This Is A Bad Sign

Oh thank goodness, no more Les.
Uh, Dinkle? Literally ZERO of these sessions have practical applications for you. You’re retired. You are no longer a music educator. The only reason I can imagine they still allow you to attend these conferences is because you pay for it. The only session that would be practical for you would be “How to step away and fade into the sunset and let the current band director do her job, it’s almost as if a certain writer can’t let go and is terrified of having his Dinkle crutch”.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

40 responses to “This Is A Bad Sign

  1. Epicus Doomus

    He does these Ohio Music Educators Conference gags every year around this time. It’s just such a weirdly specific group to pander to, you know? I mean he’s writing it specifically for Ohioian band directors who also read FW, that’s like two, three people tops. It’s like writing it for orthodontists who own jet dragsters or trigonometry teachers who also cliff dive, it has such limited appeal.

    • spacemanspiff85

      No no no! Dinkle doesn’t specify where this music educators conference is talking place! It has literally universal appeal! Really, can’t we all relate to the travails of a formerly deaf former band director and the one-armed band director he’s basically stalking?

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I notice a lot of unused space in Dinkle’s word zeppelin. As if they deleted “Ohio”, moved “music” up a line, and re-centered line 3. Maybe somebody told Batiuk he can’t just play to his local sycophants? And if they did, why did they tell him that when there’s so much more in need of editorial correction?

      • gleeb

        In the past, they’ve always used the acronym OMEA. I know that because its use caused me to look it up, like Ohioana.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          If you played music at an Ohio school, you would know what OMEA was. They sponsored annual contests for individual performance and ensembles.

          Winning awards at these contests made your band director look good. Dinkle would be proud.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Tom Batiuk is a featured speaker every year for some reason.

  2. Charles

    So what’s the Over/Under on lines for Becky this week? I’ll suggest 2.5. And what’s the Over/Under on Becky lines that aren’t simply facilitating Dinkle talking some more? I’ll peg that at 0.5.

  3. It’s pretty clear that Batiuk just loves Dinkle. Even Les has self-doubts now and then (because no one can possibly scale his depths) but Dinkle, Dinkle just goes from triumph to triumph.

    He’s definitely up there in the “most hateable” sweepstakes.

    • William Thompson

      Dinkle is what Batiuk wants to be when he retires.

      • Saturnino

        Don’t give Bathack ideas!

        Imagine him sort of doing like Pajama Diaries but in this case re-starting the series with his post Lisa strips……….

        To maintain cash flow and satisfy what he sees as pent up “nostalgia.”

        Actually, he should make his last arcs like the hit scenes in the Godfather where all the characters get what’s coming to them and the last panel goes dark………………………….

    • Epicus Doomus

      He can’t decide whether Dinkle or Les is his iconic character. Dinkle has the nostalgic appeal, Les the prestige. No one actually likes either of them, but he doesn’t know it or doesn’t care.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well he should. As I understand it, he makes a decent amount of money from the Dinkle band shoe line, where I doubt that Lisa’s story makes any money at all.

    • hitorque

      Dinkle is an insufferable douche, but at least he lowkey acknowledges it and at least he seems to be getting some fucking FUN out of life…

      He isn’t Always-Depressed Les with the four bestselling books and about to turn one into a movie with complete creative control after which he’ll make millions and be able to retire from Westview Public Schools…

      How would a convention look if Les attended it? First he’d complain about having to rent a car despite getting reimbursement. Then he’d complain about such a long drive. Then he’d complain about the hotel check-in procedure since he left his wallet at home. Then he’d complain about the room because it had the nerve to charge him for the SPICE channel. Then he’d complain about the hotel food and try to find the local Montoni’s. Then he’d complain about getting lost because he couldn’t understand GPS, etc. etc…

      And he isn’t Always-Depressed Cindye Sommerse-Winkerbeane-Jarre with the millions in the bank, the Hollywood A-list husband, the Malibu beach mansion and the $200,000 car who is actively trying to set the feminist movement back 50 years since she’d literally trade away all her wealth and career accomplishments for just one more perverted leer or lewd catcall from a total stranger…

      (As an aside, can Cindye just drop the charade and admit to herself that she REALLY wants to get into the adult film industry since it’s the ultimate last-word merciless cauldron of whether a woman is hot or not? And that she only lacks the courage and self-esteem to do so??)

  4. William Thompson

    Not that I care, but is “Band Members Who Don’t Return Their Uniforms” a real thing? Don’t band members pay for their own well-fitting uniforms each year? If the school district supplies them, or if the uniforms are rented/leased through the school, don’t the parents have to sign some sort of financial responsibility agreement, as in “You keep it? You pay for it!”

