The Man Who Knew To Munch

Link to today’s strip.

Wow, that Dr. Harry L. Dinkle character sure is multi-talented!  Here’s the third seminar he’s chaired during this convention, and each one has been on a different subject.  In the first he taught some infants how to conduct, in the second he taught people how to be colossal dicks, and here he’s…wait a minute.  “Band Candy Fundamentals”?!  Seriously?  Could there possibly be an entire clinic devoted to band candy?

Or–and stay with me here–or is this an actual joke?  About how there are all these clinics and symposia and seminars, and a lot of them are just trivial and could easily be replaced by simple common sense?

I’m going to go with “that is the joke.”  Because the actual words in Dinkle’s mouth in that last panel make no sense to me–though the folks in the front row seem to find it hilarious…in a kind of sinister way, I must note.   “Conflict Chocolate.”  I’m guessing it’s a pun based on something, though that particular something eludes me.  A movie or TV show, maybe, or some specialized band conductor’s magazine.   Or some long forgotten Superman comic book–or better yet, a story from The Flash.

I sure hope this is it for a while from Harry L. Dinkle, PhD.  I’ll give the week this much credit: out of all the strips comprising Harry’s visit to the OMEA, only one had someone praising Dinkle.  That’s got to be a first.  Thank you, Tom Batiuk, for that Herculean level of restraint.  I hope it didn’t hurt too much.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

16 responses to “The Man Who Knew To Munch

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Every one of these “jokes” were really just inside jokes that only make sense of you’ve been following and being amused by Dinkle’s stupid antics through the decades. In other words, BatHole wrote these for himself and was no doubt wildly smirking with glee the whole time. Band candy, band turkey, band pizza…there are maybe thirty people on earth who have any idea what this is supposed to be and twenty-eight of them are regulars here. It’s completely self-indulgent drivel “written” without regard for anyone’s entertainment but his own.

    He hates the students, he hates the fund-raising, he hates his fellow conventioneers, so why the f*ck does he continue to center his entire life around it? Are there really actual band directors out there who read this crap and say to themselves “yes, oh I can relate! I’m taping THIS one to my office door!”? The old gags about marching in the rain and etc., sure, I can see that. But this sort of trash? “Boy, directing this high school marching band sure does blow all right but fortunately SOMEONE out there gets it right!”. I just can’t see it.

  2. Gerard Plourde

    “Conflict Chocolate” is a term similar to “Blood Diamonds”. It refers to a conflict in Ivory Coast in 2007. Not only was there an issue of child labor but also the funds received by the government for chocolate sales were also being used to keep the regime in power.

    I don’t think it should be passed off as a punchline. Here’s a link to an article from Foreign Policy magazine about the problem.

  3. erdmann

    Apparently “conflict chocolate” is like blood diamonds. It is produced from cocoa (primarily from the Ivory Coast) that is harvested by child slaves and helps fund government corruption and even wars. Not even remotely funny stuff, but that’s par for the course for this strip.

    Meanwhile, it has come to my attention that my wife’s cousin is a real life “famous high-school band director.” No, really. He spends his time composing and arranging music, teaching, directing and judging competitions. Apparently, he is quite good at it and is in great demand. I hardly know the guy, but he is apparently NOTHING like Dinkle in any way. Just in case that’s wrong, however, I intend never to get to know him better.

  4. erdmann

    Whoops. Not quick enough on the draw.

  5. spacemanspiff85

    Seriously, though, why does he have to specify BAND candy and BAND students? It’s made clear that this is a seminar on band candy, at a band convention, with band teachers who teach band students. Batiuk really must get paid by the word. Or he draws the word balloons ahead of time and has to come up with the dialogue to fill it all up.

  6. spacemanspiff85

    @Gerard Plourde:
    I’m guessing we can expect a joke in Crankshaft soon about how his job is human trafficking.

  7. Epicus Doomus

    Well, this “conflict chocolate” information takes this joke from stupid to downright clumsy and, uh, insensitive. “Conflict Chocolate”…there are two words I never thought I’d write consecutively.

    So OK, the joke with these marching band fundraiser gags is that no one ever wants to buy or sell the products they’re hawking. So why are the other band directors taking fund raising advice from a guy who sucks at it so much?

  8. billytheskink

    I know it’s always a big fight to get your band students to sell band cosmetics… but I’d refrain from refering to it as ‘Khmer Rouge’.

    Tasteless? Absolutely.
    Just like jokes that use “conflict chocolate” as a punch line.

  9. Great. We have Batiuk witlessly invoking human misery to make a dumb point about how this tedious, antisocial megalomaniac has the devil’s own time getting reluctant students to make fools of themselves trying to sell crap no one wants to people who don’t want to buy it. Watch him howl like a macaque when people call him on it.

  10. Next year, when Bull leads a seminar for high school coaches: ” I know it’s always a big fight to get your baseball team to run laps after sustaining lots of spiking injuries in a game, but I’d refrain from calling it a blood diamond…” Hey, that’s just as good a joke.

  11. Seriously, TB hears a term and he writes it down, determined to work it into his famed wordplay regardless of whether it is funny or makes sense.

  12. Rusty

    I’m assuming the American Band Directors Association or whateverthefuck, has stopped running his Halle Dinkle comic in its newsletter. So he needs an outlet for all the rollicking band humor.

  13. Jim in Wisc.

    @Gerard Plourde & @erdmann: Just like Tom Batiuk. He’s so clueless and tone deaf, that he uses real world human misery and suffering as a punbchline. What a colossal a-hole.

  14. Don

    “Conflict Chocolate” is a reference to “Conflict Diamonds,” which is another term for the referenced-above Blood Diamonds. Calling it “blood chocolate” (a) loses its intended meaning (“what, are they cherry cordials where the insides look like blood?”), and (b) might have been a problem with somebody at KFS.

  15. DOlz

    If someone is being payed to be TB’s editor this strip alone should gotten them fired.

  16. batgirl

    This is especially tone-deaf (ha, see what I did there?) as the ethics around chocolate are becoming more and more something people are aware of, and ethically harvested, fair-trade options are more visible.
    Maybe Dinkle could have made a joke about chaining the band students up in the school basement to produce band candy – “Sure it’s single-source chocolate! You can visit the plant anytime, just don’t let any of the kids out.”