I Sold Snacks So I Can Buy Snacks

You know you’re reading quality comedy/ground-breaking genre convention busting high Art and Literature when you’re getting an “airplane food is expensive” joke. I do think it’s a little weird that Dinkle went around raising funds from people so he could fly out to California and be honored. I also don’t really get how it’s band candy if someone not in the band is selling it, but whatever.
I do find the entire premise of today’s strip, “I told people I needed X amount of money to fly out here but kept begging people for money long after I reached X” to be pretty revealing. That seems bad, and not something that one of the heroes of your strip should be doing? And I don’t really know what he means by “let on”. Is he just saying that he lied to his wife about how much he sold, and how much money he has? Which seems pretty awful, actually. Or did he lie to the fundraising company and not report some of his sales, by like claiming a box went missing or arrived damaged or something? Setting up the extremely, extremely tired “airline food is expensive” gag that got old decades ago shouldn’t be this confusing.

30 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

30 responses to “I Sold Snacks So I Can Buy Snacks

  1. Y. Knott

    A key difference between me and the citizens of Westview: I’d only buy the band candy if it paid for Dinkle to leave and never come back.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    The biggest moment of Dinkle’s obnoxious career just happened a few days ago and he’s already doing airplane food gags. It kind of makes you wonder why he bothered doing this arc at all. The way he just drains all the joy out of the things he’s most passionate about is just so perverse and peculiar. Consistent, too.

    • Sourbelly

      “Anhedonia” is the first word that comes to mind. I’m sure Batdick was hyped about this arc, but he couldn’t inject any pleasure or joy into it. As you say, Epicus, this phenomenon is highly consistent in this strip. It’s kind of sad, really.

    • spacemanspiff85

      I mean, he got to do a crossover with Dick Tracy, which you think had to be a career highlight for him, and he literally just had him carry boxes of comics. If he somehow was able to use the Flash, I’m sure it would just be a dumb “somehow the Pizza Monster outran the Flash” gag. And it would destroy DC Comics, but that’s another issue.

  3. Sourbelly

    Harriett Dinkle is the real MVP of today’s strip! Keeping that rictus grin in place during all this inanity takes real talent and fortitude.

  4. William Thompson

    It would be perfect if, when Dinkle steps off the plane, Lefty has the WHS band waiting for him–and the tune they play is “Hey Big Spender.”

  5. Banana Jr. 6000

    Gee, Dinkle, where’s your medal you got for single-handedly propping up the world’s 25th-largest economy? Which you got on that vacation you and Harriet didn’t go on? You’re sure $600 billion is enough to splurge on airplane snacks? They give the snacks and meals for free anyway; it’s the stowed luggage and the drinks you’ve got to pay out the nose for. And headphones, which are an absolute necessity for anyone who has to sit next to you.

  6. “Hey, Harriet! I made some, ha, extra money selling moldy candy, but–and this is the funny part!–instead of taking you to some nice California restaurant, I’m parceling out that extra money to buy you some airline peanuts! Tell me how great I am, please. And louder this time, so that everyone can hear.”

  7. billytheskink

    I almost admire the sincerity of this strip. If there is one person in this country that is somehow unaware that airplane food jokes are one of THE hallmark tropes of hack comedy it is definitely Tom Batiuk.

  8. Hitorque

    1. There he goes, Mister Big Spender throwing his money around… And here I was thinking he was going to upgrade to first class!

    2. Maybe buying overpriced airport terminal snacks is an Ohio thing, because when I fly I just stop by the store on the way to the airport and load up on snacks that way… Hell, in the old days my father (r.i.p.) always used to fly vacations with his large camera bag carryon which also held his zoom lens, spare film, newspaper, magazines, little bags of peanuts, peanut butter+cheese crackers, kiddie size bottles of orange or grapefruit juice, and a ton of those little mini bottles of vodka that you could only get from airlines or hotels… My dad used to travel frequently so he always had a healthy stockpile of extras….

    3. God I love it when wealthy people in the Funkyverse play “middle class cheapskate” as if that gives them some spiritual solidarity with the proles… Yes I’m looking in your direction, Chester “Flying to Comicon in economy class” Hagglemore…

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      #3: Funky Winkerbean is as bad as Pluggers with that shit. One of Pluggers‘ six or seven repeated jokes is “Pluggers will throw you into traffic to save twelve cents on lettuce,” while also being completely tin-eared about the struggles of working-class people. It’s like they’re both LARPing a 1970’s sitcom.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Good observation. It also hides the fact that teachers like Dinkle have excellent pensions and so it’s not like he has to be extra thrifty.

  9. gleeb

    Are we sure he didn’t just admit to years of embezzlement?

    • The Duck of Death

      I’m sure he did. But he’s Dinkle, so everything he does is wonderful and lovable. That gosh-darn lovable embezzling scamp.

      “76 Trombones” indeed. That sure turned out to be appropriate.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        That gosh-darn lovable embezzling scamp.

        Which is an archetype that can exist in stories. Seinfeld ran on it. Batiuk’s failure is in never making Dinkle the tiniest bit likeable. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He lets him be a world-class selfish jackass, and lectures you that he’s the good guy you’re supposed to root for.

