For Pete’s sake, look how absolutely smug Dinkle is walking into the band room in panel one. Since his retirement, Becky has tried shilling mattresses, books, and selling the turkeys online. But here she is, stuck again in a chilly band room full of cardboard coffins of rapidly thawing poultry corpses. He knew she’d go crawling back to Sam’N’Ella’s finest, just like she always does. There’s nothing the elderly love more than seeing innovation fail.
I don’t know how long Batiuk has been patting his back over his Sam’N’Ella turkey pun. But, the earliest November in our archives shows the bacteria riddled band turkeys stacked to the ceiling.
I hope all of you aren’t tired of Dinkle yet! Because November is DINKLE AWARENESS MONTH, and our glorious leader, TF Hackett, will be making sure you all are aware of Dinkle for the foreseeable future.
But, before I sign off from my shift, I just wanted to take a moment for a little early Thanksgiving sentimentality. This week wasn’t just Donna and Harry’s (early) anniversary, it also marked my third anniversary of guest hosting this blog. I can’t say how much having a warm and inviting place to snark means to me. A place where I can stretch some disused writing muscles to a cozy, appreciative, audience, and even feel okay if I need to slack off on a few posts where the stress of real life or the paucity of the material gives me little to work with.
So I give thanks to TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus, for making this little place chug along, and giving me the opportunity to drive the bus every few months. And thank you everyone who comments, either with praise, or details, or your own hilarious takes on this strange comic universe’s Kafkaesque parody of a Hallmark Channel movie. Remember, your impotent rageposting makes the world a brighter and funnier place.
Stay Funky my friends.
23 responses to “Galling Gabbing Gobblers.”
First of all, admittedly I’ve been out of high school for 16 years now but when I was in marching band we had a lot of dads helping out. Second, for the love of god please don’t let this be the start of a week of turkey crap. The salad dressing week was bad enough, this would be worse..
at least he possibly got the right week for Thanksgiving this year, unlike last year
Same here. The people helping out were called Band Boosters. No pun intended (groan).
I do hate the annoying trend of abbreviating words just to make them sound cool.
The shorter days, the longer shadows, the nip of winter in the air, the groans of FW readers upon seeing that it’s band turkey week again…looks like the holidays are nearly upon us. Sigh. I hate Dinkle and I can’t stand Lefty but the two of them together is somehow much worse than the sum of the parts. It’s like multiplication, not addition.
Over on Crankshaft it’s been a full on blizzard for a week.
Firts, happy anniversary, Harriet, although I must confess I’ve always seen FW more as a Hallmark Channel parody of a Kafka story.
As far as today’s laugh-lacking pas de deux, where exactly is the joke? That band mothers wind up selling their children’s goods for them? That the Three-Armed Band Beast has to apologize twice for unfunny turkey-themed puns? Or is it that the precious bird carcasses are being kept in an unrefrigerated school room (I don’t see any vapor on Becky’s or Dinkle’s breath), apparently several days before Thanksgiving? Oh, well: I was afraid today’s strip would feature a post-anniversary fete Crazy and Donna lying in salad dressing-soaked bedsheets, so maybe this is better?
“Merch Operation Managers” – another term to take its place next to “vendos” and “solo car date” – plus two puns. TomBa must have thought he hit three home runs today. Aside from us SOSF faithful, who actually reads this?
Thanks to CBH, TFH, and Epirus Doomus for providing commentary that gives us food for thought and a place to comment.
Oy! Come Christmas and Easter will they be hawking Central American hams from the Trick Y Nosis’ company?
And much thanks to you, CBH, and to all of our authors here (except for that one putz who thinks a screenshot of an old FW strip is a sufficient post…). Writing these posts takes time and effort and quite often creativity, considerably more of all of these things than TB puts into the strips we comment on I’m sure. They are critical jumping off points for our discussions on here and are usually excellent pieces of writing in their own right. Thank you all.
Pyramid scheme aside…
I taught in a middle school one year and took on the Future Business Leaders of America chapter. The previous teacher had supposedly moved on to new ventures in the school district, but wouldn’t you know she tried to undermine me every step of the way, much like Dinkle does with Becky?
I moved on in one year and let the principal know that no person could succeed this way. Is Becky this desperate for a job?
Here’s another strip from last year’s Bandigogo plot:
Because Dinkle can reclaim his long-abandoned job any time he wants, and Westview is required to fire Becky if he does. And this is played as a joke. Appalling.
Dinkle thinks he can reclaim his job. Me, I think the minute he tried it, he’d learn how much everyone in town despises him. The school board has got to have a majority of ex-band member who he marched into Hell, repeatedly.
That’s a great point. Dinkle is portrayed as a beloved figure when he would be universally despised. Not just because of how he runs the band program, but because he’s constantly on your doorstep with his hand out. Just once i want to see one of Batiuk’s band turkey strips go:
“Hello, would you like to buy a–”
“Oh look, it’s Dinkle. What stupid thing are you selling this time, Dinkle? Claude Barlow memorabilia? You know, Lisa’s Legacy Run was last month, I don’t recall seeing you there. Or at any event that benefits something other than you. My nephew still has night terrors because of you and your fascist band camps. Now get off my doorstep, or I’ll jam this clarinet so far up your ass you’ll be farting whole notes.”
