Tag Archives: Harry Dinkle

Food Poisoning

Link to today’s strip

As usual, the Sunday strip wasn’t available for preview. Normally I would try to tough it out till midnight, just to make sure whatever horrors Sunday brings are properly commented on. However, the strain of trying to find amusement in drying paint has finally broken me, and I’ve come down with the Westview flu. Not as deadly as the Spanish flu, maybe, but virulent in it’s ability to sap me of energy, leaving me with a headache, and slightly nauseous. So pretty much what you would expect after spending two weeks with Les Moore.

Here’s hoping that it’s not able to be transmitted through the interwebs, because Beckoning Chasm is taking over for me tomorrow, and I’d hate to think I had contaminated the controls.

Goodnight, and Good Luck.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Bell Pepper Curve.

Link to today’s strip

First of all, there is an absolute horror show of a human in the background. A literal dickhead emerging from a shirt made of pubes. The guy is smug as shit too. No doubt having just eaten an entire plate of the grilled processed meat tubes that he has descended from in some kind of twisted Westviewian evolution.

Does Westview grade on the curve? That’s a horrific thought. Because while some teacher claim that pretending that the smartest kid’s 85% correct on the test is the new 100% is ‘grading on the curve’, what it really means is the draconian application of the bell curve to the entire class. Every student ranked, in direct competition with the other students for the limited number of A’s, 40% of students doomed to C’s regardless of what actual percentage of the material they got correct. All your A or B tells you is that in Mrs. McGiggins 2005 Fall semester of Pre-Calculus you did better than 15 other people.

My junior year of high school, the calculus teacher was gone the entire year on maternity leave. For the first semester, they gave the advanced math students taking precalc and calc a teacher they had previously relegated to teaching remedial general math because she was so inept, despite the fact she was technically qualified. Because of her I never learned the difference between cosine and cosign.

When the most gifted kids in the school started struggling and complaining to their parents, the principal had the audacity to come to the class, pull out a bell curve and try to explain to us that, really, most of us SHOULD be getting C’s in the class.

I shot my hand right up and explained to the class that ‘the bell curve’ was both old-fashioned and unfair. We were supposed to be graded on the percentage of the material we got right, not in competition with other students for limited number of A’s. The fact that most of us were getting C’s meant that, as a class, we were understanding barely half of what we were being tested on. He fumbled around for a bit, but didn’t really have a good response. He was talking to the smartest kids in the school, and our GPA’s, and thus our college prospects, were on the line.

They pulled an old math teacher out of retirement for the next semester.

I remember the impotent frustration, the despair, and the eventual fatalistic resignation that we, as a class, felt that semester. So many of us just gave up trying. There was no reason to attempt to succeed on our own, because that would only hurt our classmates by driving up expectations. So most of us sat through every day of math class that semester, silent, sullen, and unresponsive.

What I’m saying is, I’m guessing that Westview grades on a curve.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Raider With the Pinned-Up Sleeve

I know one way the school can save money. If you’re having a guy who’s been retired for over a decade come in and do a significant part of your job for you because you’re too busy with other stuff to do it, then you probably shouldn’t have that job anymore.
So, Becky is so busy trying to steal money designated for the football team that she can’t oversee practices? What is she doing in that time? Emailing the school board? While she’s actually on the clock for her job? That seems bad.
Dinkle commenting about returning to band land is one of the funniest things in this strip in years. He has never left. He has no life outside of band. Near as I can tell he spends every day lurking behind Becky. And the only times he’s not doing that he’s writing biographies about band.
For a guy who went pretty much deaf long ago, being able to differentiate between “raising” and “raiding” is pretty damn impressive. Far, far less impressive is the fact that the “band room” is crappily taped to the inside of the door. Rather than the outside where it would actually do any good.


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Tracking the Rand Curdy

Link to today’s strip.

Boy, the folks running the OMEA are damned efficient!  Compare the background of yesterday’s strip to today’s.  They’ve managed to put up a huge number of booths and banners in a matter of seconds!  Yesterday’s box of crap at the far right has been expanded into a nicely arranged table.  Talk about can-do!  Imagine how many band mattresses those guys could sell.  Probably hundreds in just an hour.  Oh, wait–they’d have to sell them in Westview, wouldn’t they.  Well, they could probably sell at least one, right?  And maybe come back alive, most of them?  Sorry for sending you guys into that city–and I already knew it was infested with zombies, too.  My bad, guys.  Oops.  Won’t happen again, you have my word.

