Chop Fooey

Link To Today’s Strip

Sigh. I have to assume that this is a play on musicians “busting out” their musical “chops” or possibly an attempted malaprop or maybe even both. I’ve been pondering it for ten seconds now and it’s another ten seconds I’ll never get back. Thanks, Tom. Nothing’s ever easy in this daffy Funkyverse of his, you know? It’s either a tedious, grueling plod to a barely-perceptible resolution or it’s a really dumb sort of ambiguous gag that takes a half an hour to get. This one-time Pulitzer nominee (fluke thing) can’t just tell a story or crack a joke, you have to wade through layer after layer of nothingness to get nowhere instead. Bah, humbug.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

21 responses to “Chop Fooey

  1. CRM114

    The only way this many people would show up for a concert at my high school was if teachers all banded (OMG!) together, “You get your concert ticket stamped or you don’t pass my course.”

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      True. See my remarks below. Even in Hicksville, Ohio, that wouldn’t happen. On the other hand, the band rules THIS school. Band wants to store hundreds of mattresses in the gym? It happens.

  2. I suspect we’re all supposed to be dazzled by Batiuk’s “characters” that we’ll just let our jaws drop…”OMG, it’s Becky and she’s leading the band! WE ALL LOVE HER!”

    …Said, it hardly needs to be noted, by absolutely no one.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Right. Instead we just see this as a pathetic attempt by the author to show he holds all the right opinions, so give me an award already.

      See, look, a handicapped person, a Muslima, an interracial couple. Never mind these are all dull, flat characters, who never do anything interesting. I’ve been at this a long time, give me an award. Please!

  3. Doc

    Becky’s arm isn’t going to grow back, is it?
    Maybe she could find a nice seamstress who could do something with all that extra rolled-up left-arm material.

    • William Thompson

      Or admit that it makes a handy handkerchief–double-sorry, Becky!

    • comicbookharriet

      An entire quilt made of sleeves. It reminds me of my shawl for Prom, made from the fabric cut from the bottom of the dress. (I am embarrassingly short)

    • Charles

      I’m still struck by how Batiuk never considered how a lack of an arm would hinder Becky at her job. Conductors use two arms to conduct, so either half her band isn’t getting any direction from her whatsoever, or everyone’s going off her one hand. I can’t see that going well.

      Plus, she doesn’t have anyone turning the pages for her. So are we to think that when Becky gets to the end of one page, the entire band stops playing as she puts her baton/hand down, stays silent as she turns the page and then starts up again when she’s finished?

      • Double Sided Scooby Snack

        That’s a very good point about the limitations of being a one-handed conductor. The right hand usually beats time. The left helps supply the nuance. I guess she could throw some body language into it to indicate dynamics, phrasing, etc. But once again, I’m overthinking something Batwit likely didn’t think about at all.

        I was about to guess that she simply memorized her scores, or, get this, uses an iPad and a Bluetooth foot pedal to turn pages. Buuuut no… Her stand is full of paper scores, apparently. How does she turn pages? Durrrr, damned if I know!

  4. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    As a lifelong musician – a pretty long time, I’ll tell you – I have never, EVER, at any age or any level, or in any setting, been told to “bust my chops.” Once again, Batnitwit strains to attempt to invent nifty slanguage. “The Lord of Language,” my ass.

    If anything, you want enough “chops” (embouchure strength) to last for the entire performance. “Busting” them would mean making yourself unable to finish the show.

    Forgive me for trying to apply logic and reason to Batty’s “writing.”

    Does the football coach tell his team “go out there and rupture your Achilles’ tendon?” The saying “break a leg” is an actual thing in the theater, but it does not translate well to other fields.

    And a packed house for a high school band concert? Lovely thought, but that is rarely a reality, even in Hicksville, Ohio. Then again, BatBoy used to show a packed gym for high school girls basketball, which… well… I’m trying to be kind… doesn’t happen very often anywhere.

  5. billytheskink

    And let them stay locked this time!

  6. Doghouse Reilly

    Say, is that former U.S. President/Supreme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft down at the bottom left of the far right Black Christmas tree?

    Sorry, but in lieu of any sort of humor in today’s strip I had to find something worth noticing in it.

  7. Paul Jones

    It’s not like any of the other characters are especially compelling either. Wherever you turn, you find a tedious jerk who no one can like.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    This strip is like a whirlwind tour of every Funky Winkerbean trope. Sure, you’ve got your unlikable main character, incoherent wordplay, and unwarranted smirking; but that’s just a start. We have to indulge the conceit that high school band is the most important thing in the world, as indicated by the 1965 Beatles-like crowd assembled. I can’t if this is intentional or just really bad perspective, but look how far back this crowd goes and how deep it is. It completely contradicts the sizes of the heads drawn. There should be space between them, indicating maybe 100 people total, but instead it’s drawn as a massive throng.

    Speaking of which: what Christmas concert? We never saw any buildup to this, just a couple throwaway jokes so Dinkle could make fun of Becky. Now she’s been given the big show moment. Like so many stories that start and never finish, this one never starts but ends with the author’s desired payoff of praise upon one of his pet characters. And are they playing “Gift of the Magi” and Debussy’s “La Mer” at the Christmas Concert? Because they’re present and by the sea? Get it?

    And for all these teachers complaining about how inept their kids are, we never seem them fail in moments like this, do we? Nope, Becky has to be the star! And will go right back to bagging them after the concert, which will be right away because December 24th is no reason to take time off from band practice.

    What a horrible, selfish world this is.

  9. Count of Tower Grove

    Todd is slipping today. He’s mangled a common expression instead of inventing witless turns of phrases such as “solo date,” “Lewis and Clarking,” “vendos,” and of course “chemosabe.” At least with those, we could give him chops.

  10. Professor Fate

    re this strip: I imagine the Author at is desk looking out the window suddenly he gets an idea and scribbles “Bust your chops”. He has his Les Moore running the bases moment and then after he faxes the rough for the artist and letterer to finish, he looks at his watch. It’s 10:30 more than enough time for milk and cookies before his morning nap. He calls out to his wife for them and picks out a Flash comic to read. He sighs. it’s been a busy morning.

    • Charles

      I could imagine that if, god forbid, I actually wrote a gag-a-day comic strip that I’d have plenty of days where I can’t come up with anything more than a shitty bit of wordplay, which I would grudgingly have to go with because I’d miss a deadline. So I don’t give Batiuk much grief for his lame-ass gags. Everyone has off days, after all. You don’t see me ripping on Hi and Lois, you know.

      What I give him a hard time about is his turgid storylines utterly lacking in imagination or thought. The guy wants to write these stories, claims they’re compelling and in fact they’re even worse and more condemnatory than consistently crappy gag-a-days. He had a lot of time to think about how he wanted to kill Bull, and that’s what he settled on. He has a lot of time to think how Les’s second go-around with The Filming of Lisa’s Story, and yet we all know it’s going to be perfunctory, ill-considered and will suck in ways we can’t yet imagine.

  11. William Thompson

    “Bust your chops.” Is that the command to “Sell those band porkchops?”

  12. Hannibal’s Lectern

    I don’t think there’s a crowd there at all—I think it’s a backdrop painted on the back of the stage curtain, which hasn’t been raised yet. When it does go up, to the opening chords of the Dullest Marching Band Song Ever Written, we will see a total of thirty-six people in the seats: one parent for each member of the band (back at home, couples flipped coins to discover which would have to attend the concert).