Tag Archives: choir

A Cat, a Pat, a B flat, and an old bat

Oh boy, more unwelcome guests in today’s strip… and also Bingo. Bingo can stay, he’s cool.

He’s also old and decrepit… because of course he is. What tremendous misfortune, to exist in the Batiukverse. Even the cats have to be old and sad and subject to awful wordplay about hips.

Hopefully Bingo will take his claws to the new choir robes in the back after these yutzes leave.

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How Great Dinkle Art

This is just kind of sad, to me at least. Haha, the church choir ruined the worship service because they were so excited to see Dinkle on a small screen. And I really don’t understand how Dinkle’s whole schtick can be that he’s basically a slavedriver but still somehow everyone loves him so much they’re thinking about him in the middle of singing a hymn. At this point I won’t be surprised when this church is renamed Saint Dinkle’s.
And I’ve probably said it before, but whenever I look at an individual comic strip I assume someone is probably reading it for the first time, especially when it’s a Sunday strip. Unless you read this strip obsessively (and if you do, odds are you’re a commenter here), you would have zero clue what’s going on, who “he” is, or why this is supposed to be funny. Honestly, without any context most people would just assume that this is supposed to be some kind of joke about technology becoming so prevalent even a church choir is distracted by it. Not that actually having the context improves things . . .

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Slowly they turned…

Today’s strip is pretty inoffensive, as these things go. It might border on “nice” if we liked a single one of these characters.

Not sure why Funky and Holly look so surprised to see Morton playing the trombone. They know Morton is in this band. They know the band is playing at St. Spires. They walk into the Christmas Eve service hearing the strains of “Silent Night”. Put two and two together…

OK, sure, most of the churches I’m familiar with place both the choir and orchestra in front of the congregation rather than behind, but such a slight difference wouldn’t floor me like a character from the late They’ll Do It Every Time.

Maybe Funky has an excuse, he thinks churches are places to practice driving, but Holly has been depicted as at least a somewhat regular churchgoer.

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Grossest In December

OK, I was kidding yesterday about skeevy Morton becoming a December tradition, but today’s strip takes my meanderings seriously. Who is the audience for this? OK, Greg Evans I guess, but who else?

I cannot decide which is more egregious:

  • The colorist’s decision to color both Funky’s and Morton’s coats blue (probably because they are just as confused by Morton and Funky’s converging ages as we are).
  • The Bedside Manor staff not knowing where five of their residents are.

If you are one of the 17 folks who own a copy of Roses In December or just a really really big Crankshaft fan, you may recall another story where a nursing home lost track of one of its residents. That time the nursing home had an excuse, as Ralph Meckler had kidnapped his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife and took her to Sotheby’s in New York to see his collection of vintage movie posters auctioned off.

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Oh This Week, Thou Art Wrong

Link To The Sunday Strip

Oh yeah, the funeral! I totally forgot all about that during last week’s nauseating little detour. Which is unusual, as it was the entire premise of the story. No one else on the planet “writes” like this, sometimes it’s like a weird piece of surrealistic abstract art that means whatever you want it to mean, but you don’t understand what that means, so you just ignore it. Know what I mean?

Anyhow, yeah, of course Dinkle pulled it off without a hitch, because “music” is his thing, you see. Look at him, high-stepping around in his little outfit. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to kill him more than I do today. The funniest thing about this arc was that the main protagonist, who started the whole ball rolling, was never identified by name and is dead. Again, no one else writes like this.

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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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Return Of The Jerk Guy

Finally! Dinkle and the alumni band show up in today’s strip… though Jerome T. Bushka A&L Automotive Stadium looks suspiciously like St. Sprires church and the alumni band doesn’t have any instruments (though they all look to be about the age I would expect). Weird.

After the throwaway panels, you almost could have convinced me that a computer wrote this. Former marching band director plays music from famous composer. You could generate this gag, such as it is, with a UNIVAC… though I think the UNIVAC would spit out dialogue with a little more flair.

And with that, I’m out. Tackling tomorrow’s tantalizing strip and taking to task the next two weeks will be the incomparable Spaceman Spiff.

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Pickle Lane

Hey SOSFers, thanks for doing my job for me on today’s strip! Very much appreciated.

Now I’ll give Dinkle this, he’s historically been quite honest in his assessment of himself in regards to retirement being hard for him. Harriet, on the other hand, is really the one who should “pick a lane“. She was the one who arranged for him to unretire in the first place.

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Quid Mus Sumit?

Link to Today’s Post.

The punchline of today’s strip is church mice.

Last week faithful and valued commenters William Thompson and Maxine of Arc got on the subject of church mice, specifically questioning why they would be quiet or poor. I promised them an explanation, so today here it is.

Why are church mice quiet?

Church mice are quiet because in the 20th century two idioms got smashed together. “Quiet as a mouse.” Which has been around since the 16th century, and “Poor/hungry as a church mouse.” which has been around since the 17th century.

The quietness of rodents is pretty self explanatory. But why are church mice poorer and hungrier than other mice?

Transubstantiation.

For any of you who didn’t have to sit through three years of confirmation or multiple years of religious history in college, transubstantiation is the Catholic belief that communion bread and wine become, in reality, the actual body and blood of Christ. Not a remembrance or a symbol or even just inhabited by the the spirit or essence of the body, (Lutheran consubstantiation.) The substance has been transformed into actual Godflesh.

