Nitpicking Ev’ry Little Thing

Link to today’s strip

Wow. Ruby is listening to some GOLDEN oldies. When I first saw the label, I wondered if it was a Batiuk pastiche of some kind of folksy Byrds rip off. But sure enough, panel 3 is a loving detailed recreation of an actual record label.

Kids, that there is no LP. That is a 78 RPM record. If Ruby had this on her turntable she’d be clocking lots of steps on her fitbit, because each side of has a single song, less than three minutes long. According to 45worlds the 10″ record was pressed in 1941. As in, the record is older than than the 73-year-old man who put it in this strip.

Which begs the question, how old is Ruby supposed to be? Her flashbacks looked to me like they could have been from any time from the 40’s to the early 60’s. Is this her parents’ record? I have my mom’s old Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album in a box somewhere. Maybe she just kept her parents stuff. Or decided she really liked music from the same year as Pearl Harbor. Or she is literally in her nineties, and Tom continues salving his fear of aging with an ever expanding cast of limber and active nonagenarians.

If any of you want to hear the charming song ‘Ev’ry Little Thing’, sung by Don Lawrence with The Ramblers on instrumentals, I found it on the internet archive. It’s a cute lounge band type number that really took me back to watching Lawrence Welk with my grandma on Saturday night.

The song on the other side…um… Always Too Tired. Which is a joke song full of double entendre. Really. REALLY. If you’re only going to listen to one dirty song from the 40’s, you owe it to yourself to click that link and listen to the whole glorious thing. And then imagine it playing loudly in the office.

From one temporal non-sequitur to another. Because if Ruby is inexplicably stuck in the 40’s, then Pete is definitely stuck in the Aughts. An I-Pod? In 2020? MP3 players have been around for nearly 20 years. They peaked 12 years ago and have been on the way down ever since. Why don’t you just suggest she get 8-tracks of her favorite records?


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

29 responses to “Nitpicking Ev’ry Little Thing

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Great, now he’s into old record labels. What now, six weeks of sepia-toned strips about what it was like to work at Top Hat Records back in ’39?

    • spacemanspiff85

      How did you get access to the next two years of strips? Batiuk is going to be so mad.
      Oh, and the imaginary record company is obviously going to be called “Tom Bat Records”, not “Top Hat Records”.

      • Epicus Doomus

        I think it’s pretty funny how a ninety year old woman lugged a record player and a crate of old 78’s to work. Those damn things are heavy.

  2. William Thompson

    Get an MP3 player, Rubella, and download the songs from a site where the old recordings have been cleaned up. Otherwise you deserve to listen to a scratched-up, worn-down record being played on a wobbly portable turntable with a low-budget needle. Same thing goes for your co-“workers.”

  3. Batiuk’s just constructing his fantasy world, again. A world where comic books are not just the highest form of art, but the ONLY form of art. And where the 60’s Batman TV show never existed.

    It’s a conflict between “pathetic” and “sad.” One shows the inevitable decline of an art form, but refuses to acknowledge it, the other simply refuses to admit to anything outside the established parameters.

    • William Thompson

      And how is Batiuk going to turn 78s into comic-fodder? Windy is still in the SoSF banner. Is she going to have Wayback Wendy transfer modern patriotic recordings to 78, and let Miss American deliver them to Our Boys? I know that won’t happen, because Batiuk is bound to thik of something even dumber.

      • spacemanspiff85

        My guess: Chester comes in ranting about how digital comics are going to put honest, paper and ink comics out of business. Ruby comes up with the idea of putting digital comics on vinyl, somehow. It’s inevitably a huge success, and Mason hires her to work on Lisa’s Story in her off hours.

  4. William Thompson

    Drop it, Butterfingers! Drop it! Either she’ll die from a stroke or she’ll ring your scrawny neck! Either way is a win for humanity.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      She can easily buy another record player with the hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of comic book art and media rights that Chester gave her for no reason.

  5. billytheskink

    I actually own a turntable that can play 78s (and 33s and 45s). This is what most of the records I play on it sound like: hisssssssssss hsss pop hissssss hssssss Woo hissssssss ssssssssss pop sssssss hissssss hsssssssss Yeah hssssssssss bump ssssssssssss hissssssss sssssssissssissss hissssssss

    As for Ruby’s 2nd panel question… the only iPod made in the last half-decade is the iPod Touch, which is basically an iPhone that can’t make calls. It has a lovely high-resolution screen that can display record labels.

    • Epicus Doomus

      I still have (and use) one of the original iPod Nanos, circa 2007 or thereabouts. Still takes and holds a charge.

