So this group really is a “Gospel” choir? That wasn’t just a set up for last month’s “gossip choir” joke? Look, I’m not saying that a choir of interchangeable old white midwestern women in what appears to be a staid mainline Protestant church cannot sing a genre of music that is most strongly associated with (often) male feature performers in southern evangelical or (particularly) Black churches. Unexpected as it might be, of course they can. What I’m saying is that I don’t think TB has any idea that Gospel music is an actual genre of music itself and not simply another term for “hymns” or “church music”.
Unfortunately for TB and for us, music is not like a choir loft. It can’t be researched by taking a photo of it and e-mailing it to Chuck Ayers.
Today’s strip marks the third straight day that Dinkle is doing his eyes-closed, head tilted back, mouth-agape, peacocking thing… which I think we can all agree is seven days too many. Hopefully we can also all agree that the poetic tire fire that is “I believe this is the first time a man’s crew-neck undershirt has been seen in the choir loft!” is a sentence that is just too perfectly execrable to exist. Yet it does exist.
You are looking liiiiive at St. Spires Church and its odd, grass-covered exterior wall in today’s strip…
At least the choir ladies are asking follow up questions now. The last two times Dinkle pulled his “a little” shtick no one pressed him for specifics. I’m half-surprised Dinkle doesn’t carry around a printed resume to hand out to the mere mortals who aren’t familiar with his life story, that really seems like something he would do.
I’m not on Dinkle’s side or anything, but I struggle to sympathize with the choir ladies in today’s strip. Those stern looks of disapproval are genuine and understandable, but these ladies have got to stop setting Dinkle up for this miserable gag. This is the third time they’ve walked right into it. Yes, Dinkle is insufferable and arrogant, but they’ve had plenty of time now to learn that asking him if he knows anything about a subject is a sure way to draw out that insufferableness and arrogance. If you don’t like the way he acts when baited, stop baiting him!
At least there’s no blood this time from Dinkle biting his tongue… Well, that’s not really an improvement. For a while there I thought that maybe Dinkle could be put on a path to self-destruction by frequently questioning his credentials.
I thought maybe we were getting an extended break from Dinkle during the last week, TB does love pontificating on comic books after all, but I should have known better. The Dinkle-St. Spires choir story had yet to play all of the beats a Dinkle story plays. We’ve covered his arrogance, his ego, his megalomania, his ludicrously demanding practices, the one thing we were missing from the complete Harry Dinkle experience finally shows up in today’s strip… fundraising. I should have seen it coming, no excuses.
I’m not sure these robes appear to be “tired and worn” so much as they appear to be rain ponchos purchased at a Cleveland Browns game. Maybe add some patches or stains or loose threads next time to sell the effect, Chuck.
Now it is only a question of how many weeks will TB spend showing Dinkle pushing these old ladies to sell “choir mattresses” or his autobiography or whatever. Unfortunately, it won’t be a negative number.
Having failed using the direct approach, then humor, Dinkle must resort to his ethical pitch, extolling the green and humane practices of Sam and Ella’s Poultry Co. None of that concerns Roseanne here; someone in the household needs to avoid gluten. As someone who’s blessedly free from such dietary restrictions, I thought Purple Lady’s question was a little weird, but in fact, basting solutions injected during processing sometimes contain gluten. Dinkle manages another, less-witty-than-yesterday‘s riposte, and that confident smile, but beneath the shiny patent visor of that military, his eyes narrow with resentment, and for a fleeting moment he allows himself to imagine himself clobbering this glutenist slattern senseless with the thawing gobbler he’s been schlepping from door to door all week.
Contrary to popular legend, there is no evidence that Benjamin Franklin ever publicly supported the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), rather than the bald eagle, as a symbol of the United States.
You know who else suggested that the wild turkey, not the bald eagle, should be the national bird of the United States? Not Ben Franklin, according to Auntie Wikipedia. Perhaps Dinkle knows this, and he’s delivering the “national bird” remark satirically. This is supported by the fact that he’s smirking so hard when he says it that his mouth threatens to escape his face. But wait, here comes the punchline and…it’s…Butterbald? Hell no, I’ve never heard of a Butterbald Eagle. Or a “Butterbald” anything! Did Batty feel that the good people at Butterball® LLC wouldn’t be OK with a free mention in 400 newspapers right before Thanksgiving? Batiuk’s propensity for coming up with jokey, soundalike “brand names” once again tramples what would have been a borderline decent gag.
For Pete’s sake, look how absolutely smug Dinkle is walking into the band room in panel one. Since his retirement, Becky has tried shilling mattresses, books, and selling the turkeys online. But here she is, stuck again in a chilly band room full of cardboard coffins of rapidly thawing poultry corpses. He knew she’d go crawling back to Sam’N’Ella’s finest, just like she always does. There’s nothing the elderly love more than seeing innovation fail.
I don’t know how long Batiuk has been patting his back over his Sam’N’Ella turkey pun. But, the earliest November in our archives shows the bacteria riddled band turkeys stacked to the ceiling.
I hope all of you aren’t tired of Dinkle yet! Because November is DINKLE AWARENESS MONTH, and our glorious leader, TF Hackett, will be making sure you all are aware of Dinkle for the foreseeable future.
But, before I sign off from my shift, I just wanted to take a moment for a little early Thanksgiving sentimentality. This week wasn’t just Donna and Harry’s (early) anniversary, it also marked my third anniversary of guest hosting this blog. I can’t say how much having a warm and inviting place to snark means to me. A place where I can stretch some disused writing muscles to a cozy, appreciative, audience, and even feel okay if I need to slack off on a few posts where the stress of real life or the paucity of the material gives me little to work with.
So I give thanks to TF Hackett and Epicus Doomus, for making this little place chug along, and giving me the opportunity to drive the bus every few months. And thank you everyone who comments, either with praise, or details, or your own hilarious takes on this strange comic universe’s Kafkaesque parody of a Hallmark Channel movie. Remember, your impotent rageposting makes the world a brighter and funnier place.
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!