Just three days into my turn to “make the donuts” around here and I’m ready to throw up my hands…or just throw up. What the hell is today’s strip about, aside from padding this pointless arc out to six, maybe seven days? “Read a book in the morning”? Please tell me he’s not talking about taking a dump. I suppose a retired person has opportunity to read just about whenever they feel like it. What about “in the morning” makes Harry cock his head like that and raise his eyebrows? Where is joke?
Tag Archives: bricks
Nice to see Adeela again, wearing Montoni’s Red Apron of Shame and carrying what’s either a server book or that architect diploma she got from Westview Community College. Dinkle’s unnamed friend continues his musing about retirement. “Long days, short years” does work pretty well as a wry comeback, and we’ll start taking bets now whether Tom Batiuk uses that very same aphorism when and if he ever chooses to retire.
The part of the tablecloth is being played today by Pete’s shirt.
Big ups to Epicus Doomus for the last two weeks of posts. In addition to crafting great posts and post titles, Epicus manages the guest author rotation and is my right hand man around here. Without him, there would be no SoSF.
In a rare bit of Funky fortuitousness, today’s strip involves alfresco dining, an activity that’s more popular right now than it’s ever been. What at first appears to be an old married couple in panel 1’s aerial perspective turns out to be Harry Dinkle and a friend. Judging from how non-generically the other gent is rendered here, he must also be a real-life friend of Batiuk and/or Ayers.
I donned my PPE and took a deep dive into the Act II archives for a refresher about the circumstances surrounding Dinkle’s “retirement.” Near the end of Act II, Becky Winkerbean, as she was known then, took over as band director when Dinkle was promoted to WHS’ music supervisor. His actual retirement happened “offscreen,” during the second 10 year time jump. Shortly thereafter, his beleaguered wife Harriet pleaded with, and possibly bribed, the school board president to install Harry as director of the performing arts center that bore his name, just to get him out of the house. It’s doubtful whether that director role entails hanging around the high school and basically serving as Becky’s co-band director. Look at him smirk in panel 3 at his friend’s quip. Harry Dinkle doesn’t know the meaning of retirement. No, seriously…he doesn’t know the meaning of retirement.
Seriously, can you imagine John Hurt going through all that agony, and out pops a little Les Moore? Which screams “Endings have to be earned!” before scooting off to hide in the ductwork? And it then confronts Harry Dean Stanton and says “I am the lord of language, and you are my acolytes!” The crew of the Nostromo would be screaming, “Please! Tear our brains out instead!”
I mean, I get shivers just thinking about it! I’m going to leave the lights on tonight, but I don’t think I’ll ever go to sleep again!
Other than that, my God is Les being a little sh!t. Yes, I know he’s a douchebag deluxe (indeed, a douchebag supreme), but Mason is supposedly a friend. If someone were to treat me the way Les is treating Mason, I’d make my excuses and avoid that person. And of course, avoiding Les Moore is always a great strategy to employ.
On a serious note, Mr. Batiuk–when you’re offering a decidedly inferior product to your audience, it’s very unwise to remind them that there are superior entertainments out there that are much more worthy of their time.
My recollection of Jared Posey was that he was a moody smoker who had a good football arm. Crazy Harry was (was) an imaginative kid who was very outgoing and inventive. How Les draws a match between the two sure puzzles me. Oh, wait, I get it–they’re both written by Tom Batiuk, so continuity be damned. I’m thinking neither will be mentioned again this week, but Batiuk has a talent for baffling in the dullest way.
And there’s Frankie (presumably) trundling right along behind. I guess he didn’t pull into the Moore’s driveway and filch things. He just drove to the school, sat in his car, and is now following them again. What he hopes to gain by this course…well, who knows. It’s not like Les takes a different route to work every morning, to keep his enemies off-balance so they can’t track him. Hell, Frankie could have just bought a map and drawn a line down the most likely streets.
This is lazy writing at its laziest. By now, we should have had some hint of who this is and what he’s up to. Sure, we’re all thinking it’s Frankie, and it may be, but maybe it’s Jared, miffed at being “referred” (roofie’d?). Remember when Buck first showed up? I recall that it was a couple of weeks of him drawn from the back only, leading to much speculation about who might be returning to the cast.
“Don’t get your hopes up” is always wise advice with this strip.
Well, I guess the dream is over, as Les pivots from a dream that kept him tossing to now note how he’s “thinking” about Frankie. Maybe Batiuk doesn’t know the difference between dreaming and idle musing, but I’m pretty sure the latter is how he gets all his “ideas.” But look at Cayla in panel one! That’s the face of someone who is soaked in regret. I’ve never seen weariness, God-am-I-sorry-I-asked, Please-Stop-Talking so well portrayed, so kudos to Ayers again.
