S.P. Charles: ”Not… a… clue…”

Cidu Bill on Mar 26th 2013


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Funky Winkerbean, Tom Batiuk, comic strips, comics | 36 responses so far

36 Responses to “S.P. Charles: ”Not… a… clue…””

  1. John Small Berries Mar 26th 2013 at 02:23 am 1

    It would make perfect sense if the paper had gone into the wastebasket. (Cheapskate teacher makes bet, loses, addresses the kid next to the shooter and tells him to pay up.)

    He’s pointing at the kid in the green shirt, which makes it appear that his statement in the third panel is addressed to him, but another possibility is that he’s pointing to emphasize the word “him” rather than “you” - but why would he want the shooter to pay the kid in green rather than himself?

    Is there a storyline going on in which the teacher knows the kid in green is in some financial distress?

  2. Inkwell Mar 26th 2013 at 02:44 am 2

    Nope, no storyline. To make things even weirder, that’s not even the teacher. That’s their coach. I’m not trying to go all Stuck Funky here, but I can’t tell if the joke actually has to do with the fact that the coach is in the classroom or if Tom just got the faculty members mixed up.

    He doesn’t seem to really be teaching, so maybe it is relevant.

  3. Stan Mar 26th 2013 at 02:58 am 3

    Long shot, but maybe the guy in the green shirt’s name is ‘Five Bucks’, and there’s a lack of an appropriate comma.

    ‘Five Bucks says you don’t make it.’
    (He doesn’t make it.)
    ‘You owe him, Five Bucks.’

    I dunno. I’ve got nothing, really. This is a weird one.

  4. Inkwell Mar 26th 2013 at 03:14 am 4

    ^ His name is either Owen or Cody. He’s one of two characters whose names I confuse.

    This being a strip about a guy named “Funky Winkerbean”, though, it could work.

  5. Jim Mar 26th 2013 at 07:13 am 5

    Owen is the one posing as an Andean llama herder. He’s an idiot; it’s not much, but it’s the only characterization he has. Cody is the one who isn’t Owen. Anyway, it looks like Coach is telling Owen the idiot to pay the five-spot to Cody. Why? I have no idea.

  6. Bill A Mar 26th 2013 at 07:48 am 6

    First of all, it’s Funky Winkerbean which makes the jokes lame or stupid - take your choice.
    - Teacher bets student.
    - Teacher wins bet, but can’t collect because it’s unethical.
    - Teacher tells loser to pay off to another student allowing teacher to keep job and making collecting the bet the problem of someone else. (Bet is either never collected or collected after school in a fight.)
    As I said, lame and stupid is what Funky Winkerbean does best - that and cancer, stroke and torturous death.

  7. Jeff S. Mar 26th 2013 at 08:11 am 7

    IF the coach couldn’t see who threw it, THEN the student who DID throw it, turned to a random student behind him and laid blame for the errant shot on him. However, from the looks of the first panel, it appears that the coach can plainly see who tossed the paper, so I have no idea.

  8. Kilby Mar 26th 2013 at 08:39 am 8

    I agree with most of what Bill A said (@5), except that the person commanding the payoff in the third panel does not look like the teacher (too much hair), although that might just be a coloring error compounding the horrible writing, poor composition, and continuity problems(*).

    I think the only viable excuse for this lame cartoon would be for Batuik to quote Larson: “It was late, and I was tired.”

    P.S. (*) What happened to the book that the green shirted student has in the first panel?

  9. AMC Mar 26th 2013 at 08:57 am 9

    The answer has something to do with cancer or having a stroke.

  10. John Small Berries Mar 26th 2013 at 09:00 am 10

    The weird thing is, when Googling to find out if the coach also taught any academic subjects, about half of the hits made reference to the fact that the character had died (apparently some time in early 2011). Or is “Coach Jack Stropp” not the same character as the one in this strip?

  11. mitch4 Mar 26th 2013 at 09:12 am 11

    In some schools the coaches are also on the faculty roster and teach some classes. (As JSB @9 was supposing already.)

