I Guess You’re Just What I Needled

It’s been posited here and elsewhere that the supposed 10-year time gap between events in Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft means that CS is set in the present, and FW takes place a decade from now…a decade in which medical science has found a way to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy before death. It’s the only way to explain how Bull and Buck are aware of their condition, as well as the existence of such a weirdly specific online support group such as “Former Football Players with CTE” (“Oh, you played hockey? That’s another group.”) Meanwhile, Westview High School is courting controversy by replacing the Stars and Stripes with a “Blue Lives Matter” flag.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “I Guess You’re Just What I Needled

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Preview of Wednesday’s Strip
    Panel 1-
    Les: Yeah, Bill has a cold or whatever, big deal.
    Panel 2-
    Les: Have I ever told you about my wife? Lisa? Who had cancer? And died?
    Panel 3-
    Linda (places her hand on Les’s arm): You poor, gentle, literary man. I’ve decided to retire immediately, so I can tend to all of your needs.

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Hahaha, Les is made obsolete by an internet group of jocks. If only Lisa had had one of those when she got sick.

    • comicbookharriet

      She did. It was called SportoFriendFinder.com. She used that internet group of jocks any time Les was away for teachers’ or writers’ conferences.

  3. Epicus Doomus

    “If there’s anything I can do…except helping you get over it, of course (chuckle) because, well, you know…”

    Needlepoint? Linda’s retirement dreams involve needlepoint? Just when I thought it wasn’t possible for Linda to get any more boring Batom once again proves me wrong.

    Coming in 2021: The Bedside Bullies begin to win after Bull puts Morty in at quarterback.

  4. billytheskink

    You had TWO YEARS to do “anything” you insincere tool.

    • Epicus Doomus

      And it’s not like he’s running into her at the supermarket after not having seen her for a while, they work together, every day. Every time there’s a Lisa fun run or charity comic book art auction all of Westview turns out to remember her but when one of Les’ “friends” falls ill it takes him over two years to even ask about him. What a dick. And WTF is up with all the aqua today?

      And good old Linda, doing her best to match Dick Facey blow for blow with her unique brand of sardonic sad-sackery. You can see the strong Les Moore influence there in panel three, as that’s Les’ famous “no one knows my pain” Act III face to a tee. And her focus on herself as opposed to Bull’s well-being is a nice touch too. The human toll left in the wake of Bull’s football past might make more of an impact if Linda would occasionally act like one instead of hogging the spotlight with her baleful pained wisecracks and dreary self-centered demeanor all the time. If misery loves company Linda should be at the center of an unruly mob.

      • Charles

        The human toll left in the wake of Bull’s football past might make more of an impact if Linda would occasionally act like one instead of hogging the spotlight with her baleful pained wisecracks and dreary self-centered demeanor all the time.

        I took a course in physiological psychology way back when, and on the first day of class, the professor showed us a video that documented the last ten years of a woman’s life with Alzheimer’s. The thing I remember most readily about it was how terrible I felt for her husband. And it was because he never specifically talked about his wife’s suffering in terms of how it affected him. He had no self-pity. He didn’t mention the toll it was having on him. He didn’t have to, because it was obvious how devastated he was and how devastating his wife’s condition was.

        And I was going to say that Batiuk can’t accomplish this sort of drama, despite his obvious desperation to do so because he only has Linda talking about Bull’s condition, but then I realized that to even have that work, we have to give a shit about Linda.

        My apathy toward her and her plight is palpable. There’s more to making a character sympathetic than just giving them or one of their family members a disability.

  5. ComicTrek

    Les needs a support group to get him to buy pants that actually fit him properly.

  6. Paul Jones

    Right now, Batiuk is probably kicking himself for not killing Bull off years ago so Les and Linda can be weary sad-sacks whose response to drowning men is to ask for a drink of water together.

  7. Buckeye Feculence

    You live in Westview, Linda. You should know that miserable circumstances will intervene to block any serenity you may have hoped for.

  8. Miskatonic Sophomore

    “If there’s anything I can do for you, Linda…anything in the way of milking your tragic circumstances for glory and profit…writing a book, organizing an annual charity event…you just let me know. Anything. Really.”

  9. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “I’m actually getting some help from an online support group for former football players with CTE.”

    “Oh, that’s interesting. What’s it called?

    “Let’s see… sonofstuckfunky.com.”

  10. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “I was going to join a needlepoint group so I could knit a long, skinny toupee for my weird bald spot. Now I’ll have to just color it in with a Sharpie.”

    “No worries. Just join a needlepoint group after Bullo dies. What’s he got, a year? Two? Don’t worry – He’ll be out of your weird, kinky, parted-with-a-weedwhacker hair in no time!”

  11. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “Bull’s care has to be really weighing on you, Linda… If there’s anything I can do…”

    “Not really. This is a great opportunity for me to feel sorry for myself, so I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth. Okay, how about if you furrow your oversized brow in the last panel to show your Great Concern.”

  12. Jimmy

    Is it just me, or is Les hitting on the boring lady?

  13. Cabbage Jack

    The only flaw in that posit about CS and FW locations in time is that it implies Batty thought it through, and we all know that’s just not how he rolls.

  14. Merry Pookster

    Did Les even attend the Sports Banquet in a show of support for his “friend” and coworker?
    Nah…. didn’t think so.

  15. The Dreamer

    what do you want to bet that replacing Linda in the fall as Westview’s new math teacher and girls basketball coach….will be none other than by now college WNBA washout Summer Moore!

  16. The Dreamer

    So Linda retires at the end of the year, making way in the fall for the return of Summer Moore to Westview as the new math teacher and girls basketball coach…bet on it