Mail Day Part Five…The Readening

Link To Today’s Strip

And so we wait, wait and wait some more. Will Linda actually open the fateful letter? If so, will she read it too? Will there be dialog? And if so, will it be stupid, very stupid or extremely stupid? Tune in at midnight to find out!

Update: Ugh. She did successfully open the letter, however now she’s reading it line by line, as Batiuk desperately tries to stretch out the suspense…in a story arc he deliberately ruined during a puff-piece interview. Once again, nice going there, blabbermouth. The disdain he normally has for his readers is morphing into contempt now. After she finally (hopefully) gets to the meat of the matter tomorrow, BatBlab will have successfully used a full six days on opening one letter, thereby proving that our mockery of his weird mail fixation was in fact based on reality and wasn’t just mean-spirited snark.



Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

42 responses to “Mail Day Part Five…The Readening

  1. All I get is a yellow triangle with an exclamation point…wow, this is the best Funky Winkerbean ever! So I’m guessing there are car crashes, special effects and attractive teens? WOW!

    • Epicus Doomus

      Like the infamous black panel when Cell Phone Girl crashed into Funky’s car after he turned down the vodka and orange after he dropped Morton off at Bedside Manor. That triangle just speaks volumes by doing nothing at all.

  2. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Duuuhhhren just called. He told Poodlehead to work her OWN side of the street.

  3. billytheskink

    If it was Bull…

  4. billytheskink

    Who applied to the disability plan…

  5. billytheskink

    Why did the NFL send a letter to Linda?

    • William Thompson

      She probably filed it for him. Or Bathack forgot that Bull filed it, when he wasn’t outlining this arc. Your guess is better than Batiuk’s.

    • Epicus Doomus

      Yeah, why DID they address the letter to Linda? Perhaps that’s why it was rejected.

      “Hey Fred, you have a former player named Linda Lopez Bushka in the system?”

      “Um let’s see…there’s a Bull, but no Linda Lopez.”

      “This application says Linda Lopez. That’s a weird name for a guy, don’t you think? Oh well. Rejected. Probably some kind of scam attempt or something.”

      • comicbookharriet

        Yeah, interesting that we missed all the drama from Linda applying to be either legal guardian, power or attorney, or healthcare proxy, depending on how incapacitated they deemed Bull to be.

  6. William Thompson

    “I see you quiver with antici . . . .

    “READ IT!”

    ” . . . pation!”

  7. fudgeripple82


  8. fudgeripple82


  9. Epicus Doomus

    LOL you guys just legit cracked me up, well done. This. Batiuk. Guy. Is. A. Real. Hack. And. A. Half.

  10. William Thompson

    A single-page letter without any accompanying forms or advice? I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that, by Tuesday, we’ll be able to guess the application was turned down colder than an idea abandoned on Batiuk’s doorstep during a blizzard.

  11. Epicus Doomus

    Dear Mr. Batiuk,
    Your application for a lifetime achievement award has been rejected. While you may have indeed spent a lifetime on FW, we see no evidence of achievement. Please feel free to re-apply in fifty years. Thank you.

  12. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    Jeez, Evelyn Wood she ain’t.

  13. Paul Jones

    1) Since Batiuk is Batiuk, the inevitable denial of coverage to someone who had never actually played for the NFL will be seen as proof that Football is an evil that chews men up and heartlessly leaves them to die.

    2) I have the horrible suspicion that Bull will commit suicide in hopes that his insurance will help his family because he doesn’t know that they don’t pay if you stiff yourself.

  14. erdmann

    Recent application? Hasn’t this been going on for a couple years now? Did Bull wait until a week ago Tuesday to seek help?

    Linda: Ok, sure. Maybe letting Bull take responsibility for filing his own application wasn’t the best idea, what with his deteriorating mental condition and all. But in my defense, I’ve been horribly busy with slow motion mail opening and devoting six hours each and every day to making fun of Bull behind his back with my boyfriend Buck. So, how’s about cutting me some damn slack, already?

