The Feast Of Maximum Occupancy

Link To This One

“Hi, Mom! Listen, we’ll be by to pick you up at around eleven. We made the stuffing you like and we picked up a few pies and…what’s that? Harry Dinkle? Who the f*ck is Harry Dinkle? But…but…your grandkids are looking forward to…uh huh, uh huh, yeah, uh, OK, I guess, but this is certainly unexpected and odd and…what? Why would WE eat Thanksgiving dinner at a band director’s house? Have you been taking your medicine?”

It’s pretty funny how Halle Dinkle re-appeared and was immediately pushed into the background by every single person Dinkle knows, plus quite a few he doesn’t. I count TWENTY-NINE people, which seems like WAY too many folks to cram into Dinkle’s cheap clapboard house for anything, let alone dinner. But hey, at least BatYam didn’t have to exert himself too much by, you know, writing a story or anything like that.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

50 responses to “The Feast Of Maximum Occupancy

  1. Banana Jr. 6000

    Hey, remember nine days ago, when we just met all these people? And in almost exactly the same order?

    • Mr. A

      Looks like Mary Jane’s been demoted. And also aged a few decades.

      • ComicBookHarriet

        Mary Jane tends to do that to ya.

        Spend too much time with Mary Jane, and soon you’ll find yourself underemployed and looking older than your years.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          Oh, I don’t know….with Mary Jane Watson, face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot!

          Pete Parker met Mary Jane at a Sunday dinner. He ate very little, but it was “delish,” and “every mouthful was a monument to the culinary art.”

          You should be so lucky, Harriet.

    • Will

      It’s like the lists of the apostles in the Gospels. They always begin with Peter and end with Judas the traitor. Which speaks well of Carl and badly of Bingo, I guess.

    • batgirl

      How does Harriet know all these people by sight? At most she might have heard their names. How did she get their contact info?

      • Phil

        “How did she get their contact info?”
        Harriette still has the pair of Google classes she bought years ago and the latest facial recognition app.

  2. The Duck of Death

    We just saw Lillian on Thursday eating Thanksgiving dinner with Crankshaft & family! Does she have a doppelganger?

    Actually, I take that back. She’s not in two places at once. She clearly isn’t in this strip; it’s a repulsive 99-year-old man in sloppy drag. I mean, look at her face. Ecccccch.

    And even her doppelganger didn’t bring the ferkakte cranberry relish.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That was Thanksgiving ten years ago. Or 14 years ago. Or in the future. I forget which. Anyway, that wasn’t *this* Thanksgiving.

      • Mr. A

        Crankshaft is set in 2021-Β, Funky Winkerbean is set in 2021-Γ. It makes perfect sense. Perfect sense, I tells ya!

        • The Duck of Death

          Thanks, Mr. A.

          I thought we had all concluded here that the (decade?) time differential between Crankshaft and FW had been eliminated, based on the concurrent Covid situation in both strips and a couple other clues.

          Of course, that left the question of why Crankshaft, when last seen in FW a year or so ago on Election Day, was a withered, wheelchair-bound husk with an oxygen tank. And why Lillian, who was already about 100 in Crankshaft (based on her canon), was hale and hearty when seen in FW, ten years later. But little things like aging and death have never deterred ol’ Tom in his tireless quest to bring us ripping yarns only 1/4 inch from reality.

          Anyway, you have solved the paradox. We live in 2021. Crankshaft is set in 2021-B. FV is set in 2021-Γ.

          And Tom lives in Bizarro World.

  3. The Duck of Death

    Boy, there’s nothing a quasi-feral cat who’s used to having the run of a huge church likes more than being picked up and carried bodily to an unfamiliar small house filled to bursting with about 2 dozen loud strangers.

    • William Thompson

      Never underestimate a cat who can change from black to gray to today’s mix of colors. I’m sure Bingo is looking at that crowd and thinking “Mm-mmmm! Fresh rat for dinner tonight!”.

  4. Wow, almost everyone except the Moores. But Les can’t show up, because you can’t have a second focus of attention if Dinkle is there.

    • ComicBookHarriet

      Never cross the smirks. It would be bad.

    • Margaret

      You’ve got a point there. I didn’t think of that when I said yesterday that I thought Les would show up on Saturday. The two biggest egos in Westview in the same house? Now that would actually be interesting! What would happen? Immovable object, meet irresistible force!

