Iowa doesn’t say exactly what she thinks Jack is like if he isn’t a twig, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a mighty oak like Mr. Spit.
Josef specializes in interrupting romantic moments with mysterious announcements like this. For the record, there is no official way to translate Josef’s vocalizations–I make them up fresh every time, and leave it up to Jack, Bud and the Kids to tell the rest of the cast (and the readers) what he is “saying”.
The Beefy Bar is a Kekiongan confection, featuring vanilla flavored soy protein nougat, two kinds of nuts (peanuts and almonds) a layer of dulce de leche, and a thick “chocolatey” coating. It does not actually contain any meat, but derives its name from its substantial qualities–it is very high in protein for a candy bar as well as being mindbendingly sweet. Beefy Bars are understandably popular among growing children and rookie superheroes who expend serious energy when using their powers. And Mysterious Animals from other dimensions, of course.
I really like the little drawing of Josef with the Beefy Bar in his mouth.
The Beefy Bar Song is based on a similar playground song about something called the Bungalow Bar, which was apparently an ice cream thing rather than a candy thing. I read it in a Roz Chast cartoon many years ago, and for some reason it stuck with me: “Bungalow Bar/ it tastes like tar/the more you eat it/the sicker you are.” I couldn’t get this out of my head from the time I first invented the Beefy Bar, which, with all that heavy nougat, probably does taste a little like tar.
I made a good faith attempt to find the original cartoon so I could credit it properly, and then I found this Wikipedia entry. The Bungalow Bar was real–a discount chain of ice cream trucks that operated in Brooklyn in the 40s and 50s. And the Bungalow Bar playground chant is real too! Click on the link to read various versions. This makes me feel better about borrowing the idea here, since it isn’t just inspired by one of my favorite cartoonists, but on history as well.
And the last panel, from the back cover of the comic. Just a double portrait of chibi stick figure Bud and chibi stick figure Josef, with the Junkyard’s latest consignment of Beefy Bars, ready to be distributed for afternoon snacks. Apparently the manufacturer is well aware of the oral tradition surrounding their product.
And that’s the end of ASK BUD!, a look into the inner life of the title character, and of course the lives of the people (and persons) around him, in the perfect Midwestern small town where anything can happen. Thanks for reading!