Parish the thought

I’m not on Dinkle’s side or anything, but I struggle to sympathize with the choir ladies in today’s strip. Those stern looks of disapproval are genuine and understandable, but these ladies have got to stop setting Dinkle up for this miserable gag. This is the third time they’ve walked right into it. Yes, Dinkle is insufferable and arrogant, but they’ve had plenty of time now to learn that asking him if he knows anything about a subject is a sure way to draw out that insufferableness and arrogance. If you don’t like the way he acts when baited, stop baiting him!

At least there’s no blood this time from Dinkle biting his tongue… Well, that’s not really an improvement. For a while there I thought that maybe Dinkle could be put on a path to self-destruction by frequently questioning his credentials.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “Parish the thought

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Yeah he really, REALLY likes this gag. I assume he’ll be bleeding again tomorrow as well.

    Coming next week: Agnes, the church activities director, loses a leg to diabetes, prompting the church ladies to ask Dinkle if he has any experience with shadowing amputees while they do their job. Boy, does he!

    • billytheskink

      That gag would almost justify the last three uses if Lefty then popped up from the baptistry and shouted “A little!”

      • Epicus Doomus

        Becky: “Harry, is your lip bleeding? Here, use this handkerchief and…oh shit, wrong pocket again. How does that keep happening? Harry, would you mind?”

  2. Banana Jr. 6000

    From what I can find on Google, choir robes cost as little as $12. Maybe $50 for a fancy one. How is this even a problem?

  3. billytheskink

    Is today’s strip set on Jupiter? There’s some serious gravity pulling everyone’s faces to the floor.

  4. Phillip Craig

    Oh, total Hell. How does Dinkle know how much this parish’s bake sales bring in? For that matter, how would he know how much choir robes cost? And when is he actually going to play the organ?

    • Epicus Doomus

      So far Dinkle hasn’t performed or even “directed” ANY MUSIC AT ALL during this story arc. And I’m not expecting to see that anytime soon, either.

  5. Gerard Plourde

    Does TomBa really think that this routine is so knee-slapping funny that it can be repeated this often in such a short space of time and get the same audience result?

    Based on this work product, I wouldn’t find it at all surprising that he repetitively reads Flash #123.

  6. J.J. O'Malley

    I have to confess that I only occasionally saw Act I Funky and viewed Act II even less, so perhaps some longtime devotee can clue me in; did Dinkleberg always have this passive/self-aggressive manner of reacting to someone questioning his bona fides, or is this a recent quirk? It’s interesting that Harry opts for self-flagellation of the gums at any news that the world outside of high school band music is unaware of his genius.

    Any chance the choir folk would ever run a church financial matter past, oh, I dunno…the pastor/priest/rabbi/chief shaman and the council/synod/parish/coven that runs the fakakta institution?

    • hitorque

      The funny part is all I remember about Act I Dinkle is his Napoleonic obsession about marching and practice, how bad the band actually played, an endless string of dumb fundraisers, and Holly’s penchant for sending the band, spectators and Dinkle himself to the hospital with third-degree burns every time she tried her infamous “flaming baton twirl”… (Of course I don’t ever remember Batiuk ever *showing* us the carnage; we only learned what happened after-the-fact a couple days later)

  7. I’ll admit my ignorance here, but do churches even have choir uniforms? I kind of figure people dress very nicely for the choir but don’t wear matching uniforms.

    When I was in the choir in college (in a religiously-affiliated college) we had robes, but I figure that’s because we were students.

    • Hitorque

      Churches of a certain size usually do… But in my church experience, the organ player/music director doesn’t wear a robe… And choirs wearing regalia always tend to match (or at least compliment) the color scheme of the interior decor and/or the pastor+deacons… All the more reason they should be consulting with whoever is in charge instead of going about this half-assed…

      And don’t get me started on a big assed church fundraising for choir robes instead of, you know, the poor and sick… God forbid readers might think they’re a religious organization or something…

      • ComicBookHarriet

        It was more common/universal in the past. I remember looking in an old closet in the choir loft of my church and finding 50 year old choir robes. Certain churches still use them, but not usually your run-of-the-mill white-bread mainline protestant/typical Catholic churches.

