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?
Tag Archives: smirk
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.
Odd, isn’t it, how much Mason and Dullard resemble each other. Almost as if, on that night when Lisa was “assaulted,” both she and Frankie succumbed to the alcohol and passed out, and a passing student saw an opportunity…nah, Mason was probably five years old then, and besides, it’s too interesting for this strip. Wouldn’t it be intriguing to find out that Mason was a completely terrible person, and this was some complicated revenge scheme? Again, too interesting.
Better to make Mason pretty much clueless about the character he wants to portray, almost as if he’s never read Les’ book or spent any time with him. Nine hours in a sweltering parking lot, that’s enough research for Mason!
Today’s strip was, of course, unavailable for preview.
But please, let us discuss poor Funky. When was the last time Funky had an arc that wasn’t pointless filler? There is hardly a character in EITHER Funkyverse strips that is stagnant as this poor lump.
If the arc is dealing with something bordering serious, Funky is the world’s most passive protagonist, reacting to events outside his control and doing what other people tell him to. Alternatively he serves as the distributor of jobs, food, and apartments to whoever wanders by needing them like some kind of slapshod Greek god rising from a rickety machine to fix ‘conflicts’ in a piss poor drama.
If Funky is going to show any initiative of his own, it is to chase down a pizza box monster.
Maybe she didn’t beat him up like Bull did, but during the twenty years they spent in high school together, Cindy generally treated Les like shit. She wouldn’t have him for a lab partner, let alone a boyfriend. Even when Les wound up keeping her company on that dateless New Year’s Eve, Cindy swore him to secrecy. And decades later she has the gall to break his chops for being a gentleman.
“Okay, so like there’s this guy, Les Moore, who’s like totally awesome and cool, but he’s like real sensitive and stuff, and he wrote a book that, like, didn’t have any explosions in it but was still like the best book ever, and everyone thought it was great. And a bunch of people wanted to make a movie of it, but they didn’t do it right and Les got sad and stopped them. But then this good guy named Mason, he was a super cool actor and stuff, and he wanted to make the movie, and Les was like, I don’t like this. But Mason said he’d make sure it was, like, all done the way Les wanted, and he would let Les double make sure so it was all fine, but Les was like, it’s a perfect book, a movie won’t be good at all. But they let Mason try it, and he made sure it was all just like Les said it should be, and Les would be there the whole time so he could make sure it was done right and there wouldn’t be any mistakes ever. And everyone like applauded–all the moms, and the dads, the grandpas and mas, all the rotten older brothers and all of the babies and pets, too.”
I’ve said on a number of occasions that this strip is childish. Well, it’s more than that. It’s childish in the extreme, but it is plowing headfirst into infantile territory.
Yesterday, Charles said this (excerpted)
[Batiuk is] so desperate for affirmation, for praise, that he devotes strip after strip pleading with his audience to accept his assessment of his own genius.
I agree completely. Which is why Batiuk has given us panel three, here–it’s an attempt at deflection. Oh, gee, I’m so humble and I’m really not worthy of all this attention. I’m…I’m…I’m flawed just like a regular human. It rings just as falsely now as it did years ago, when Les asked the CME staff for a “cup of hemlock.”
Would that they had given it to him. What might have been.
I hope against all hope that today’s strip marks the end of this chapter of Les Goes To Hollywood And Gets All Pissy- Part II, particularly for the sake of our own spacemanspiff, who has to write up the next two weeks of strips. Trying to come up with words to describe this horror is not a task I would wish on my worst enemy… or even Tom Batiuk.
On the emptiest beach in California, Masone engages in some criminal activity that doubles as the dumbest cult ritual this side of the Lisa’s Legacy Run. Not one aspect of this stupid movie project has moved forward since October despite the fact that four weeks worth of strips have been expended covering the inactivity.
Not even the prospect of s’mores improves things, which is terribly sad.
That’s just the thing ’bout
today’s strip… things never seem
To be going anywhere…
“Until all of a
Sudden they do” Mason says
Bloviation was first coined
In, yep, Ohio
Mason’s nose proves fertile ground
For growing palm trees
Les thought the deal died?
It’s not even been three months
Since they discussed it
Les is clearly pissed
That this movie could happen
Will be a looooooooooooooong week…
OK, when I typed “So, what’s the deal with airline food?” in yesterday’s post, I didn’t think Les would seize upon that and give us a airline complaints routine that even Milton Berle wouldn’t steal in today’s strip. I’m truly and terribly sorry. Seriously, I genuinely apologize and take full responsibility for this crime against newsprint. Somebody has to take responsibility…
Les griping about the airline nickel-and-diming him just doesn’t track, as Mason paid for his flight, a fact that was mentioned in the strip as recently as… literally yesterday. Well, I mean, the idea that Les and Cayla were charged extra for their stated “free” trip doesn’t track. Les griping at the slightest opportunity, of course, does. If Les was acting like this the whole flight he should be grateful that he wasn’t tossed out of the plane without a parachute. A nation sighs at the missed opportunity.