Look, the man himself
Deigns to appear on panel
Here in today's strip

Why is he worried
No one is coming to see
Him in uniform

No one is coming
To see Holly twirl either
But whatever y'all

This Harry Dinkle,
He sounds like a real jerk
This guy here, real jerk

With his history
Of abusing band members
Why would alums play

But of course these two
Still have their band uniforms
No one leaves high school


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

37 responses to “Alumnaiku

  1. Epicus Doomus

    Because they’re BOTH FAT NOW! You know, because almost everyone gets fat after high school. Now, if someone were to MAKE them wear their old uniforms, that might be a pretty funny visual gag. Too mean-spirited for FW, though.

    Too many comma eyes and weird squiggly eyebrows today. Blech.

    • RudimentaryLathe?

      A decade ago I did some acting in a friend’s indie short film, when I was considerably thinner and his hair wasn’t nearly as grey. We recently watched the film and joked about our aging together. I don’t really mind the exchange here; though I wholeheartedly agree about the comma eyes.

  2. Gerard Plourde

    I like the series of haiku. The penultimate one –

    “With his history
    Of abusing band members
    Why would alums play”

    – has an answer. The town of Westview grooms masochistic co-dependents. We’ve seen it in action most recently this past week.

  3. RudimentaryLathe?

    The dialogue is almost how real-world humans would talk so +10 points for that. But -500 points for the surplus of wry smirks.

  4. Cabbage Jack

    I love that these two schmucks and their septuagenarian pals are just throwing together some dumb thing to overwhelm a high school homecoming game (and dance, I’m sure). Like, the needs and wants of the students, interested in building their own memories? Screw that! Time for us to relive OUR memories! Yet again!

    And they haven’t even bothered to ask anyone at the school because they know that the administration will just fall over themselves in slobbering joy to have some more of the endless nostalgia train pull into the station.

  5. William Thompson

    The face in P1 is the face of a serial killer who has just chosen his next victim.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      I think Dinkle’s expression is more like “So, what are you wearing?”

      Though it could easily be both of those things.

      • Charles

        At least his mouth is in close approximation of where it’s supposed to be. The average Ayers drawing of Dinkle where he’s being all smarmy would put his mouth outside his right eye.

  6. Lord Flatulence

    The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

  7. J.J. O'Malley

    Uniforms don’t fit;
    Middle-age avoirdupois
    Makes its presence felt.

    Was Dinkle skinny
    When he was Band Director?
    Who would have noticed?

    “OUR” homecoming now!
    Students’ plans? Who gives a toss?
    This is for Mother!

    Where is poor Funky?
    Why, still talking at AA!
    “COVID sure was tough!”

    Meanwhile, Phil and Flash
    Need a fourth Elemental.
    Why not use Rip Tide?

    And what of Les Moore?
    Will this year’s English final
    be about his film?

  8. Lord Flatulence

    Extra credit for ” avoirdupois.”

  9. billytheskink

    I’m not surprised that Dinkle is in uniform for his profile mug shot, but I am surprised that he chose to frame that mug shot and hang it on the wall.

  10. Of course Dinkle has a portrait of himself on his wall.

  11. Lord Flatulence

    I’m surprised it doesn’t say “World’s Greatest Band Director” underneath it.

  12. Sourbelly

    I hate this band crap
    Panel One: That’s Woody Hayes
    Then fat jokes ensue.

    After that it’s just
    Fingernails and smirks, but thanks
    Billy: Lots of tags!

  13. Mr. A

    So this is, what, Dinkle’s fifth job? The strip from this post mentions four: high school band substitute teacher, private instructor, Bedside Manor band director, and St. Spires organist/choir director. I don’t know if he needs to do any prepwork for the upcoming “Saluting America’s Band Directors” event or not, but if so, that would bring it up to an even half-dozen.

    I can only pray I have that much energy when I reach Dinkle’s age. Heck, I don’t have that much energy now.

    • Hitorque

      Oh and don’t forget that he’s writing a nine volume biography of John Phillip Souza or whoever plus his own autobiography and he’s also a freelance door-to-door fundraiser when the situation calls for it…

      And he’s not only the arranger for the nursing home jazz band, he’s also their agent and tour bus driver….

