Heavy Pedal Parking Lot

Link to today’s strip

What is this, the third wordless strip in a row? I haven’t seen anything like this since Darin had to open some mail. Today Bull is carelessly putting well over $100 worth of Batiukmobiles at risk as his inexplicable tantrum continues. As usual Bantom has confounded me by going off in a direction no sane person could have possibly seen coming. The clear highlight today is that “anger squiggle” over Bull’s head in panel one, which obviously indicates “anger”. Otherwise HOW WOULD WE KNOW???

While I’m still holding some hope that maybe we’re heading for a traffic fatality here or something, the likelihood of anything remotely entertaining happening here is dwindling by the second. No one takes longer to get to the “point” (so to speak) than BanTom does, every single thing simply must be dragged out for days and days on end until no reasonable person can possibly take it anymore. I’ve been doing this for years and it still never fails to enrage me and induce uncontrollable yawning. The notion that even the simplest plot point has to take an entire week (or longer) to build (so to speak) is exactly why no one bothers to read this thing, aside from those of us who like to test their patience, that is. WE GET IT, HE’S ANGRY! Now please, for the love of God, move on.

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28 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

28 responses to “Heavy Pedal Parking Lot

  1. I suffer from severe depression, and these are the sort of things I used to see myself doing–just driving off until I ran out of gas. But that’s more a “get aware from HERE, where everything is” kind of thing, not a compilation of minor annoyances.

    But Bull is clearly speechless with rage. Rage generally has a source, but when it’s stuff like this (broken glass, voice mail) it usually just burns itself out in place with perhaps a screaming or physical tantrum. (Think Charles Foster Kane trashing his wife’s room.) It’s a very visceral experience, but it usually doesn’t lead to a goal unless Bull is off to murder the CEO of the Easy-Break Glassware Company.

    Still, I suspect we’re heading for a Very Special Funky Winkerbean, which will garner no awards and be quickly ignored by Tom Batiuk in future Bull stories.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    I wouldn’t mind Batiuk taking forever to get to the point if, you know, there actually was anything resembling a point. And he’s been doing this for so long that it’s painfully obvious when he’s going nowhere.
    I do like how Bull’s anger is contagious, and turned the blue car he parked next to a furious red.

  3. spacemanspiff85

    @beckoningchasm:
    This would’ve worked a lot better if Batiuk set it up at all. I mean it was just a couple weeks ago that Bull was playing tennis with Les. If he could be around the world’s biggest asshole without getting angry then, what’s different now?

  4. Epicus Doomus

    After all these years of doing things this way, BatNom just thinks he always needs an entire week (at least) to get ANYTHING across to the readers, no matter how trivial it may be. Maybe he thinks his readers believe it “adds tension” or whatever, but everyone knows he does it to kill time and fill space. You could easily distill pretty much every FW story arc ever down to a few panels but sadly he just doesn’t do things like that.

  5. 1966tvbatman

    I think he’s going to kill Bull off. This sloooooooolw burn is to build (ha ha!) pathos for the character. The problem is that no matter what he does, (even if I’m wrong about the death) Batty will have stretched it out so long about characters we don’t care about that the death/tragedy won’t matter. That is – unless in his rage he runs Les over.

  6. ComicTrek

    Hmm. I think he’s still mad.

  7. billytheskink

    Agreed on the lack of set up. For all the issues with Act II, TB did generally take the time to set up his very special stories and didn’t consider them “solved” at the conclusion of the week.
    – Funky’s alcoholism? A good year and a half of him hitting the sauce on the job.
    – Susan Smith’s abusive relationship? Most of a school year was spent pairing her with jerk jock Matt Miller.
    – Wally’s Afghan minesweeping? Preceded by a lengthy military career.
    – Lisa’s cancer? I think we all know.

    Now, about that Scapegoats poster in the locker room… what was the thinking behind that?

    Pep squad member 1: I’m worried that the football team will forget our mascot.
    Pep squad member 2: Why don’t we print a poster with the school logo on it and put it up in the locker room?
    Pep squad member 1: I dunno, can we hang it up sloppily with masking tape?
    Pep squad member 2: Are there are other ways to hang things up?

  8. spacemanspiff85

    Batiuk’s latest blog entry is pretty funny. Apparently he thinks the reason people like county fairs is because they’re the same every year. Not, you know, the games, the rides, the food, or the animals.
    And yet again, he can’t talk about fairs without mentioning how sad they make him: “I’ve written before about my ambivalent feelings about county fairs. They’ve always been a celebration of summer and good times that seemed to be tinged around the edges with a touch of melancholy.”
    We know, buddy. I think almost every time someone’s gone to the fair in this strip or Crankshaft, he literally uses the word “melancholy”.

