Send band boxes, guns, and money

Today, DSH John suddenly appears, which is always unsettling. We can be grateful, however, that he has nothing to say, although he does smirk in the final panel.

BanTom favors us once again with unnatural dialog that exists only to introduce a pun. When Stephan Pastis does this in Pearls Before Swine, however, he builds elaborate chains of verbiage—so you know what’s coming, and the fun is in trying to anticipate the pun line.

The structure of today’s joke is much different. (To paraphrase the magnificent Alice from The Vicar of Dibley, and as a reminder, a joke is a story with a humorous climax.) Panel 1: Funky delivers the straight line, which contains the curious phrase “the band box is R.I.P.” Do people use R.I.P. as a synonym for dead in Ohio? If so, I haven’t heard it during my visits there. Anyway, he delivers the straight line: “Either the band box is R.I.P., or I bite the bullet and get it repaired.”

In Panel 2, in a case of premature jocularity, Crazy Harry delivers the punch line: “Biting the bullet would make you a very high-caliber person.”

And aye, here’s the rub: there’s still one more panel to fill. There has to be a second punch line, which I’ll not deign to reproduce here. And that utterly ruins the structure of the joke. Also, there’s smirking.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Send band boxes, guns, and money

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Based on that “band box” lettering job, it’s hardly surprising that the f*cking thing never works. I mean geez, didn’t they have stencils back in “the old world”? And what the hell ever happened to Tony Montoni anyway? Isn’t it really HIS band box? Anyway, he’ll have no problem getting the band box repaired, as the local bar/restaurant useless paraphernalia district is mere blocks away. Old world band box craftsmanship at its finest.

    Coming next week: “band box” takes on a whole new meaning as Harry Dinkle finally dies.

  2. SpacemanSpiff85

    So…it’s perfectly okay for Funky to throw out crap like “the jury came back with the death penalty”, but when Crazy gets in it, he acts like he’s a pariah who should be exiled? Look at his face, he is not joking at all. Of course, neither is Batiuk, although it might’ve been better if he’d used that line when Survivor first came out, almost two decades ago.

  3. Harry and John are smirking in opposite directions in that last panel. I wonder if Tom Batiuk is going to use that image for a set of book-ends in the Funky Winkerbean store.

  4. Nathan Obral

    Someone needs to summon Rat to inflict pain on someone … anyone.

  5. Nathan Obral

    I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life. And I’ve NEVER used the phrase “R.I.P.” verbally… nor has anyone else I know.

    Which begs a ton of questions about Batom® that really should be asked, but will probably never be answered.

  6. Well, I did all the heavy lifting for him.

    C’mon, folks, hurry up! Perfect for Mother’s Day gifts! Show mom just how grateful you are!

  7. billytheskink

    “Voting (insert name) off the island”, such a timely reference… TB says he works 1 year in advance, are we sure he didn’t forget a zero there?

    I suppose tomorrow Funky will half-heartedly decide to get the Band Box repaired, prompting DSH to ask “Is that your final answer?”

    In Thursday’s strip, Funky compares Crazy to Simon Cowell when he makes unfavorable comments about how the now-repaired Band Box sounds.

    Cindy shows up on Friday to see Funky, Holly, and Durwood all behind the counter, and drops a reference to ABC’s most legendary sitcom (to star Ryan Reynolds).

    Saturday, I don’t know, something about Chadwick, the Band Box repairman re-attaching the thing to the wall, being a hanging chad…

  8. This is why you shouldn’t save your punchlines for fifteen years.

  9. ComicTrek

    “Do people use R.I.P. as a synonym for dead in Ohio?”

    No….no, we do not. (*Pinches bridge of nose and sighs deeply*)

  10. People also don’t say “solo car date” or “I stand in line” so it’s likely that we’re not dealing with the real world. What’s going on is that Funky and the others are speaking Batiukese.

  11. Nathan Obral

    Speaking of outdated punchlines…

    “Funky, you are the weakest link. Goodbye.”

  12. gleeb

    Well, RIP is shorter than dead, which is important in the shrinking comic space of today’s newspapers. Also, I figure people in this town need many more euphemisms for death than folks in other places.

  13. Nathan Obral

    @gleeb: Technically, that’s true. But Batom® also included the periods in between the letters, which results in MORE space for “R.I.P.” than for “dead.”

    TBH, the only appropriate usage of “RIP” as a synonym for dead that I have heard of is on Leslie Nielsen’s tombstone. (“LET ‘ER RIP!”)

  14. sgtsaunders

    More like DOA, numbnuts.

  15. DOlz

    @Nathan Obral, to paraphrase Brody from “Jaws”, he’s going to need a bigger bat.


    How the hell can Funky not afford to get this damn thing repaired? He practically runs the only functional business in this hell hole of a town!! Every single character visits his restaurant like a pilgrimage? Where does the money go, Funky???!!!

  17. captaincab

    So what do the puppets in Funky’s bandbox look like? Shriveled up little “Nordic” trolls I’m guessing.

  18. marcusaurelius1

    @ captaincab. Funky’s band box. Yuck. Now I have that image in my mind.

  19. Charles

    Doesn’t RIP imply that it’s dead and buried and not something to be disturbed, since it’s actually, you know, IN PEACE?

    Batiuk’s dumb rhetorical flourishes usually make about as much sense as this, which is to say, they’re often self-contradictory.

  20. John

    John: “Wait a minute…BAND Box? I always assumed that was a “Bano” box. I’ve been allowing my pet guinea pig to use its facilities for her business.”

    Funky: “….what.”

    John: “In fact, that might be why it’s no longer working. Because of all the…well…the…”droppings”…heh.”

    Funky: “WHAT.”

    Harry: “You might say that was a very crappy thing for John to d-OW!”


    (Harry and John are flung and tossed around Montoni’s like ragdolls.)