And As I Logged Off The Chat It Occurred To Me, This Tale Is All About Me, It’s All About Poor Poor Me*

Link To Today’s Strip

* I like to finish what I start.

As usual, BatYam’s big mega-prestige arc so far has mostly consisted of a bunch of sad gags and time-killing tropes that sort of loosely circle around the premise in a wishy-washy orbit that kind of dulls the impact of the big emotional sledgehammer moment. And I really hate to drive this point into the ground yet again but to be honest, debilitating brain disorders in the Funkyverse quite frankly don’t seem all that bad. Like with Mort Winkerbean’s hilarious and nutty Alzheimer’s, the main CTE symptoms in the Funkyverse seem to consist of various zany blunders, goofy mishaps and a general sense of harmless bungling idiocy. Just speaking for myself here, but I’d have been thrilled if my dementia-stricken loved one had ordered a pizza, much less organized an entire pizza-delivery contest. Unfortunately though, she had the real kind.

One also has to wonder why Linda bothered joining a support group at all. She can’t accept support nor does she offer any, thus the whole thing seems kind of pointless. Again, we haven’t been given any indication as to why everyone, including his kids, has totally abandoned Bull, just that Linda is desperate and all alone. Like I just said above, the premise just sort of hangs there in this nebulous sad gag-filled haze. It honestly just makes Linda seem sort of hapless and whiny, which I don’t think he was going for here.

49 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

49 responses to “And As I Logged Off The Chat It Occurred To Me, This Tale Is All About Me, It’s All About Poor Poor Me*

  1. spacemanspiff85

    You know, I kind of have a feeling these behaviors are what Bull was always going to do after he retired, even without the CTE. Sitting around all day watching old games and trying to do household chores seems exactly like what Batiuk thinks a retired sporto would do all day. It’s like he just slapped CTE on it and thinks it’s instant award material now.

  2. billytheskink

    5 pizza places within driving distance of the Bushka house? That’s even more poorly researched than the CTE part of this arc…

    • Epicus Doomus

      Seriously, this is impossible. Not that there couldn’t be five pizza places in driving distance, here in NJ I’m within WALKING distance of three, but that Montoni’s could continue to exist with that much competition. No f*cking way.

      • William Thompson

        There could be a way, if the competition is measurably worse than Montoni’s, as in “a measurably higher rate of food poisoning.”

      • Double Sided Scooby Snack

        I believe it. Ever watched a Cleveland sporting event on TV? I’ve never seen so many fat pigs! Must be on an all-pizza diet, with a pizza joint on every block. Could probably get 20 pizza joints within delivery distance.

    • The Nelson Puppet

      I bet Montoni’s finished the competition in LAST PLACE!

      • Perfect Tommy

        Unfortunately, neither Wally, Adeela nor Buddy the Wonder Dog could figure out the Nav system.

      • Count of Tower Grove

        That’s because the Montoni’s driver got in a head on with an old fart in a truck wearing and old football helmet.

  3. ComicTrek

    I get that this is supposed to make us feel sorry for Linda. And it’s not that we don’t. But like other posters have said, this isn’t ONLY about Linda. Why not show things from Bull’s perspective? The only time we’d seen him alone during all of this, he was rage-driving and throwing things around. Nothing to be said about his own inner turmoil during all of this.

    Even so, what’s the use? He’s just going to kill himself, and then TB will be all done with the whole thing until Bull’s ghost, or his ashes, or a Bull’s Legacy run, whichever comes first, needs to make an appearance. He’s a former school-bully-turned-football-coach, so apparently he doesn’t even matter as a person to The Bat.

    • I stand by my forecast that the story will handle the topic with the deftness of Inspector Clouseau, unaware that he’s swallowed the horse tranquilizer, stomping about Charles-Philipe-Louis Desuetude’s Irreplaceable Antiques Boutiquery, while he’s wearing roller skates and somehow has his hands trapped inside cans of potted meat.

      But.

      I can see where presenting the story like this makes sense.

      Like, keeping tight focus on Linda, and setting the story like it’s about how hard it is living with a high-needs person. That’s a good story start, especially because every feeling you have as caretaker is complicated. To have it then be interrupted by a suicide she has no reason to see coming?