  9. I have a four-year-old son; if I wanted to watch someone throw a tantrum I’m pretty well covered already.

  10. Led needs to set ull up with an appointment with his psy hiatrst. The one he was seeing at the begi Bing of Act Ii. Bull needs analysis and to be put on Valium or Halcyon or both!

  11. Epicus Doomus

    Interesting how Bull’s off-brand illegally-imported or possibly homemade truck can burn rubber, unlike the rest of those woeful Lithuanian crapboxes the rest of the staff drives. I’d probably be angry too if I was stuck behind Les’ car as it slowly sputtered its way up a slight grade into a moderate breeze. Do they buy those cars as kits or do they arrive fully assembled?

    Seriously though, the lack of dialog usually means he’s about to drop a Batom bombshell of some kind, although this is Act III where a modest admission delivered as wryly as possible is huge, huge news. It’s BanTom’s favorite little trick, the silent strip. I’m hoping he someday releases a compilation of just silent strips, all presented with no context at all. I really want to see if it makes any difference or not.

  12. If Batiuk didn’t feel the need to stretch a simple point out, we might actually care about this boring person and his dull, useless life. So far though, we’ve got some idiot acting like a five year old because the kids getting concussed have the memory spans of a ninety year old with Alzheimer’s.

  13. DOlz

    I know why Bull is so mad, He just found out they’re going to stop giving out the Golden T-square in 2021.

  14. Rusty Shackleford

    Just read Batty’s blog posts about the county fair…he lives his life the way he draws his strip, doing the same things year after year after year.

  15. Chyron HR

    I’m still not sure if this is the lead up to a heart attack/stroke, or just Bull and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

  16. Merry Pookster

    ya see?….. nothing,

  17. Okay, so something’s up with Bull. Let’s go back through the trail of clues to see if we can put something together, starting with the “no love” tennis match with Les a few weeks ago. Bull was clearly in some kind of physical distress during this episode, allowing Les the opportunity to pound him mercilessly on the court and leave him with a few terrible tennis puns. Moving forward to last week, word’s getting around that Bull is becoming increasingly more demanding of his players, which is not entirely surprising for a football coach supposedly coming off a championship season. Les takes the opportunity to smugly assert his athletic superiority over Bull, and then we actually see Bull’s newly discovered excitability in action, followed by an admonition from an assistant coach and a failed attempt at pouring a drink of water, a failed attempt at making a phone call, and a furied exit from the parking lot. Who could he have been calling? Where could he be going? Maybe he’s having trouble at home, and was trying to call his wife (Linda?) and he’s racing home to talk to her. Maybe it’s Linda who’s having some health issues, and the stress from dealing with that is impacting the rest of his life? Maybe he’s just driving to Les’ house to beat him to death with a tire iron? Maybe by this point I really don’t give a shit?

  18. LTPFTR

    I suppose we deserve this. After all, we’ve been nagging Batiuk to “show, don’t tell.” Of course he’d take to to its illogical extreme.

  19. Gerard Plourde

    His statement in the blog post “They (county fairs) provide some sense of continuity in a world that pretty much chews up continuity for breakfast each day” is puzzling. Does his life consistently suffer daily upheaval?

  20. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    I feel like I’m watching some bad reality TV show called “How Will He Die?”

  21. HeyItsDave

    Well, T-Bats is an expert at chewing up continuity, so I guess he knows his shizzle about county fairs.
    He only gets melancholy about them because every year he tries to ring the bell at that Test Your Strength booth, and every year the marker only goes up to “Wussy” when he swings that big-ass mallet.

  22. Spacemanspiff85

    @Gerard Plourde:
    I’d be shocked if he wasn’t referring to comic book continuity.

  23. I won’t really understand this scene until Les and Funky describe it to each other over pizza and coffee. I mean—all this sound and fury—does it signify something?

  24. @billytheskink Who the hell are Susan Smith and Matt Miller?

  25. Epicus Doomus

    hitorque: Susan was one of Les’ students who developed an obsession with him (no, seriously). She tried suicide at least once but Les GOT HER TO A HOSPITAL in time. She became a teacher at WHS and tried to reel him in before he married Cayla but after a cell phone video of her throwing herself at Les emerged he sneeringly bansihed her from WHS and the strip and she hasn’t been seen since. I believe Matt was her abusive boyfriend from Act II.

  26. 1966tvbatman

    Let’s not forget the tell tale red cheeks and forehead. Batty’s building up to something. And could Bull and Linda be an uglier couple?

  27. ComicTrek

    To be fair, Les was an alright-looking guy back in Act II, before TB made him all creepy.

  28. spacemanspiff85

    @ComicTrek:
    I went back and read some of the strips from Act II. Les is actually kind of tolerable and likeable then, and I think most of the reason is just how he’s drawn.