  15. Banana Jr. 6000

    Ideas to improve Saturday’s strip:

    – The phone rings. Linda puts the letter down wordlessly and walks off-panel.
    – Due to the stress of repeated washings, Linda’s clothes fall off.
    – The letter continues “…enclosed is your husband’s replacement brain. It’s a temporary, so don’t think too hard with it.”
    – The letter continues “…your husband has been traded to Ed Crankshaft’s bowling team in exchange for Lena.”
    – The letter continues “…have you tried the National Hockey League? Honestly, you’d have a better chance.”
    – The letter continues “…just kidding! It’s me, Buck. God, you should have seen the look on your face. Priceless! Dinner next Friday?”

    And finally, the plot twist that could redeem this whole arc:

    – The letter continues “…the death benefit is payable to you in full, provided your husband dies before September 29, 2019.” The next week is devoted to Linda and Buck setting up Home Alone-style traps. Bull dies when his old football helmet hits him in the head. The September 29th strip of a policeman bringing the helmet to Linda is actually Linda being arrested for murder.

    Seriously, read that strip again and tell that explanation isn’t a better match for the visuals.

  16. Rusty Shackleford

    Does the NFL even provide benefits like this to the players or are they expected to purchase insurance using their large paychecks?

    But still, wouldn’t Bull just go on disability anyways? Where I work, we don’t have the lavish benefit plans that teachers get, but we still have disability insurance. One of my colleagues was just approved as he has stomach cancer.

    But Batty just has to find a way to blame the evil NFL.

    • Scott J Lovrine

      I Grandpa Googled “NFL Supplemental Disability Plan” this morning to see if it actually exists. It does. Most of the Google hits involve court cases.

      This is an interesting article about one case involving someone who played for nine years, instead of just going to training camp.

      Here are a few highlights for those who don’t have time (or care) to read it:

      “The Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan and NFL Disability Plans are notoriously difficult for a NFL player to collect benefits under from the NFL. Further discouraging is that rarely are the cases filed by NFL players denied disability benefits under these Plans won in court.”

      “As the district court explained, the NFL Plan promises to provide disability benefits to retired players like Jesse Solomon who become totally and permanently disabled as a result of their football career and thus become unable to work. There are extensive administrative procedures and steps that are required to be followed by retired NFL players to pursue these benefits. In Jesse Solomon’s case, he began the process to apply for disability benefits under the NFL Plan in March 2009. But the NFL Plan denied Jesse Solomon’s application and he went through multiple levels of required administrative appeal in front of various Committees and the Board representing the NFL Plan. Finally, two and a half years later (in August 2011), the NFL Plan agreed that Solomon was totally and permanently disabled, but determined that he was not totally and permanently disabled within 15 years of his retirement and thus only paid him Inactive level benefits which was only a fraction of the money promised to Jesse Solomon Under the NFL Plan. Thus, Solomon filed a third appeal to the NFL Plan, but was again denied.”

      “Notably, during this two and a half year span, Jesse Solomon was found totally disabled by a Social Security Administration Administrative Law Judge “because [his] impairment or combination of impairments [was] so severe that [he could not] perform any work existing in significant numbers in the national economy.” The Social Security Administration determined that his disability began within 15 years of his retirement, yet still, the NFL Plan refused to pay Solomon the full disability benefits due him under the NFL Plan.

      In March 2016, seven years after Jesse Solomon had begun the process of seeking the disability benefits that he was entitled to under the NFL Plan, the federal district court ordered that the NFL Plan pay him the full amount of disability benefits due. The Court determined that the NFL Plan was not permitted to ignore the decision of the Social Security Administration which determined that Jesse Solomon was totally and permanently disabled as a result of his football career within 15 years of his retirement, nor was it permitted to ignore the clear terms of the NFL Plan.”

      So I can guess we’re lucky this storyline doesn’t go on for seven years.of Linda reading letters involving court decisions.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Thanks Scott for the research.

        I guess we are still left wondering if Bull played enough to qualify, and, why they would pay when his current employer provides benefits.

