Was not expecting today’s strip to be a standalone gag, but I guess we should be grateful for some respite from Bull’s swan song. And it’s been a while since my high school band days, but we didn’t start practicing Christmas music until football season was almost over. Speaking of football, we’ll get back to Bull’s plight on Monday; the good news is that your guide will be Epicus Doomus!
Author Archives: TFHackett
The two old sportos go for a walk. Buck’s comment about Bull having lost weight is a rare bit of naturalistic small talk, and also aligns with reality: persons with dementia can lose their appetite of their interest in eating. In panel 2, Buck seems surprised that their steps have brought the pair to “the scene of the crime,” the high school football field that now bears Bull’s name (and that of “A&L Automotive“). Has he brought them here on purpose, or is his own mental decline finally kicking in? The upcoming Sunday strip that accompanied the NYT article suggests that Bull’s suicide will take place outside his home. If Bull chooses to end it all on the football field, this amounts to some grim foreshadowing.
Linda, you heartless, Brillo-headed bruja. Bull’s mood swings are part and parcel of his illness. and not anything that he can control. I’m sure it’s no picnic having to deal with him, but at long last, have you left no compassion for your poor husband? Hiding the car keys was a dick move, but can be seen as being motivated by safety concerns. Suggesting that Bull’s moodiness is intentional, and doing so with that smirk, is just so fucking tone deaf.
September 9, 2019 at 12:13 am
Buck is still the only person who visits Bull. Les has completely abandoned his old tennis partner, and the man who personally rehabbed his daughters traumatic knee injury. Wish I was surprised.
I know that she’s a retired teacher, but not even a tweed-jacketed, pipe-clenching Ivy League professor would drop a phrase like “keep a weather eye” into normal conversation. TB finally gets around to reminding non-readers of SoSF, and himself as well, that Buck was (somehow) diagnosed with CTE shortly after Bull was. But while Buck has yet to manifest any of the symptoms we’ve seen in Bull, he is apparently crippled by survivor’s remorse.
I want to thank the commenters who’ve shared their very personal stories about cognitive dysfunction and depression. It looks like Batiuk has once again drawn a response from his readers by addressing another thought-provoking and sensitive topic…and getting just about everything wrong.
The North Carolina reference in today’s strip led me to Grandpa Google: I read about a study, being conducted by UNC, of 2,500 former NFL players, investigating “the potential long-term neurological effects from concussions.” Maybe Bull’s “cup of coffee* with the [St. Louis] Cards” qualifies him for such a study, but the majority of his “repeated concussions” had to have taken place during his high school and college playing career. One could hardly fault the NFL for refusing to pay for his care.
* “A ‘cup of coffee’ is a North American sports idiom for a short time spent by a minor league player at the major league level. The idea behind the term is that the player was only in the big leagues long enough to have a cup of coffee before being returned to the minors. The term originated in baseball and is extensively used in ice hockey, both of whose professional leagues (MLB and the NHL) utilize extensive farm systems; it is rarely used in basketball or American football since neither the NBA nor NFL have implemented a true farm system.” —Grandma Wikipedia
While harmless for the person repeating the word or action, this behavior can be troublesome or stressful for those caring for the person with dementia. Fortunately, there are some ways to distract the person and break the repetitive action.
- Provide plenty of reassurance and comfort, both in words and in touch.
- Try distracting the person with a snack or activity.
- Avoid reminding them that they just asked the same question.
- Try ignoring the behavior or question and distract the person into an activity.
- Don’t discuss plans with a confused person until immediately prior to an event.
…or do what Linda Bushka does: stand back and let ’em have at it! Bull’s torturous decline continues, and apparently the only support that Linda seeks is for herself, online. And what’s Buck got to smirk knowingly about? He shared with Linda that he’d (impossibly) been diagnosed with CTE himself, shortly after Bull was. He still appears hale and hearty, while Bull has been reduced to a mindless laundry addict.