Nixon Looks Worried

Link to today’s strip.

You know, it was a huge revelation to both Dinkle and Harriet that you could just set up a web fund and people would give you money for no reason (and no effort on your part). Even better if you had a cat, and Dinkle certainly has access to Bingo (the cat from the church, in case any of you have memories like Tom Batiuk).

But no, those old candy-selling gags are money in the bank so they’ve got to be trotted out again.

I’m sitting here wishing for a different set of characters, and realizing that no matter who’s in the cast, it’s all going to be terrible. They’re all like whatever it is in the bowl in front of Harriet–something you don’t want to look at too closely.

By the way, the Firesign Theatre had an album some years ago called Boom Dot Bust. One of the characters was mayor William Cudlip P’nisnose. I think we’re seeing his wife in today’s strip. Or, Nixon in a wig.

43 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

43 responses to “Nixon Looks Worried

  1. Epicus Doomus

    “We”??? Since when does Harriet tag along on Dinkle’s various band directing sojourns? This arc reads like something he really threw together at the last second, most likely five minutes after the big (sigh) band directing parade was first announced. One again he puts minimal effort into a thing he supposedly loves.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      I mean, she did get to go to Belgium for his chocolate prize. She just didn’t get drug along to Memphis for that little nightmare of elder abuse.

  2. William Thompson

    Is that Nixon, or a shaved Crazy Harry in drag? And once again there’s a brick building, but if I say the blocks aren’t drawn with this strip’s usual obsessive care, will Batso accuse me of throwing brickbats?

    • ComicBookHarriet

      It’s obviously a relative of Mopey Pete. Mother, Aunt, Sister, Brother. We may never know.

  3. Mr. A

    The joke is that Dinkle has no new ideas, so he’s doing the thing he’s done a hundred times before, because hey, it worked back then!

    This is definitely not a metaphor for anything. No siree.

  4. Banana Jr. 6000

    • The Duck of Death

      The tragedy is that it’s $2500, plus about 2K if Harriet wants to join.

      Apparently there are at least 300 Dinkles willing to pony up for the “honor,” though as I mentioned earlier, odds are they won’t be paying their own way.

      I still think it’s shitty for this long-retired altekacker to take the place of an active band director. Like that one-armed chick, whatzername. Don’t remember anything about her but she sure has only one arm. Can’t miss that.

      • William Thompson

        Maybe it’s the crappier-than-usual artwork, but I could swear that Mrs. Nixonnose is wearing a straitjacket.

  5. Here at Team SoSF, I reserve for myself the fun chore of Photoshopping each week’s header image, aka banner or masthead. The disembodied heads of Funky and the rest of the core cast have been featured multiple times, so I scan the upcoming strips for intriguing Anon-o-Characters to spotlight. Mrs. Dicknose was a cinch.

  6. Banana Jr. 6000

    What did I say yesterday? “Funky Winkerbean is an infomercial. Every story is a contrived problem where its own tired bullshit is the solution.” And here it is! The end.

    • billytheskink

      At least Dinkle isn’t trying to sell his autobiography in this one. Wait…

      *smacks forehead*

      That’s… that’s tomorrow’s strip, isn’t it?

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    “Aren’t you the same guy who was sitting in his car, grinning ear to ear, while little old church ladies were going door-to-door last month selling this same stale band candy so they could buy new choir robes?”

    • Mr. A

      It’s literally the same joke again. “Here’s something that’s normally done by high school students, but this time it’s an old person doing it! Isn’t that wacky?”

  8. Sourbelly

    I think all the boxes are checked today: pubic coffee steam, musical notes on paraphernalia, Harriet’s clown hair, smirk, brickwork, hatchet face, lack of joke. Job well done, you two!

  9. Mela

    ‘Cause some old guy showing up by himself on your doorstep hawking band candy isn’t creepy at all…

  10. ComicBookHarriet

    I also enjoy eating a nice bowl of cream colored hydrangeas for breakfast. Full of delicious phytonutrients and cyanogenic glycoside.

  11. Hitorque

    I called it… God, this means I have to quit now, doesn’t it?

