All Apologies Are Retroactive

And we start the new year with day two of Dinkle monologuing to himself as he marches and plays. It still seems strange to me that marching in a band requires so little focus that he can monologue about it to the point of naming streets he’s walking down (which is extremely weird to think of someone doing). Apparently it’s super easy work and maybe he shouldn’t brag so much about directing it?

Happy new year to everyone!  Hopefully 2022 won’t be 365 days of Dinkle marching and naming roads as he walks down them, but I would not be shocked.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

60 responses to “All Apologies Are Retroactive

  1. Epicus Doomus

    I guess this is supposed to be some sort of “inside” band director gag aimed squarely at band directors and no one else. Or maybe it’s just a lazy, stupid, anticlimactic gag, which historically has usually been the case. I quite frankly can’t wait until I forget all about this arc forever, which should happen sometime around 10:35 PM tomorrow.

    • Mela

      I was a band kid, so I kind of get what he’s referring to. Making a turn while keeping the line straight is a bit tough while marching, but in this case the lines are only four people deep so it shouldn’t be that difficult (especially for a band of directors who have probably spent years teaching it). Plus, Dinkle actually has the easiest job in the line because he’s on the inside of the turn so he has the least distance to travel while the rest of the line pivots.

      I know, Forgive my nerdiness. And I’m still irritated that he stands out like a sore thumb because he’s too special to follow the basic uniform requirements.

      • Suicide Squirrel

        You are not nerdy to me. I was a band kid too. Trumpet and bass drum.

        I wonder what style of marching these performers are doing? I doubt it’s the high knee traditional marching style. Here’s hoping Dinkle breaks his ankle performing a spin turn.

        Why is Dinkle the only sax in that row? Is he the only saxophone in the band? I guess Batyuk wanted him to stand out. Wasn’t the generalissimo uniform enough?

        Speaking of which, years ago when I was in marching band my band director wore what the marching band directors (except Dinkle) are wearing in the comic. He wore a navy blue blazer, a white shirt, gray slacks, black socks, and black shoes. The only difference is that he never wore a red tie. He always wore a navy blue tie.

        Also, I liked my band director more than most of my high school teachers. We had some great trips. We marched in the Kentucky Derby Festival and at the Indianapolis 500 parade. We got to march on the race track (it’s BIG!)

        • Dood

          All hail Generalissimo Dinkle, the new president of Westview Equarico.

        • Anonymous Sparrow

          I think Holly Winkerbean would like to see Dinkle break his ankle.

        • Mela

          Clarinet here. I marched the 500 parade my senior year many years ago on a very hot day, and then walked it as a band parent with my daughter for four straight years much more recently. It’s a long one! Our local high school band is the host band so they march the parade and track every year, so my kid has done the full lap in full uniform as well!

          I think my high school band director wore slacks, shirt and a blazer, nothing fancy. He had his Dinkle-ish moments, but he was well-liked for the most part. I didn’t do high-step marching until college, where we did the spin turns although I probably would break/pull something if I tried one now.

          And you’re right-Dinkle should be with the rest of the woodwinds.

  2. J.J. O'Malley

    Where is Stork from “Animal House” when you need him?

    Happy New Year, fellow commenters.

  3. William Thompson

    What next? Dinkle concedes he can’t chew gum and walk at the same time? That one should be old enough to make Batiuk’s culture radar.

  4. billytheskink

    Dinkle doesn’t understand how apologies work, which isn’t surprising since he has never given one…

  5. Sourbelly

    That Looks like a regular turn, not a “harder than it looks” turn. I guess this was just an excuse for Batdick to keep calling out street names, which is what his audience really craves. “Anyone here been on Orange Grove Boulevard?” “WOO-HOO!!! WE GET THE REFERENCE!!!”

    • Gerard Plourde

      Another filler strip. Neither the Rose Parade nor its route has ever really registered on my radar. Is marching in it as big an achievement as being invited to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade? I probably watched the Rose Parade at some time but being from Philadelphia, my traditional New Year’s parade is our 120 year-old Mummers Parade which is also televised, lasts about ten hours and has about 10,000 area residents participating in various categories.

