Tag Archives: "jokes" that aren't really jokes at all

Take No Thought…What Ye Shall Put On

Link to Today’s Strip.

On the one hand, we have another nonsensical Dinkle strip.

On the other hand, we have a Dinkle plan failing.

So it’s a glass of poison half full kind of day.

I was kind of surprised we didn’t get an unconnected Sunday strip celebrating Mother’s Day. It would be nice to get a peek in on any of the parental storylines that have been dangling for years. How old is Skyler now? Are Corey and Rocky ever getting married? Are Summer and Keisha ever graduating college? What are Jinx and Mickey going to do for Linda? Are Crazy Harry’s children ever returning from the netherrealm hellscape they fell into?

But nah. We get an inane and confusing strip, where I have no idea what ‘think outside the choir loft’ might mean, and I can’t tell if Dinkle is shouting ‘Bingo!’ as an exclamation of affirmation, a suggestion of gambling, or the idea to sell the cat for money. And I have no idea if the old lady in the last panel is trying to let Dinkle know bingo the fundraising game is taken by another church group, or the cat Bingo has been taken by animal control.

And it’s still dumb as sin, sinfully dumb, and just plain sinful, that this church choir is expending so much effort to buy choir robes. Choir robes. A pointless boondoggle for a congregation who, if choir participation is anything to go by, is dying from lack of young people and men.

St. Peter would be very grumpy at you!

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4.

For any of you readers who are Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Dog Moms, Cat Moms, or just enjoy worrying over people who don’t dress warmly and making sure everyone has snacks, Happy Mother’s Day. Your work is valued, and you are loved. And you deserve so much more today than a Dinkle strip.

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Is That a Threat?

Link to Today’s Strip.

I know his smiling face is meant to look benevolent, but there is something unsettling about Dinkle in the third panel today. Like I can imagine him hissing “Do it in key!” with a low gentle threat in each word, gripping Bingo’s neck ever so slightly; the gentle petting turning to a slight controlling clutch around the jaws. Like at any moment he could grab the cat by the head and fling him forcefully into the nave below. “Do it in key…” Dinkle whispers, “or you’ll be flat.”

A chilling thought; but more likely it’s Dinkle who is in for a world of hurt. Because you do NOT put your face that close to a cat you’ve just met.

Today’s Strip Corrected Version

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Cat Catechumen

Link To Today’s Strip

When I first saw this week’s strips I was skeptical of the feasibility of a cat living in a church. I know that businesses, nursing homes, and libraries have kept cats in the past; I’ve seen the same puff pieces in the lifestyles section as everyone else.

But with roughly 20 percent of people having some level of allergic reaction to cats, I had a hard time believing that any church would risk annoying congregants and turning away potential parishioners by letting a feline frolic through the foyer. On the other hand, Tom steals more story ideas than Shakespeare, there was a good chance he’d come across some fluffy choir cat story on the news. So I went on a quest to find church cats.

After cutting out the results for the undead monster cat from Pet Semetary, I found, among others, the following adorable moggy muffins curling up between the pews. And really, aren’t cat pictures better than trying to find something to say about Lillian talking to Dinkle about vermin?

Samuel Emmanuel who lived at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Southern Pines, North Carolina from 2000 to 2006
Simon, who has lived in The Church of the Advent in Boston since 2012
Doorkins Magnificat, who lived in the Southwark Cathedral in London from 2008 to 2020, and became a minor celebrity/church mascot.

Canterbury Cathedral has several cats, and a few made the news this past year for sneaking into the live streams of The Dean of Canterbury’s prayers.

Canterbury Cathedral cat steals the show during sermon - again! | Meridian  | ITV News
Tiger, who also loves pancakes.

Sadly, back in 2013 the cathedral mourned the loss of one of their sweet sneaky boys. His name? Laptop.

Laptop: Canterbury Cathedral Cat Remembered | Canterbury cathedral, Cats,  Kitten meowing
Suck it Bingo. Here’s the Lion King of uniquely named church cats.

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There Were Some Bats Who Had A Cat…

Link To Today’s Strip

The knowing smirks exchanged by the characters today signaled to me that there was supposed to be a joke somewhere in here, even though I didn’t see it on first glance.

After hours of careful study and research, I’ve decided the joke was that the cat is actually named Bingo because St. Spires, like many churches, supports itself with organized charitable gambling.

Which lends weight to St Spires being Catholic. Church Bingo tends to be a Catholic exercise, though in big cities, it might be Jewish. Back in the heyday, Protestant ministers would lambast Bingo as a vile and immoral game of chance, really no better than the indulgences that had once funded the papacy. Even today, some churches struggle with the morality of making their money from hosting gambling, often by people outside their congregation.

But back in the Great Depression, Bingo kept many parishes from shutting their doors. Edwin Lowe, the man who first sold the game under the name BINGO, claimed he was approached by a Catholic Priest only months after he first started selling Bingo. It was because of the concerns of this priest that Lowe contacted Columbia University math professor, Carl Leffler, to create thousands of unique Bingo cards, so there would be less repeated winners. According to legend, the math professor subsequently went insane.

