Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

We left yesterday an hour in the past and now today’s strip hops back to the present and then… back a week?! I dunno about CTE, but this kind of rapid time travel is enough to give you whiplash.

Isn’t this Dr. Jowls, the North Carolina neurologist? Bull and Linda were in North Carolina last week? Why is the nearest neurologist in North Carolina anyways? Bull got pretty much the exact same lines from the apparently northern Ohio-based Dr. Fivehead 3 whole years ago.

Some doctor this guy is, he’s all probable diagnosis and no treatment, and his probable diagnosis does not appear to have done a darn thing for Linda’s quest for disability benefits. Is… is that really the only reason she took him to this doctor in the first place?

38 Comments

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38 responses to “Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

  1. spacemanspiff85

    Please please please let this be another insanely unrealistic medical paper mixup again, like what happened with Lisa. I can totally see “actually Bull doesn’t have CTE at all, he’s just dumb” being something Batiuk would find hilarious.

    • ComicTrek

      This is reminiscent of the single-panel strip when Lisa’s doctor told her and her husband that she had only months left.
      It really seems like Batom planned this whole thing out to mirror Lisa’s Story once sports-related CTE began hitting the airwaves.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    BatBlab is the worst storyteller who’s ever lived. I’ve seen dogs tell better stories after getting caught going through the garbage. This flashback gimmick he’s using is the biggest load of shit since that truck full of cowflop overturned on the Turnpike. Starting the story with more bad medical news would have been an ideal place to, you know, start the story, but BatYap had to spend a week on (sigh) opening mail (and in retrospect, what was it that she hoped the NFL would do for her?) instead. Now he’s boinging around between plot points, trying to be clever with the timeline and failing miserably.

    Like every other FW arc the whole thing just creates more questions than it’ll ever answer. What did Linda think the NFL would do? Why would Bull still have access to a car? Did Buck’s visit take place before or after this doctor appointment? If Linda had already received an updated prognosis why was so confused by his increasing weirdness? See what I mean? Everything contradicts everything else.

    • spacemanspiff85

      Your average commercial tells a better story than Batiuk. I don’t even mean the fancy Super Bowl ones. I mean the “our cheeseburgers are on sale this week, come buy one” has more drama and character development than Batiuk produces.

  3. billytheskink

    Linda and Bull could have saved a lot of money and probably gotten better treatment had they not mistaken Henry Kissinger for a neurologist.

  4. It’s a testament to Batiuk’s storytelling ability that I remember none of the strips BtS linked.

    • William Thompson

      They’re also a testament to Batiuk’s refusal to show the symptoms of CTE.

    • Charles

      I remember Doctor Jowls because I remember how appalling it was that he found Bull putting cream cheese in the soap drawer to be funny.

  5. By the way, I’ve never seen police/EMT/towing vehicles parked the way they are in panel one, so that they’re blocking all lanes of traffic. The only reason they’d do that would be if something containing toxic material had been punctured–

    Oh wait, it’s Westview, of course something containing toxic material has been punctured. Let’s hope it’s Les.

  6. William Thompson

    “I’m afraid I have bad news for you. Your name is Lisa Moore.”

  7. William Thompson

    Is this jumbled-up style supposed to make us feel we have CTE? Is it supposed to make us feel the rage and confusion of a CTE victim? Is it supposed to make us doubt our abilities to remember the past and think straight? Or is it just Batiuk’s usual ham-handed inability to tell a story?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Never rule out pure stupidity and incompetence when evaluating this strip.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Is this jumbled-up style supposed to make us feel the rage and confusion of a CTE victim?

      Well, if it is, it’s working.

  8. 7dials

    Absolutely nothing about all these time jumps explains why Linda was cooking meatloaf in the middle of the night. It’s barely October, Tom, it doesn’t get dark all that early. Are we quite sure Bull is the one with the neurological problems?!

  9. AmigoLupus

    What the hell is this garbage? You can’t start a flashback from the last page and then have another flashback on top of it. Plus us seeing Bull find the keys? This visit to the doctor? It add absolutely NOTHING to the story. We’ve all inferred this happened so why even include this padding to this already glacial story?