      I mean, that’s brutal, but it’s a good story event. A person’s suicide can be something which those around the person just do not see coming, even if afterwards they realize the trail was there. (This is the case with two people whom I’ve known who killed themselves.) Going over your memories of the lead-up, and realizing that everything had a different meaning than you thought it had at the time? That really shakes your sense that you ever know what’s going on. And especially for the primary caretaker, to realize that you were looking at all these things and not seeing where they lead?

      Again, I don’t expect the story to be as good as it could be. But I can see where this would be the first week of a particularly shocking and effective story.

      • William Thompson

        The problem is it would require Batiuk to realize that his characters are jerks. (I can believe the part about nobody seeing the warning signs, because that’s what happened with me last year. And it still takes a major effort to deal with the two relatives who lectured me on how thoughtless I’d been. What do they want, blood?)

      • William Thompson

        To add to your argument, Batiuk has been unfair to the readers by not showing us the clues that point to suicide. We need to be able to say to these characters, later, “How did you ignorant peckerwoods miss it?” But the lack of clues is right in line with Batiuk’s tell-don’t-show lack of style.

      • louder

        That would be a great way to present Bull’s story, but I wonder at this stage of his life if Mr. Batiuk is capable of even thinking in those terms — we’ll see.

        One “amusing” side of this is that Crankshaft must have been born with CTE, because he has the same behavior, and no one blinks an eye. No suicide there!

      • Professor Fate

        Brilliant Take on the Author’s storytelling.

  4. Charles

    And that’s it, everybody!

    Wednesday’s strip where Bull asks Linda where the car keys are was his last appearance in this strip! Any future appearances with Bull will be in flashback sequences, or dream sequences, or, I have to admit while cringing, in an absurd number of someone watching of video recordings of Bull’s thoughts while waiting for his impending death sequences. He will never be shown alive again.

    It’s unbelievable, really. Batiuk devotes ten weeks to a “suicide” arc where the first week is Bull’s friend comes over and talks to Linda and then walks Bull to the high school football stadium. Then we have nine weeks of Linda reading letters, using her computer and mostly feeling sorry for herself. This is an ANTI-comic strip. It is a complete deconstruction of a narrative.

    • William Thompson

      And we’ve seen nothing to suggest Bull is now on the verge of suicide. He doesn’t avoid company. He isn’t giving away beloved possessions. He isn’t concerned about his, I suppose, declining mental state. He doesn’t resent needing more and more (if any) help to get through the day. If Batiuk hadn’t given away the “suicide” schtick, there would be no way to know it’s coming.

      We haven’t even seen Bull write a suicide note. But I suppose Linda will find one, and it will be down to Batiuk’s usual writing standards. A week spent with her finding and reading it, another week of her telling Buck nothing about it, and eventually a week of somebody reading it aloud at Bull’s roast, er, memorial service. And a week of Creepy Les getting inspired to write a book about Bull’s life.

      • Charles

        Seriously. As terrible as the sequence was, Batiuk showed Susan behaving in a way consistent with a person who had decided to commit suicide. So he CAN do it, even inadvertently and in an otherwise terrible sequence. This… is just sheer awfulness. It’s as if Bull doesn’t even matter.

  5. William Thompson

    Linda? You’re isolated because you’re a whiny asshole.

  6. AmigoLupus

    I don’t think Linda’s using the word competitive right in that example…

    • William Thompson

      Bull bet heavily on who would deliver the fastest, picked the last-place guy, and lost a million zillion dementia dollars to himself.

  7. This is Batiuk writ large. Whore for those awards, baby, and don’t look back! Look at those shiny awards!

  8. louder

    I cannot believe how truly terrible this whole arch is. Any editor who allows this to be presented to the public as “raising awareness of CTE” should by fired on the spot.

  9. Smirks ‘R Us

    This is ridiculous. Bull has CTE, therefore suicide. No context, just Linda wallowing in self pity.

    I know this is a repetitive comment from me, but just when you think this garbage can’t get any worse BatHack says “ hold my beer”.

  10. Epicus Doomus

    IMO this is as predictable as the sunrise. Bull will overhear or read something re: Linda’s inability to “support” him and decide to end it all as an altruistic act meant to spare her any future misery. Bank on it.

