You are looking liiiiive at St. Spires Church and its odd, grass-covered exterior wall in today’s strip…
At least the choir ladies are asking follow up questions now. The last two times Dinkle pulled his “a little” shtick no one pressed him for specifics. I’m half-surprised Dinkle doesn’t carry around a printed resume to hand out to the mere mortals who aren’t familiar with his life story, that really seems like something he would do.
Apparently Dinkle has suffered from these band turkey dreams nightmares leading up to Thanksgiving every year, even unto a decade or more into his retirement. Harriet knows that, now that Thanksgiving’s behind them, Harry’s PTSD (Post Turkey Sale Dementia) will start to lessen. Unfortunately, her “sugarplums” reference has triggered in Harry’s dream consciousness a truly nightmarish scenario, in which the box he carries door to door is crawling with large spiders!
I’m pretty sure a sales fundraiser in which you wind up with a garage full of unsold merch is kind of a bust, no? What exactly is Classic Dinkle’s plan here in panel 1? Even if a polar vortex were to descend on Westview tonight, and linger through Christmas and New Year’s, no poultry (especially organic) would still remain edible. Those “Sam ‘n’ Ella’s” turkeys would soon be living up to their name. If “next year” means “next Thanksgiving,” then the premise becomes even more absurd.
Having failed using the direct approach, then humor, Dinkle must resort to his ethical pitch, extolling the green and humane practices of Sam and Ella’s Poultry Co. None of that concerns Roseanne here; someone in the household needs to avoid gluten. As someone who’s blessedly free from such dietary restrictions, I thought Purple Lady’s question was a little weird, but in fact, basting solutions injected during processing sometimes contain gluten. Dinkle manages another, less-witty-than-yesterday‘s riposte, and that confident smile, but beneath the shiny patent visor of that military, his eyes narrow with resentment, and for a fleeting moment he allows himself to imagine himself clobbering this glutenist slattern senseless with the thawing gobbler he’s been schlepping from door to door all week.
Contrary to popular legend, there is no evidence that Benjamin Franklin ever publicly supported the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), rather than the bald eagle, as a symbol of the United States.
You know who else suggested that the wild turkey, not the bald eagle, should be the national bird of the United States? Not Ben Franklin, according to Auntie Wikipedia. Perhaps Dinkle knows this, and he’s delivering the “national bird” remark satirically. This is supported by the fact that he’s smirking so hard when he says it that his mouth threatens to escape his face. But wait, here comes the punchline and…it’s…Butterbald? Hell no, I’ve never heard of a Butterbald Eagle. Or a “Butterbald” anything! Did Batty feel that the good people at Butterball® LLC wouldn’t be OK with a free mention in 400 newspapers right before Thanksgiving? Batiuk’s propensity for coming up with jokey, soundalike “brand names” once again tramples what would have been a borderline decent gag.
I, your genial host, on behalf of myself and the rest of Team SoSF, stand in line for comicbookharriet and her always unique and entertaining take on Funky!
I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful to have made it nearly to the end of this calamitous year. Whatever else can be said about the distortion of time in the Funkiverse, the holidays usually coincide with our own, and Thanksgiving brings the Scapegoats’ annual fall fundraiser. I didn’t call it the “band turkey sale” because, in addition to turkeys and “rand curdy“, Becky and Dinkle have gone door-to-door peddling non-comestibles, like mattresses, and indigestibles (volume 3 of Dinkle’s autobiography).
(This time last year)
COVID-19 has yet to arrive in Westview, and depending on how you reckon strip time, it might yet take place ten years before or hence (yours truly is betting that the characters in FW will finally begin sporting masks sometime in March 2021). But you have to give Becky credit for having the foresight to take the whole thing “totally online” via Bandigogo™ a year ago. She showed this accomplishment off to Dinkel, who either didn’t comprehend or care; that is, until Becky got to the part about never having “to actually touch a turkey.” Looking at today’s strip, we can understand why this resonated with so strongly with Harry. “Why, when I was band director,” Dinkel himself would show up at your door, proffering an unfrozen, unwrapped, whole uncooked turkey. In his bare hands. This is about as far as you can get from today’s “contactless delivery.”
When Batiuk inserts flashback scenes showing the casts in their Act I & II iterations, those scenes usually employ the sepia tones and photo album corners. I’m wondering if that visual shorthand only applies when it’s a conscious flashback and not a dream? At any rate, contrast young Harry the Hat’s nearly featureless mug with his exquisite, old man grimace in panel 3.
