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?
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.
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
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.
Link to today’s strip
Today’s gonna be a short post, since I’m fighting the evil forces of My Grain valley.
Plenty of humor to wring from this weird weird situation.
Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while.
Link to today’s strip
Did Funky ever get to see the game winning shot? We’ll never know.
Actually, of course he did. Because it’s 2020 and he was able to pull the clip up on his smart TV within hours. We just didn’t get to see that part, because Ayers got tired of drawing Funky trembling in fear and amazement at the very idea of a last second tie breaker in a non-playoff game for a team we never had identified to us.
Back to the old grind then. Becky and Dinkle. Blathering inanely and pointlessly.
Nice to see Dinkle stopped at the office to sign in and get the ID badge that allows this old coot to wander the halls clutching squirrel books. Why did he bring the book with him, unless he’s been converted to some kind of nutty new rodent religion and is on the hunt to proselytize. Ave Sciuridae, glandulae plena.
Fortunately, today’s strip stays in one time line. It also quotes one of Bob Dylan’s best-reviewed songs. Well, that’s two positives to the… end-ish? of this very
maudlin special story arc. FYI: A donation has been made to the Boston University CTE center, presumably so readers will remember what this story arc was about last month.
So was Bull a member of the local Dylanist congregation or is that the only house of worship in Westview anymore? Both?
And with that, I am relieved… both to be done with my posting stint and, come tomorrow, by the incomparable Spacemanspiff85.
Hey, remember when this story arc was about Bull?
Today’s strip sure doesn’t.
Look, I’m just going to gloss over the fact that Dinkle was actually introduced well over a year into this strip’s existence and just give TB credit for remembering that Funky Winkerbean itself is 47 (and a half) years old… And with that out of the way I’ll go right into wondering what the heck this has to do with Bull, his condition, his life, or anything. I guess if you twist your neck 117 degrees and squint until you experience sharp pain in your temples it appears the notoriously egotistical Dinkle (or is that Buck?) is paying Bull a compliment by saying they were equals despite his long and incessant history of considering all things inferior to himself and his marching band. But really this is just TB repackaging his biggest hit.
Dinkle is the only thing about this strip that has ever moved merchandise. His “football fields are for band practice!” bit covers books and t-shirts, and even serves as his character’s introductory line in the stage play Funky Winkerbean’s Homecoming. Dinkle’s shtick has sold band posters (“Dinkle wants your horn to twinkle”) and shoes, and no less than 9 Dinkle-specific collections of FW strips have been published! No, seriously, there have been 4 Lisa books and 9 Dinkle books.
Football Fields are for Band Practice!
Harry L. Dinkle Live at Carnegie Hall
I Never Promised You a Rose Parade
Gone with The Woodwinds
Would the Ushers Please Lock the Doors!
Attack of the Band Moms
The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Football Field
Music is Worth it… Music is Worth it… Music is…
This is nothing more than TB pushing his most-recognized character/cash cow into a story the New York Times inexplicably gave him ink for. Ugh!