Peer through this window into Dinkle’s wizzled soul.
Holy crap, Dinkle saves stuff. And he feels comfortable enough with this creepy habit that he willingly shows Lefty one of his collections. This one seems innocent enough – tufts of grass from each years’ band camp – but will he ever show her his other collections? The ones kept in that special room behind the hidden door in the basement? The ones lined neatly up on narrow little shelves lining the walls…tiny jars holding little trophies and mementos of past achievements and heartbreaks…
Look! Here are sets of false teeth, taken from the nightstands of women at Bedside Manor who received “special music lessons.” And those jars near the door with all of Hallie’s nail trimmings from when she was just a baby. There are many, many others…Harry had access to the locker rooms at Westview High for so very long, and even now he visits from time to time, to see if there is anything else he might want to…collect.
18 responses to “Dinkle….SAVES things.”
“Here are the arms of all my former assistants!”
I wish Batiuk had saved his “how to draw human faces” book. Dinkle in the last panel barely looks human at all. And did the Westview Band actually own their own permanent campground? That seems pretty expensive. What is the point even supposed to be here? “Wow, he saved grass from band camps, how poignant”? I bet it was just that Batiuk couldn’t come up with anything to write, was staring out the window looking for inspiration, saw grass, and just went with this.
Too bad that someone didn’t think to save some humor from back when FW was sometimes mildly amusing, as we’d be able to sprinkle some around whenever something stupid and humorless like this cropped up. Then again, it’d probably be all used up by now. It’s grass, it’s all pretty much the same and when Dinkle finally at long last dies his little collection will go straight into the dumpster. I can’t stand Act III Dinkle, I can’t for the life of me understand why he’s still always around and I quite frankly wish he’d just go the hell away already.
Jesus, Dinkle looks so proud of himself in that last panel. “That’s right! Bet you never thought of doing something so cool before!”
What exactly is the context of this strip? Did Becky go over to Dinkle’s house and he’s showing her his favorite collections? I bet he was just as proud of his toenail display. That, and they’re totally doing it. Batiuk should just be honest about what’s going on here. It’d be more interesting than… everything he’s done over the last eight years or so, at least.
If you want to know what Pinnacle Asshole looks like, read today’s Crankshaft, which I guarantee is based on Batiuk’s own life experience.
Just like he secretly regrets killing off Lisa, you can see he really regrets ruining his Dinkle character. Every single band-related strip used to be based around one premise, that being how Dinkle was a megalomaniacal nutcase. Once he took that premise away, the band jokes all became variations of: “I lost my instrument”, “I didn’t practice” and “marching band is sheer drudgery”. And, of course, the oppressively annoying Act III Dinkle standing around reminding everyone about what the old premise used to be, always with that demonic cackle on his face.
If he had just left the stupid character alone and not worried so much about giving every single character a miserable pathos-laden back story centering around age, illness, personal trauma and woe, he could still be doing the same old “Dinkle is a lunatic” gags instead of pointlessly pretending that Becky is somehow a serious character in the strip and not just there to react to Dinkle’s endless droning. I very seriously doubt anyone would have protested and said “heyyyy, wait a minute! Dinkle never ages!”. I mean I would have, but I’m touchy that way.
So, just like how it took him years to figure out how to do anything with Les without Lisa, Becky stands there like a moron while the old band director who retired centuries ago constantly undermines her and endlessly reminds her that her work amounts to nothing when measured against his past accomplishments. Becky never gets a victory of her own, she never gets to zap Dinkle with a zinger or two, it’s always “sigh, what a thankless task” with her. Just like it is for Bantom when he does band arcs now.
Trying to mesh “Dinkle is a power-mad lunatic” with the current depressing setting doesn’t work. All it ends up becoming is an exercise in boring futility in which we’re left thinking that each jar is a reminder that he ignored his wife and children so he could be a pathetic, deluded old foot on a sad ego trip.
I’d really love to see Becks zap Dinkle with a stungun. I can’t imagine why T-Bats insists on having Dinkle haunting every move that Lefty makes…especially at Westview High. Since when are retired teachers allowed to hang around the school? If that happened around here, the school would have a trespassing order out on the old bastard.
It’s more likely that in the Funkyverse, where student and amateur bands are so important, there exist summer band camps which book blocks of time to individual schools. Notice that the sign doesn’t say, “Scapegoat Band Camp,” only “Band Camp” with “Westview H S” on hooks below it.
Jesus. The snark community puts more thought into this strip than its own creator.
The other side: as I came to CS late I risk showing my ignorance, but… Is the character intended to be the proverbial “grumpy but lovable old coot perennially perplexed by the accelerating pace of modern life”? (Is there a mission statement on Crankshaft similar to the FW one about young adult issues?) Because he’s not even remotely lovable, and the mean spirited inanity he spouts isn’t even borderline cute or quirky, much less humorous. And I have to say, if I had picked up a bobble head at the game only to read today’s strip in which a joke is made about handicapped people commanding too many parking spaces, I’d be returning the bobble in pieces to the Mud Hens and writing a letter to the local paper complaining about the team promoting a pair of cartoonists who obviously think handicapped citizens are overly accomodated.
One more thought… If on the other hand TB and CA are making a statement about how people should not take handicapped spaces just because no one is there at the moment, which does happen a lot in life, it just makes Clodshaft all the more unpalatable. So why is such a character even put on the comics pages? I can’t think of a single other character that seems to exist solely to be unpleasant. Even the clueless egomaniac boss in Dilbert is funny as a stereotype. An old person like CS in real life wouldn’t be indulged, just avoided and shunned. He certainly isn’t entertaining to read. I’m officially cutting him out of my daily comics routine. Not because I’m being PC, don’t get me wrong. I’ ve been wondering for several months when there might be a premise or a setup that’s mildly humorous, but I have yet to read one and I would rather read, I dunno, Luanne or something equally stupid. At least I crack a smile every couple of weeks reading Luanne.
NO! NOT DINKLE AGAIN! NOT DINKLE AGAIN. But serious folk, he was in a storyline last month. Now’s he’s back. On the bright side, this should save us from a week of Les.
And today’s CRANKSHAFT is the equivalent of Donald Trump ridiculing that physically-challenged person.
How can Batiuk do his yearly summer band camp homage, but not feature Becky and a bunch of new students he can’t remember? Flashback with one of his faves, Harry Dinkle. Rinse and repeat for every situation.
Not sure what he’s going for. Is this to show a softer, sentimental side of Dinkle? The choice just comes across as weird.
Man I can smell that Pulitzer…like fresh doggie doo on grass on a hot summer afternoon.
@Epicus – You forgot “Rain”
The Crankshaft character has always been an unapologetic asshole. If anyone in real life behaved the way he does in his bus-driving job (abusing kids and mothers, regularly destroying people’s mailboxes), he would have been removed from his job years ago. For some reason, we’re expected to find these qualities endearing, but instead I generally find them offensive.
Even on crankshaft they do the bare minimum. I’m surprised they can get away with the single panel gimmick. At least when Watterson did the single panel Sunday strip you were treated to some beautiful artwork. But here, meh. They can’t even get the parking signs correct.
It is far worse than you know. At one point, someone came along with the express purpose of getting Ed Crankshaft’s ass canned and his pals at the bus garage rose up en masse to ruin her because he makes them look better in comparison.
Can we all agree that Dinkleberry is slowly morphing into FDR?