      • spacemanspiff85

        I like the Rose Parade, and always intend to watch it, even though I hardly ever remember to (I’ll watch it this year!). The floats are what interest me. Honestly, watching how people build the floats would probably be more interesting to me than the actual parade.

        • Gerard Plourde

          I agree that the skill involved in building those floats is something that deserves coverage.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Just watched the band directors go by. I think I saw Tom sitting on the float. Only saw one little banner with Dinkle. There was no mention of the strip by the announcers.

          The float was nice.

          • Y. Knott

            Yes, zero mention of the strip. And the Dinkle banners were backgrounded and unreadable … there’s no way you would even notice them if you weren’t trying to find them.

            Interesting choice of song. “76 Trombones” is the musical number used by conman Harold Hill in “The Music Man” to bolster his phony backstory of being a respected professional bandleader. In reality, of course, he has no ability to read or teach music, and is trying to swindle the unsophisticated townsfolk out of all their cash by selling them a fantasy.

          • be ware of eve hill

            Good eye, Y. Knott. I totally missed the banners on the live broadcast. I reviewed the recording on the DVR. There is a decent view of the banners when the band parted to let the float through.

            I went to the Batty blog to get a better view of the banners. Gee, it was awfully nice of Batty to allow a small fraction of banner space for The Band Directors Marching Band logo on each one.
            Band Organizer: (sarcastically) Gee, Tom, are you sure our logo isn’t taking up too much room?

            Turnabout is fair play. The band organizers got their revenge by putting the Dinkle banners at the tail end of the band, where they received almost no TV coverage. Tail end of the band, just like Dinkle.

        • batgirl

          I was in Spokane a few years back, and regularly walked past the park space where a huge set of lantern floats were being constructed by artisans from Taiwan(?). Fascinating watching the armatures and the translucent panels taking shape. I took so many photographs – we weren’t going to be there for the actual event, alas.

      • Margaret

        I’m also from Philadelphia, and I can confirm that there is no parade in the USA as unique and fabulous as the Mummers! Except maybe the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade; never seen it so I can’t say. It comes from the same traditional roots as the Mummers, I believe, so probably is as great. But the Mummers beat the Thanksgiving and Rose Bowl parades by a mile.

  6. erdmann

    Anyone here read music? Is that a real song running across the top of the strip or just some random assortment of notes that looks like one?

    • Mela

      I wouldn’t have thought to look, but it’s a good question. It’s 76 Trombones from The Music Man.

      • Gerard Plourde

        Wow! My hat is off to you that you could identify that. It is also one of the pieces that the band will be performing during the parade.

      • Don

        Probably a reference to Charles Schulz, who made it a point to use real music when showing Schroeder’s piano playing.

        I can see a few mistakes in the music: the first two notes in the second panel should be tied together; the 11th note in the first panel should be dotted; there should be a vertical bar right after the first note in the second panel.

    • TFHackett

      Oddly, the music is in bass clef, which typically is for the lower brasses. The saxophone parts would be written in treble clef.

      • Gerard Plourde

        I seem to remember that TomBa wrote somewhere that he played trombone in his high school band. The SABD score for “Seventy-Six Trombones” is available in PDF on the Sewell Foundation web site. Could the solution to your conundrum be that he copied the trombone part?

        • The Duck of Death

          Hey, you know how you can always identify a future trombonist on the playground?

          They can’t swing, and they don’t know how to use the slide.

  7. Actually, Batiuk, you owe your erstwhile readers an apology, but of course that won’t happen.

    Happy New Year, snarkers.

  8. Banana Jr. 6000

    You know, Dinkle, I can think of a lot more reasons you should be apologizing to people.

