Disabled Airbags

Link to today’s strip.

Yeah, I see a couple of airbags here that would benefit from being disabled.

Another example of how Batiuk’s method of drawing a year ahead of time (including the word blimps), but waiting until the last minute to write the dialogue results in a clunky product.  Why bother mentioning that the cop was a former player?  What does that have to do with anything–unless Linda is implying that this officer’s loyalty to Bull made him fudge the police report, so that A) Linda could be spared the “embarrassment” of her husband being a suicide or B) to help her with some insurance fraud.  Neither one sounds terribly noble.  In fact, they sound kind of criminal.  It also means there’s a possibility this could become interesting–RED ALERT, TAMP DOWN ALL EXPECTATIONS.

If it’s just there to take up blimp space, well, that’s okay then.  Another example, as if another was needed, that the author just doesn’t give a damn about any of this, puff pieces in the New York Times notwithstanding.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

42 responses to “Disabled Airbags

  1. William Thompson

    I haven’t seen a mystery to rival this spine-tingler since the last time I read “Slylock Fox.”

  2. spacemanspiff85

    Linda just keeps that thing on the shelf? Did she clean the blood off, or did the police? Why is she keeping that? This is pretty sick and morbid, even by Batiuk’s standards.

    • Epicus Doomus

      It’s totally f*cking warped, isn’t it? How did that conversation go?

      “Sorry about Bull, Mrs. Bushka. Listen, between you and me, the airbags on Bull’s car were intentionally disabled so this looks like a suicide to me. But don’t worry, I left that out of my report so there won’t be any long depressing investigation or anything. Oh, and he was wearing this when he died.”

      “His old helmet! I was wondering where this went! And why he was suddenly tinkering with the car out of nowhere too. Oh well. Thanks a bunch, Jarod.”

      It’s totally preposterous and a scenario only BatHack could dream up. It’s just so wrong on so many levels. Every time he kills a character he just loses all touch with reality. Linda putting the death helmet back on Bull’s football memory shelf is just the sick icing on Batiuk’s demented cake.

      • gleeb

        Of course, old Jarod “Parker” Posey. He’d have enough loyalty to Bull for pulling him out of smoking in the bathroom to falsify official records.

        • William Thompson

          It sounds more like something Owen the Idiot would do. Remember, he once scored a touchdown for Westview, and he probably thanked Bull for making him a hero. Maybe Owen and Jarod both became state troopers and Jarod agreed to stay silent about the evidence-tampering and perjury

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And what’s the motivation for the cover-up? HIGH SCHOOL! Because high school drives everything in this crapsack town. I’ve been on the police force for years, but I’d better risk my career by falsifying evidence, so my old high school coach doesn’t look like a suicide! Because I know what’s best for him and his family!

        And if coach Bushka wielded such influence, why were there so few people at his funeral?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Alas, poor Bull; I know him, Les. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…

    • Count of Tower Grove

      As you know, high school memories, pizza and komix are trumps in the Fungyverse.

  3. William Thompson

    “I’m telling you all these horrible things, Les, to give you another chance to make fun of Bull.”

  4. Batgirl

    What size was Bull’s head? That looks like a kid’s helmet.

  5. William Thompson

    How did that cop know the airbags had been deliberately disabled? The car was a wreck and on its back, which would have made it impossible for him to inspect the crumpled-up engine compartment. And wouldn’t the coroner have noticed that Bull’s head survived the impact undamaged? So who else was involved in this fraud? And what will the conspirators do when they realize that Creepy Les has ferreted out the truth?

    • Perfect Tommy

      Looks like “The Bleat” staff has a huge scoop on their hands. Too bad the state fair story has to get buried.