For Pete’s sake, look how absolutely smug Dinkle is walking into the band room in panel one. Since his retirement, Becky has tried shilling mattresses, books, and selling the turkeys online. But here she is, stuck again in a chilly band room full of cardboard coffins of rapidly thawing poultry corpses. He knew she’d go crawling back to Sam’N’Ella’s finest, just like she always does. There’s nothing the elderly love more than seeing innovation fail.
I don’t know how long Batiuk has been patting his back over his Sam’N’Ella turkey pun. But, the earliest November in our archives shows the bacteria riddled band turkeys stacked to the ceiling.
I hope all of you aren’t tired of Dinkle yet! Because November is DINKLE AWARENESS MONTH, and our glorious leader, TF Hackett, will be making sure you all are aware of Dinkle for the foreseeable future.
But, before I sign off from my shift, I just wanted to take a moment for a little early Thanksgiving sentimentality. This week wasn’t just Donna and Harry’s (early) anniversary, it also marked my third anniversary of guest hosting this blog. I can’t say how much having a warm and inviting place to snark means to me. A place where I can stretch some disused writing muscles to a cozy, appreciative, audience, and even feel okay if I need to slack off on a few posts where the stress of real life or the paucity of the material gives me little to work with.
So I give thanks to TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus, for making this little place chug along, and giving me the opportunity to drive the bus every few months. And thank you everyone who comments, either with praise, or details, or your own hilarious takes on this strange comic universe’s Kafkaesque parody of a Hallmark Channel movie. Remember, your impotent rageposting makes the world a brighter and funnier place.
Well, it’s been a real teeter-totter of a shift. One week of super-depressing Lesplotation misery porn, and another week of weightless recycled turkey gags. But you how the old song goes: When you’re up, you’re up. And when you’re down, you’re down. And when you’re only halfway up, it’s Sunday and the strip isn’t available for preview.
Our glorious leader TFHackett, is assuming his place on the podium tomorrow. Please treat him with the respect due a founding father of our blogiverse. He’s chopped down Lisa trees, and crossed the mighty Cuyahoga, and seen our troops through the frigid winters of Ohio. He stood up to the rotten king who tried to silence our freedoms through C&D, and brought us to this promised land.
Dinkle! Stop touching your face! It’s gross! I don’t care if you forgot to shave, or have some kind of numb-cheeked neurological disorder, you will break out in ugly old man acne.
Speaking of ugly, Becky in panel three is a real barker. Bags under her eyes, lines around her misshapen mouth, weird flesh-colored half moon circles on her eyelids, mismatched ears. Ugh. Edvard Munch could be more flattering when portraying anxiety.
And I’m confused. Becky has a husband that isn’t Dinkle? I did another archive deep dive and, after going all the way back to December 2018, I found this weird strip.
That’s DSH John. But are they married? They mention each other a few other times, I guess? But that was the last time they were in a strip together. December 22 2018. They’re married, right? And have kids? When was the last time we saw kids?
Since 2018 Becky has attended OMEA in January, the school end picnic in May, Bull’s funeral, all with Dinkle at her side, and DSH John nowhere to be seen. Over 20 individual strips. And she only had 3 strips WITHOUT Dinkle.
And isn’t John married to Crazy Harry?
Found this funny strip from a year ago though. I guess Dinkle must be catching the Alzheimer’s that Mort Winkerbean lost. Because he forgot he’d already praised Becky for going digital.
Went on a weird journey for today’s post. At first I was just going to point out bad art. Like Dinkle touching his face with a tiny little prop hand. Then it occurred to me that Dinkle has touched his face in shocked contemplation no less than three times this week, which is gross and not something you want to be doing during cold and flu season.
But I stopped when I noticed that Becky mentioned practicing music for the Christmas Concert…because Westview doesn’t have a Christmas Concert. They have a Holiday Concert, so as to not offend those who do not celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, and/or a night where the undead soul of a fourth century Turkish bishop breaks into people’s homes. I had vague recollections of an entire Holiday Concert arc dealing with Principal Nate becoming a somehow more exaggerated prototype of South Park’s PC Principal. So I dug into the archives, and sure enough there was an arc from December 7th through the 13th in 2015.
My trip took me farther back, because I decided to review some of the tired old Band Turkey gags, and I discovered that Dinkle himself assisted Becky in selling something other than turkeys back in 2014.
Then I looked up, and right there, November 2014, I found the arc where Bull had been offered a college coaching position, only to have it snatched away from him when the college’s first choice called back. And I was stunned to see that, five years ago, Batiuk thought to include a strip where Bull and Linda include their children in life decisions. Probably the last time Jinx has spoken in strip.
Reading that arc again, after everything, had me genuinely sad. And also kind of grossed out. Because Batiuk wrote Linda as incredibly horny back then.