Of course, Lowe only improved and named an already existing game. The first attestations of a bingo-like game date all the way back to Italy in the 16th century. And the word ‘Bingo’ also predates association with the game by centuries. Lowe claimed that he chose the name after a player of ‘Beano’, the game’s precursor, shouted ‘Bingo!’ when she won. In the 1920’s, the word ‘bingo’ had become an expression of surprise and success.

The semi-nonsensical word had been circulating for a long time. Before most of us have ever played a game of Bingo, we are taught the nursery song about a farmer’s dog. And that song is older than the US Constitution. The earliest printed version of the song with a dog named Bingo was listed in The Humming Bird songbook in 1785.

“The farmer’s dog leapt over the stile,
his name was little Bingo,
the farmer’s dog leapt over the stile,
his name was little Bingo.”

But WHY was the dog named Bingo? Well, the answer may be in the forgotten second verse.

“The farmer loved a cup of good ale,
he called it rare good stingo,
the farmer loved a cup of good ale,
he called it rare good stingo.”

The farmer was a raging alcoholic.

See, the song was originally a drinking song.

And some of the earliest attestations of the word ‘bingo’ list it as a slang term for brandy.

So if the cat isn’t named after gambling, she’s definitely named after booze.

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Eye Do Not Care Anymore

Is Funky telling the truth in today’s strip? Last time we saw him get a physical was in early 2017, when he and Holly flew to Dallas (sure…) to visit a so-called “superclinic” (sure… again) for physicals. Well, Holly claimed it was an annual physical back then, so maybe the Winkerbeans’ annual January Dallas superclinic physical trip just recently happened. Not sure when that would have been, we’ve seen Funky and/or Holly every single week so far this month…

Oh wait, none of that matters. Nurse Scrunchie doesn’t care about Funky’s physical health, she just needs to know if he can afford to pay for his cataract surgery. What a scathing and original commentary on the American healthcare system! Groundbreaking stuff!

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¡Eye Caramba!

I apologize that the post title significantly oversells the drab discharge that is today’s strip. Funky has cataracts, just like many people over age 65. Cataracts make it hard to see clearly, as Dr. Droopy so helpfully informs us. Will Funky and Dr. Droopy decide what to do about these cataracts by Saturday? If you care about the answer to that question, please seek help.

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Futz Said Funky

Just two strips ago, Funky was being a pill to the office’s receptionist for a joke he completely walked into… and yet here he is in today’s strip indignant that Dr. Droopy won’t sanction his buffoonery. Stay in your lane, Funky. Les is supposed to be the guy who gets huffy when other people make jokes but then expects everyone to laugh at his pathetic stabs at humor.

I was going to suggest that Dr. Droopy here was being presumptuous here bringing up Captain Kirk, not that it would make Funky any less insufferable. I thought perhaps Funky was referencing the legend of Admiral David Farragut or perhaps he is actually a big fan of the band Pain, regionally-popular purveyors of late-90s pop punk (from whom I pilfered, purloined, and repurposed today’s post-title). But nope… a brief search of the SOSF archives reveals that, in a rare bit of Batiukverse continuity, Dr. Droopy is correctly referencing when Funky previously pulled this miserable excuse for a joke back in August 2019.

Callback or not, Funky ought to be tossed out of the doctor’s office window.

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Merry Christmas From SoSF!

Link To Today’s Strip

What? This one really didn’t require any dialog at all, but that’s never stopped Batiuk before. This one is just too stupid to even bother picking apart. I think I know what he was going for here but jeepers, did he ever fail miserably. This guy can take the hoariest, moldiest, mustiest old gags ever written and botch them in ways you can’t even imagine.

As far as I know this marks the first time Funky’s house has actually spoken. Let’s hope Les’ house keeps its big mouth shut, as I don’t even wanna know. Merry Christmas to all, now let us never speak of this one again.

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Krabby Petey

Banana Jr. 6000
December 4, 2020 at 12:36 pm 
…The joke is so mild and so botched, and the reaction is so ridiculously oversold, that the strip should be funny for how misguided it is.

Does anyone else think that Darin in the last panel looks like he was drawn by MAD’s Maddest Artist, Don Martin?

Tom Batiuk has frequently expressed, in his work and in interviews, that even though we call them “comics,” they don’t necessarily have to be “funny.” “I don’t see why a comic strip can’t carry the weight of substantial ideas,” he once said. But even a storyteller like Batiuk must cleanse the palate with the occasional standalone gag, or even a week’s worth of them. Everything about Pete’s “holiday joke” is lame, and the smugness with which he delivers it is just off the charts. Of course, the response is a hearty HA! HA! HA! from all but one of the Atomik staff.  At first, it looked to me as if Chester was the one admonishing Pete to “stick to writing drama,” which would make sense as he’s Pete’s boss. Naturally, as his fiancé, Mindy must come to Pete’s defense. But nobody knows better that his real soulmate, Darin, that flighty, distractible Pete needs help with focus. And anyway, his jokes suck.

Something that does not suck is the way Beckoning Chasm goes to work on Funky Winkerbean with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, and his authoring stint begins with Monday’s comic. Stay safe and well and happy, people. –TFH

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