The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Elderly Jazz Band

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It’s funny, because just a few years ago Morton didn’t have an imagination at all! At least they’re still both clothed and for that, we should be thankful. Obviously BatYam caught part of some rock band biopic and thought it’d be “very funny” if yadda yadda yadda and so forth. At least Morty finally stopped with the demonic sex offender leering, at least for now. The whole “aren’t depraved randy old coots hilarious?” thing is around 98% less funny than BatNard thinks it is and I really wish he’d leave those gags for his other, lesser known (chortle) comic strip, as I don’t read that one.

It’s funny how usually FW characters are heavily into pop-culture references from thirty years before they born, but today Morton is referencing rock and roll tropes from seventy years AFTER he was born. It’s amazing how his advanced dementia didn’t seem to affect his memory at all, which is, uh, highly unusual, I guess you could say. The way he just totally blew off that early Act III Major Prestige Arc remains one of Act III’s greatest and dumbest mysteries.

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If This Van’s A-Creakin’, Don’t Come A-Peekin’

Link To Today’s Strip

“No, no. no. He still looks too friendly and cheerful. I want the reader to see Morton as a malevolent sex machine who’s going to force himself on Lillian whether she consents or not!”

“Uh…OK, I guess. Here, let me cock up that eyebrow by 40% or so and add more sneer…and how’s that?”

“No no NO! MORE sneer! MORE eyebrow! And Lillian should appear frightened, like she knows she can’t say no!”

“Hmmm (sigh). OK (sigh).”

Once again Morton is inexplicably leering in unrestrained lustful malevolence, but what really sends this one caroming over that fine line between gross and disturbing is Lillian’s line about needing to go to confession, which is just completely unnecessary. The guy is supposed to be an “elderly ladies’ man”, not a coercive sex offender. Doing an arc about Morton trying to score a “date” is one thing, but having him luring old ladies into vans is, uh, something else entirely.

I can’t believe he’s actually doing a sub-arc about Morton trying to bang Lillian in the Bedside Manor van. I’m not sure which is more disturbing, the artist’s decision to draw Mort with that demonic leer of unbridled lust or BatYam thinking this is “cute”. In fact, this one is so far “out there” it might be the highlight of the entire year so far. It’s almost like he did this one as a test, to see if anyone was still paying attention.

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61*

Link To Today’s Strip

Sixty-one words (if Mary Jane is two words) and a shit-ton of ellipsis(s)…that’s not a word balloon, it’s a word billboard. At least all the characters are easily identifiable by name now. Check out the look on Morton’s face, he’s eyeing up those church ladies like he’s standing at the supermarket deli counter. That Ricca seems somewhat interested, at least. She also appears to be a solid forty years younger than the rest of the choir, which leads me to believe there’s some sort of demented back story there, but as it involves that other comic strip of his, I don’t care.

So Carl plays the trumpet while on oxygen? Seems counterproductive to me, but then again he really doesn’t have a lot to lose at this point, as he’s already clearly bottomed out.

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Boreds Of The New Church

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Thanks to everyone who held down the fort since my last stint! So based on all available evidence thus far, Dinkle went over to Bedside Manor, told the Manorisms they had a gig, then loaded them into some sort of cargo van without telling anyone where they were going. That nursing home’s ombudsman must have quite a full schedule. Bedside Manor might want to consider some sort of key card entry system or something, as right now anyone can just wander in and lead the residents God-only-knows where.

And speaking of God, what’s Walt’s problem? Is he skittish about churches specifically or being indoors in general? I believe it’s the former, but the gag here is so weak it leaves itself open to multiple interpretations, all of them boring. Now if we were in Act II, we’d eventually learn that Walt was involved in some sort of ghastly and tragic church fire, collapse or explosion as a youth, which would explain his pensive reaction. But this is Act III, which means it’s probably just a time-killing aside that seemed a lot funnier jotted down on a pizzeria napkin than it ended up playing out in the strip. And that’s certainly nothing new.

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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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