Will ya get a load of Dinkle’s friend’s wife? Talk about “hair in a color that only yarn comes in“! “Busy Harry” Dinkle has taken a break from writing books that no one reads, and has squeezed into his old uniform to conduct the annual July 4 concert. Sadly, the music ensemble from Bedside Manor has been decimated by Covid-19, leaving only Mort Winkerbean on trombone and some new guy on sousaphone who, judging from all the notes above him, is really wailing. It is here in the park that this guy casually informs his wife of his decision not to retire.
Miscellany: Does anyone else see Act I Les and Lisa in the audience? Has the time pool opened up again?
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?
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.
Link to today’s strip
And here we finally have the point. Delivered with all the beauty and grace of a newborn giraffe with inner ear problems trying to stand. He’s trying to pander to his band teacher ‘fans’, with Hallmark card greetings, but the message is first muddled, and then outright destroyed.
1.) Squirrels bury nuts to eat them later. Some squirrels even bite off the tiny seed leaves if they find sprouted acorns in order to preserve their food supply for longer. So I guess teachers plant ‘seeds’ in their students hoping to profit off of them later, and it is only an accident if some of those students grow from the experience.
2.) Becky’s percussion section this year is so stupid they will never amount to anything. She expects nothing from them, and so nothing will grow from them later. After saying teachers renew the world by growing the mighty forest of young minds, we are shown teachers joking about dum-dum kids they’ve deemed beyond their help.
3.) Becky blames the sun for stupid drummers.
4.) Batiuk thanks Scott Lang, Ant Man, for this entire nightmare.
Link to today’s strip
We come closer and closer and closer to the point, and yet we never arrive. Because there’s always one more lame rodent pun to make. At least I have a faint, unenthusiastic, hope that this week we’ll actually have a dull dud of a conclusion. Though last week watching Funky panic over nothing like a deer on meth was more fun to look at. It was stupid, but it was weirdly energetic.
This week makes a little more sense, but all for the worse. We only have Becky, and Dinkle, and Mr. Janitor Man. Mr. Janitor, who stares at the floor with a soul crushing grimace, somewhere between pain and boredom. Inching his way past the band room one agonizing day at a time, sweeping up the trash.
This week, we are all the janitor.
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.
Ugh. You just know Batiuk indulged in an epic smirk after writing this one. Especially distasteful is how it carries on the long tradition of someone pointing that a joke is supposed to be funny. And you actually have someone physically pointing at the joke.
In unrelated news, Becky’s head has fallen off and been reattached at a terrible angle.
“Hahaha, people dying or missing is hilarious!”-Tom Batiuk, who brought you Lisa’s Story, Bull’s Story, Susan’s Attempted Story, Jacques Stropp’s Off-Camera Story, Wally’s Simulated Video Game Story, and Wally’s MIA Story, all of which were Very, Very Serious and must not be mocked because just because they’re called the funny pages doesn’t mean they have to be funny.
In “Adding Hedge Funds to Your Joke Attempt Adds Nothing, Vol. 2” we have “Varies by district”, which adds nothing. Apart from “haha, educators come from different districts, that’s the gritty realism we’ve come to expect from this quarter inch from reality strip”.
Hey, a sign, and people standing around watching it. That’s sure a good use of comic’s sequential storytelling capabilities-people standing around looking at an inanimate object. I wonder how long before this entire strip is just white text on a black background.
Also, is there anything remotely funny in the sign itself, apart from “haha, people make a lot of money off band candy sales” (which seems to contradict the fact that bands and music departments are always hard up for money)? Yes, haha, hedge funds are an investment option, but pointing that out isn’t close to funny.
Here’s a much better investment option. Get a job where literally nobody pays attention to the quality of your work and milk it as long as you possibly can. Batiuk could definitely give lectures on that.