    I read it along the lines suggested at least once above: the coach wins the bet, but realizes he can’t collect, so reassigns the payment to go to another student.

    Tha doesn’t make it funny, but what did you expect?

    Having it be the coach instead of some other teacher may explain why he penalizes missing the basket rather than just altogether banning shooting from the seats and requiring the students to walk up to the wastebasket.

  12. Ooten Aboot Mar 26th 2013 at 09:14 am 12

    Green Shirt jostled Tea-Cozy Head, spoiling the pitch and foiling Coach’s attempt to knock it outta da pahk with his puttah. In the Funkyverse, if you interfere when there’s money on the line, you cover the loser’s loss. Makes as much sense as any other explanation.

  13. Powers Mar 26th 2013 at 10:37 am 13

    The coach in this strip is Bull, Coach Stropp’s protege and successor. He’s directing the paper-throwing student to pay the green-shirt student the winnings. Why, I don’t know.

  14. Judge Mental Mar 26th 2013 at 11:14 am 14

    Some thoughts (all probably off base )

    Is this a twist on the old joke where as two guys are being mugged, guy number 1 chooses to take the opportunity to pay back the amount he borrowed from guy number 2 the day before? That is, is the coach coercing green shirt guy to pay the money he “owes” green cap guy, so green cap guy has funds to pay off his gambling debt to the coach?

    Is this just a dumb jock joke? Not only is the coach so dumb he doesn’t understand that he (coach) won the bet and green cap guy lost it, he is a typical jock that is bullying someone else to pay of his (coach’s) perceived debt.

    Finally, is that indeed the coach in the final panel? Based on the shirt color and angle, I assumed that it is; however, he appears to be have thinning hair with a bald spot on top in the first panel while the character in the final panel appears to have a full head of hair.

  15. Bob Mar 26th 2013 at 12:12 pm 15

    @AMC (9) - LOL!

  16. Pete Mar 26th 2013 at 01:03 pm 16

    I think the judge may have something there. In the first panel, we see the top of someone’s head. In the last panel, the person speaking has (almost) the same hair, so I think it’s the same person.

  17. Pirk Mar 26th 2013 at 01:18 pm 17

    Here’s my current hypothesis:

    Our assumption that it didn’t go in is wrong. The wall acted as a backboard and it went in.
    The information given to us in the third panel is supposed to be all we need to infer that the paper ball went in.
    In the third panel, coach is bullying another student into paying his debt.
    So, the second panel isn’t depicting a miss, it’s depicting the moment of suspense before the ball goes in.

  18. Paperboy Mar 26th 2013 at 01:42 pm 18

    The coach was a school bully when the strip started, and he still hasn’t completely changed.

  19. rain Mar 26th 2013 at 02:08 pm 19

    Cancer cancer Scapegoats cancer. Cancer.

  20. Inkwell Mar 26th 2013 at 04:32 pm 20

    @John Small Berries - (I think) Jack Stropp was the coach when the protagonists were kids. He died unceremoniously. This is Coach Bull Bushka, the former school bully.

    oh lord i know this. @_@

  21. Mary in Ohio Mar 26th 2013 at 05:32 pm 21

    This is Coach Bull Bushka - he’s Funky and Les’s age and yes, he is on the faculty and teaches Phys Ed. (Well, you know what I mean.) But as for meaning - I got nothing. At first I read it as green shirt has to pay, then decided Green shirt was to GET the money (our papers have it in B&W so the color here is a help.)

  22. fuzzmaster Mar 26th 2013 at 05:56 pm 22

    First, the coach does teach classes too. Weren’t you guys ever in high school?

    Second, it could’ve been funny and in keeping with the strip’s character history if Coach Bushka had himself paid the shooter five bucks, because for the Scapegoats (male) basketball team, hitting the rim and bouncing off is as close as they ever come to making a basket.