      • spacemanspiff85

        Mine just died about a month ago. 😦

      • billytheskink

        Given this discussion, I think I’ll play my 1st generation iPod Shuffle in the car as I drive to lunch. I think it is full of cartoon theme songs and ska covers of cartoon theme songs, we’ll see…

  6. Gerard Plourde

    At the rate we’re going I half expect that Winsor McKay, the creator of Little Nemo will be hired by Chester soon.

    • Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

      No, Chester will try to do that, then fall out of his bed and realize it was all a dream from eating too much rarebit.

  7. Doghouse Reilly (Philadelphia)

    No, it’s not a good point. You do now there are recording devices now that can tell you what song is playing, the name of the artist(s), how much time is remaining, and so forth, do you not, you puckered, primordial pinko?

    Truth to tell, I’m impressed that Battyuk had the modicum of good taste not to make the record “Can’t Get Started with You” by Bunny Berigan.

    Seriously, what is the goal this arc is meandering its way to? Gee, an old lady listens to old records while she works in an office, and that’s it? Mopey is inspired to create a new foe for the Inedible Pulp, the Golden Oldie? Chester Chiselsworth will decide to buy Top Hat Records and start a new line of 78 rpm discs for the discerning collector? I hate to think that it’s somehow going to tie into the “Lust for Lisa II: Electric Boogaloo” storyline, but–in the immortal words of Fats Waller–one never knows, do one?

    • spacemanspiff85

      It’s Batiuk either thinking “people these days don’t know what vinyl is, I’m going to enlighten them” or “how can I fill another week, let me put on a record while I think about it-got it!” and then he was done for the week thirty seconds later.

      • justifiable

        FFS, I just watched Crazy Stupid Love for the umpteenth time tonight, and there’s Ryan Gosling dropping the needle onto a vinyl LP as part of his seduction routine. Todd is really and truly an idiot when it comes to BOTH ends of the technology spectrum, which I really didn’t think was possible.

  8. Hitorque

    Once Batuik had a 90-year-old dude co-star in a $500 million dollar superhero movie, all bets were off…

    And seriously… Ruby had better invest in some earbuds because if I had to hear that shit all day at work her record player is going right to the bottom of Lake Erie… After all, she wouldn’t want me to start blasting the Dayton Family in the office now would she?

  9. Paul Jones

    And of course, the appeal of old 78s is that they’re old and no one listens to them any more. That’s Batiuk’s idea of Author Appeal: he’s fixated on things from his parent’s generation everyone else had the good sense to abandon.

  10. “How would I see the labels?”

    Well, when the record is playing, Ruby, it’s spinning around, so you’re liable to give yourself whiplash if you’re trying to see the label.

    And if it’s just the label you want to look at…I can’t even. It’s “collector of old things” mania again. “The old labels were best, not like today!” It’s not that striking a label. Kudos to Ayers for a good rendering, though.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    “Impossibly old person likes impossibly old things” is more of a Gasoline Alley trope.

  12. Fuck Baby Blues

    Batuik’s contempt for technology really comes out in full force today, probably because the other humorless Amish villagers thought his record player was a bit too advanced. Modern technology can work with old technology, like how my new computer has hundreds of great 8 and 16 bit ROMS and I have an N64 and Dreamcast attached to my flatscreen television—which has plenty of classic television shows on demand. I can, however still still enjoy modern games like Xenoblade and The Witcher 3 and modern shows like the CW’s superhero superhero shows and Emergence. Batuik, however is a Narcissist and must have everything exactly as he wants–if he likes Atari games and vinyl records, those must be the only good things in the world. He is like the C.R.P.G. Addict for comics, and like Woody Allen without the jokes.

  13. Fuck Baby Blues

    I looked it up and vinyl is actually highly toxic, so my hope is that the characters all get liver and kidney diseases, die horribly and we never again have to read anything by Tom Batuik because everyone is dead.

    • batgirl

      One of the earlier recording mediums (cylinders? early vinyl?) could be melted down into a really crappy alcohol, which probably wasn’t any good for anyone. I remember reading an account of a long night’s drinking and listening by two music enthusiasts that devolved into them melting down several early recordings rather than sober up.

  14. batgirl

    Back in the late 1960s, my younger brother and I amused ourselves hugely by playing our parents’ 45 rpms at the 75 rpm setting. Sadly, I don’t think that would work as a gag in a visual-only medium.
    I wonder if Ruby’s record player does all the speeds, or is it like the pink portable player I had at age 12, which only played 45s?