Stupid Tedious Enraging Meandering

Link to today’s strip.

Oh, no!  It’s Dinkle.

For the love of God, montresor, will no one rid me of this troublesome Dinkle?  At least Les Moore allows one to feel genuine, honest rage; this clod, who should be feeding the worms, has been in three Sunday strips dispensing his “wit” and his “wisdom” in forms that contain neither, and we do not need him.  He is loathsomeness made without goal, the skeletal clutching hands of ennui reaching for the throats of those asleep, in order to make their sleep seem profound upon waking.  He is the stench made by a skunk run over in the road; the animal and its purpose are gone, but the foul odor remains to scorch the senses of those driving nearby.  “Lingering” is the best adjective to describe Dinkle.

In case you can’t tell, I really, really, really hate Dinkle.  If there’s one character who really needs to be pushed out of the strip, it’s Dinkle.  At this point, it’s way too late to make him a beloved reminder of the strip’s glory days; he should just get hit by a truck (ironically, one delivering band uniforms), have Becky sniff over his coffin, and never stain the ink of this strip again.

But he won’t.  Tom Batiuk loves him some Dinkle.  One of the truly inexplicable aspects of this strip.  Why are all the horrible characters the most favored ones?

As for the episode itself, it says in six panels what should only take two.  The punchline was blindingly obvious from the get-go; I’m a little bit surprised Batiuk didn’t go and make all the STEM initials stand for musical terms.  How about “Sousa,” “Trombone,” “Elgar” and “Marching”?  That took me about a minute, and most of that was to think of what the “E” could stand for.  (I picked Elgar because of the “Pomp and Circumstance” things that usually play at graduation ceremonies.)  I imagine it took Tom Batiuk about the same amount of time to think this episode up and draw it.

Good Thing Watch:  My stint in the chair is over!  Yay!  Ha ha, charade you are!  Starting tomorrow, you wanted the best and you got it!  The hottest guest host in the land, Epicus Doomus!  (Cue audience cheers and power chords.)



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

17 responses to “Stupid Tedious Enraging Meandering

  1. HeyItsDave

    He’s supposed to be deaf. He isn’t.
    He’s supposed to be retired. He isn’t – he’s wearing a faculty ID.
    I swear, T-Bats keeps him around because so many music teachers have Act I Dinkle comics (clumsily) taped to their file cabinets and he can’t let go of the days when people actually read Funky Winkerbean unironically.
    You could have those days back, Tom. All you need to do is make the strip funny again. Tall order, I know.

  2. billytheskink

    “Welcome back students (just kidding)”

    Who let Les put the letters up on the school sign?
    Actually, it could have been Kablichnick… Or Linda. Or, well, anyone on the faculty really. I can’t think of a single teacher or administrator at Westview High that doesn’t loathe the students.

  3. ComicTrek

    My gosh, it’s as if Pete and Summer morphed themselves together! Does TB have any clue how to draw dark-haired people who do NOT (or at least, SHOULD not) look alike? Becky is one of the very few characters who appears to have aged realistically, so he should have kept her longer hair intact.

  4. Epicus Doomus

    Ugh, not these idiots again. Is Dinkle still on the payroll or is this just how he ignores his wife now? This one is the definition of a throwaway Sunday strip, I don’t know what they’re jabbering about nor do I want to.

  5. I feel like I put more effort into reading that joke than Batiuk put into writing it.

  6. ComicTrek

    Exactly, @HeyItsDave. Why can’t he turn this strip around? Does he think it’s too illogical or something? I mean, that’s NOTHING compared to what he’s done with it over the years!

  7. Another reminder that this pompous nitwit thinks that his obsession is the be-all and end-all of all things. Meanwhile, scavengers have started to go to work on Bull’s remains.

  8. Gerard Plourde

    Lefty’s comment that Westview is placing total emphasis on S.T.E.M. Is baffling. Does Batty think that high schools’ attention to S.T.E.M. education means they are dropping the other subjects?

  9. @BC: yes, this “joke” could be dispatched in two panels, but then we wouldn’t have four pictures of Tinkle’s steadily-building smugness as he approaches his “punch line.” Notice how by the fifth panel he’s practically shaking with anticipation… had the phone rung and Becky told him “hold that thought” for a few more seconds, we would have had an exploding-head scene right out of “Scanners” (which would have been a much better punch line). Matterofact, notice Tinkle’s smirk in the title panel. He’s already thinking about his “joke” as he enters the office, before Becky speaks. I figure this is because he secretly left a memo on her desk reading, “Be sure to ask Harry what he thinks about the new ‘STEM’ focus.”

    Oh, and notice that once again Becky’s wearing a shirt with one short and one long sleeve. She’s gotta have a closet full of them.

  10. Rusty

    You mean high school band teachers can’t identify with a morose, one-armed drudge?

  11. The shirt thing is baffling. I honestly don’t think those exist. You’d instead have a long sleeve shirt with the right sleeve shortened then pin the other one in summer… But most normal folks would buy a short sleeves anyway. Why would TB pretend they do solely to draw attention to the missing arm? Does he think people might look at the strip and assume he had forgotten to draw one?

  12. Rusty Shackleford

    At least Batty could say that Dinkle was “Director Emeritus ” to justify his constant presence on school grounds and his faculty ID…that he didn’t surrender when he retired.

    Well at least tomorrow we might see what happened to Bull. Or maybe we will get 1 panel of broken glass and metaphorical feces.

  13. Rusty Shackleford

    BTW, I think Bull will be kept alive, just so Batty can run endless strips where the punchline is “Bull’s heart is not in it”. I can already see Les smirking. Can you?

  14. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Since when does Dinkelberry care about MUSIC? When have you ever seen him care about music? As a younger man, all he cared about was overworking students in foul weather, and tormenting them with faux-military drills. As an old codger, he now makes snide remarks to, and about, nursing home residents (who physically or mentally can’t care for themselves) who lack the capacity to play a musical instrument adequately.

    And indeed, Batty. Let’s piss and moan about the school emphasizing skills that might help a few of these kids qualify for jobs not involving pizza or comics.

    “Gee whiz, Harry. The school is going to emphasize science and math. Obviously, that means the music budget will be slashed! There’s no way they’ll be able to afford BOTH of us!”

    “What a shame, Becky, my boy. Tell ya what. Let’s take a vote on which of us gets to stay. All in favor of Harry Dinkle staying on as sole band director, raise all your hands. All in favor of Becky? Hmmm…. Looks like I win, son. Best of luck to ya in the pizza business!”


    You ever know those people that learn a word of the day and just keep using that word? They use the word even when it isn’t relevant to the context. It’s kind of like they need to make themselves seem smarter to others by showing that they know what the word means.

    I feel like Batiuk is doing just that. He just came across what S.T.E.M. was and hence this Sunday strip was created.

  16. So many smirks
    To show you
    Even stroke-twisted ones—Hey! Where’s
    My pullet surprise?

  17. You can start by firing Kablichnick and hiring a science teacher who gives a shit.

    And about Bull, I think TB has to let him live. Without Bull, there can never be another sports joke. Bull is the entire sports department – athletic director, head football coach, head women’s basketball coach (does the high school have any other sports teams?). TB hasn’t bothered to develop any more characters who are part of the sports department, so who would he bring in if Bull bites the dust?