    • The Duck of Death

      It was inevitable. It costs about $2500 for the “package” Tournament of Roses band leader marchers have to buy. Then, if any family members accompany you, it’s another two or three grand. If you’re marching, you’re basically locked into this “package” of accommodation, and it ain’t cheap.

      It looks like, as part of the sponsorship deal Batiuk worked out with the Rose Bowl people, he’s flogging the need to fundraise. This is meant to encourage his enthusiastic (?) fan base (?!) of band-involved readers to get fundraising so their own local Dinkle will be able to afford this great “privilege.”

      Plus, it’s not like he has any other Dinkle gags up his sleeve. This is it, folks. These are the jokes.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I’m sure Batty gets his trip comped. Heck, he is probably going to be the one dressed up like Dinkle.

        It’s amazing how fresh and topical Batty keeps this strip after all these years!

        • The Duck of Death

          If Batiuk weren’t so goddam lazy, he could do a better job at the Tournament of Roses shilling. For example, someone could challenge Dinkle — “Why should we spend our hard-earned money so you can march in a parade 2000 miles away?” Then he could explain why band leaders deserve honor, and what the purpose of the parade is, etc.

          But Batty, as usual, got nothin’. Just the same schtick that worked in 1975. Still pluggin’ away at the saaaaame schtick as he, and his characters, age, wither, and die without learning a damn thing or changing even a bit over the course of 50 years. Sweet Jesus, it’s depressing.

  12. The Dreamer

    How does Harry have the time to go to Pasadena let alone raise money for it when he is now the full time organist and choir director at that church? He will be too busy playing services and weddings. Does he know how busy church organists are during the year end holidays? That is not when they go on vacation!

  13. The Nelson Puppet

    “HEY LADY! RACE YOU TO THE BEDROOM!”

  14. Charles

    It’s a testament to the unreality of this strip that here I see an elderly man walking door to door trying to sell candy to elderly people out of a blank cardboard box and it doesn’t immediately hit me how weird and pathetic that whole situation would be.

    If a guy in his early eighties showed up at my door with a generic box full of assorted candies with “BAND CANDY” written on the side with a sharpie, offering it for sale, it’d be the saddest damn thing I’d ever seen. I’d almost certainly think he was a senile man who threw together his whole ensemble after he had completely lost his marbles. And instead of buying candy I’d be asking him who his family was so I could call them to come pick Grandpa up again.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      You’re absolutely right. And what’s worse, the strip has presented this scenario before:

      I can’t tell if Harry is just mocking this John Thompson, or if he’s really that stupid.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I see now why they keep Adeela around, her hands are so calloused (probably from some war horror that Batty forgot to exploit) that she can carry a hot pizza pan with her bare hands.

  15. The Duck of Death

    “You’re The World’s Greatest Band Director, you say.”

    “That’s right. World’s Greatest. It’s literally a legal part of my name.”

    “And here you are, trying to get a total stranger to buy a candy bar for a dollar.”

    “That’s right. Two for a buck-fifty!”

    “You can’t get paying work? Even though you’re The World’s Greatest Band Director? What band do you direct? Why can’t they pay you?”

    “Oh, I’m looooong retired.”

    “So you’re not a band director at all.”

    “Sure I am! I direct the St. Spires choir.”

    “Well, good for you, even though I’m Jewish. But that’s not a band. How old are you, anyway? You can’t be a day shy of 90.”

    “Look, lady. I’ll give you 3 for 5 bucks. It’s the best I can do.”

    [Long, hesitating pause as Lady Nixon-Nose looks Dinkle up and down sadly.] “I’m calling Adult Protective Services.”

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      *KNOCK KNOCK*

      “Hi, I’m Harry L. Dinkle, the world’s–”

      “Oh, look who’s on my doorstep again. Weren’t you just here selling candy? Like two months ago? What is it this time?”

      “Ahem. Well, I’m the World’s Greatest–”

      “Yeah, I have that coffee mug too. My daughter gave it to me when she was nine. I think mine says ‘World’s Greatest Volleyball Coach.’ I store Sweet and Low packets in it. Get to the point.”