  5. J.J. O'Malley

    Okay, the past four days have been a dream sequence, right? Harry and Harriet’s Thanksgiving Day dinner consisted of the traditional non-turkey meatloaf and was shared by just the two of them, right? And then Dinkle plopped himself on the living room sofa and dozed off while waiting for the halftime band shows on the televised football games–the only part of the games he watches–to begin, Right? And the whole Mouseketeer Roll Call we’ve been subjected to since Wednesday has simply been a figment of his meatloaf-stuffed imagination, RIGHT? There is no other logical way to explain it, RIGHT? Please tell me Dinkleberg will wake up tomorrow and put us all out of our misery.

  6. Sourbelly

    OK, so the Sunday sideways panel will show all the guests smirking at each other and at us, crammed in Dinkle’s musically themed hovel, each holding a wine glass or a turkey leg aloft in celebration of…what? I’m thinking we’ll never get an explanation for why Harriett invited all of these random weirdos. Batdick simply thinks that having more and more guests show up over the course of a week is comedy gold (and convenient filler). Because, you know, lotsa people = lotsa laffs.

    Freezer-burnt turkey carcasses 4 everyone!

  7. erdmann

    Ohhhh, please let Sunday’s strip feature Zanzibar the Talking Murder Chip thinking, “Thanks, Harriet, ya looney old broad. Ya just made my job a hellava lot easier,” as he presses the button on a remote detonator.

  8. billytheskink

    There are a lot of valid criticisms I could make here, but I also feel that just reading out a list of character names is kind of a step up for the strip, you know?

  9. The Nelson Puppet

    Hey everybody! It’s a LEMON PARTY!!!!!

    • Ray

      I’ve born witness to many a thing in my day. Combinations and permutations that are definitely not organic. But this was one that sent me right to Urban Dictionary…and now, while I’m definitely sure I’ve not seen it all, I’m another rung up the ladder.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Ha. I had to look that one up too.

    • Charles

      You can’t have a Lemon Party without Old Dinkle.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    Lazy and stupid.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Ok, so over on Crankshaft we won’t find out if Lillian remembered the cranberry relish. But we get marching band jokes.

    Two terrible strips. There has to be an award they can give Batty for this.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      A few days ago we all saw the old “half a sandwich” strip, in which Mort kept asking Funky the same question over and over, as a sign of his impending dementia.

      Today, Tom Batiuk gives a comic strip almost word-for-word identical to the one from nine days ago. Neither of which serves any narrative purpose.

      What are we supposed to infer from that?

      Forget the quality of the comic strips he produces. Would somebody from the syndicate please go to Tom Batiuk’s house, and make sure he’s allright?

      I’m being dead serious.

  12. Charles

    And Batiuk’s going to completely avoid doing the only thing that might be funny about this whole thing: showing the Dinkles trying to accommodate all these people to dinner in their little ranch house.

    It could even play with one of his favorite tropes! Showing Funky as a chump as the only place the Dinkles could find to seat him was in the broom closet with an old nightstand to eat off of. With a paper plate, and plastic silverware.

    Better than Wally though! He had to sit in the water heater closet in their garage eating off an old cinder block!

    Definitely preferable to having dinner with your own family.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That’s just it. This isn’t setting anything up. It’s just pointlessly listing all the characters, in ways that contradict what we know about them. The ages of children aren’t consistent with when we’ve seen them in the past. Characters that Dinkle knows very well are introduced as if they were strangers. None of it serves any purpose other than to fill space.

  13. Suicide Squirrel

    Next week will be the reverse. The guests will leave in the same order they arrived. They’ll offer some forced pleasantry as they exit.

    Guest: “Ever think about having ham instead of turkey?” Dinkle has an apoplectic fit and soils himself.

    It’s official. Batyuk has run out of story ideas.

  14. I think the central idea that Batiuk is trying to push is that Dinkle is so awesome that he can feed and entertain nearly the entire town, all by his lonesome. So it’s one more “awesome talent” that can be listed in his Rose Parade bio.

    It’s kind of un-blatant, but it’s more Dinkle Worship.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Except that Harry’s not actually doing anything. Oh well, it’s never been an obstacle before. Praise Dinkle!

      • I think that’s part of it. Everyone will praise Dinkle for his incredible feast, despite him not lifting a finger. More of his in-strip incredibleness.

        What’s the one thing we haven’t seen this week? A worry of any kind. “How will we feed all these people? Do we have enough chairs?” That’s what Les would do, fret and moan all during the week.

        Not Dinkle, Harry S. Dinkle can handle anything thrown at him, and keep smiling throughout.