    Just in the past few months, we’ve seen you keep a volunteer choir practicing until 2 a.m.; insist on being in charge of a church fundraising campaign which failed, and then pouted about it; annoy the entire town for the hundredth time with your pushy, selfish door-knocking; turn a man’s funeral and a Christmas church service into showcases for your ego; pull senior citizens out of an assisted living home on Christmas without them, the facility, or their family knowing where they were going; ignored sexual harassment that went on under your watch; served 30-year-old leftovers to your friends and family on Thanksgiving; encouraged a sixty-year-old woman to do a majorette show in which she got seriously injured, which you never showed a shred of concern about; legally changed your name to “the world’s greatest”; applied to be in a parade you’ve already been in twice without ever asking your successor if she’d like to do it once; wore your chocolate-selling medal in public and ripped your shirt open to show it to everyone; insulted all your fellow band directors by saying they can’t rise to the occasion; made them practice more when you had no authority to do so; refused to wear the prescribed uniform for the parade and marched down the street dressed like Idi Amin’s field marshall; expected sexual favors from your wife as a reward for getting a job she didn’t even want you to take; dragged her to Los Angeles to watch you stomp around in the parade when she said it would be a financial burden; and finally — worse than all of that — you kiss your wife to practice your ’embouchere’ so you can play musical instruments better, even though you’ve taught band for 50 years and are the self-proclaimed ‘world’s greatest’ at it.

    Dinkle is one of the most loathsome characters in the history of fiction. His running gag is that he abuses every single person he comes into contact with. And the worse he is, the more praise Batiuk heaps on him. He’s a much worse person than John Darling was, and when John Darling was murdered we were supposed to think he deserved it.

    • Suicide Squirrel

      Man, you have a real talent for remembering every transgression a person has done and using it against them later.

      Mom? Is that you? Please stop channeling through Banana Jr. 6000.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        I’m usually not that kind of person, but Dinkle is such a vile human being that you have to consider the totality of it. He does not have a microgram of concern for anything but his own ego. And no limits on how he’ll chew up and spit out other people – children, seniors, and his own wife – to meet his goals. His evil is so comprehensive he’s memorable for that reason, like Anton Chigurh.

        In real life Dinkle would have been fired, divorced, shunned, sued, and probably gone to jail. And today there’s 300 people who paid thousands of dollars to stomp around Pasadena in a musical tribute to him. And themselves.

        • The Duck of Death

          SoSF. Come for the nitpicking, stay to see Harry Dinkle comparied with Anton Chigurh.

        • Suicide Squirrel

          No offense intended. I read your comment, and it reminded me of my mother. We’d be arguing about her miswriting an item on the grocery list, and she’d bring up an incident from when I was seven years old. I got tar on my corduroys playing in a house under construction or something. Much like your comment, those memories still make me chuckle.

          Yeah, nothing got in the way of Chigurh doing the job he was hired to do. I wonder how Dinkle is with a bolt gun? Could he leave a wake of dead bodies across Westview?

          Dinkle: “Did you take your trombone home and practice yesterday, Jimmy? No? What’s the most you’ve ever lost on a coin toss, friendo?”

          • Banana Jr. 6000

            No offense taken. Dinkle isn’t a cold-blooded killer like Anton Chigurh was, but he has that toxic combination of pathological obsession with a goal, and a complete lack of remorse about how to achieve it. He’d actually be a good villain, but TB can’t stop trying to make America love Dinkle.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      John Darling worked because that strip was satirical, just like act 1 FW. But then Batty didn’t get everything he wanted during contract negotiations and so he sabotaged the strip by having John Darling murdered.

      How many strips has this guy ruined and why does he get away with it?

      • Tom from Finland

        I’m pretty sure that the story about Batiuk sticking it to the man by killing John Darling is just his wish fullfilment and egotripping. The Syndicate could just have refused to publish the last couple of strips or make it ”just a dream”, if they had had any interest to continue the strip with a different artist

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Good point. I guess the syndicate just didn’t care. They probably figured they could easily find a new strip to replace JD.

          I actually liked JD and do enjoy Batty’s reprints on his website.