Fuck this. Whatever happened to Bandigogo?
Last Thanksgiving, Becky spent A WEEK telling us this website handles everything for her, and Dinkle gushed over the idea. Now here they are, back in the stupid band room, with the stupid band turkeys stacked floor to ceiling, and stupid Becky whining about how busy she is. With no explanation.
And it would have taken one joke: “What happened to Bandigogo?” “They lost their investors to ‘potatogogo’.” Okay, it’s more of a Dilbertpunchline, but it justifies the scene.
This is not nitpicking. Bandigogo was a world-changing development, because it eliminated one of Funky Winkerbean‘s staple plots: the band turkey fiasco. Or at least changed how that plot could be done. Tom Batiuk obsoleted his own trope! So what does he do? Ignores it and does the same plot again anyway.
Which would be less of a problem if Batiuk wasn’t so in-your-face about how realistic his world is. And if his stories didn’t require the reader to remember obscure characters and events from the past. And if he wasn’t so defensive about accusations of retconning.
Both these characters need to be shot with the Pun Gun:
I’m not even sure if Batiuk’s “Sam and Ella” is meant as a joke since those are the names of Lois Lane’s parents (yes, I know to much comix trivia.) He could be doing it to honor them. I’m probably wrong though, because I doubt he’d read a comic titled SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND. LOIS LANE.
Maybe the lack of high school fall sports in parts of the country (for example, California) and the cancellation of the Drum Corps International events this summer, plus the fact that bands don’t have to raise funds to travel to parades that have been cancelled (for example, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade cancelled all of its high school bands this year), meant there wasn’t much need for band boosting, and Bandigogo went out of business? Or perhaps the increased number of Thanksgiving dinners as a result of families not getting together (Sally Forth notwithstanding) meant that they couldn’t keep up, and Westview has to go back to the old ways?
Yes, those are all good ideas. But the story has to explain why Bandigogo went away. You can’t just change the rules of your world with no explanation. It’s poor storytelling. All Becky had to say was “Bandigogo went out of business” and Tom Batiuk can do his precious Dinkle band turkey story for the 900th time. That’s how lazy he is: he didn’t even bother with the hand wave.
TomBa’s lack of interest in doing the minimum amount of work has been the leitmotif of the past few years. As problematic as the Act II storylines were, they at least tried to tell a coherent story. Now he submits jumbles with ridiculous plot elements like the apparent undetected existence of Murania underneath the second largest city in the country, catastrophic fires in that city that leave no discernible lasting effect, officially compromised accident investigations, a former President magically ordering the release of an ICE detainee in exchange for a lifetime supply of Montoni’s pizza, and our beloved Zanzibar the Murder Chimp (I suppose it could be argued that last week’s story of Donna and Harry’s anniversary and Wally’s initiation of the Montoni’s curb cut were coherent. That said, Harry and Donna were not deserving of a full week and the Wally story was slapdash in the extreme. A coherent and meaningful story could have been developed that went into more detail, even introducing a character who would benefit from the improvement.)
The recent arcs you mention remind me of my experience watching The Office. Everyone tells me it’s this great show, but it just makes me feel like I haven’t done my homework. Steve Carell says something unremarkable, Jim and Pam knowingly glance at each other, and I know this is supposed to mean something. But I don’t know what, because I haven’t watched the 8 seasons that came before this point. Even straightforward scenes elude me because they seem to reference small details I don’t know. The show seems to operate entirely on its own mythology.
I feel like Harry’s salad dressing, Donna’ reaction to it, and Wally’s bizarre sidewalk ramp all reference past events that Batiuk expects us to remember. At least the Bill Clinton appearance was explained in-story, by Donna pointing out the picture that showed he had been there once.
My theory is that Tom Batiuk has discovered subtlety, and is trying to employ it. God help us all.
I never got The Office either. But I’m pretty sure that no previous references exist in FW as published that would explain most of these arcs. (I might exclude the curb cut since we know that Crankshaft in this time frame is in a wheelchair and that Funky’s AA sponsor may also need a ramp.)
“Hi, it’s me, Dinkle! I tried to do something new on my own and it didn’t go entirely my way so I quit! Anyway, wow Becky, you and your fleet of Band Moms are so stupid and lazy!”
Come on, they wouldn’t be having a Turkey Drive this year, with the COVID pandemic going on. Although Dinkle is so obsessed that he probably wouldn’t mind if half the Westview band ended up sick and in quarantine because he insisted on sending them door to door to sell Band Turkeys…
We talk a lot about superfluous panels, but this one must set a new standard.
There are three attempts at terrible jokes here, and there’s no overlapping or interaction between them. The first two panels tell a lame pun joke. The third, fourth and fifth panels tell another dumb joke, and the final panel tells its own lame pun joke. Remarkably, none of these attempts intertwine. You could remove the extra panels for each of them and it would have no effect on the joke each is attempting to sell. They’re bad jokes, true, but they’re not made any worse by removing the other panels. In fact, they’re made worse with the inclusion of the extra panels because the jokes are tripping all over each other. Even if you were to find the M.O.M. joke amusing, it’s less amusing because of that last panel.
Also, “pun intended, I assume” is an absolutely terrible hackwork line for jokes like these, so it’s no surprise that Batiuk managed to work it into this strip twice.