        • Jim in Wisc.

          IIRC, he was signed as an undrafted free agent, and was then cut during training camp. He may have gotten in for some downs during pre-season games … it was never made clear when exactly he was cut, but it was before the regular season started. Therefore he has zero NFL career, since the league only counts regular seasons games played (technically dressed for as a member of the active roster) as part of a player’s career length, and thus wouldn’t qualify for benefits of any kind from the league.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Does the NFL even provide benefits like this to the players or are they expected to purchase insurance using their large paychecks?

      It’s complicated. Basically, the NFL lost a lawsuit over CTE, and has to pay benefits to former players as part of a settlement. But the keague is not doing that forthrightly. Look up George Andrie on for a real-life example. And he played several years, so his eligibility isn’t in question, unlike Bull’s.

  17. Who Wants Eggs!!??!!

    Doesn’t she have an email account? In reality, this definitely would have been addressed online.

    Everything is so stuck in the past with this guy!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      In Westview there is no email, or telephones. You either write a letter or you just drop in unannounced and knock on the door. ( No doorbells either).

      Also, any home office space must be attached to the garage in some way.

  18. William Thompson

    Today’s strip is where the story should have started. Linda gets the bad news; Bull sees her and asks what’s wrong; looks puzzled when she tells him everything is fine; later overhears her discussing the dire financial situation with Buck Futt; Bull then does the noble self-sacrifice schtick–

    Crap. A story about CTE should involve the symptoms of CTE. It should start when Bull hits Linda, see the results while Linda tries to comfort him, realizes he’s become a danger to his wife, then kills himself in remorse and despair. But, well, Bathack.

  19. Gerard Plourde

    So the spokesperson for his distributor claims TomBa did a lot of research for this arc. He apparently never applied any thought to what he found out.

    I mean the NFL’s response to the CTE issue has been less than adequate, but there’s no reason why they should compensate someone who never played for a professional team.

    Also, I’m wondering what actual financial burdens the Bushkas are facing that could trigger a crisis. At the time he was diagnosed, Bull was probably eligible for his full retirement benefits. Linda also apparently qualified. Bull hasn’t exhibited symptoms that require a home healthcare aide and he’s not in any kind of facility. (I won’t bother to factor in Jinx, since she should be out of college by now and, aside from her brief appearance at Bull’s retirement, she’s been relegated to nonexistence.)

    The real tragedy of CTE is the daily burden of pain and the increasing lack of emotional control that the individual experiences. It’s this ongoing agony that has driven so many to suicide before dementia progresses. We are seeing none of that reality in Bull’s behavior in this arc.

  20. Count of Tower Grove

    I hear Todd after reading Epic Doomus’ commentary: “‘puff-piece interview?’ It’s THE NEW YORK TIMES!!!!!!!”

  21. What irks me the most about this storyline is that it won’t end with Bull’s death. Around Thanksgivings, after all the glowing tributes to Bull’s life from people who never visited him while he was alive end, the NFL (in this story) will revisit their decision and decide that Bull was qualified after all. However since he is now dead, Linda is entitled to annuity and all will be well in Westview again.

  22. William Thompson

    Today’s SoSF headline shows Bull in, I suppose, anger. How does that work with Bull’s CTE? Does he ask Linda about the letter, get a bad-joke reply, and storm out in tears because she was mean to him? All in the space of a few days?

  23. Perfect Tommy

    Dear NFL. My husband,Bull Bushka, who’s my husband, hurt his head during his one day tryout. Please send money. Sincerely, Linda Bushka. Bull Bushka’s wife.

  24. Professor Fate

    “We regret we can not enter you husband into the disability plan. However we are please to offer you two preseason tickets at a special discount…”

  25. Eldon of Galt

    This plodding letter-reading is like the great Bob and Ray routine where someone tries to interview a representative of The…Slow…Talkers…of…America.
    Except that Bob and Ray were successfully doing a comedy routine, and not trying to build suspense or whatever the hell it is that Batiuk thinks he’s doing here.