I’ll confess, this week I have felt really baffled by this strip, pretty much left without much to say. But today’s thing is the cherry on top. Bull’s reaction that he had a “tell” shows him much more alarmed than the knowledge that his deterioration is right on track. Remember: his football career (and thus the period where his “tell” would be an issue) is at least thirty years gone, but his death is right around the corner. I figured the wry smirks he’s been handing out would be much more appropriate here, but what do I know? Not a whole lot, it turns out!
I’m really hoping today’s episode closes this, um, “story.” For a strip which seems to pride itself on being inexplicable, dull and uninvolving, this week has reached a nadir (or perhaps a summit) in each field. It’s like watching toast get cold. Yep, that toast is not even warm anymore. Close to room temperature, I think. No one wants to eat it now.
I think that should be the Funky Winkerbean slogan: “No one wants to eat it now.”
25 responses to “Do Tell”
Har har har. BatNap’s weird love/hate (or more accurately, like/mild disdain) relationship with football just never stops being inconsistent and baffling. These dumb sportos completely revere and treasure the very thing that’s responsible for ruining them, sort of like Boy Lisa with comic books, Jessica with Boy Lisa and Batom’s futile pursuit of sweet, sweet Pulitzer gold. The week ends on a strange note, with a straight-up no-CTE football gag, the very same kind of gag he seemingly put to rest forever when he killed Bull.
The weirdest thing about this one is how upset Buck appears to be upon hearing about his football “tell” (that’s called “insider lingo”, kids) after being so matter-of-fact and folksy regarding his imminent senility and death all week. It’s called “priorities”, people. Buck is just another FW character who peaked in high school and has been slowly circling the grave ever since. Sigh.
On the subject of priorities, I think we’ve learned a couple that go into BatHack’s Big Book of “It’s Called Writing.” We know that two of his most cherished principles are “milk it till it’s dry,” making stories about nothing that go on and on and on and on, and “tell don’t show,” having every plot-advancing incident happen off-camera and be described by one character to another. But have you ever wondered which is higher priority? Wonder no more, for this strip answers the question. Battocks could have easily spun this story for two or three weeks, in which Linda finds the game films, sits down to watch them, maybe wipes away a tear, and then notices… something. She puts one tape away in a special place until Cinderblock Head randomly drops in to whine about his CTE. She, in a creepy re-enactment of Bull’s last days, sits with him to watch game films, and then (after two or three days of small talk about his liquefying brain) casually mentions, “did you ever notice how you always…” Zing! Revenge? Or just more of the random cruelty that defines Worstview? Doesn’t matter, it would be a proper wrap-up to a story of some length, getting Battocks that much closer to his golden t-square. But… it would require him to actually show something happening, and that is apparently an absolute prohibition.
I am waaaay over-thinking this…
Yeah, Cluck, you had a tell, and t was discovered by an undercover agent from the Scapegoats. Yes, someone from the dorkiest high school in history uncovered your secret! Talk about pathetic!
Why would Bull keep a random scouting report from his playing days? I’d buy it as something you might find in a coach’s old files, but this is silly.
Also silly that Linda would read it past the subject line.
I call bull on this, no one in the Batiukverse grins. They smirk, frown, or try to keep their mouth from sliding off their face using weird expressions that occasionally come across as a facsimile of a smile. But grin, no.
This is in stark contrast to the “no tell” policy in the back room at Komix Corner.
If Westview had this kind of in-depth scouting, and BWT had such an obvious tell, then why did Westview lose again?
“Hey Cinderblock Head, know how you always whined about your football career fizzling in high school? How you could have been a star if a big time college had taken a chance on you? You always wondered why you failed as a player – oh, unless you were playing my husband’s terrible team. I really didn’t want to show this to you, but you’ve been such a huge, throbbing dick to Bull and now to me, I would like you to get a whiff of this scouting report. Suck on that a while, grinny boy.
All I took away from this is that Batiuk has found himself a new sporto to torment. It’s why he’s looking more and more like Bull each day. Soon, we won’t be able to tell the difference.
Buck looks more like Jeb “Terry Schiavo” Bush.
Evidently, drawing characters consistently is harrrrrrrrrrd. I mean, we already know writing is harrrrrrrrrrrrrd.
Cayla is THE prime example of inconsistent drawing. She became a totally different person, but we know that was to calm down Batty’s Yokie Headed Ohioan fans who couldn’t accept Les cavorting around with someone THAT black.
Buck is practically a whole different person now, come to think of it. He was a big, hulking guy with a giant square head. We’ve been calling him Cinderblock Head. Now he’s about six to eight inches shorter, and looks like your run of the mill Kindly Senior Citizen. Almost like he could be Dinkleberry’s brother.
