Buck Stops Here

Happy Labor Day, kids, and a hearty thank you to billytheskink for helming these last couple weeks!

God damn you, Tom Batiuk.

Three weeks of buildup to the Coming Alumni Band Reunion, two of those spent in the car with Funky, Holly, and her awful mom. Then a week of “practice” which takes place entirely off-camera. Followed by yesterday’s mawkish, verbose, and seemingly out of sequence Sunday strip, and then…do we at long last get to chuckle at the spectacle of an elderly, oxygen-huffing marching band? We do not. We get nothing, we lose, good day, sir!

And of all the dangling plot threads to pick up, TB decides to trot out Buck Bedlow, showing up as he always does, unannounced, at the Bushka residence. Buck, you’ll recall, showed up a year ago, to facilitate Bull’s rehabilitation from bullying, belligerent gridiron failure to enfeebled, doddering legend. The two erstwhile rivals reenacted their gridiron glories on Bull’s lawn. After they viewed Dinkle’s video demonstrating that Bull did indeed get the ball over the goal line on the last play of his last game, Buck presented Bull with a framed, fake sports page touting Westview’s “win.” This was followed by a trip to snow-covered Scapegoat Field to dig up a piece of turf from the end zone.

Bull’s wife Linda seemed to appreciate the visits, but probably thought she’d seen the last of Buck that night he revealed that he was in the same state of mental decline as her husband. But Buck was back a couple weeks later. And now that football season’s underway and the leaves are falling (hurtling, actually, judging by panel 1), here he is again. Linda doesn’t even attempt to hide her disdain.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

30 responses to “Buck Stops Here

  1. DOlz

    TB should ask himself Linda’s question every time he has a story idea.

  2. And here come the damned falling leaves …

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It was near 90 today and humid. Kids are still swimming in the community pool. Fall is nowhere to be found.

  3. Rusty Shackleford

    Hank Hill is back. Maybe the alumni band is playing the halftime show?

    • countoftowergrove

      Hey man, dang ol’ dang ol’ Todd Bottock man, dang ol’ stealin’ dang ol’ Bill Dautrive’s Billdozer storyline, tell you what!

  4. spacemanspiff85

    Um, why would Bull want to see his record broken? Does Westview only have one running back?
    Also, Batiuk needs to print out that last panel and read it to himself after he writes every strip, because I don’t see how his work can ever seem like a good idea, even to him.

  5. The Nelson Puppet

    Linda: Channel your inner John Lennon. “That was a period when Paul just kept turning up at our door with a guitar. I would let him in, but finally I said to him, ‘Please call before you come over. It’s not 1956, and turning up at the door isn’t the same anymore. You know, just give me a ring.’ He was upset by that, but I didn’t mean it badly. I just meant that I was taking care of a baby all day, and some guy turns up at the door.”

  6. countoftowergrove

    The Scapegoat running back will step into the divot that Bull and Buck dug up last year.

  7. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    For the love of our sweet Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, does anybody in this comic strip ever call, text, or email?? Do they always show up at your door unannounced? Is it 1947 in Batty’s pointy little bald head??

    Nice to see Cinder Block Head again. He seems to have gotten over his CTE rather nicely. To us Beady Eyed Nitpickers, it would seem he’s there to spread misery to Bullsquat and Les’s work wife. But we’re too stupid to realize the Bucker is wise and knows this is something Bull would love to see.

    So how’d you all like the came-and-went Band Alumni Reunion??

  8. billytheskink

    Why wouldn’t Bull want to go to the game? Why hasn’t he been going to games ever since he retired?

    He’s a legend as both player and coach at Westview. They named the stadium after him. Even as his record is broken, folks would talk about him in reverence. The fact that it is his record being broken gives them all the more reason to talk, reminisce, and venerate.

    Is it “too hard” for Bull to go to games now that he can no longer coach them? Is he bitter about being forced to retire? Say these things! Show these things! Bull is apparently a shut-in because he was the first living person to be diagnosed with CTE… but WHY that causes him to be a shut-in is NEVER illustrated.

    Heck, this is only the second season since Bull retired, if this running back is close to breaking Bull’s career varsity rushing record then he is probably an upperclassman that Bull coached and ought to feel invested in his success. Or maybe not… because Bull’s rushing record is not at all an impressive number as he played on perennially awful teams.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Shut-in is putting it mildly. I get the feeling that basement door locks from the outside, and the only time Bull ever gets out is when Buck comes over, since apparently literally none of his actual friends and coworkers have visited him once.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Call it “Dinkle-itis”. There was ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to give Bull a brain disease but he just couldn’t resist the temptation to be “timely”, thus from here on out every single football-centric arc requires a contrivance (like this Buck asshole). He could have just left Bull alone but nope, he had to do that maudlin, mawkish retirement arc and here we are. I don’t understand why he can’t still go to Scapegoat games either, as he doesn’t seem any more addle-brained than he did before. I mean Lisa still attends Les’ book signings and she’s been dead for eleven years.

  9. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “I dunno. Da kid might have an accident before da game and den he don’t break Bull’s record, capiche?”

  10. The irritating thing about watching this become Pulled It Directly Out Of My Ass Theatre is that he seems to care far more about Ed Crankshaft. Granted, that greater interest is having a reluctant town council make a man whose idiocy and negligence leave them swimming in red ink a parade marshal because he was in the minor leagues once but it’s better than the apathy we see here.

    • Amy K

      Oh. I forgot about Ed being a pro ballplayer.
      I thought the mayor gave Ed this honor because Ed forgot to cast the deciding vote against him in the election.

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    Crankshaft: of course the city picked Ed to be the Grand Marshall, other cities would ask first, but not in a Batty strip.


  12. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Unseen fourth panel — a naked Bullsquat pushes past Mexican Cayla and runs outside.

    “Hi, Bull! Where’s he going?”

    “Bull is trying to figure out if rocks are edible. Leave him alone. I had just gotten him settled down for a bath and a nap when you came over. Look, Buck, we’ve talked about this before. Can you please call first before showing up at the door? It’s not always a good time to just drop by. It’s just common courtesy.”

    “High school football!”

    “Okay. Good bye, Buck. Bull, come back inside.”

  13. Rusty

    A return to simpler times, when aging adults voluntarily attended high school football games when none of their own children were directly involved.

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      Batty once thought that was true of high school girls ladies women’s basketball, and it NEVER was.

  14. Don

    Wait, don’t tell me, let me guess; the RB breaks the record, Bull leaves, and then the RB loses five yards (putting him back behind Bull’s total) and gets a season-ending injury…left there by a member of the Alumni Band after its halftime performance (did you really think that storyline is over?)

  15. Epicus Doomus

    Good ol’ Linda, always a beam of sunshine. In a town overflowing with wry cynicism she has a whole retention pond full of it to spare.

  16. Jimmy

    Even the trees in Westview have cancer.

  17. I have to say that I like this strip. Les ain’t in it.

  18. Hitorque

    Okay, Hank Hill’s high school glory obsession is creeping me right the fuck out… Doesn’t he have a goddamn job or a life of his own??

  19. Amy K

    How did Bull set the school rushing record, when he was constantly getting pummeled because he was telegraphing every play?