  8. Hitorque

    As much as the Big Dink loves to talk about himself and hear others talk about him, you’d think these old ladies could write his fuckin’ biography by now…

    Either way, this setup and gag was really goddamn lazy the first time, and Batiuk has done it three times in the last three weeks of Dinkle’s storyline…

  9. Mr. A

    These ladies look increasingly done with Dinkle, which gives me a sliver of hope that he might experience some consequences for his terrible actions. That would be nice

  10. BigDickJohnson

    Why is he so angry in the second panel?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Because these dumb ladies SHOULD KNOW BETTER BY NOW. I’m actually angry with them too. And angry at Batiuk for making these old biddies so dumb for a running gag that isn’t funny.

      The man was a band director for a billion years, and that HAS to have come up in his audition as it is his strongest selling point. Now they’re several weeks/months into his tenure, and they’re still asking him dumb questions.

      Asking a former educator if they know anything about fundraising is like asking a former doctor if they’ve ever used a stethoscope.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        It’s more autistic pattern-making. And this is the same pattern we saw a couple weeks ago: Other characters must not know Dinkle’s background. Dinkle must act indignant at this. Coming up next, Dinkle must brag about himself. Then the story cuts immediately to everyone doing what Dinkle wants, with no questions, pushback, training montage, or anything. Then it will be time for Dinkle to perform his same old gags… or maybe not, because the pattern is the important thing.

        Never mind what the characters should know, or how they should react. These choir ladies have interviewed Dinkle for a job, and been kept at choir practice until 2 AM, so they should know him by now. They are scowling in today’s strip, but it won’t matter. They will follow the pattern.

        Stories can have patterns, but they serve storytelling purposes. Funky Winkerbean has patterns for the sake of having patterns. It wastes huge amounts of space telling the audience things they already know. Sometimes you need to reiterate, or summarize for new readers, but this strip seems to exist for this reason. Or, it drones on for weeks about unimportant details, to set up the desired pattern. The more cynical of us might think this is intentional, so Tom Batiuk can get his precious 50-year award with the least amount of work possible.

        Autistic pattern-making would explain a lot about how this world works, and its strange storytelling priorities.

      • hitorque

        Part of me wants to think the little old ladies already know about Dinkle’s experience and are intentionally asking him this shit just to take the piss out of him because his hotheaded “Yosemite Sam”-style reactions entertains them…

        But we all know Batiuk doesn’t put that much thought into his disposable nameless background characters….

        • billytheskink

          I considered this scenario, but all of the choir ladies looks disgusted that Dinkle is getting all huffy about this. If they were messing with him they would be… smirking, perhaps? Here’s a situation in which TB’s beloved smirks would actually do something for the strip!

          • Mr. A

            I think Lillian’s expression in panel 2 is telling. That is a woman who knows exactly what response she’s going to get. I can almost taste the sarcasm.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    Speaking of Tom Batiuk and autism, there’s a new Funkyblog entry. Apparently his blatant plagiar — er, “tip of the Funky felt tip” on Sunday forgot to acknowledge the writer and the inker of the inside of this 60-year-old comic book. One of whom is the only person who’s still alive to possibly appreciate it.

    Who to honor is clearly an arbitrary, personal choice. But Batiuk talks about this oversight like he left Todd Beamer off the 9/11 memorial.

    He says this happened because he was “thinking a little too narrowly about the cover only.” Really? A guy who routinely depicts comic book covers, and has 146 blog entries about comic book covers, was thinking too narrowly about the cover? You don’t say.

    He still makes no mention of Flash #123’s colorist or letterer, who are relevant enough to get subcategories in the DC Wiki entry for Flash #123. But fuck them, I guess. Only certain people are worthy in Tom Batiuk’s eyes. And, of course, he’s got to shove that cover in your face again.

  12. Maxine of Arc

    We will never see a pastor or anybody else who should be involved with the church’s management or budget. I know this. AND YET.

    I am sure that the “retired band director” who gave Batiuk the idea for this new setting for Dinkle to do the exact same things he did at the school, and then at the senior center, absolutely verbatim and as if they were the least bit amusing, didn’t mean anything malicious. Maybe they didn’t even know who they were talking to. But I hope they step on a Lego.

  13. Gerard Plourde

    Part of me wonders whether TomBa expects his loyal readers to bow and kowtow in the glow of Dinkle’s omni-talented magnificence.

    I hope he’s not that deluded, but I’m not taking bets..