        • The Duck of Death

          It’s interesting that TB proudly tells the story of how he claimed his rightful property away from the clutches of the greedy syndicate, yet he has no compunctions about using others’ property without credit. Even today, he uses Meredith Willson’s score for The Music Man without crediting the author or indicating what it is. He’s constantly using DC and Marvel characters in a way that, IMO, is outside the bounds of fair use, and certainly outside the bounds of professional courtesy.

          In other words, others’ work is his to use. But his work is “MINE, MINE, MINE!”

      • Gerard Plourde

        What’s most telling in the John Darling contract story is the fact that TomBa’s “I’m taking my ball and going home” move affected the strip’s illustrator too, but that wasn’t even a concern to him. His apparent inability to connect with people may explain the weird relationships that populate the FW universe.

    • J.J. O'Malley

      Just how loathsome is Harry to his fellow Funkyverse residents? I know it’s simply Batiuk’s inattention to detail or lack of understanding human interaction more than a deliberate omission, but does anyone else think it’s odd that the Dinkles’ daughter Halle and her family–who just showed up at their doorstop unannounced at Thanksgiving–are not present at the parade? Harry’s known he would be participating in this life-fulfilling moment for a couple of months now. In the real world surely his only child–who is a music teacher herself–would want to be there to witness dad marching up…up…what’s the name of that Pasadena road that the Tournament of Roses Parade takes place on (yeah, that’s something TB can’t neglect!)?

      • Margaret

        Considering that Bull Bushka’s children didn’t come to his own funeral, I guess it’s not that surprising that Halle and the grandkids aren’t in Pasadena. There’s something in FW land similar to how a puppy or kitten completely forgets its mother when it gets to be about 6 months old. And vice versa. If Darren and Jessica spend too long visiting Hollywood or wherever, they might forget that Skyler ever existed.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      We, the jury, find Harold L. Dinkle guilty on all counts, and make no recommendation for mercy.

  9. Hannibal's Lectern

    Today’s random observation: I notice Dinkle’s in the far right position of the back row. I’m not sure how it works with brass bands, but in bagpipe bands (I’m still in one of those) that’s called the “dead zone” because you can’t hear what the rest of the band is playing. I visualize Dinkle playing a beat or two off the rest of the band, or better, playing an entirely different song. Ahhh…

  10. Count of Tower Grove

    I was a point man in what was then called VolAR, out professional U. S. Army. We were professionals, and as such when we had occasional parades that required the movement of a large body of troops, we rehearsed. You would think that after fifty years of torturing his students on the football field in all weather, Dinkle (or Todd Battok) would know you don’t march in a cold parade.

  11. be ware of eve hill

    I just finished watching the Tournament of Roses Parade on TV. The Salute to America’a Band Directors float appeared at about an hour and 18 minutes into the telecast.

    Apparently it’s the first time a float has been integrated with a marching band in parade history.

    The name Tom Batiuk, Funky Winkerbean or Harry Dinkle were never mentioned.

    I guess Batty does have to self-promote. Nobody else will.


    • The Duck of Death

      • The Duck of Death

        I assume that means that the three (3) giant, wordy banners “celebrating and honoring” Tom B. & Harry L. were not, in fact, proudly fluttering above the float?

        After all that hoo-hah on the blog about these ferkakte banners, they weren’t even used?

        What a delicious piece of news to start off 2022 with.

        • Gerard Plourde

          I watched too (the Philadelphia Mummers’ Parade was postponed until tomorrow due to rain and curiosity got the better of me).

          Between the band and the float there were five or six banners that were briefly visible until the carriers spun around. I think the three Dinkle banners were among them. I didn’t see them redeployed when the band and float left the reviewing stand area.

          • Y. Knott

            If you knew to look for the banners, you could see them being carried by some marchers. However, the TV broadcast did not focus on the banners — they were background material that was only seen briefly (a matter of seconds). They were not shown in full, and were entirely unreadable.

            Of course, “entirely unreadable” may be the most fitting FW tribute the parade could have possibly made.

        • be ware of eve hill

          I’m running in circles today. Posted my comment before reading Y. Knotts 1:09 pm post above. Replied to that post later only to discover the conversation going on down here. * sigh *

          The way Batty carried on about his banners in his blog, I figured they would have been front and center.

