Glutinous Maximus

Having failed using the direct approach, then humor, Dinkle must resort to his ethical pitch, extolling the green and humane practices of Sam and Ella’s Poultry Co. None of that concerns Roseanne here; someone in the household needs to avoid gluten. As someone who’s blessedly free from such dietary restrictions, I thought Purple Lady’s question was a little weird, but in fact, basting solutions injected during processing sometimes contain gluten. Dinkle manages another, less-witty-than-yesterday‘s riposte, and that confident smile, but beneath the shiny patent visor of that military, his eyes narrow with resentment, and for a fleeting moment he allows himself to imagine himself clobbering this glutenist slattern senseless with the thawing gobbler he’s been schlepping from door to door all week.

23 Comments

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23 responses to “Glutinous Maximus

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “No…no, no…NOOOOO!”

    “Wake up, Harry, you’re having another nightmare.”

    “Oh God, it was awful. I saw my idiotic band turkey fund raiser through THEIR eyes, Harriet! These poor Westviewians…I’ve been annoying the SHIT out of them for decades with my narcissistic blowhard antics!”

    “Sigh. I told you.”

    “My life…it’s all been a big nothing! Selling spoiled turkeys and fourth-rate candy, torturing my students for no reason, ignoring my own wife, listening to nothing but marching band music for my entire life…what have I done, Harriet? What have I done?”

    “Harry, if you just took the pills you therapist prescribed and…”

    “No! It’s too late for that! This…ends…HERE!” (pulls revolver from nightstand drawer, cut to all-black panel)

    Sunday strip: a bleak, rain and wind-swept funeral service attended by a sparse disinterested group.

    “Wow Les, I can’t believe Dinkle committed murder-suicide! Who saw that coming?”

    “I never really cared for Dinkle. He mocked me once in high school.”

  2. Link goes to the wrong strip, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. You know it’s unfunny, uninteresting garbage.

  3. Mr. A

    I’ve been wondering if we’re supposed to take this dreams as pure fantasy or as Dinkle’s actual memories. This seems like evidence for the “fantasy” side. No one was talking about gluten-free or carbon footprints back when Act I was in the papers.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I have a sinking feeling that this is supposed to be a whimsical fantasy sequence. People in the past, asking modern questions about band turkeys? Alice in Wonderland herself never imagined such a place!

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    Dinkle tells his prospective customer that his turkey meets the highest modern standards for cruelty-free techniques, dietary sensitivity, and environmental stewardship… in what’s drawn as a flashback to 35 years ago.

    What is Tom Batiuk even aiming at here?

    • J.J. O'Malley

      My thoughts exactly, Banana Jr. and Mr. A. I assumed Monday and Tuesday’s dreams were Act I reprints, and then I saw the gluten reference today (and what sort of person on a gluten-free diet would ask such a question about poultry?). I could almost–ALMOST–understand if TB gave us a week of Harry having nightmares about his piano students, but this turkey travesty makes no sense whatsoever. I guess in February or March we’ll get to see a fretfully sleeping Dinkleberg reliving his candy-selling travails.

    • billytheskink

      Maybe Dinkle isn’t dreaming about the past, but the future…

      It is the year 2055 and Dinkle’s entire persona was adopted in the mid-2040s by Westview High band director Wally Winkerbean Jr. after he learned that Dinkle is actually his bio-dad. So far this week Wally Jr. (or Dinklebean, as he has legally changed his last name to) has tried to sell band turkeys to:
      Monday – Skyler Fairgood (note the looooong face, John Darling nose, and “Uncle” Pete’s traveling green shirt)
      Tuesday – Rachel (same hair minus the ponytail, plus red hair turns white and not gray in old age)
      And today – it’s Summer Moore, who now sports the dumpy figure every Westview woman has 40 years after their high school graduation to go with that same awful haircut.

      • Gerard Plourde

        That’s brilliant! Your theory makes perfect sense. If only TomBa were half as imaginative as that.

      • Yes, this is brilliant and uses the characters really well. That’s why it doesn’t have a chance in Hell of being seen here.

        Basically, every commentor here is a better storyteller than Tom Batiuk. But he’s the only one who gets paid for it.

    • William Thompson

      Batiuk is aiming for the disinfectant pellet in the porcelain basin. And of course he misses the target.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    It didn’t seem possible, but this week’s arc is even worse than last week’s. I get the impression that what we’re getting here may somehow represent TomBa’s pet peeves.

  6. Jimmy

    Nice banner up there, TFH, even if stuffing is the Devil’s bland version of turkey dressing.

  7. Dood

    Asshole martinet gets hoisted on his own petard. So, yay, I guess?

  8. Charles

    Why is this causing him so much anguish? Is he not wearing any pants just off panel?

    And I see that Batiuk is still being defeated by the concept of communicating that Dinkle is selling turkeys door-to-door without having him carrying an unwrapped raw turkey carcass around in his arms. If anything, that’s what should be causing Dinkle anguish. He’s dragging around an increasingly shabby and gross turkey and getting it all over his hands and clothes. I can only imagine how bad he smells at the end of the day.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    If you sell stuff door-to-door, you hear crazy lame excuses all the time, and you don’t think much of them. You don’t ponder the philosophical question of what’s the true national bird, or why someone wouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. You see them for the weak objections they are, and attempt to overcome them to make the sales. This is Selling Skills 101. Dinkle would know this! Why is Tom Batiuk so ignorant of his own endlessly recurring subject matter?

    And not celebrating Thanksgiving isn’t a mystery. There are increasing stories about people who think it’s belittling to Native Americans, and similar things. Okay, this attitude would be pretty unusual in Act I times. But the next day’s strip talks about organic low-carbon-footprint gluten-free turkeys. So when is this even taking place?

    This strip wouldn’t be such a mess if Tom Batiuk would just pick one direction and run that way. Is this a dream sequence? Make it a lot more surreal. It is a flashback? Don’t reference modern things. Is it a character study? Tell us why Dinkle is having these nightmares. Is it a one-off gag? Make the dialog actually resemble a premise and a punchline. Batiuk thinks he’s doing all these things at once, but is so unfocused and uncommitted that he accomplishes none of them. And leaves his audience wondering what is even going on.

  10. William Thompson

    Commenting later than usual because a bout of 24-hour flu laid me low. Now that I look at today’s FW I wish it had been a 48 hour flu.

  11. Dinkle’s face this week reminds me of a thing they do a lot in low budget anime: They paste the mouth on the side of the character’s head so that it’s easier and faster to “animate” it while the character speaks.

  12. batgirl

    I get the impression that TB thinks allergies and food sensitivities are funny. A long-ago Crankshaft strip had the twins asking if the ribbon candy being foisted on them had peanuts in it, because one of them was allergic to peanuts (that was the joke). This one has someone possibly celiac asking about gluten in a turkey (that was the joke).
    I’m lucky myself, but I have plenty of friends who have to avoid corn, or soy, or peanuts, or … And I’ve learned that you can’t assume that a processed food does not have those things in it. Corn is in damn near everything. Soy is in dried fruit (to keep it from sticking together) and it doesn’t have to be listed in ingredients. Peanut oil or traces of peanut is in a crapload of things. Gluten is in beer and soy sauce.
    It’s not simple avoiding anaphylactic shock. Or poisoning your friends by accident.