkerbean" which has around since 1972. I am convinced that the creator of this strip, one Tom Batiuk, is in serious need of some counseling and better medication. This strip is the most depressing theater I've ever come across. So depressing in fact, that it's now predicatable. Let's do a quick run-down on the panel above, and see if you don't agree with me.

The fellow on the right is "Wally Winkerbean," Funky Winkerbean's younger nephew. He ran off to the Army after he was involved in a drunk driving accident on the evening of his high school graduation. The accident claimed the left arm of his then girlfriend, Becky, to whom he is now married. Becky, seen here about to blow lunch, was a aspiring concert violinist who had just been offered a scholarship to Juliard. Wally got sent to Afghanistan, where his squad's helicopter was shot down apparently killing all aboard. Wally was reported as missing for about a year, during which time his Uncle Funky's marriage to the girl of his dreams, TV reporter Cindy Summers, crashed and burned due to his alcoholism and her manic-obsessive devotion to her work.

When Wally is finally brought back to the strip after being secreted in caves by the good Afghanis, he marries Becky, to whom the comic book store owner and weird loner was about to propose after he had sold all of his collection to purchase a ring.

Upon his return, Wally immediately suffered post-tramatic stress disorder, which he fortunately was able to overcome once he realized that what he really needed was to go back to Afghanistan to dig up and disable anti-personnel mines. Becky insists on joining him, even though it means that she will have to surrender her rights as a free woman. While roaming around looking for mines, Wally stepped on one and would have been blown to bits but for Khan, a one-time Afghani arms merchant who is now about to open a restaurant next store to Funky. Meanwhile, a large car bomb exploded in the village where Becky was administering to women and children. The bomb destroys the house of the little girl pictured here, killing her entire family. Wally and Becky instantly adopt the girl and bring her back to the States.

Hillarity ensues when Cindy Summers spends the holidays alone drinking in bars and wishing she could exchange her fame and fortune for a life that wasn't so awful and lonely.

The latest bit of bad news has just arrived in the form of a letter from the Army stating the Wally is going to be reactivated in because he was released two days before his enlistment ended. Hence, the "Happy Effing Valentines Day." Tomorrow, Wally will start binge drinking and beating Becky with his belt.

Now, do you agree that this is the most depresssing comic strip ever? No? Do you want me to tell you about the breast cancer incident? How about the pornography charge? It just never seems to get better for these poor characters. Well, maybe once in while somebody will smile and joke, but you can be sure that in a day or two the cosmic gloom will descend once more upon the wretched of Westview.

So, Mr. Batuik? Please. Take your medication, and seek out professional help. Don't make me go all doonesbury on your ass.

And Happy *&^%@*# Valentines Day yourself.


Cassandra said...

This post has left me with three important insights:

1. You never cease to astonish me.

2. I could never remember all of those details about *real* people, let alone people in a cartoon I did not like ... where do you keep all this information? Do you have a spare hard drive in between your ears mr rdr?

3. Because I would have stopped reading it a loooooooooooong time ago.

4. Men are incomprehensible.

5. Women can't count worth a darn :)

spd rdr said...

My dearest Cassandra, everything,everything goes into my head. None of it is "forgotten," as that term is commonly employed when a person, such as a husband, claims to have "forgotten" whatever it is you're all worked up about. WE ARE LYING, GET IT? Men are forced to become complete liars when the only choices offered are these: "I really don't want to do this and I will kill myself if she pushes it," I really don't want to do this, but I won't kill myself, for the sake of the children, but will spend the rest of my days on the golf course" and "If I stall long enough, something will come up. And if not, I can always say 'I forgot.'"

What this has to do with anything, I am reserving under the doctrine of Exxonecutive Privilege.

Pile On® said...

This is in the comics section?

I remember skipping over Funky years ago, but haven't had to since Calvin & Hobbs and The Farside retired.

Why do you do it?

Cassandra said...

Oh, and Happy *&^%@*# Valentines Day mr rdr.

Don't worry. You don't have to say it back - I just said it because it made me happy to :)

spd rdr said...

Happy Valetine's Day, Cass.
That just made me happy too.

Pooke said...

And I cried when Dagwood ran out of mayo and got kicked in the butt by Mr. Smithers. This stuff belongs on the Lifetime channel, not in the funny pages.

Happy &%*@! Valentines Day to all you, too! I'm enjoying mine in the company of faceless internets people with blogs while my fevered and hacking stare-faced valentine watches college basketball.

Seton Hall to boot. Talk about depressing.

spd rdr said...

You're alive!

Anonymous said...

Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Okay, so what does this have to do with the Band Director selling crack cocaine to some teenager, huh?
Let's stay on topic here.:)

When did the funny papers stop being the funny papers? I remember reading them when I was a kid, and my kids never touch them.
Is this not strange?
Jus another faceless entity floating in cyberspace, sometimes known as...
"Don Brouhaha!"

Cassandra said...

Valentine's Day is a ridiculous holiday.

I think I got all worked up about it exactly once... the first year we were married. I had been stuck in the house with the baby 24/7 in a strange town for MONTHS with no money, no car, no friends, no phone, no one to talk to, and I had just quit my job. I thought my life was OVER.

Of course the spousal unit had just started Wm & Mary so he was very busy between classes, his PT job, and infrequent visits to his frat, which later got kicked off campus.

I think I made a big deal over that first one b/c I was bored silly and it was right before our 1st anniversary - walked 3 miles into town w/the baby to buy cards and candy we couldn't afford, cooked a special dinner (with beer!), baked a cake, the whole nine yards. I think, to my eternal shame, I may even have bought him some stupid stuffed bear. In my defense, a small box of candy may have been attached. What in the hell a poor 20 year old guy stuck with a young wife and baby is going to do with a miniature stuffed bear eludes me (as it would any marginally sane person) but I was swept up in the moment. Of course the poor guy forgot :)

I got my feelings terribly hurt because of course this one day out of 365 others naturally became, due to female "logic", some cosmic sign he didn't care for me as much as I cared for him.

After that, I figured I didn't need to set him up for failure and just let the whole stupid holiday thing go. And ironically, he's really good about that stuff now and I'm awful. I'll surprise him but I stubbornly refuse to do things on a specified day.

But whatever.

KJ said...

Thanks for the reminder Cass. When is valentines day, again? I don't want to miss it this year.

Cassandra said...

I think it's some time in June. The 19th?

Sounds about right.