      “I’m proud to have been selected to–”

      “‘Selected?’ You must not get sarcasm. Everybody gets ‘selected’ for these things, buddy. Were you also the 1,000,000th Amazon customer? Did you win a free local gym membership too?”

      “…go to Pasadena to be in the Tournament of Roses Parade!”

      “Wow, look at that. You’re not even raising money for YOUR friends, it’s entirely for YOUR self. You’re an 84-year-old man, acting like a girl scout. Except you don’t even have any thin mints. I’ll buy those if you’re got ’em. Those things are better than crack.”

      “No, but as you can see, I have this fine selection of Belgian–”

      “Did you buy all that rando shit at Giant Eagle to re-sell at a markup? I know where Giant Eagle is, man.”

      “It’s so Westview musicians can be represented in–”

      “Do you think anyone is sitting around worrying that Westview musicians will be left out of something only you care about? I don’t even live in this town. My brother’s letting me crash here until the job market recovers.”

      “Well, would you be willing to donate?”

      “Donate? I donate to the Lisa’s Legacy Fund every year. I participate in the run. Never seen you there! I give to the firefighters and police, do you? Well, do you?”

      “Sir, thank you for your time–”

      “Oh no, you don’t. Get your ass back here, Dinkle. You knocked on my door for the 200th time. I’m going to sell you something for a change. Would you be interested in buying… (looks around) this partly-used roll of toilet paper? It was in my hand, because I was just finishing a long dump when you came pounding on the door like a narc with a warrant. Try being a little more polite, asshole. I’m also accepting donations for the new pair of underwear I suddenly need. Let me see what you got there!” (grabs box out of Dinkle’s hand)

      “Hey!”

      “Oh, look! Twenty, forty, sixty, that’ll do just fine, thank you. Now if you’ll excuse me –“, (throws candy bars everywhere, slams the door in Dinkle’s face

  16. Maxine of Arc

    How is anybody in this town still opening their doors to Dinkle?

  17. The Duck of Death

    Has this World’s Biggest Schmuck already forgotten that Bingo the church cat helped them raise at least $1,000,000 in three minutes? Why not put Bingo to work?

    I figure if a video of Bingo raised “enough to build a new church” within 3 minutes of being uploaded, then a 10-second .gif of Bingo should raise about $5K within 2 minutes of being uploaded. That should cover their trip.

    • batgirl

      Online sales & fundraising have been explained to Dinkle at least twice before, but he expunges it from his memory because it doesn’t involve enough personal pressure and harassment.

      That woman’s face is bothering me – I’m sre I’ve seen it as a man’s face in some long-running comic. Rufus from Gasoline Alley? Sad Sack? Anyway, interesting article in Comics Journal on Sad Sack, including a single-panel gag by Pfc. Bil Keane: http://www.tcj.com/george-baker-and-the-sad-sack/

      • The Duck of Death

        Could you be thinking of the conspicuously Nixon-nosed Keesterman from Crankshaft? Centerville seems like the kind of town where half the residents are related to one another. Perhaps this lady at the door is of Keesterman stock.

    • Mr. A

      Since these are special tie-in strips for a real-world event, they may have fallen outside Batiuk’s normal writing schedule. I suspect that he either wrote this before he even came up with the choir robes storyline, or wrote it much later without considering where it would fall on the calendar.

  18. batgirl

    I will say one (1) thing in favour of Harry Dinkle. Unlike the other characters, who act as if they are ordinary-joe / lovable loser types while enjoying dream jobs & popularity, Dinkle does own his immense arrogance and entitlement. No fear of alerting the jealous gods by acknowledging his success. Nope, he is daring the thunderbolts to strike him. Darrin might hesitate to admit to mere contentment with Jessica (it’s okay! the thunderbolt hit his adoptive father instead!) but Dinkle is out on the street flaunting himself.
    Question for someone with more memory of Act 1 – I remember Dinkle believing that band was more important than sports or academics, but did he always believe that he was more important than any other person? It feels to me as if he’s put himself well ahead of band at this point.