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Doesn't he say it in the last panel? That Sunnydale had the first confirmed case of mad cow disease in America? I mean, it's not that unpleasant, but there you go.
So far I found one possible thing that, if it had happened on any other date, I would guess to be the "unpleasantness" - a six year old child who wandered out of school and drowned. But that happened on Sept 11, 2001, so it got driven out of national news by a bigger unpleasantness that same day...
Holy poo! You actually have a parade called the "Lighted Farm Implement Parade!??" I thought that was a joke!
I was reading the 4th panel as Scott listing things in his hometown history, so the unpleasantness was a separate item. Fits with it being in a separate speech bubble as well when his mum hasn't said anything between them.
As for the unpleasantness itself, I thought it was just like the "noodle incident" in Calvin & Hobbes, often referred to but never mentioned so the reader can decide for themselves what it is.
Oops. Seems like my last comment wasn't accepted due to lack of subtly? Sorry, Scott. :P I understand you have standards to maintain here.
There's a reason why they don't talk about the unpleasantness in Sunnyside.
If you really have to know, google sunnyside wrestling incident.
But you were warned.
I didn't hear anything about the first mad cow case.
However, Tsuyoshi pointed out "wrestling", "rape", "mop handle." Yep, I remember that one. It was on Geraldo Rivera's talk show, too. I think it easily eclipsed anything I've ever heard about hazing. Don't believe me? It wasn't a frat thing, it was at a high school, and... well, I don't have to spell it out now, do I?
And yes, of course, the Lighted Farm Implement Parade is a real thing... sometimes, you can see stuff still lit up from the freeway even after it's over.
Oh and puh-leeze, I have to laugh at urbanites that have a problem with the smell of animal poop. You can laugh at me when I claim I'm a modern homesteader, living on the edge of farm country. I've lived around it long enough and I'm actually still well-read and educated. Now, I trot out the hipster hobby of "farming", and I say, ha, yeah, ironic.
Tsuyoshi guessed The Unpleasantness already. As was suggested; try searching for sunnyside, mop, rape, wrestling.
At the risk of coming off as spam, I think this link might be The Unpleasantness being spoken of.
It certainly seems to fit the bill. Also, it's distressing that this happened before I was born.
And now Scott's listed under noteworthy citizens on the Sunnyside wiki. Nicely done, Scott.
It's a MacGuffin, much like "the noodle incident" in Calvin and Hobbes. Excellent strip...but then again, they all are. Thanks!
Contrary to what some of you are saying, the last panel does not reveal the "unpleasantness". It is a list of some of the town's history, including 1) Mad Cow, and 2) the Unpleasantness. These are two separate pieces of history.
What we know about the Unpleasantness, from this strip is:
It was unpleasant. At least to residents of Sunnyside.People talked about it for several years. Except in Sunnyside.It made national news.
If I had to guess the "Unpleasantness" was Scott Linehan, former head coach of the NFL's St. Louis Rams (2006-2008). Born and raised in Sunnyside, he graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1982.
During his time as head coach the rams were;
2006 they were 8-82007 they were 3-13and in 2008 he was fired after a 0-4 start.
They have a lighted Farm Implement Parade in New Orleans, but it only has hoes.
The case of Mad Cow Disease was in Mabton, NOT Sunnyside (disclaimer: My Home Town but WAY BACK WHEN LIKE 1960's). Shows just how hard it is to get anything in the wikipedia article that you might have to claim something from nearby Mabton as your own.
It's also DUNK-ARDS not DRUNK-ARDS (but the pun is acceptable).
Do you know how hard it was to verify both the Lighted Farm Implement parade AND the Dairy Queen animatronic cows as being from Sunnyside?
Glad y'all are paying attention!
Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars. Born in Sunnyside in 1965. - gets a mention as a famous citizen, but not Scott.
I notice that, although Joel is from the same town, he doesn't mention the "unpleasantness"!
@Keldaria: Losing at football is worse than the mop handle thing?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,106547,00.html I think we can say baldy is from Yakima, WA.