And of course that’s Frankie in panel three. What exactly is he going to do? Demand that he be in the movie, or get money from the movie, because…reasons? He has no relation to anyone still alive other than Dullard. He certainly won’t have anything he can use as leverage over Les. If the movie was “Dullard’s Story” he could, perhaps, claim to be an integral part but it isn’t so he can’t. I am genuinely curious as to what kind of scheme he’s going to launch, despite the fact that Batiuk always disappoints.
I guess since the movie version seems to be moving along nicely, Batiuk needed a villain and, well, why not Frankie. More Hollywood types whining that “Lisa’s Story” won’t play in China might have been too much repetition, even for Batiuk (hard as that is to believe).
Well, my wish from yesterday wasn’t granted, and we’re back with the Mope Set. As before, I don’t know what to make of this; I wish I’d had the arc where Funky misses the winning basketball shot, because that’s easily explainable as Tom Batiuk’s utter hatred of his title character.
Then this would be relevant:
(Larger and more satisfying version here.)
In today’s case–well, is it true that fewer high school kids are going out for football? I have no way of knowing either way. My impression is that sports are always popular for students. If the numbers are falling, one thing I do know is that it’s NOT because the kids read a powerful anti-CTE story in Funky Winkerbean.
And the last two panels, again, make me wonder if we should be concerned about Batiuk’s mental state. Much as I disdain his work, I have no animus against the man himself. May he live long and prosper. But what on earth is Buck talking about? How does cancelling the football season mean that the band “wins”? Aren’t they tied in great measure tied to one another? Yes, there are other band activities, like the odd concert and student assemblies and so on, but the main display of the band is at sporting events.
And please tolerate a dumb question from a non-sporto, but it’s March. Isn’t the football season already over?
As for Linda’s curtain line, does Tom Batiuk know what “Pyrrhic victory” means? It’s when you win a war, but at such great cost to your side that it might as well be a defeat. Trying to spin the logic here, she means no football games means, um, no band half-time shows, but, uh…there’ll be other occasional activities for the band (which the football team wouldn’t have). So the band has marginally more stuff to do. But there may be so few of said activities…uh, lemme think. I guess she means that the school might consider cancelling the band as well? Is that it?
Why would she care? A) She’s retired. Other than retirement pay, the school is in her past. (Of course high school never really goes away in Funky Winkerbean, but still.) B) She never had any interaction with the band that I can recall. If the school cancelled football and band, why would she care either way?
In order to really have that line work, the band members would have to be actively persuading students not to join the football team. Which is not what they spoke about. And neither Linda nor Buck would know anything about such a scheme. (And that kind of scheme would make a very interesting storyline, honestly…which is why we’ll never see it. Damn.)
I keep bashing my head against this strip, trying to figure out the logic or sense behind it, and all I get is a headache. I think Funky Winkerbean is giving me CTE.
As usual, Sunday’s strip wasn’t available for preview. Which is just as well since I was getting tired of making lemonade out of absolutely nothing.
I will admit. I had a private, personal, chuckle at yesterday’s strip. Not because it was good AT ALL. But because I was a percussionist in high school. And at the time there were waaaay too many percussionists at our school. During marching season we had enough drums and cymbals and pit instruments to go around, but once concert season rolled in there would only be three or four musicians needed for every song. So the rest of the percussion section was left sitting on the floor in the back of the band room chatting quietly, texting on our primitive stupid phones, doing homework for other classes, or flat out taking a nap.
Our director, while very good in almost every other way, just let us decide who got what part, and the few who were passionate about percussion would by mutual agreement take the difficult stuff like timpani or bells every time. It got to the point where the scrubs were drawing straws and playing rock paper scissors to see who didn’t have to get up and count rests for half a song to ring a triangle or smack a wood block. The rest of us would just rather lay around doing algebra homework.
So yeah. If anyone wasn’t going to sprout into a mighty musical oak tree, it was CBH on her tiptoes trying to play one of the four chime notes in the entire 20 minute medley of music from Lord of the Rings, and missing.
Beckoning Chasm takes over on Monday, and I’m looking forward to it! I’m sure his deep thoughts and penetrating insights will entice us to dig ever deeper into this bland yet somehow fascinating universe built from the existential dread of a white bread Ohio septuagenarian scraping for meaning as he nears the end of his career and life.
Stay Funky Everyone!
Many apologies for the late post tonight. Was working a late shift and forgot to set this up before I left.
It did give me a chance to actually SEE today’s strip. And I’m telling you, I can’t wait for Monday where Funky is probably back at Les’s house in the middle of the night. Sunday…the day unmoored to the normal linear time.
And LOOKIE HERE Becky and DSH John actually appearing together in the same panel for the first time in LITERAL YEARS.
One interesting note on the art. There appears to be a K2-SO robot in the background of panel three. I, for one, cannot WAIT for Disney to sue Batiuk for copyright infringement. You don’t mess with the House of Mouse’s IP, they will go after schools, pre-schools, nursing homes, and they will come after YOOOOOOOUUUUU.