        That’s why not one of these people brought any food. That would imply that Harry needed help, and that would diminish his awesomeness. No, he does every undertaking with complete control and amazing success.

        That’s why my vote for the Pilitzer Prize for “Most Loathsome Character” will always go to Dinkle.

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Yeah, it’s almost biblical. “And when Dinkle had taken the five loaves and the two frozen band turkeys, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the turkeys, and gave them to his choir and his New Orleans-style jazz combo to set before them; and the two turkeys divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled, and many a smirk was seen amongst them.”

    • Charles

      I think that’s giving him too much credit. I really don’t think he’s thought about that at all. He’s just stretching out the premise to fill the week by telling the same joke multiple times using different people. That this is supposed to celebrate Dinkle’s amazingness would suggest that Batiuk actually thought about the logistical problems of this arrangement and rejected the idea of using any of it for strip ideas. I don’t believe he even bothered to think about it in the first place.

      • You may be right. Who knows? Batiuk has to pimp Dinkle’s Rose Bowl appearance….and I’ve learned that predictions that I have labored over tend to dissipate when confronted with this strip because, after all, it’s easier to be lazy than to be clever.

  15. J.J. O'Malley

    Meanwhile, the Widow Bushka–one of the few Westviewians who probably COULD use a Thanksgiving dinner invite–in standing around alone in her kitchen, watching as the microwave oven slowly rotates the “Mary Calendar” turkey pot pie she’s heating up for her evening meal.

    • batgirl

      Hopefully she and Principal Nate are cosy on the couch with glasses of wine, watching a movie that has nothing to do with football.

  16. Perfect Tommy

    Robot roll call.

    • Y. Knott

      In the not-too-distant future
      Or perhaps a time long past
      (The writer pulls continuity
      Out of a place known as his ass)

      There’s a guy named Harry who led a band
      Just a smirky guy no one can stand
      They planned for him an awful fate:
      “If we breathe up all his air, surely he will suffocate!”

      We’ll send him lots of houseguests!
      The worst that we can find! (LA LA LA!)
      We’ll have them introduce themselves
      And drive him right out of his mind! (LA LA LA!)

      Now keep in mind that he can’t control
      When this parade of houseguests ends (LA LA LA!)
      Or the irony of his oxygen
      Being breathed up by all his “friends”…

      Westview Roll Call!
      – HALLE! (Your daughter!)
      – HALLE’S HUSBAND! (I have a name…)
      – GRANDCHILDREN! (Hello!)
      – MOOOOOOORT! (I’m horny!)

      – AAAAND….HOLLY! (Wait, this is still going?)
      – FUNKY! (Don’t blame me!)
      – MELINDA! (I’m melting!)
      – JOOOOOOOOOHN! (There’s even more! Like –)

      – RANA (His daughter!)
      – BECKY (Her mom!)
      – WALLY (Her ex!)
      – LOOOOOOOOOOOIS! (I’m in the choir!)

      {After 43 additional choruses….}

      Now if you’re wondering how he eats and breathes
      With all those people there (LA LA LA!)
      Just repeat to yourself: the whole point is
      They’ll breathe up all his air…

      …For Dinkle Asphyxiation Thanksgiving!

  17. The Duck of Death

    With all these motley families and bitter oldsters, who’s gonna be the first to launch into a belligerent political rant at the table? Don’t tell me no one in this crowd has strong feelings about our current or former president, or about masks and vaccines. Can’t wait for the powder keg to blow. My guess is Mort will be the first to light the fuse.

    • batgirl

      I’ve been wondering, given the one-year lag, whether 2022 will have a serious prestige arc about masking and mandates, like the whenever-it-was student walkout over gun violence. Or a light-hearted arc about an election for student president with claims of voter fraud.
      I don’t see a political fight breaking out here, though, because I don’t think TB can conceive of a Dinkle-worthy Westviewian character holding views different from his own. That’s reserved for those soulless money-grubbing Hollywood glitterati.

      • The Duck of Death

        Damn, batgirl. You’re right, of course. Imagining characters with a wide range of political ideologies is way, way outside of TB’s ability. It would require imagining that other people not only truly exist independent of himself, but have completely different thoughts that might not mesh with his at all.

        At heart, the reason FW stinks is deeper than TB’s inability to tell stories. It’s his inability to imagine characters that aren’t Gary Stus or their female cheerleaders. Plain and simple, he’s a solipsist.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        The only future plot Batiuk has mentioned is yet another comic book publishing story.