Oh, dear God, he’s still on a Dinkle kick. Sigh. And here come the band turkey gags. I guess that this is probably one of FW’s longest-running gags, especially considering how he’s retconned and/or ignored pretty much everything else from that long-ago gag-a-day era. Too bad he never followed suit with this one.
Coming tomorrow: Dinkle explains to his wife, who he’s been married to for well over fifty years, that his frozen band turkey, from the freezer, was left over from one of his long-ago band turkey fundraising efforts. Harriet nods and grins in agreement, knowing as she does that the downstairs freezer is full of frozen band turkeys. I begin using BT as an abbreviation for “band turkeys”, as I just can’t take it anymore.
Look, the man himself
Deigns to appear on panel
Here in today's strip
Why is he worried
No one is coming to see
Him in uniform
No one is coming
To see Holly twirl either
But whatever y'all
This Harry Dinkle,
He sounds like a real jerk
This guy here, real jerk
With his history
Of abusing band members
Why would alums play
But of course these two
Still have their band uniforms
No one leaves high school
I think Batiuk uses “So…” as a way of saying “It has been established in the previous strip, and agreed upon that…” He’s trying to bring his readers up to speed on what’s going on. The fact that nothing is usually going on (other than endless talk) doesn’t seem to be a factor. I know it bothers a lot of folks; it doesn’t really affect me either way.
It reminds me of the old intro narration on Lost In Space to set the scene for the episode: “Last week, as you recall, Will, Dr. Smith and The Robot…” etc. (You just have to add “unaware,” “incredible,” and “alien” and there you go.)
As for the content of today’s strip, I ask, “What content?” One could cut out every strip this week except Wednesday and Thursday, and you’d have the complete story.
You could cut out all of them and improve the comics page greatly. Especially since this seems to be little more than an ad for a real-world event that just happens to highlight one of his characters. Which begs the question…I wonder who reached out to who?
Another question: now that Batiuk has tied himself to this “salute to band directors,” and, in his eyes, gained a whole new slew of new readers…how long do you think it will be before he pivots to “Lisa’s Story”?
You know, it was a huge revelation to both Dinkle and Harriet that you could just set up a web fund and people would give you money for no reason (and no effort on your part). Even better if you had a cat, and Dinkle certainly has access to Bingo (the cat from the church, in case any of you have memories like Tom Batiuk).
But no, those old candy-selling gags are money in the bank so they’ve got to be trotted out again.
I’m sitting here wishing for a different set of characters, and realizing that no matter who’s in the cast, it’s all going to be terrible. They’re all like whatever it is in the bowl in front of Harriet–something you don’t want to look at too closely.
By the way, the Firesign Theatre had an album some years ago called Boom Dot Bust. One of the characters was mayor William Cudlip P’nisnose. I think we’re seeing his wife in today’s strip. Or, Nixon in a wig.
Well, we’re back to being “selected” so I guess consistent writing is a much harder job than it appears to be. And of course Dinkle was selected. Many things like this are entirely too predictable in this strip; the only surprise is how dull, horrible and irritating it can get.
Of course, both Harry and Harriet are dressed the same way they were yesterday, and standing in the same places, so my inference is that this is taking place mere minutes after yesterday’s strip. But Dinkle’s over-description in panel one makes it seem like days have transpired, and he has to remind Harriet which organization is going to shower him with acclaim. So, either he signs up for dozens of events daily, or Harriet is remarkably stupid, even for a female in this strip. That’s saying something.
Of course, she married Dinkle, so she can’t be that bright.
Okay, so yesterday Dinkle said he might be “selected” to be one of 300. Today, I guess all you have to do is claim a spot? Might want to work on your “consistency” there, Batiuk. And while you’re at it, do something about “continuity.”
Ha! I slay me.
Anyway, in today’s strip, the dialogue could have said that the 257 “have already been chosen,” which would put it right back into the “might be selected” camp and add a bit of an edge to panel three’s situation. Will Harry be selected or won’t he? Of course he will, that’s a foregone conclusion, but at least Batiuk could try to have a bit of suspense, something that will keep a reader interested. Cos it sure ain’t the characters or dialogue that’s gonna do it.
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.
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?
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.
Q: What are the two things I’d least like to see the Dinkles doing?
Yuck. There’s some precedent here, as I seem to recall Dinkle making a lot of disgusting sexual innuendos during the infamous “Harry and Harriet go on their belated honeymoon” arc of whenever that was, maybe 2012 or thereabouts. It was their fiftieth anniversary and Dinkle blew off his own honeymoon for some imbecilic band thing, so they finally went to Niagara Falls and (zzzzzzzzz). I made it sound WAY more exciting than it was.
Coming next month: Wally’s new Dinkle-inspired marketing idea…sex pizza…doesn’t take off quite as well as breakfast pizza did back in the day. Wally finds himself embroiled in multiple lawsuits after Montoni’s customers badly burn themselves, but fortunately for Wally, Funky knows a guy.
You know how sometimes a rarely-seen FW character will suddenly re-appear and you’re all like “wow, long time since we’ve seen him/her!” and it seems all novel and fresh for half a second but then within a day or two (tops) you’re already violently sick and tired of that seldom-seen character? Yep, Harriet.
On the other hand, you have (ugh) Dinkle, who’s around way, way, way too frequently. Once every six or seven years would be plenty. Unfortunately for everyone else, BatYam feels otherwise. This arc is exactly like digging out your driveway after a heavy wet snow and watching the snowplow roar by as it buries your driveway once more. In some ways it’s even worse than that, as snow doesn’t typically cackle.
Coming next week: in keeping with Funkyverse tradition, Dinkle dies while playing the organ. Commenters on SoSF are ecstatic, at least until Ghost Dinkle visits Becky for the very first (but not last) time. “Harry’s Story…The Other Marching Shoe“.