        • The Duck of Death

          Seinfeld is crowded with one-off characters, some with only a few lines, who have more personality (and a more consistent personality) than FW characters we’ve seen thousands of times over 5 decades. Jerry’s obsessive mechanic. Babu. The Soup Nazi. The guy who was entranced with “Desperado.” The Maestro. Mandelbaum. The woman who kept telling Jerry, “You gotta see the BABY!” Hell, the host at the Chinese restaurant.

          Any single one of them is funnier, more memorable, and yes, more real than anyone in FW. Exaggerated, to be sure. But the reason these characters are funny is that they’re based on recognizable reality. Unlike, you know, anyone in Act III FW.

          The characters are written to be funny. In other words, what makes us laugh is the idea of a passionate mechanic who treats cars as if they were sentient creatures whose feelings can be hurt — not a bunch of random punch lines from the bottom of Henny Youngman’s one-liner reject pile.

          “Ah,” Tom might say, “but I want to stay a quarter inch from reality!” And I would say that the one-off Seinfeld characters are maybe a half-inch from reality, and George and Elaine are about 1/32 inch from reality. And that’s why we’re still talking about this show more than 20 years after it went off the air, while FW will never be more than a footnote of a relic, forgotten before it’s even gone. Real people, and great characters, are driven to behave in certain ways by their needs, beliefs and desires. Lousy characters are driven by a point their hack author wants to make, or a dumb joke that occurred to him in the shower.

          All this to say: You’re right as usual, BJr6K.

          • Gerard Plourde

            “ Lousy characters are driven by a point their…author wants to make, or a dumb joke that occurred to him in the shower.‘

            This about sums up the central flaw in FW. The plot-driven Silver Age stories that TomBa grew up on didn’t require much in the way of character development. They didn’t aspire to being literature, just an attention-holding means of entertainment, which in itself can be a worthwhile role. TomBa’s gag-a-day strips served that purpose. Even his Act 2 plot-driven stories worked on that level. The problem is that he seems to think his characters have some independent depth that would make interesting or likable. He has done nothing to create that depth and it appears that he has no idea how to do it.

          • spacemanspiff85

            I recently read a book about Seinfeld, and one of the keys for that show was basically everything had to come from something one of the writers experienced in real life. They repeatedly brought in (almost) all new writers on a regular basis to keep things fresh and to ensure a flow of relatable, “true” to life stories.
            Compare this to Batiuk’s method of “screw it, I’m a writer, I don’t need to do research on tanks to write about tanks, it’s called writing!”.

  10. Rusty Shackleford

    The heck with this crappy strip, Mary Worth is off to a good start with another drunken Wilbur arc! Was hoping to have a new story with new characters, but this will have to do.

    • hitorque

      I miss snarking on Mary Worth… It’s a good reminder that just because a strip is bad doesn’t mean it can’t still be entertaining.

  11. Banana Jr. 6000

    One of Funky Winkerbean’s most annoying qualities is how it constantly denies its own reality. “Dinkle sold so much product he won a national award” and “Dinkle stores obscene amounts of unsold product in his house” are somehow both running gags. Dinkle’s career highlight was being in the Rose Parade, even though he’s been in it twice before. Dinkle and Harriet have never been on vacation, even though we’ve seen them go on trips before. It’s like the comic strip is gaslighting you.

    Now, it is possible to justify situations like this. For example, Harriet says something like “we’ve never had a week-long vacation,” or Dinkle says he found the Rose Parade more rewarding as a marcher. These things could be true, and don’t violate canon. But Tom “It’s Called Writing” Batiuk never does this. He creates constant contradictions in his own world, gets mad at readers who point them out, and praises his own writing ability to a ridiculous degree.

    This is storytelling 101 stuff, and Batiuk fails at it constantly.

  12. Dood

    That’s nice of Dinkle to treat the airplane with snacks. What does a 737 like to munch on?

    • William Thompson

      Frozen turkeys. Jet engines are tested by throwing frozen turkeys into them while the engines are running on test stands. If an engine can keep operating after that, it’s ready to survive ingesting live birds during flight.

  13. be ware of eve hill

    Here’s hoping Harry pulls a D. B. Cooper and disappears somewhere over the Rockies in Colorado.

  14. Don

    Meanwhile, Funky appears to have been a little busy with some side project:

    https://comicskingdom.com/blondie/2022-01-06

  15. If TB had just ended the Rose Parade arc on Sunday with that horrible “church choir stops singing in the middle of a service to catch a glimpse of Dinkel marching in the Rose Parade” strip and moved on to the newest Atomik Comix arc on Monday, everything would have been fine. But nooooooo, he HAD to throw in a week long victory lap and give us more pointless banter between two profoundly uninteresting characters. He’s done this more times than I can count.

    Back in 2019, I started a spreadsheet at the beginning of the year to keep track of the weekly story arcs and Sunday strips, but I completely lost interest after 10 weeks. Maybe I’ll try again this year.

  16. Suicide Squirrel

    Wow. Truly riveting stuff. /s

    Eavesdropping on an elderly couple discussing their snack arrangements during a layover on their flight home. Only ‘Funky Winkerbean’ gives you a hard hitting slice of Americana like this, kids! (more /s)

    Dare I say, this is the best work Batyuk’s done all year. (also /s)