On the other hand, this conference has been going on for several days, and they’re only just now getting around to setting up these booths.  (Perhaps one of these booths was the one that had pizza!  Mystery solved.)  Okay, so…they’re very efficient once they start, but also lazy and unmotivated to start on their own.  Well, no one will ever fault this strip for being too consistent.

As for this stupid app, weren’t they championing something similar a few years ago that could keep track of trombone sections?  Yesterday they were dismissive of this thing, but throw in candy sales and their eyes goggle.  Becky even gets to shove her pinned sleeve into frame, she’s so excited.

*Shrug.*  As mentioned, no one will ever fault this strip for being too consistent.  “Hey, Batiuk, loosen up!  You don’t have to remember all the details, like things that have already happened, last names, and stuff like that.  It makes you look like a beady-eyed nitpicker.  You don’t want to look like a beady-eyed nitpicker, do you?  No one gives awards for that.”


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

Shrinky Dinks

Link to today’s strip.

As February dawns, the first strip of the month is not available for preview, but let’s be honest–Batiuk’s not going to cut away to something different, not when he’s got Dinkle to shove in people’s faces.   Those seemingly endless weeks where he craps out those terrible, terrible Claude Barlow witlessisms should be proof of that.

Yesterday, he wailed and moaned that he couldn’t find free food.  What could it be today?  Perhaps…his ass, with both hands?

I wonder if Beck will get any lines…so far, she’s only spoken on Sunday, and it was, of course, nothing but praise for Dinkle.  So, she’s really already played her part.  All that’s left is a praise reprise.

(GAH, sorry folks, that was almost Batiukian…surprising how easily one slips back into this stuff…)



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Along With His Sense of Humor

Link to today’s strip.

Oh, poor, poor Dinkle.  He can’t find the free pizza, so his breakfast was cheese and candy.  I may just burst into tears over this development.

Three days of this crap and Becky hasn’t had a single line.  Looks like she was in the middle of a conversation when Dinkle just roared in and shut her down.  Of course; Dinkle has to be the center of attention at all times.

And Batiuk’s really going out of his way to deny her any dialogue.  You’d think she’d be the one talking about Dinkle’s Deficiencies, but no, it has to be some random passerby.  Which makes sense in this world–after all, Dinkle is known and beloved by the entire high school band community, past, present and future, so of course they’re all up on his current state.  I hear there’s even a newsletter, with a circulation of several hundred thousand.

What’s really surprising is that no one has taken him in hand and led him to the pizza table.  But…I guess that might imply that there’s someone wiser than he, who knows where the pizza is, and Batiuk cannot have that.  So, I further guess this means that no one has been able to find the pizza table.   Because there can’t be anyone better than Dinkle in anything.  Why, he even schools them in how to whine like a baby!

PS:  The “Rand Curdy?” in the masthead made me think of Monty Python’s “Lemon Curry?”  So there’s an extra laugh.


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How they Dinkle, Dinkle, Dinkle, in the icy air of night!

Link to today’s strip.

Today’s strip was not available for preview, but we all know it’ll be Dinkle droning on about something unimportant, or something else equally unimportant.  And it will involve terrible, underthought wordplay somehow.  And people will smile at Dinkle, like “Oh my gosh, that is so true!”  You have to wonder if Batiuk is equally as bored creating this stuff as we are reading it.  And he’s still got, what, five years to go?  That sure seems like an awful lot of wry rejoinders to carve out.

Why is Dinkle even here?  He’s frickin’ retired.  But Batiuk just loves this character, possibly even more than Les.  Les is the bestselling author he always wanted to be, Darrin is the comic book artist he always wanted to be, John has all the comic books he could possibly want.  All understandable (if a bit off-putting) aspects of Batiuk’s desire that things in the past went differently.

Dinkle, on the other hand, just seems to be this father-figure mentor, a dispenser of wit and wisdom.  (Yes, there should be quote marks around a lot of that.)

Apropos of nothing, I think one of the reasons we see less and less Burchett is that he wasn’t getting considered for other projects.  Publishers would say, “Hey, the latest thing you’ve done is Funky Winkerbean, and the artwork in that is terrible.  No thanks.”  But if he can draw the fictional comic covers here (which admittedly are quite good–artwork-wise), he has something of quality to show to prospective editors.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky