Orchestra’s Witnesses

Another school levy must have failed, because Lefty is now soliciting Westview residents during the summer in today’s strip. I guess that sweet band turkey revenue was just not enough to cover the cost of new feathery hats, Dinkles brand shoes, and those things that marching band members wear over their shoes.

The financial situation must be really dire in the Westview school district, because the band has weathered at least a dozen failed levies. It has typically been the high school’s sacred cow. Nate probably shouldn’t have allowed Les to meet with parents back in May, which undoubtedly cost the school district whatever bit of support it might have had.

It almost makes me wonder: How many guitar and flute tunes are there anyways? How many do Emily and Amelia know? Is Lefty going to pull out and in of every driveway in Westview? Is every single person who answers their door in Westview over the age of 75? Did Lefty come up with the punny name for this scheme before coming up with the scheme itself?

OK, I know the answer to that last one…

And with that, I yield the keyboard to a towering figure in the annals of SoSF, the one and only DavidO. As always, I appreciate you all putting up with me for a couple weeks.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

18 responses to “Orchestra’s Witnesses

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Pay to play means you play money so that you can play. Play to pay in this context would mean the girls play an instrument so that they can pay someone money. This joke makes zero sense. And it’s not like it’s witty to start with. Batiuk really seems to think switching words around makes for instant humor. It doesn’t.
    Win it to in it.
    You have to win to play.
    Heart to the shot.
    A people of the man.
    An ice of scoop cream.
    A gut to the punch.
    A real pants in the kick.
    All of those sound to me like something that could easily be uttered by Ed Crankshaft, and none is close to funny.

  2. Gerard Plourde

    It’s also July. Everybody’s in short sleeves except Lefty who’s wearing a windbreaker so she can have the obligatory pinned-up sleeve.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah, this one is just straight out of left field. Why is the WHS band going door to door in July? I’m kind of amazed that Owen and Cody aren’t there, maybe they really DID finally graduate.

  4. “Serenade” is usually something singers do, not instrumental musicians, which leads me to wonder–does Westview have a choir? Do they ever get annoyed that 99.999% of the school’s music budget? Is One-Arm in charge of them as well, or is there an unseen fifth faculty member in charge of that class?

  5. Ugh

    It should be “play FOR pay”.

  6. DOlz

    @TheDiva, I hate having to defend TB with a passion, but

    Serenade for Strings (Tchaikovsky)
    Serenade for Strings (Dvořák)
    Serenade for Strings (Elgar)
    Serenade for Strings Dwight Gustafson

    I guess TB was just stringing you along with this one (exit: head hanging in shame as I slink out the door)

  7. spacemanspiff85

    Take a bow.

  8. I actually had a CD of French music for guitar and flute. Still have it digitized somewhere, so I guess I listened to it once or twice.

  9. On this side, we have Batiuk using a term he doesn’t understand. On the other, Crankshaft making another horrible pun.

  10. HeyItsDave

    Hey, let’s not be too hard on Lefty – She’s finally making an appearance without Dinkle attached to her like an ancient retired leech who won’t stop hanging around the goddamn high school until someone gets a restraining order.

    Hey, T-Bats, how’d the Community Band do at that Independence Day competition? Remember, the one they missed their only annual community gig to perform at? Oh, sorry, that must have been just another throwaway plot thread so we could laugh at Mort’s dementia and Bull’s COPD.

  11. Rusty Shackleford


    Cranky is especially stupid today. First, bridges are usually maintained by the county, and since this one crosses over (barely) railroad tracks, the railroad would be involved as well.

    And finally, I thought Cranky was getting his paper on his tablet now. We suffered through a week of him bitching about it.

  12. Rusty

    All I can think about is Becky struggling to open the car door in that first panel.

  13. Eldon of Galt

    A long, long lead-up to a feeble pun, that is then totally botched. The usual ineptitude.

  14. So the Westview Scapegoat band includes an acoustic guitar player? Do they also have a marching cellist?

  15. Jimmy

    That marching band scene is great. I haven’t watched that movie.

    Speaking of videos, I wonder if Sarah McLachlan could make one for the WHS marching band.

  16. Not to defend Tom Batiuk too much, but I think the Hair Change Twins are not necessarily going to provide “band” music. They’re just supposed to supply pleasant noises to those who might offer funds.

    And I do seem to recall that Jim Art Teacher mentioned “choir” as being one of the school activities cut from the curriculum.

  17. Professor Fate

    and because I’m old I’m reminded of the exchange between Groucho (Saulding) and Chico (Ravelli) in Animal Crackers when talking about Ravelli’s band:
    Spaulding: What do you fellas get an hour?
    Ravelli: Oh, for playing, we get ten dollars an hour.
    Spaulding: I see. What do you get for not playing?
    Ravelli: Twelve dollars an hour.
    Spaulding: Well, clip me off a piece of that.
    Ravelli: Now for rehearsing, we make special rate: that’s’a fifteen dollars an hour.
    Spaulding: That’s for rehearsing?
    Ravelli: That’s for rehearsing.
    Spaulding: And what do you get for not rehearsing?
    Ravelli: You couldn’t afford it.


    Two teenage girls with 70’s style long hair peddling services for school charity at the door with an androgynous escort in a varsity jacket.

    Wasn’t this how the plot of “Debbie Does Dallas” got started?