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I thought for sure it must be related to Enumclaw, but teh google says that's 179 miles away. That's a long way even for a horse ride.
A perusal of Google's top search hits for "Sunnyside Washington unpleasantness" shows that there's a lot of people in Sunnyside, WA who find the experience of dealing with Debt Collection Agencies to be rather unpleasant, indeed.
Searching for "unpleasantness" is obviously not going to work. Try "wrestling", "rape", or "mop handle".
Maybe I read it wrong... but doesn't he tell us exactly what the unpleasantness is in the last panel?
Given the precise description of the "grit wind", manure smell, and clouds of flies, Scott either actually lived in Sunnyside or knows someone who did. Hey. At least it wasn't Grandview or <shudder> Toppenish.
<B>Note from Scott: Born and raised in Sunnyside/Outlook
Well, well, well . . . .
Sunnyside, WA unpleasantness
[PDF] Immigrants Though many family groups came to Grandview from otherwww.grandview.wa.us/WebPage/CityCouncil/.../Immigrants.pdfFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick ViewHistory of Sunnyside, Washington, I found a photo of the hotel located at ..... arrangement was quite satisfactory, but the smell of the gas was rather unpleasant.
Was the whole unpleasantness thing a reference to the show Haven? Cause that's what it made me think of...
I'm pretty sure that the unpleasantness is explained right there in the fourth panel...
I see something about an insane killer from Sunnyside who escaped from his mental institution during a field trip to the Washington State Fair. Everything else I come across seems pretty run-of-the-mill, so far...
Could the unpleasantness be this?
I am a little surprised to see people asking about the unpleasantness. It's right there in panel 4! Scott says, "The first confirmed case of Mad Cow in America. The unpleasantness." I suppose that you could interpret this as a list of two separate things, but the punctuation led me to believe that this was not the case. Kind of like if you were watching a kung fu movie and a character said, "It's time to consult the greatest kung fu master in the world. My grandfather." Would you, at that point, be wondering who the kung-fu master was? Would you be expecting the character to visit his grandfather AND the kung-fu master?
Also, I absolutely loved the line "It's all right there in the title."
WE DO NOT DISCUSS THE UNPLEASANTNESS. It's unpleasant.
This "unpleasantness" we do not speak of... is it... "the hunger" that afflicts so many of Sunnyside residents?
If it were Wenatchee I'd know what it was about.
<B>Note from Scott: Yeah, what's the deal with Rural Washington?
Has the last panel changed since publishing, or am I missing a joke where 18 people above me are asking "what is the unpleasantness" when it couldn't be more clearly spelled out in the last panel?
I read Dunkards as Drunkards. Makes the story far more entertaining.
Actually, I think the first mad cow episode was right here in Sunny Moses Lake. Though you might not count that one since the cow originally came from Canada. And we had the distinction of being the first school shooting. See, it's an Eastern Washington thing, the unpleasantness! Either that or we really get a kick out of hitting the AP.
I'm with Bobman and StevenR - how is it possible that so many people missed the fact that the unpleasantness was spelled out RIGHT THERE in the comic?!?!
The mad cow incident is not the unpleasantness. In panel 4 Scott is clearly listing notable events in the town's history, and they are separate items on the list.
I think the people saying that he says what the unpleasantness is in panel 4 are reading it wrong. He says the mad cow item, then there is a full break (period plus the ending of that speech balloon), then in a new speech balloon mentions the unpleasantness. This to me signifies that it's a separate idea. It's as though he's listing things of historical note. It also seems that, that is the case because his mom interrupts him when he mentions the unpleasantness and not the mad cow. I would think she would have cut him off when talking about the mad cow if it were, indeed, the unpleasantness.
BWAHAHAHA! I'd moved to Moses Lake by the time of the unpleasantness, so I got a lot of millage out of discussing it myself.
Really though, something that horrible has no right to be so funny.
I don't think the Mad Cow thing is the unpleasantness referred to. His mom says there's lots of history so he starts naming things. The list is two things long before his mom cuts him off. The implication is that whatever the unpleasantness is, it's even worse than the first case of Mad Cow disease in America.
That's how I read it.
Low reading comprehension on this strip today. Unusual.
My my, there's a lot of competition for town with the First Place in Unpleasantness in Washington. Can't imagine why I didn't move back there instead of to Oregon where there is never ever ever any unpleasantness.
So this "incident" is why you write that you grew up in Yakima? Like that's any better?
You. Guys. Are. GULLIBLE.
The first confirmed case of Mad Cow in America is unpleasant, but it is not the unpleasantness.
The way I read panel 4 is that he is listing the hometown history and she interrupts him when he mentions the unmentionable unpleasantness. I do not read the mad cow as being related in ay way to the unpleasantness.
I am not surprised that the unmentionable unpleasantness is not easily found. I'm sure city historians are instructed to leave it out of the official archives.
I don't think that the first case of Mad Cow was The Unpleasantness. Scott('s character) was making a list of all the things in his town's history, but only made it to item two before his mom interrupted him. (Two out of what? Three? Four? Something like that, probably.)
I think the most likely "unpleasantness" would be this:
I don't think it's the same thing to go from specifics to generalization... "Mad Cow"... "unpleasantness"as it is to go from general to specific... "greatest king-fu master"... "my grandfather"
I adhere to the list interpretation, I still want to know what the unpleasantness is.
As a D(r)unkard from SoDak, I can state catergorically that we are the ones responsible for bringing the Lighted Farm Implement Parade to town. It's a nice way to show off a Super M-TA Farmall. It is however, very challenging to round up enough extension cords to power the lights on the implements. It's the main reason why we limit entries and keep it short and sweet
I think Tsuyoshi is the only one that got it correct. I lived in the Tri-Cities in 1992, and we were well aware of the mop-handle incident.
This comic is a lot funnier if the unpleasantness is the MCD incident, since if it is, Scott's mom is happy in panel 2 he didn't mention it, but then in panel 4 he does, in typical Basic Instructions ironic brilliance. Not to say it is ironic for B.I. to be brilliant.
I think the unpleasantness and the Mad Cow are separate.
I vote for escaped killer Philip Paul as the unpleasantness.
Is it possible that the link to the comments always says "10 comments for this item" regardless of how many comments there are? Case in point, I clicked on "10 comments" and there are 25 (I'm 26th).
In the 4th panel, Scott clearly finishes his thought about mad cow and starts a new thought, listing a different item from history. If mad cow was the unpleasantness, Mom would have interrupted earlier.
Those who think the last panel "spells it out": they know how to read, but they don't know how to read comics. The two phrases are in separate balloons, and BI often makes use of this form when reciting lists of similar things in an exaggerated fashion.
Wow, Enumclaw's unpleasantness has its own wikipedia page! Sunnyside will have to get up pretty early in the morning to top that...
I think the Lighted Farm Implement Parade needs to be a t-shirt. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" better than a festive combine.
I would wear that shirt.
In my mind I keep picturing the Unpleasantness in Sunnyside as being like the Troubles in Ireland.