  6. Epicus Doomus

    Does Batiuk even bother re-reading this garbage after he plops it into his word balloons? Correct me if I’m wrong here, but Linda appears to be saying that after the OSP trooper informed her of Bull’s death, he then confessed to tampering with the crash scene and falsifying his report, apparently because Bull used to coach him, which somehow made it OK. And Linda, who actually keeps Bull’s death helmet on display in Bull’s football memory den, didn’t think any of this was strange, atypical or out of the ordinary in any way? Man, these people are a bunch of f*cking weirdos if you ask me.

    Coming next week: already deeply conflicted about being complicit in Linda’s diabolical insurance fraud scheme, Les blanches when Linda begs him to drop a copy of “The Trilogy” on her foot so she can claim disability benefits. Linda calls her OSP friend/co-conspirator and asks him to “persuade” Les to keep his mouth shut and do as he’s told.

  7. billytheskink

    So… the cease-and-desist from the Ohio State Police for implying that they don’t truthfully fill out accident reports is coming soon, right?

    Really, why would anyone involved, especially the State Police, want any of this to get left out of an official accident report? What does anyone gain by keeping the intentionality of Bull’s death a secret? Here’s yet another instance in which TB uses a character’s ridiculously abnormal actions to move the narrative without thinking about why the character might act that way.

    Maybe the State Police are on the take from the NFL and the Bidwell family to cover up Bull’s suicide. I mean, that’s tremendously asinine, but its at least a coherently explainable motivation.

    • Epicus Doomus

      “Ridiculously abnormal” is being way too kind. Ponder this for a minute: the trooper is covering up Bull’s suicide and Linda is going along with the plan…in an arc devoted to “CTE/suicide awareness”. They’re engaged in a conspiracy to disguise the very thing the arc itself is about! It’s mind-bending. I wonder if BatYap even realizes he unwittingly entered Linda into a criminal conspiracy?

      • comicbookharriet

        The lesson of Tom Batiuk’s CTE arc, “Suicide is deeply shameful, you should probably lie about it.”

  8. ComicTrek

    Oh, come on! Besides all that other stuff, how could Bull possibly have fit his giant meat head into that thing? Teens aren’t exactly small, but they’re still kids, so most of them do continue to grow and develop even after high school. At least physically.

    • William Thompson

      Maybe, when he’s alone and nobody can see him, Batiuk puts on a helmet he took from a middle-school sporto and admires himself in the bathroom mirror. It still fits him so he doesn’t need to do any research, much less realize that what he drew looks too small for Linda or Les.

  9. Banana Jr. 6000

    Let’s say, for whatever reason, the police did want to cover up a suicide, and falsified the police report. THEY WOULD NOT THEN HAND-DELIVER THE PROOF TO THE WIDOW! Especially not very minute they’re informing the widow of the death!

    Is this some kind of Drowning Mona situation where the whole town wanted Bull Bushka dead for some reason? Linda lets him fix the car, which he can somehow do despite having CTE; the cop takes one look at the body and does the old “head in ditch” joke, and everybody just looks the other way? All because he was their high school football coach?

    And she’s going to confide this secret to Les Moore, a guy who can’t take a dump at Toxic Taco without writing a tell-all book about it?

    This whole town needs a lobotomy, to diaconnect it from what seems to be a central hive mind of stupid. They just DO things for reasons that make no sense.

  10. Paul Jones

    Well, understanding the law is not something we should have expected of Batiuk. It doesn’t matter if the state trooper was one of Bull’s former players. He is not allowed to help Linda commit insurance fraud just because he feels sorry for her nor is the coroner obliged to hide evidence from the insurance company for the same reason.

  11. ian'sdrunkenbeard

    “That’s not the only thing the police left out of the official report.”

    “What else was there?”

    “Bull had spray painted ‘GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD’ and ‘HELL OR BUST’ on the sides of the car.”

  12. Gerard Plourde

    If memory serves, there were two troopers in the car that discovered the wreck. Also, I think that the EMTs and the tow truck were on the scene when the trooper actually got down to the car. That means at least five Co-conspirators for the false report. But given that it was a fatal accident, a trained accident investigator probably also has to be involved.