Clearly, Ayrhead is as lazy as Batyuck. No wonder they’re such a tight pair.
And that tightness carries over to their glorious butt sex. Seriously. K-Y, crowbar, and discodiscodisco on the stereo. Hi-o silver, awaaaaay!
A tell? Seriously? Football is not Texas Hold’Em! I have never once heard of a real football player having a “tell.” Not even in the obsessive NFL Draft scouting reports you can find on the Internet, and everything John Madden’s ever said.
More importantly: what is this story even trying to be?
Batiuk seems to be implying that Buck would have become a pro football star if his game didn’t have a huge, idiotic, never-discovered flaw. First of all, that’s just stupid. College or professional scouts would view it as correctable, and not a reason to pass on a player who is otherwise good enough. Second, we know that football is killing Buck, so why is it a problem that he didn’t get to play it MORE? Third, as BC said, why is this given more weight than the fact he’s about to die horribly?
It seems to be going for an editorial on the excessive importance of football in society. But that doesn’t work when its victims can do nothing but smirk at their own impending death.
Too bad he writes this crap so far in advance. He should be doing an arc about the coronavirus. It gives him the perfect opportunity to kill off even more characters.
“Tommy, my sweet love, what’s this ‘tell’ you’re writing about today? I don’t understand.”
“Chucky, my big Love Bear, it’s a term bully jocks and sportos use to describe how sportos telegraph their next move. When the other sportos know what’s coming, they can prepare.”
“Darling lover Tommy, is that a bad thing? I’ve prepared for YOUR next move by stocking up on K-Y. Thank GOD nobody else is hoarding that! Oh, the store was out of TP again.”
“Blast! Oh… Chuckykins… You have a little marinara sauce in your big bushy lip beard. Let me get that for you. There. No, a ‘tell’ is bad because sportos like to surprise each other. The ‘tell’ takes away the surprise.”
“Spot on, beautiful Thomas! We certainly enjoy surprising each other, keeping our torrid, sweaty romance fresh. Oh, dear me, I think I have a ‘tell’ too! Let me just undo my trousers…”
“Oh, do tell, my big, handsome bear! DO TELL!”
Amazing how they could recognize a grin even when a player was wearing his required mouthpiece. Or is this another of those mysterious Ohio high school rules, like “players in mascot costumes do not need to wear helmets”?
Correct, just like the Ohio rule that says mascots are eligible receivers in the first place.
This is the rule that says “You can play football without a helmet.”
Funky Winkerbean snark is good, clean Christian fun. And Batty is fair game for snarking too because, well, he’s a prissy little pinhead about everything. And yeah, I can be a real obnoxious jerk when engaged in this activity. Guilty!
But you won’t find me applauding real-life childhood bullying.
One of our fellow snarkers — let’s just call him Mister J — said this on the CK forum today:
“If you really didn’t know by now why he richly deserved all the swirlies he got at the hands of all those jocks – oops, “sportos” – back in the day, this should do it.”
Well, then. The message from “Mister J” appears to be that there are times when childhood bullying is justifiable. (No pun intended.) Sometimes, it’s “deserved,” it seems.
That’s pretty messed up, my man. I get it that Batty and his comic strip annoy the bejeezus out of you, but what did Young Child Batty ever do to you? What exactly did he do to “deserve” bullying?
I ask all this only because the individual who wrote this has a long history of delivering lengthy, hands-on-hips, self-righteous lectures to those who have sinned against the gods of political correctness. And now this person APPEARS to be excusing bullying against a child. The hypocrisy is… is… overwhelming. In fact, I’m feeling a bit faint under the weight of the irony. I think I’ll need to have a lie-down…….. Excuse me…
I will amplify Epicus’ reply below: 2Xscoobysnack, please keep Comics Kingdom business over at Comics Kingdom. And I’d appreciate it if you’d dial back the Batiuk and Ayers slash fiction in your comments on this site. The SoSF banhammer is rarely used but still works.
I will do so. You are an ultra-good dood and you have my respect. Message received and understood, sir!
Thank you, DSSS, I appreciate it as well!
I’ll confess, this week I have felt really baffled by this strip, pretty much left without much to say.
You and me both. I really think that sometimes Batiuk comes up with a premise that would justify focusing on something else, something that he wants to write about but doesn’t have an adequate hook, and he frequently forgets the original premise. For instance…
For all the smirks, smiles and jokes, this week was supposed to be about Buck coming over to Linda’s house to tell her that he was going to die. In that context, literally not one strip makes any sense at all from a human perspective.
Please keep CK comments and beefs on the CK site. Thank you in advance.