    • comicbookharriet

      Naw…At least 15 years ago when I was in high school the uniforms were nearly 20 years old, consisting of easily hemmed pants, jackets, sequined sashes, helmets, and detachable tassels. The uniforms would be prohibitively expensive to expect students to buy for themselves. The only things you could buy for yourself was band shoes, but you could also use old castoffs. The bigger pieces were all numbered and signed out, so if you lost those you got in trouble, but we lost tassels and sashes all the time.

      • William Thompson

        So Batiuk had no idea what he was joking about. I’d say “color me surprised,” but I’m not leaving myself at the mercy of whoever colored those carpets and walls.

      • Mela

        I did my share of washing band uniforms as a band mom (my daughter’s uniform was machine washable thank goodness) and yes, all the pieces are labeled and assigned every year. Our kids were pretty good about keeping their stuff together, but we did lose a few gloves here and there.

  5. billytheskink

    Wait… so the kids in band don’t buy their own uniforms? Not even their DINKLES® brand marching shoes?

    No wonder the school is always trying to pass levies.

  6. William Thompson

    Oh, look, in the background, there is a marching-band director who can’t march! I make the ha-ha at this.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    Of course! It’s the end of January and time for the annual Ohio Music Educators Association annual meeting. TomBa always attends.

  8. Paul Jones

    The only practical course Dinkle should attend is “Learning to let go.” He won’t and can’t because Batiuk won’t ore can’t.

  9. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Marsoone: “It’s been fun having this swinging rap session about the coming Lisa Lisa Cancer Cancer Lisa movie! And now I have a surprise for all of you! My friend Kobe Bryant is taking us on a helicopter ride Sunday morning!”

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      What…? Too soon?

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      “Masoone, I don’t think we have time for a helicopter ride. We have to catch our flight back to Ohio.”

      “No worries, Les my sweet. It’s a short ride. Only from Orange County to Calabasas. One way. Here, take one of these. Kobe wanted us to wear football helmets for some reason.”

  10. Count of Tower Grove

    Jesus Fucking Christ! I’ve been retired for a year and a half. From the day I left, I’ve had no inclination to visit the office, much less pay from my fixed income to go to a professional conference. I’m done with that part of my life without sentiment, and handed over the reins to my successor. Sorry Becky.

  11. Miskatonic Sophomore

    Ah yes: Dinkle, our author’s other avatar. Les is the sensitive, oft-misunderstood, goatee-wearing, unspeakably beautiful flower of creative genius. Harry Dinkle is the unstoppable juggernaut of nostalgia for past times and vanished glories.

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    In a competently written universe, Harry would be wondering why his wife is going on so many road trips with this old man. Who’s supposedly deaf and unable to teach music.

    Then again, in a competently written universe they wouldn’t be married, as they have nothing in common and no chemistry. Two wrongs make a right, I guess?

  13. Every year for OMEA, Batiuk draws something for them…a CD cover I think. So, yeah, he’s going to pimp it.

  14. Professor Fate

    Okay aside from everything else – the sign in the last panel is all sorts awful – it’s on an angle and is I would guess crudely photoshoppped. it’s the kind of artwork you’d see in someone just starting out doing comic strips not folks who have been in the business for years. For some reason this really bugs me.

    Still, one wonders why they didn’t resort to the poster on the wall with scotch tape. It’s the Author’s go to.

    oh by the way are we to assume that Les and all the rest are still on the beach somewhere?

    • I think the scotch tape signifies either contempt on Batiuk’s part, or a kind of haplessness of the characters. Wouldn’t want to upset the OMEA by hinting at either.

  15. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    What’s the over/under on the number of music puns this week? I’m assuming this is a week-long arc. Batty firmly believes musicians run around making non-stop music puns, wear eighth note pins on their clothing, and have huge treble clefs on their garage doors.

    Here’s a shocker. Are you sitting down? Speaking as a lifetime pro musician, we act and talk like “regular people” when we’re just going about our daily business. We feel no need to declare to the world, “BEHOLD! A MUSICIAN!” 24x7x365. Anybody who did would be regarded as a douche with some kind of mental problem.

    Add this to to enormous, and growing, list of things Batty will never understand.

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      You were offended by THAT? I can do much better.

      “Mr. Bryant, we’ve got serious engine trouble!”

      “Yo, man, that DOES sound bad! How far can you fly this chopper with a failing engine?”

      “All the way to the crash site, sir. And it’s a good thing, because we’re headed there right now!”

      Am I a bad person for enjoying tweaking the noses of some of the more brittle little snowflakes here? Yeah, probably. I’m just enjoying the fabulous irony of people who snark on and insult a cartoonist as being offended by ANY kind of mildly rude and raunchy behavior.

      Ah well. That’s okay. Have at it. Life goes on. WHOOOOPS! Sorry, Kobe.