  11. Paul Jones

    I have the horrible feeling that Batiuk might not actually know what the word suicide actually means. He might take it to mean any instance wherein a person dies as the result of his own actions and finds the “deliberate intent” part negotiable. If Bull fishes the keys out of Linda’s purse (because she forgot to hide HER set of keys), gets into the car and drives himself into a wall because he forgot that they put a building somewhere, he’ll be dead as the result of his own actions but it won’t be suicide. It’d be as if he were a sleepwalker who died falling off of a balcony.

    • Double Sided Scooby Snack

      But at least BatWit will have finally found a good use for all those bricks he doodles in loving detail.

  12. Paul Jones

    Also, it seems to me that the reason that no one is helping out is that Linda is too stupid to actually ask for assistance. I’m reminded of the stroke arc in FOOB wherein they pretty much had to force Jim’s second wife to accept help. The idiots assume everything is fine because she’d rather mope and feel martyred than do something about her problems. Asking for help makes her look weak and she hates the idea so……….

    • William Thompson

      I have a relative who’s like that. When his wife was diagnosed with SLE, he refused all offers of help for her because he wanted to tough it out, FFS! That was several years ago, and I haven’t heard anything about him coming to his senses. His wife is still doing well, but I think that’s despite him.

      • Paul Jones

        Yeah. It was despite Iris too. WE knew that Jim was still lucid but unable to say anything but BOXCAR!!!

        Her…..not so much. Y’see, the male doctor said there was a fifty-fifty chance he was still there under the aphasia so she took that to mean that Jim’s IQ was PU…..while dismissing sight-unseen what the female speech therapist said because misogyny and trivializing women isn’t just for Patterson MEN. (Elly encouraged this belief because it made her feel better and also because she didn’t want the old goat to start in on how she was raising her children wrong all over again.)

  13. Count of Tower Grove

    I know what happens: Bull drives around town to see how the competing pizzerias are doing and gets in a fatal accident.

  14. Gerard Plourde

    Given TomBa’s most recent examples with Butter Brinkel and Ruby Lith, I’m wondering how he can make this storyline last ten weeks. Assuming we’re in week three and that Sunday is Bull’s exit, what will carry the arc? Are we going to be treated to seven weeks of “tell, don’t show” with single “flashback” panels?

    • William Thompson

      I’m guessing single events stretched out over a week: Linda finds and reads a suicide note. Linda talks around it with Buck Futt. Interment versus cremation? Another week. Creepy Les reminds everyone how he, too, has been bereaved most tragically and how he heroically overcame it all on his own.

  15. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    “Linda! Linda! While you were chatrooming in the dark the past three hours, Bullo found your keys, went on a wild drive through town, led police on a high speed chase, and drove off a cliff!”

    “Hmmff. Guess I can delete my account now. Those people were NO help at all. You hungry? I’ve got five pizzas.”

  16. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    By the way… Anybody else having trouble getting to the Comics Kingdom discussion forum? The old “Disqus won’t load” routine. Don’t tell me You Know Who shut down comments at this hilarious time in FW history.

  17. Double Sided Scooby Snack

    Eventually… any week now… Bullo croaks. (YaY!) At some point, Goatee Boy sits alone on his Lisa Cancer Bench and, right on cue, along comes Dead Saint Lisa. And Bull. Hand in hand! Wh-wh-WHAAAAAAAT!?

    “LISA?? What the everlovin’ fuck???”

    “Oh, Spanky! You know I could never resist a big, strong football man. Frankie was my real true love, but I was doing Bull our entire senior year. I was really happy when Masky brought him to my room. Right, Bull?”

    “Durr hurr hurr hurr…”

    “Anywayz, we can’t stay, but have a great day, Spanky!”

    “Me gib him wedgie?”

    “Oh, Bull! You are INCORRIGIBLE! Teeheehee…”

  18. William Thompson

    Linda, you Bestview witch,* look at everyone else on the group and their problems, and see if you can give even one of them some helpful advice. You and Batty would both be astounded at how that makes you feel better, even if it does violate this strip’s Prime Directive.

    * So I’m reposting something I just said on CK, and not bothering to change the moderation-proof wording. I’m not going to kill myself over it.

  19. Professor Fate

    One assumes that Linda’s response to Bull’s suicide will be “everything happens to me.”