  14. Hitorque

    1. Called it… We should have set up a bingo game around the dozens of “we’re fat, old and slow” jokes we’re about to get flooded with…

    2. And I refuse to believe a nutbar like Harold Leroy Dinkle doesn’t have a rental storage space full of new tailor-fitted band director costumes in assorted team colors so he’d be prepared just in case he got invited to perform in any college halftime in the state of Ohio…

    3. Shouldn’t Holly be calling around to see if there’s enough interested live bodies to even form an alumni band? And even before that, shouldn’t she be, you know, calling the principal and current band director over at Westview and officially inform them that homecoming halftime has been hijacked?? I mean, forget about the football alumni being honored or presenting the homecoming king and queen along with their court or the regular Westview marching band or the ceremony remembering Jerome Bushka or the special celebrity appearance by Masone Jarre as he presents a giant $350,000 check to the Lisa’s Legacy Foundation or any of that other shit, right?? Just shove it all off the schedule…

  15. Charles

    Every time Ayers shows one of his characters holding their phone as Dinkle does in panel three, it just gives me the impression that the person they’re talking to just said something gauche or offensive. It’s really more appropriate with a WTF expression than whatever smirky smile Ayers actually gives them.

  16. Banana Jr. 6000

    This strip is beneath comment. It’s a unnecessary conversation about an unnecessary detail in a unnecessary story to tell a unnecessary joke.

    • firedmyass

      “…a tale told by a hack, full of nostalgia and contempt, signifying less than nothing.”

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      And pretty unsatisfactory, too!

      Help me if you can I’m feeling down…

      John: Now see what you’ve done with your filthy Eastern ways!

      Ahme: No! It is Klang, the high priest, who is filthy in his filthy Eastern ways!

      John: How do we know you’re not just as filthy, and sent by him to nick the ring by being filthy, and you’ve lulled us with your filthy Eastern ways?

      Paul: What filthy ways are these?

    • be ware of eve hill

      This strip is beneath comment contempt.

  17. Maxine of Arc

    I don’t know about any of the rest of you, but the second I was done with high school I made it my mission to forget I was ever there. This kind of storyline breaks me out in hives. Metaphorical hives, I’m fine.

    • Gerard Plourde

      Whatever one’s high school experience was, good or bad, by the time Senior Year comes around everyone is ready to move on.

      I think it’s safe to say that TomBa would have found Walt Disney’s saying, “Keep moving forward” incomprehensible.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Whatever one’s high school experience was, good or bad, by the time you’re 18, you don’t want to do it anymore. I was very active in theater in high school, and almost all of my positive memories of my high school are tied to it. But I have never once had an inkling to go back and relive it. High school is simply a part of life that you move on from. Except in Funky Winkerbean.

        • be ware of eve hill

          Sometimes you can’t go back and relive it. I attended my 25th class reunion, and it was bizarre. No one really seemed to recognize me. Classmates would look at my name badge, smile, say hi, and move on. Any conversation I had was brief. I wasn’t a wallflower in high school by any means. I was National Honor Society and lettered in three sports. There were no jocks at the reunion. None of the really smart kids, band members, or cheerleaders. Strange.

          My little brother shared something that I thought was a little funny. He’s on Facebook, mainly to keep up with relatives. He joined the group page for the city where we grew up. His graduating class had a reunion this year. Someone on the reunion committee posted they couldn’t send him an invitation because they couldn’t find his address. It’s kind of funny because he still lives in the same city. He didn’t bother to reply. He claims he’s already in contact with anyone he wants to remember.

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            Which is exactly why class reunions are dying. With social media, people can stay in touch with whoever they want to, without all the awkwardness, one-upsmanship, and other bullshit associated with physical class reunions.

            And I had a similar experience to your brother. I never got an invite, because they “couldn’t find me.” They didn’t look very hard. My parents lived at the same house, with the same phone number, which was listed in the town phone book, and was even under my name (because my father had the same first name as me).

            I felt excluded, but that was normal for my high school experience. None of these people ever left their high school social circles, and intermarried each other, just like the people in Westview. A class reunion was just another Friday night at Montoni’s for them. So in an odd way, I did get to relive high school: to not be invited to something I didn’t want to go to anyway. That’s a win-win.

          • Suicide Squirrel

            Even if I was interested, I wouldn’t be foolish enough to attend a potential Covid super spreader event. People arriving from all over the country. What could possibly go wrong?

            Was everyone wearing covid masks during the reunion? Seems to defeat the purpose.

  18. Perfect Tommy

    Dinkle sets sights on
    Pasadena marching band
    Becky benched again

  19. Smirks 'R Us

    so the formerly deaf Dinkle has not only been retconned to have normal hearing, his senses are so heightened that he can hold the phone several inches from his ear in p3 and still hear Holly clearly. Sure, why not. It’s called writing!

  20. So, it takes a week and a half of horrible flaming baton jokes for this guy to get around to the “plot development” of setting up an alumni band “performance” at the homecoming game. Do we think that maybe in the process he’ll finally resolve the question of who’s coaching the football team since Bull retired/died?

  21. be ware of eve hill

    Dinkle: I really don’t fit into my band uniform anymore.

    No, Harry, you really don’t fit into this comic strip anymore. You’re retired! Go away!