Tag Archives: coffee

Candy Crushed Dreams

If their mutual friend is now “selling band candy full time” then he’s not really retired, is he? But to Dinkle, this sounds like “living the dream.” Maybe John Thompson will be flown out to Belgium, or get a candy bar named after him, too. Someone who’s not living the dream is Adeela. When H-1B issues prevented her from leveraging her architecture degree, her fellow grad Wally installed her as Montoni’s day manager. This, of course, was merely a ploy to get the services of an architect at slightly above minimum wage. Only a matter of time before Adeels, like Khan before her, decides that life in  war-torn Iraquistan beats being a Westview lifer.

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Book ’em, Dinkle

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?

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Not the Retiring Type

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.

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My Heroes Have Always Been Band Directors

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.

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Dreaming of Sleazebags

Link to today’s 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).

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Monday, Ohio

Link to today’s strip.

Many thanks to ComicBookHarriet for enduring one of the most tedious and stupid arcs to appear this year, and that’s saying something.  As always, though, she uses the opportunity to educate and enlighten us, something this strip couldn’t do if it was forced at gunpoint.

So, on to today.  Along with the Sunday strips, those that appear at the beginning of the month are also unavailable.   Alas, though, they eventually show up.  So we speculate.

The comic book things usually end with the cover, so I doubt that will continue.  We already had a “whimsical” Funky strip.  I think it’s a little soon to leap back into “Les’ Masterpiece is Misunderstood by Those with Undeserved Power,” but then, Batiuk’s “Lust for Les” thirst is hard to quench.

That leaves Dinkle, I suspect.  Excuse me a moment.  …  Thanks, I had to vomit.

Monday, Ohio is a real place, by the way.  It appears to be completely unremarkable…unlike Westview, which is filled with monsters.

UPDATE:  So, Les is bothered by a dream, and Cayla offers to listen.  Of course she does.  She does nothing but serve Les’ every Lisa-related need (and I feel positive the dream will be about Hollywood’s Continued Menacing of Lisa’s Sacred Life).   Batiuk, everyone in this strip caters to Les at every opportunity (unless their sole purpose is to deny him, evilly).  We all know this, it is the subject of every Les-oriented story you’ve ever made.  At least the drawing is pretty decent, kudos to Ayers for at least making the attempt.

Unlike his boss, who can’t even remember his last co-worker’s name.

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China Hates Lisa

today’s strip

Man, that Les face in the first panel is priceless.  Poor, poor Les.  Being forced to have a movie made of Lisa’s Story.  If only he could say no.  Which he could, of course, but won’t, because he’s a whiny child.  A whiny child who called his wife up to whine about the travesty being done to the memory of his dead wife.  Which, if it’s not the world’s story, then why did he publish it in a book as “Lisa’s Story”, exactly?  

This really is Les at his most insufferable.  I have an extremely hard time believing that even Batiuk thinks Les is sympathetic or at all likeable, but apparently he does.

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An Object At Rest

Link to today’s strip

We are well and truly frozen in time this week. The janitor hasn’t moved, Becky and Dinkle are still in the band room. The joke is still nonsensical. (Squirrels aren’t nuts. Nuts are nuts. Squirrels eat nuts. I guess if you are what you eat..FORGET IT. THERE IS LITERALLY NO POINT.)

See what you did there Batiuk? You made me type in ALL CAPS. Like Terry Pratchett’s DEATH. Or like an elderly woman texting who can’t read her own phone screen.

Not even the coffee cup has moved. Dinkle’s coffee cup. Which he keeps in the band room as a way of marking his territory. Like leaving a coat on a chair, or purse on a pew, or a dog pissing on a couch. It hasn’t moved in years. The top of that piano must look like someone’s old Spirograph art.

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Useless Squirrel Fact #1256

Link to today’s strip

Maybe it’s the Super Tuesday hangover, but Dinkle in panel three looks just like Bernie Sanders.

Wow. Just. Just, wow. Guys, I don’t know what to do with this really. I feel like that poor janitor hanging around outside, trying to sweep something off the same patch of ground days in a row.

Last week it took and entire week for Funky not to watch the last three seconds of a basketball game. This week we have Dinkle blathering endlessly about the parallels between rodents and band teachers.

Two weeks, out of an entire year, where nothing is being gained. Neither humor, nor character development, nor plot. A good joke in a story arises from the characters as designed and forwards the characterization, plot, or emotional arc.

When has Dinkle ever been a zany trivia nerd about anything other than music? Now, overnight, he’s so obsessed with his squirrel book he can’t bear not to share it with Becky.

How COULD music teachers be like squirrels?

Well, according to the Ohio DNR: The gray squirrel was one of the most populous species of wildlife in Ohio at the time of settlement. Gray squirrels had extensive habitat in the state taking advantage of the widespread forest in Ohio. Early historical records speak of gray squirrel populations so dense that “…it took a month for an army of squirrels to pass.” In fact, gray squirrels disrupted early agricultural efforts in the state to such an extent that Ohio law required each taxpayer to turn in a quota of squirrel skins along with his tax payment.”

I guess what I’m saying is that I hope the Ohio taxpayers are out for band director hides, because there are way too many of them cluttering up the state.

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NTYFGTL Day

More like National Sneak Up Behind Your Favorite Guy and Startle the Shit out of Him While He’s Working Day, according to the motion lines alongside Darin’s elongated head.

This is a Cintiq, a 3D drawing board. I’m actually more comfortable working at my old drawing board, which I bought in junior high school for $25. At the time, it seemed like a lot of money. It’s where I do most of my work.”

Tom Batiuk, February 2016

Good enough for Tom Batiuk, good enough for Darin, who sits at a rather small, inclined drawing table under a vintage “floating” draughtsman’s lamp. Very old school and analog, and it makes me wonder how Mindy is able to do her coloring (remember, she thinks Dr. Martins is a brand of footwear).

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