This gag probably seemed funnier when he scribbled it on the pizzeria napkin. I guess it’s a very mild dig at PBS and/or Funky, who at this point should come with a “strip may make characters appear older than they actual are” disclaimer every time he appears. I’ll never understand the logic behind these totally random out-of-nowhere Sunday strips, I guess much like FW itself it’s just like that because that’s how it’s always been. Sigh.
The CTE arc originally began in late summer 2016. After talking to Les about her concerns regarding Bull’s recent behavior, Linda convinces Bull to see a doctor, who diagnoses him with an incurable brain disorder caused by football. Bull retires and goes home to forget things and die.
Two and a half years and one insufferable new character (Buck) later, it’s March 2019. After talking to Les about her concerns regarding Bull’s recent behavior, Linda informs Bull that she’s arranged for him to see a doctor. Not only hasn’t the CTE story progressed in any way, it’s actually managed to loop all the way around itself and come up on itself from behind, only to stop slightly short of where it began in the first place. So, the introduction of that Buck asshole aside, LITERALLY less than nothing has happened in the Bull CTE story. Bull has already experienced inexplicable tantrums and he’s already seen a doctor, yet here we are again, right before where we were when we started.
Beady-Eyed Nitpicker’s Corner: Why has Linda waited for two and a half years to get the permanent disability ball rolling for Bull? BatYak never really explained it but Bull retired immediately after being diagnosed, thus one could assume he was already ill enough to not be able to work anymore, yet according to today’s strip he hasn’t even been officially declared disabled by a doctor yet, all of which seems somewhat, uh, incongruous, let’s say.
Coming in September 2020: After talking to Les about her concerns regarding Bull’s recent behavior, Linda convinces Bull to see a doctor. Linda finally calls the state disability hotline to see what forms she’ll need to fill out.
The CTE is really starting to kick in now and Bull appears to be losing the few marbles he had left, although it’s admittedly really tough to tell unless you’ve been following this crap for a while. Obviously Crazy would have no use at all for an old football video unless it was made from pizza or comic books (was it???), which seems unlikely even in the Funkyverse. Seriously though, this is the darkest CTE strip since the very beginning, back when Bull was dropping things and driving recklessly. It’s amusing to me how even this dramatic moment in the story centers around something so incredibly mundane and stupid. It’s likewise kind of amusing how Bull immediately remembers that Crazy converted his old VHS tapes into DVDs, a fact it took me a few seconds to remember and I don’t even have CTE, as far as I know, that is.
It’s FW at its darkest and most dramatic today, as an enraged Bull desperately flings his precious football DVDs around in an idiotic frenzy, refusing to return to bed until he’s able to re-live one more old football memory. How this is supposed to differ from non-CTE Bull is beyond me, but there you go. It’s sort of funny how one-dimensional Bull is and how every single aspect of his character, even his psychotic breakdowns, centers around high school football and it’s also mildly amusing how mundane the actual activity (looking for a lost DVD) is, given how this is apparently supposed to portray how “unstable” Bull is supposed to be right now. Maybe tomorrow he’ll violently attack the toilet brush or lash out angrily at that welcome mat that’s always getting stuck under the door.
Aside from losing someone’s pizza or misplacing their comic books, losing a Westviewian’s old videotaped memories is about the worst thing that can happen, so I can’t really fault Bull for his obscenity-laden tantrum. “Brownie Point”…that’s a good one.
A stunning turn of events today, as it’s revealed that Bull is in fact downstairs watching one of his old high school football games, a development no one could have foreseen. BatYarn once again can’t resist grinding his heel into Bull’s soul, again reminding readers that Bull is, was and always will be a sad-sack schlub and all-around loser who wasted his life on stupid sports instead of watching his first wife die and writing a book about it like more refined, studious and educated Westviewians do. Suffering from a degenerative brain disease isn’t enough punishment for Bull’s past transgressions, now he’s going to be forced to wallow in his lengthy litany of defeat for good measure, just to further drive the point home. BatTom won’t even allow Bull the dignity of becoming a drooling helpless idiot, he’s still milking him for laughs and cheap gags and apparently will continue to do so to the bitter end. Man that guy sure carries a grudge.
Nothing else in the Funkyverse ratchets up the drama and tension like a good old fashioned silent Monday cliffhanger strip does. Where is Bull? The mind simply reels at the potential ramifications of this startling revelation. Is he alive? Is he dead? Is he in the house? Did he leave? And if so, where did he go? The possibilities and ramifications are practically infinite.
And of course by “infinite” I mean two. He’s obviously either watching TV or he’s over at the ol’ ball field, once again reflecting on the moronic life he’ll eventually be forgetting. Sometimes I wonder if a) Bull’s CTE will ever actually manifest itself in any visible way and b) will anyone be able to tell the difference when that happens? I mean it certainly hasn’t seemed to affect his ability to hang around remembering things, as it’s literally all he’s done since his diagnosis.
And I really appreciated the visual imagery today, as I’m sure I’m not the only regular FW reader who always (shudder) wondered what Linda looked like when she was (gak) waking up. Turns out she looks the same, only crabbier. Good to know.