Uh, yeah that's pretty unpleasant.
Love today's strip though!
The unpleasantness was pretty bad, but it was nothing compared to the Noddle Incident.
wait...Sunnyside is your hometown? I lived in Grandview for a while and went to Sunnyside at least a few times a week...now I'm wondering who we know in common...
it's like a weird 7 degrees game...
The Sunnyside Unpleasantness was a recycle of an almost identical Unpleasantness at one of the Job Corps sites in Eastern WA in the 1960s ... Sunnyside can not even claim originality of Unpleasantness. There's pretty hefty competition for unpleasant EastoftheMountains in Washington.
More brilliance, Scott. You make my day, sir.
"The Unpleasantness" would be a great name for a goth band, and if they were a bit on the industrial side, they could very well make an album called "The Lighted Farm Implement Parade", as could the Kinks (I believe they're actually still around), as a very belated follow-up to "The Village Green Preservation Society".
Indeed, if there were any hippies in Sunnyside back in the day, maybe there was a psychedelic album called that by a band of the same name? If not, there should have been. I can imagine the cover. If they reformed, they could release something darker and edgier called "The Sunnyside Unpleasantness", which is a wondrous combination of words. Though unlikely to be a ride at Disneyland any time soon.
Scott does not have a separate wikipedia article about hisself. First, Biographies of Living Persons (BLPs) are a very problematic, sort of "spam" area of wikipedia. But if you overcome the hurdles, it's pretty easy to be listed as "notable" in a wikipedia article. Without that, the continued entries may be deleted.
Do you know how difficult it is to find ANYONE famous from Sunnyside?
And ever since they tore down Sunny Grand Speedway, it's been all downhill.
-Proud ex-paperboy for the Sunnyside Sun (I made almost $2 one month!)
I remember the unpleasantness -- oh man, was that ever hilarious. I saw it on the national news. What was that -- 20, 25 years ago?
The Unpleasantness made it onto Wikipedia for a short time!
The Unpleasantness is much more unpleasant now that you've attached it to an actual unpleasant thing.
Saw this on the wikipedia article:
Scott Meyer, author of the webcomic "Basic Instructions.""
Apparently you're famous enough to be on wikipedia!
OK, you can say it's "right there in the title", but when I read "Lighted Farm Implement Parade", I was thinking of farm implements that had been set on fire. And a parade of people wielding them.
That is to say, a torches-and-pitchforks "parade"... as a Christmas tradition.
Well, it's apparently a body dumping ground. I don't think that's the Unpleasantness, though... which is kind of saying something.
Of course, it's probably just a noodle incident thing.
jesus christ, mad cows? everybody, run to the hills ! ! ! !
I was just a kid back then, but the unpleasantness reached all the way out to the peninsula. I can only imagine how bad it was at ground zero. Everyone is better off that we don't discuss it.
Here's what I got: http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/insane-killer-escapes-on-field-trip-to-fair-1.459051#.T8_E8uJYuCI
As of right now, someone sneaked this sentence into the section about LFIP:
(There's not much to say.They put Christmas lights on farm implements and have a parade. It's all there in the title.)
I assume the same person added Scott to the list of notable people.
Weird. I went to look up the unpleasantness and found that Sunnyside is near Yakima. My mother was born in Yakima. Maybe she will know. . .
I didn't know Sunnyside had a peninsula. And about the recent unpleasantness regarding the insane killer escape - I don't think we should talk about it.
When I was a kid in 1960's Sunnyside, Yakima was "the big city" and it was considered a day trip to go there by car. WIth 7 siblings we always stopped at the "famous Yakima A&W" for their 19 cent hamburgers. Mmmmm ... hamburgers.
On the way we might see signs for "Wapato" and as kids are wont to do, one of us would ask another, "What does that sign say?" and when they reflexively read out loud "Wapato" we'd say, "ok!" and stomp on their toe.
Did they put lights on the big scarlet letter at Christmas?
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