So Catholics take a lot of care that any excess communion bread left over after a Mass is protected; and the place they put the extra, either a tabernacle or an ambry, often has kneeling rails for private devotions or eucharistic adoration.

Even before transubstantiation became a set idea, early Christians didn’t want little mice gnawing on communion wafers.

“Let all take care that no unbaptized person taste of the Eucharist nor a mouse or other animal, and that none of it at all fall and be lost. For it is the Body of Christ to be eaten by them that believe and not to be thought of lightly.”(Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition III:32:2 235 AD.)

But what would happen if a mouse DID eat communion bread? Medieval theologians were fascinated with the idea, and used the question ‘Quid Mus Sumit?‘ ‘What does the mouse eat?’ as a thought experiment to explore the idea of The Eucharist. What is it? What does it do? What would it do to someone who ate it without knowing what it was? At what point does it stop being body and blood?

“Even though a mouse or a dog were to eat the consecrated host, the substance of Christ’s body would not cease to be under the species, so long as those species remain, and that is, so long as the substance of bread would have remained; just as if it were to be cast into the mire. Nor does this turn to any indignity regarding Christ’s body, since He willed to be crucified by sinners without detracting from His dignity; especially since the mouse or dog does not touch Christ’s body in its proper species, but only as to its sacramental species. Some, however, have said that Christ’s body would cease to be there, directly it were touched by a mouse or a dog; but this again detracts from the truth of the sacrament, as stated above. None the less it must not be said that the irrational animal eats the body of Christ sacramentally; since it is incapable of using it as a sacrament. Hence it eats Christ’s body “accidentally,” and not sacramentally, just as if anyone not knowing a host to be consecrated were to consume it. And since no genus is divided by an accidental difference, therefore this manner of eating Christ’s body is not set down as a third way besides sacramental and spiritual eating.”

Summa Theologiae, Thomas Aquinas. 1273 AD.

Of course all this Catholic rodent obsession was eventually used by Protestants during the Reformation as a big old ‘gotcha’ when lambasting Catholic ‘idolatry’ of the communion. Some of it got downright vicious and definitely disingenuous. And it’s from about this time that ‘hungry as a church mouse’ became an idiom.

Excerpt from The Works of John Jewel who was Bishop of Salisbury from 1559-1571.

So there you have it. Church mice are poor because they can’t get any communion bread, and we joke about it because of leftover anti-Catholic sentiment.

Many apologies to anyone who came to this blog today expecting comics criticism instead of a theological deep dive, but I wanted to end my shift talking about something I actually find compelling, rather than dance the Dinklepolka.

It’s been an interesting couple weeks. I mean in terms of the straws I grasped at to try and find something to say. Those straws were kinda fun to braid together. The strip was boring as mud. Actually, I take that back. Mud is much more interesting. I think I’ll research that next.

Join me again in a couple months as I regale you all about INTERESTING MUD. For example. Did you know all baseballs used in MLB are rubbed with special mud harvested, prepped, and packaged by a single man from New Jersey who gathers it in a secret location every year along the Delaware River?

Until next time then. TF Hackett is taking over tomorrow. Good luck good sir. You have my sympathies.

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Give ‘er a Ring!

Link to Today’s Strip.

I want to thank everyone in the comments yesterday for completely ruining what I was going to post today. I was going to go on and on about how Dinkle has learned all about online fundraising multiple times over the past few years, and pull up the strips to prove it. But our crack commenters Billy the Skink and Banana Jr. already discussed it in depth. Jerks.

I mean, what am I supposed to talk about today? The fact that Dinkle couldn’t wait to call his wife over his viral cat video epiphany, and is postponing practice to do it? The fact that he apparently called his wife on a Playstation Vita? The fact that Lillian is now carrying the pineapple laptop around one handed, and it made me question if she’s been doing that all week?

While going mad trying to scrape together something passing for an amusing thought, my eyes were drawn to the wedding rings Dinkle and Harriet are wearing. It’s an interesting detail to include when the art so often seems quarter-assed. Scrolling through the strips this arc, the ring is inconsistent. It showed up Sunday, but the art on the Sunday strips is always higher effort. It showed up on Monday April, 12. But after that, it was nowhere to be seen, even when the hands were in focus.

Slipping off the ring to pick up chicks? What a sly lad.

And scrolling through archives, there are more disappearing wedding rings than last call at a dive bar. Wedding rings tend to appear when the person’s marriage is either being discussed, or the spouse is in the strip, and be absent otherwise. It’s like the rings exist in some kind of phantom zone and magically phase into being when contacted with an unseen magical matrimonial energy field.

This is best exemplified from Funky’s AA exercise rant from last month. Remembering his wife causes Funky to magically manifest his wedding ring mid-speech.

I don’t even know what I’m trying to say with this, just something weird I noticed.

Even weirder, did you know that Lillian magically manifested a ring yesterday in service of a crappy joke?

The Mystery Continues.

This has been your daily dose of Nitpicking News! Finding something to say about nothing since 2010.

Join us tomorrow as we veer off on oblique tangents to keep from going mad with boredom and frustration, and watch with baited breath as we wait to see if the downvote fairy will visit again tonight and slip us all a little present under our comments while we sleep.

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