Waiting in Line at the River Styx

Link to today’s strip.

Well, Dullard’s li’l quip would have been quite the knee-slapper…in 1998, say.   Nowadays, it reads a lot like Pluggers.   Actually, it reads like a school-assigned book one has to write a report on for homework; yes, that dull.   Yes, everyone uses email, but there are still long lines at the post office?  For something people rarely use?  Is this the joke?

It reminds me of Mel Brook’s old joke about two old ladies in a restaurant.  “The food here is so terrible!”  “Yes…and such small portions!”  Except that, you know, that’s actually humorous.  (Edit:  Apparently that was Woody Allen.  Whoops!)

Art-wise, well, we sure have a nice line of decrepit folks depicted here (and yes, I’m including Dullard).  Nice to see Walt from the nursing home out and about.  And if you’re wondering why the old guy in the brown striped shirt looks seriously pissed off, well, it’s obvious: he’s been standing next to Dullard for a while now, having to listen to some truly moronic “observations.”   I’m normally a pretty easy-going person out in public, but even I’d probably turn around and say, “Hey, pal, can you pipe down a little?  I’m trying to listen to the Muzak.”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

19 responses to “Waiting in Line at the River Styx

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Good ol’ Batiuk, always distilling everything down to the least entertaining denominator. “I know! I’ll have Darin go to the post office and stand in line!”…once again BatWad takes a direction no sane person would have ever considered, as only he can.

    Yeah, this gag is, uh, slightly dated, let’s say. Coming tomorrow: Boy Lisa marvels over his new phone, which has no wires or anything!

  2. DOlz

    I’m not aware of Mel Brooks ever using that joke. Woody Allen used it in “Annie Hall” and attributed to Borsch Belt comics. Like so many classic jokes he might have used it sometime.

    I only mention this because I’ll do anything to avoid talking about this “story” arc.

  3. billytheskink

    Yes, there are still long lines at some post offices, but you do not need to wait in them to mail a large flat envelope like the one Durwood has. You can put flats in a standard blue mailbox, which every post office of any size has out front and which rarely involve lines. The lines inside the post office are for folks mailing large, heavy packages, folks buying insurance, and folks who have not discovered that you have been able to buy non-stamp postage online and print it out at home for 20 years.

    I’m pretty sure Billy Carter jokes are more fresh than jokes about waiting in line at the post office. Seriously, beyond the fact that the post office does a fair job 99% of the time for a pretty reasonable price, Harvey comics wouldn’t print this gag in a Jackie Jokers comic. Bob Hope’s corpse would rise from the grave and fire any writer who dared propose it. Milton Berle wouldn’t steal this joke. Jim Davis would actually write and draw a Garfield strip himself to avoid having this printed.

    • Jimmy

      Even if he’s buying stamps, he can go to the self-service kiosk. Badda Bing, badda boom, done!

      • comicbookharriet

        Yes Durrrhen, email really took off as a way to mail actual physical objects within packages. Which is why you never see lines at the post office anymore.

  4. Gerard Plourde

    Is it going to be like this until the 50th Anniversary? Pointless strips? Dialogue that no one actually says out loud?

    As an aside, not only can you avoid waiting in line at the post office by placing a stamped letter in the mailbox, the letter carrier who delivers your mail can also accept it.

  5. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    The Woodstock shirt is a nice touch. The 49th anniversary of that little hootenanny is this month. I guess the joke is that guy has been standing in the post office line since 1969.

  6. It’s either observational non-humor like this OR Batiuk failing to realize that how readers interpret what’s going on is more important than what he thinks he’s doing on the other side.

  7. spacemanspiff85

    It’s funny how Batiuk completely skips over Les not getting the award, or showing ANY of the Starbuck Jones movie, but you’d damn well better believe he’s going to show people standing in line. Just wait a few months, when Crankshaft flies to NYC again and the entire “arc” is just TSA “gags”.

  8. Rusty Shackleford

    Wow, this strip is turning into Dilbert, what with all this modern technology. On Sunday it was smartphones and texting, today it is email. Westview is moving up. I bet you can hear “You’ve got mail” coming from Les’ office…Les giggles every time he hears that.

    Over in the comments section for Crankshaft on Comics Kingdom, some of Batty’s friends have showed up to complain about all of the snarking.

    • And it’s always the same kind of complaining, always: never an actual defense of Batiuk’s work, but an insistence that only someone who works in the same field can critique another’s work. Batiuk’s script for his friends never varies.

      • Buckeye Feculence

        I always laugh at that argument. It’s like saying that only people who have held elected office are qualified to vote.

        • It’s actually worse than that. If you follow the “logic,” the idea is that only fellow cartoonists can fully appreciate a cartoonist’s work–meaning anyone who is not a cartoonist shouldn’t bother to read them, as they’re missing out on a lot of the content. Meaning, ultimately, that the only people who should read comic strips are cartoonists. No one else invited in. The’s probably exactly what Batiuk wants.

  9. countoftowergrove

    No one in the PO notices an Eisner finalist is among them.

  10. bobanero

    To be fair, if Durwood is mailing a collection of comic books, he’s probably not sure how much postage to use, so he wants to mail it in person to make sure he uses the right amount. I usually do this if I’m mailing a book. (We were mailing out a lot of books a couple years ago, and even though we knew the postage amount, USPS still required us to mail the package at the post office so they could verify the weight). Anyway, that question is completely overshadowed by the lameness of today’s “joke”, which, as BC pointed out, might have elicited a chuckle 20 years ago, but today it’s just another phoned-in punchline on the way to the 50th anniversary. Somehow, TB just seems to think that lines are somehow inherently funny, whether it’s the Post Office, the DMV, or the airport.

    And we have two more days to go this week. Is Durwood going to have a tussle with a soulless, dead eyed clerk next?

  11. erdmann

    On Tuesday, Dillweed specified that he was sending “some of our latest issues” and there is no way that envelope is large to contain multiple comics.

    The question is: just how many comics have they published? Given the time it takes to set up a business, purchase a commercial property, renovate said property (which has been sitting vacant since 1972!), write, draw, solicit, print and distribute the comics (note I did not include editing), Atomik shouldn’t be that far along, yet somehow it has published multiple issues of at least two series (“Crap-Thing” and “The Life Aquatic with Rip Taylor”).

    Dullard and Dopey must have taken their own personal time jump and are now living in early 2020. Are Dumbard and Jessica corresponding through time like some kind of even worse version of “The Lake House?”

  12. Professor Fate

    It would delight my evil little heart of after he sends the package off it is returned with “Moved, no forwarding address” stamped on it.
    It’s the Romantic in me.

  13. bayoustu

    This week we’ve had texting about weather/parking, comparing a dream job to the horrors of war, and now waiting in line. It’s enough to make a fella really appreciate the feces-centric humor of “Marvin”.