  13. sgtsaunders

    Smells like insurance fraud.

  14. I’m starting to think insurance fraud isn’t on the table, because who exactly would Linda sue? The car manufacturer, for defective airbags? The city, for defective guardrails? The school, for having such attractive helmets? The reader, for thinking this whole story is garbage?

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Linda could be trying to collect life insurance on Bull. A lot of times they don’t pay for suicides, so there would be an incentive to cover that up.

      Though that phone call is damning as hell. Why would Linda call Bull”s cell phone when she should not have known he was out of the house?

  15. louder

    The State Troopers were Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney, tow truck driver Jonathan Winters, Sid Caesar & Milton Berle were just hanging around. Bull said it was buried under “a BIG W!”

    • CRM114

      @louder. It is refreshing after reading this strip to realize there IS comedy available and not just BattyCrap.

      • Batiuk and Comedy haven’t been on speaking terms for some time now.

        • billytheskink

          TB: My CTE story arc is out there now, got ink in the New York Times, but I haven’t heard anything from the Pulitzer committee. That’s funny…

          Us: Probably because they haven’t heard anything from you that’s funny.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      All the thumbs-up for the It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World reference.

  16. Rusty Shackleford

    I lost someone close to me to suicide. I can assure you the police are not so casual about these things. A single car accident for no apparent reason is sure to get a lot of police investigation, not to mention the insurance company investigation. Linda would be asked a lot of questions as the police try to understand what happened….especially since there was no suicide note found.

    • And especially since they’ve established that the airbags were tampered with, and there’s no reason to exclude the possibility that it was Linda who actually tampered with the airbags (nobody but Linda “witnessed” Bull working on the car, right?), then purposely did a poor job of hiding the keys, and then left Bull alone for a long period of time while she worked on her meatloaf. Yeah, I think there should be lots of questions.

  17. William Thompson

    Why bother to disable the airbag? It would have gone off when the car hit the railing, then deflated rapidly. That’s how they work. By the time the car hit bottom, the airbag would have been useless and Bull could have died from the impact. Air bags are one-shot affairs.

  18. Chester the Dog

    Why do they jiggle when they walk down the stairs?

  19. Professor Fate

    ‘Forget it Jake, it’s Westview.”
    Lord a goshen so many many many problems with this arc, as noted above.
    And oh yes, how does a someone with CTE who is shown as being so scattered/addled by the condition that he obsessively does laundry or stares at videos all day or rages about nothing, To imagine that person plotting his suicide is absurd (at best). One could imagine him in a rage impulsively shooting himself but planning? Bull?
    And oh yes nice shaming suicide survivors there.

  20. Banana Jr. 6000

    Another example of how Batiuk’s method of drawing a year ahead of time (including the word blimps), but waiting until the last minute to write the dialogue results in a clunky product.

    I never knew that. But by gum, it explains soooo much.

    It explains why the visuals and the story are constantly at odds with each other. The word zeppelins are telling you things that aren’t happening, and visuals that seem to contain important story points are ignored. It explains why Funky Winkerbean is a conflicting jumble of tones, characters, ideas, and story points.

    It’s like bad improv, where one actor is doing their own thing instead of trying to build the story.

  21. This is what happens when you underestimate the intelligence of your audience. TB thought he’d be applauded for a story on CTE (no matter how wrong he’d get it). He couldn’t have conceived of the idea that his storyline is now about insurance fraud and a possible murder trial for Linda since she had means, opportunity and motive. Just another well thought out storyline.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      That’s really what the story should be about! Linda’s behavior is so many kinds of suspicious. And the police are now covering up the suicide? Why?

      Like with the Brinkel arc, there’s bits and pieces of an interesting story here, but Batiuk has no interest in telling it.

  22. The Dreamer

    This is set up for a new murder mystery book by Les. Rememmber Les’s first book was his expose on the murder of John Darling. Was Bull’s death a murder, a suicide or just an accident? Its setting up Les’s new book