As the comic books say, “What th–?”
“On the nose” means “with great precision.” In other words, this comic has characters saying “I thought your talk was very precise,” and the other responding, “No, it was very scattered and vague.” So, Dinkle is saying he’s a talentless loser who wastes everyone’s time. Given yesterday’s strip, I can certainly agree with that! C’mon, Becky, you should pop that old coot with your patented left hook! Oh wait.
Now, if, in an alternate reality, “on the nose” meant “barely touching something,” then yes, that describes his clinic perfectly. And thus the comic makes a tiny bit of sense, with Dinkle responding, “No, I was more thorough than that.” But that makes Becky’s remark kind of insulting–and we certainly can’t have that if Dinkle is involved. But not to worry, “on the nose” doesn’t mean that, so no one is dissing Dinkle! Cancel the panic!
If a person is really determined to base his comic strip around word-play, then he needs to get that aspect done correctly. One cannot just take a phrase like “on the nose” and think, What other body parts can I use to make a pun? and just settle on the first thing that pops to mind. Making a good pun–and there are such beasts, from time to time–requires thought.
So, if Becky said Dinkle’s chat was “on the nose” he could say, “too bad, I was aiming for the brain,” then that could work as word-play. Admittedly, it took me half a minute to come up with that, and maybe Tom Batiuk just doesn’t have that kind of time available.
A while ago I suggested that we get together and buy Tom Batiuk a dictionary. I’m thinking now some kind of book on puns would be useful, too–maybe this one?
And here’s Wednesday’s Crankshaft! I’m telling you, that writing job is practically mine.