    Third, the expressions on the two kids’ faces in the last panel provide no support for the idea that Bushka is telling the shooter to pay Cody. Owen is looking like he got away with something, and Cody has the “Zoinks!” face. And no, the paper wad didn’t go into the basket — the shadow indicates it’s already gone out of the cylinder and is going to hit the wall well to the right.

    Fourth, I don’t have a fourth. The coach said “five bucks says …” but figures that since he didn’t specify who would pay up, he can pick a kid at random?

  23. J-L Mar 26th 2013 at 06:46 pm 23

    Notice the angry expression on the crumpled ball of paper in the second panel. It seems to be scowling at something.

  24. Inkwell Mar 26th 2013 at 08:36 pm 24

    “Weren’t you guys ever in high school?”

    Home schooled. It sucks.

    The commenters on another comic website seemed baffled that he was teaching, and I’ve never seen him teach onscreen before, so I assumed this was abnormal.

  25. Dr. Shrinker Mar 26th 2013 at 08:51 pm 25

    I think fuzzmaster’s 4th point is it, exactly. He didn’t say “I bet you $5″, so when it’s time to pay, he picks someone else.

    But wait, he didn’t make it, so the kid should pay the coach…Jeez, do you think Batiuk’s beginning the long slide into dementia?

  26. WalterM Mar 26th 2013 at 10:46 pm 26


  27. Jeff S. Mar 26th 2013 at 11:27 pm 27

    The coach never says if he misses, you owe ME five bucks… in fact, he never says who gets the five bucks if he misses. So…

    The coach actually means, if you miss it, YOU get $5. The kid ’successfully’ misses, so the coach tells the boy next to the shooter to give the shooter the five bucks he is due.

    And to echo the previous… Beginning? HA!

  28. Stan Mar 26th 2013 at 11:50 pm 28

    About PE teachers teaching other subjects…I love this joke:

    ‘I’m a PE teacher. I teach running.
    *Pheeeep* RUN!
    I teach jumping.
    *Pheeeep* JUMP!
    And some geography.
    *Pheeeep* JOG!’

  29. Mary in Ohio Mar 27th 2013 at 04:32 pm 29

    And just to add to the confusion, this story line is not continued in today’s strip, except that it features another screw up by the same kid.

  30. Jeff S. Mar 27th 2013 at 07:16 pm 30

    You mean, there actually IS someone who follows Funky Winkerbean?

  31. Inkwell Mar 27th 2013 at 07:30 pm 31

    I do off and on. XD The hatedom is full of nice people, but there’s only so much Funky I can take.

  32. Frank the curmudgeon Mar 28th 2013 at 04:45 am 32

    @CDIUBILL Didn’t you “ban” Funky a few years back >

  33. Dave in Asheville Mar 28th 2013 at 07:46 am 33

    The hair on the back of the coach’s head threw me off. I’m with Mitch4. The coach is him telling the shooter that he owes the kid next to him $5, since it would be inappropriate for the coach to collect. He never says “I bet you five bucks”, he says “five bucks says”. So the “five bucks” bet is valid, just not necessarily with the coach. Coach gives the “win” to the kid next to the shooter.

    Emphasis on the “him” in the last panel would have helped (and some visible balding).

    I don’t think there is any confusion on the understanding that a miss means the shooter loses $5 (as opposed to winning it).

  34. Nitric Acid Mar 28th 2013 at 03:38 pm 34

    Thanks, Dave, that actually makes sense.

    And somehow, I missed Bill A’s explanation that said essentially the same thing…..

  35. chene Mar 28th 2013 at 06:40 pm 35

    Maybe it’s
    Panel 1 - Coach bets Alpaca (Owen) that he can’t make the shot.
    Panel 2 - Alpaca misses
    Panel 3 - Alpaca is the one talking saying Funky Jr. (Cody) owes the $5. Not sure why the Coach is pointing, but that would explain the sheepish look on Alpaca and the shocked look on Funky Jr.

  36. VCR Apr 9th 2013 at 06:35 pm 36

    @Powers (13): Maybe because money and green shirts are both green?

    I stopped reading this strip long ago.

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