          The people carrying the banners appeared to be teenagers. Possibly picked out of the crowd.
          Band Organizer: Hey kid, you wanna be in the parade?

    • be ware of eve hill

      Clarification: the #SadandPathetic hashtag is for Batty’s self-promotion. I thought the band did an absolutely fine job.

  12. be ware of eve hill

    Well, my husband and I are officially old codgers. We both fell asleep and completely missed the New Year’s countdown.

    Happy New Years, everyone.

  13. Tom from Finland

    I started to wonder why today’s strip says that the turn to Colorado Boulevard is hard, when it looks like a less than 45 degrees. I checked the parade route and noticed that Orange Grove Boulevard should be the street on right, not the street where the parade seems to be coming from in the first panel. So the turn is actually more than 90 degrees which requires more concentration to keep the line straight and in that case Dinkle’s comment would make more sense.
    But why do proper research, when you can just half-ass it.
    Or maybe TomBa wanted to implicate that Dinkle participated to some cheap knockoff of the band directors group that just slipped in between other floats from a side street. The positioning of the grandstands on the street on the right would point to the rest of the parade having come from there.

  14. Banana Jr. 6000

    Here’s the clip if anyone wants to see it:

    The whole TV appearance is barely 2 minutes long for both the float and the band. There are seven vertical banners being carried behind the band, 3 of which were apparently the ones TB spoke of, devoted to FW and Dinkle. The tie-in is not mentioned in the broadcast and is barely visible. There is one guy riding on the float who looks a lot like Dinkle (1:20:50) but that’s probably a coincidence. He’s also wearing the correct uniform, unlike Dinkle in the comic strip.

    Both the band and the float do a good job. The float has some animatronics which I don’t think TB ever mentioned. I also don’t think he mentioned this is the first dual entry of a band and a float in the parade’s history.

    • Y. Knott

      This is actually a different feed than the one I saw on NBC. However, the NBC commentators also did not mention anything whatsoever to do with the comic strip. And while some of the camera shots were different, the much-heralded banners had pretty much the same visibility on NBC as they did here (i.e., for all practical purposes, zero).

      Agreed that the band and the floatbuilders did a good job!

      • be ware of eve hill

        Y. Knott, you may have watched the parade on ABC. I did because I like Hannah Storm.

        In my opinion, the ABC coverage of the America’s Band Directors Band and float was better.

        Neither network mentioned Batty, Funky Winkerbean, or Dinkle. I wonder how Batty feels about that? Rage, Batty, rage!

        Did anybody catch the Spanish language coverage on Univision?
        Univision: ¡Hola, es Funky Winkerbean de Tom Batiuk con el Mejor director de banda del Mundo, Harry Dinkle!

        • Banana Jr. 6000

          Wow, really? Univision of all channels threw TB a shout-out?

          • Y. Knott

            I think you’ll find that in addition to the italics, Eve was using the “sarcasm” font.

          • be ware of eve hill

            No. Y. Knott is right. I was joking. My Spanish is passable. I’m not even sure if what I wrote is proper Spanish.

            I just thought it would be funny if the channel Batty didn’t watch mentioned him.

    • The Duck of Death

      Thanks so much! I wasn’t gonna sit through the whole parade, so this saved me hours.

      I agree the band directors did a very creditable job, given that they were thrown together without too much rehearsal.

  15. The Duck of Death

    I also love the choice of “Seventy-Six Trombones.” Admittedly it’s a great song, and I assume it’s a marching band standard. But in the context of “The Music Man,” it’s a spiel by a grifter posing as a legit band leader. I’m sensing a theme.

    • Anonymous Sparrow

      True, Your Grace (to use the formal address), but redemption finds Professor Harold Hill. Perhaps Marian the Librarian could succeed with Dinkle where Harriet has failed.

      After all, Marian advocates dirty books by Chaucer, Rabelais and Balzac.

      “I always think there’s a band, kid…”