    • Professor Fate

      “You can’t start a flashback from the last page and then have another flashback on top of it.”
      Well yes you can – but it’s confusing and stupid and makes no sense and is usually seen in really bad films like Mesa of Lost Women were someone came in after the project had been abandoned for a year and slaps some footage together to link what is already in the can. I admit I’ve never seen it used in a comic strip before.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      The two panels of Bull getting his keys was the entire flashback. Then they returned to present to look at the crash site for one panel. Then the second flashback started.

      It’s like Will Ferrell’s “first question in a new line of questioning” bit from the second Austin Powers movie. Complete with someone falling down a hill and dying painfully.

  10. William Thompson

    A month ago? And it took Bull this long to kill himself? When are we going to see what made Bull decide to kill himself now? Or will tomorrow’s entry be “Forty years ago” when we see high-school Bull look at Young Les and say “I’d rather die than end up like that mindless lump of quivering worm-meat!”?

  11. ian'sdrunkenbeard

  12. Paul Jones

    Of course, the real problem with this messy and incoherent convolution is that it makes Linda look even less involved and more self-pitying than she already is. It’s like watching Les on the verge of pissing himself and running away when Lisa took her turn at theatrically killing herself all over again.

  13. Montoni’s Gave Me Food Poisoning

    Hold on. Bull was killed and his car completely destroyed by a ten-foot drop?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      And, it flipped over!

    • TB has no sense of everyday physics, doesn’t he? If the car was going fast enough to break through the barrier, it wouldn’t be at the very bottom of the cliff. It would be some distance away (pick a number) because it freakin’ FLEW off that cliff. Gravity is a cruel mistress, but Newton’s laws always win.

      • William Thompson

        Maybe the car hit a brick wall that’s just outside the frame, bounced back, and fainted at the thought of damaging one of Batiuk’s beloved brick walls. There’s no telling with a man who prefers Fig Newtons to Sir Isaac Newton.

  14. Gerard Plourde

    Today’s installment contains a trifecta of the issues connected with TomBa’s storytelling.
    Working backwards from panel 3: A “tell, don’t show that discloses nothing about Bull’s condition. Wouldn’t a couple of strips showing Bull exhibiting the symptoms associated with CTE be better? And why does he insist on using the flashback gimmick? Finally, he depicts a crash that seems unlikely to produce a fatality.

  15. The only way the wreck would happen as depicted would be if Bull shot into the air and immediately collided with a low-flying UFO, which then used its robot arm to mangle the hell out of the car.

    • 7dials

      But that would be both funny and awesome, and thus would never happen in an instalment of Funky Winkerbean.

  16. Count of Tower Grove

    . . . Bull’s brain has turned to inedible pulp. . .

  17. Professor Fate

    Sigh…now we’re told Bull has gotten worse, something nobody said earlier for example while he was doing the wash. And again this makes one ask what the hell was Linda doing just hiding the car keys? If Bull was getting worse you needed to do something more than keep the keys in a junk drawer and lie to Bull about them (while whining to your support group). Wouldn’t you at least have told square head when he came over to visit? (Or did you think that would spoil the mood).
    And the less one thinks about the letter from the NFL the better
    Still the Instant Linda found the keys and the car missing she should have been on the horn to the police. Not only for Bull’s sake but for everybody one the road.
    and one does wonder how far back these flash backs will go “It’s a boy Mrs. Bushka. It’s a boy…”?
    One stray thought it is just possible the there was some editorial input here? as in “Tom this story doesn’t make any sense like this? Why would Bull kill himself?” and Tom’s reply was “Oh – okay let met put some flashbacks in, that’ll explain everything.”

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s absurd. Linda hears that Bull is deteriorating, then she acts baffled by his behavior? Was she even listening?

  18. Banana Jr. 6000

    Dr. Jowls here reminds me of this early Family Guy character:

  19. The Dreamer

    What if the swerve is that is Linda who drove off the cliff in a suicide Leaving Bull to move in with Les and Cayoa as his new caretakers. Because Les needs more things to be depressed about as FW’s central character