Author Archives: beckoningchasm

Ch-choke On ‘Em!

Link to today’s strip.

Okay, so, I actually found today’s punchline pretty funny. It’s wordplay that actually works–referencing the “net” in both the virtual and real worlds.

Which is why I don’t think Tom Batiuk came up with this one. It’s too clever by half. I think this is yet another clever witticism he overheard and thought, “Well, I’ll just steal that.”

Admittedly, it would have been far more effective as a daily three or four-panel strip, with all the Dinkle Worship in the opening panels stripped away, but of course Batiuk has to hype Dinkle’s Rose Bowl appearance. Because of course he has to. He HAS to. There’s nothing else left.

And honestly, I’ve never been happier to type the following words: that’s it from me, folks, my two week stint is over and done, and I am going to collapse into a comfortable chair and watch movies where band directors get horribly disembowled and have to watch as their still-beating hearts are forced into their faces.

I’m not sure there are such movies, but I’m working on one. Be patient.

And as for pity, please put in a big order for Epicus Doomus, whose time in the chair has at last approached. I can already hear the lamentations, which is my cue for buggin’ out of here. Happy trails!

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Say Hello to Your Aunt Alicia

Link to today’s strip.

Boy, those leaves are sure zipping around! They look like they’re having the time of their lives. Of course, that has to be a pretty strong wind, so I bet some trees will come down and people will be without power.

But who cares! We have old people to celebrate. They, in fact, are all going to celebrate another old person who recently stopped aging, if you know what I mean and I think you do!

Bonus–here are my original notes for today’s strip: Dinkle Cell Phone Bedside Manorisms Terrible melting faces.

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Your Funeral…My Trial

Link to today’s strip.

Well, Dinkle has agreed to do the funeral music the way the family has requested. How magnanimous of him. And the choir has no idea how to do this, because of course they don’t.

Fortunately, Dinkle carries around the CD he and the Bedside Manor people made, because of course he does, just like he’s always wearing the chocolate medal. Neither of which, by the way, indicate a healthy state of mind.

Can you imagine having to ask Tom Batiuk for directions? By the time he finishes telling you how to get to a place, that place has gone out of business and probably burned down.

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Obfuscation

Link to today’s strip.

Speaking of “obfuscation,” isn’t it interesting that some nobody we’ve never seen before gets several weeks of funeral planning, so that his service can be just the way he wanted it?

Contrast this with Bull Bushka, who I’m surprised didn’t just get dumped in the town landfill. And whose death led immediately, and I mean immediately, to a long discussion of Lisa’s Legacy and how awesome Les is.

Batiuk really has no shame, has he?

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Nothing is ever “fast”

Link to today’s strip.

Day three of this crap. Batiuk is one of the worst writers I’ve ever encountered…though at least today he didn’t start with “So.” He was probably tempted though.

Imagine him writing “Who’s On First.”

Monday – Costello: Hello, Abbott. I thought I’d find you here, in the middle of the stage. Abbott: Hello, Costello. I’ve been in the middle of this stage for a while now.

Tuesday – Abbott: Say, Lou, did you know that I used to manage a baseball team. Costello: What?

Wednesday – Costello: You used to manage a baseball team? I did not know that at all–that you managed a baseball team, I mean. Abbott: Yes, me.

Thursday – Abbott: I sure did–manage a baseball team, that is. Costello: Managing a baseball team–that sounds like a lot of hard work!

Friday – Abbot: Oh, it sure was hard work. Managing all the players on a baseball team, the way a manager would, was really hard work and it had to be done, if the baseball team was going to be a real baseball team and play baseball games. But I was the best at it, and I was nominated for awards. Costello: Of course, you were the best at it! And all those innovations!

Saturday – Abbott: Say, I had three players on the baseball team that I managed who had weird names! They were named Who, What, and Idunno! Aren’t those weird names? Costello: They sure are! I couldn’t have managed a baseball team the way you did with players named like that!

Sunday – comic book tribute.

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We Have a Funeral Coming Up – It’s Yours

Link to today’s strip.

I realize that every episode is a waste of a day, but this one really lives up to the strip’s reputation. We’re apparently going to get an entire week of this Reverend asking Dinkle if he can provide music at a funeral. And just the asking part, I’ll wager.

There’s an old rule about doing presentations for the public – Tell them what you’re going to say; say it; and then tell them what you’ve said. Batiuk has really taken that one to heart, to the point where he’s added several more copies of the same steps. The last step, of course, is to tell everyone how brave and innovative and deserving of praise you are.

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I Thought I Heard Cats Howling

Link to today’s strip.

Oh good, Dinkle again. Like Les, a character where “a little” is “way too much.”

I assume that we’re going to get full on Dinkle until the Rose Bowl parade, where he’s going to be given a middle-finger salute. Oh…I can just feel the joy oozing out of me.

Another assumption is that the Hanna-Barbera character appearing here is the Minister or Reverend or Priest of this parish. If so, Dinkle will not be asked for “a favor.” He’ll be asked to do his damned job the way the M/R/P wants it done, or he’ll be hurled into the sun.

This is one of the reasons that I loathe Dinkle more than Les. He’s always assumed to be completely in charge of whatever situation he finds himself, with full control of every resource. And he then turns those situations into a celebration of his ego. No doubt, the Rose Bowl parade will suffer the same fate, as he’s called on to direct it in its entirety, rather than appear as a guest.

Hurling into the sun is too good for him. What’d the sun ever do to us?

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Stark Contrast

Link to today’s strip.

Ah–the penny drops. Now we know why we had to revisit Holly’s broken limb–because Tom Batiuk saw a cast-type thing on someone’s leg and thought, “Hey, that looks like Iron Man’s boot!”

Before you say, “Oh, pshaw! No one would do that!” remember this is Tom Batiuk whose work we are discussing. Of course he’s done that, many, many times. And he will no doubt continue to do it, many many times.

I thought DSH John sold the “dolly” a while ago. Perhaps Chester bought it back and donated it. For a rich guy, he sure likes throwing money away. I was pretty sure rich people did the opposite of this, but then I’ve been wrong about a great many things. And I’ve certainly never been nominated for a Pilitzer!

As for the strip itself, it’s actually rather sad. Funky was one of the very, very few characters who didn’t regard comic books as holy relics. I seem to recall when asked about them once, he claimed disinterest, saying something like “*I* grew up.”

How have the mediocre fallen.

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That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles

Link to today’s strip.

I can kind of see the joke, here. A fortune cookie without a fortune would be “un-fortunate.” It just seems oddly constructed, like he had the basic idea and struggled to fit it into a less clunky shape, finally saying “Oh, the heck with it” and just writing it in like it was on the napkin.

Maybe Funky’s line could have been something about “It was probably bad news anyway” or something. Or, the idea could have been dropped as unproductive.

But that would have meant coming up with another idea, which is work, so…”in” goes the cookie jest.

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Bury My Foot at Wounded Knee

Link to today’s strip.

I have no idea what Holly means in panel two. Is she on her knees a lot? Does she scrub a lot of floors, or is her Dorf impression hugely popular at parties? When one says “I’m on my feet a lot” it tends to mean “I’m very busy.” I don’t know the corresponding meaning for knees.

Panel three is the real baffler. I really have no idea what she means. It’s framed as if it’s a punchline, but I cannot find a trace of humor in it–or anything sensible. Her knees want her to die so they can rest? Is that the joke?

Proof positive (as if any more were needed) that this is never touched by an editor.

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