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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The FOOBiverse!'s LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
1:46 am
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Since Connie and Elly seem to labor under the misapprehension that being a disaffected teen stopped happening when they stopped being teenagers, Dirk's lack of willingness to open up to screaming nitwits like them confounds them.

(Strip Number 4931, Original Publication Date, 24 February 1988)

Panel 1: As Dirk walks home, Connie wants to have Elly join her in wallowing in terror and disappointment and so on when beholding the frightful spectre that is Molly's new love: a ridiculous idiot teenager who probably grew up to sell insurance and hope that we grow our own Cheeto Hitler.

Panel 2: Since both dingbats have totally forgotten that the way they dressed drove their folks straight up the wall like they hoped would happen, Connie makes a glib comment about how he's not an escaped mental patient but merely making a statement.

Panel 3: When Elly asks what that statement is, Connie professes ignorance.

Panel 4: Reason: he only grunts to adults.

Summary: It always bothers me that zombified nitwits like the Pattersons and Connie chirp witlessly about how the living, seething Hell of adolescence is the Best Time Of Your Life, SNOWFLAKE! despite their own youths being rather shitty. Dirk responds to self-satisfied ignorance and willful blindness with the contempt it deserves.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
1:43 am
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Lawrence makes the rather obvious point that Dirk's chief selling point is that he drives that daydreaming nincompoop Connie even battier than she normally is.

(Strip Number 4930, Original Publication Date, 23 February 1988)

Panel 1: As she and Dirk part company in the foreground, Mike says that Molly's new fellow is weird-looking. Lawrence says that she's into weird.

Panel 2: When Mike talks about the boy in Thunder Bay she was pining away for, Lawrence tells him that he's history.

Panel 3: When he asks if their mom likes Dirk, Lawrence tells Mike "No way."

Panel 4: He then comes to the rather obvious conclusion that Connie's fear and hatred of Dirk is why Molly dates him.

Summary: While I remind myself that the cast of Special Victims Unit would also probably hate him, it's time for a different variety of inept parenting. We switch from Elly's malign neglect to Connie's presumptuous and reckless ignorance.
Monday, February 20th, 2017
1:41 am
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Adult Rock Musician Dirk Dagger makes the scene when Lawrence is forced to make a stupid comment about the bullshit story Molly tells Connie about how he 'helps' with homework.

(Strip Number 4929, Original Publication Date, 22 February 1988)

Panel 1: We find Mike and Lawrence playing road hockey like the average Canadian kids they are.

Panel 2: Suddenly, Mike notices that Molly is walking by and she's accompanied by a man in his forties and asks Lawrence who he is.

Panel 3: Lawrence explains that this is the new guy Molly has been hanging out with. He then says that she says that he helps out with homework.

Panel 4: The funny thing about that is that they never seem to do anything at home.

Summary: Good old Lynn. She tries to make a high school senior look like a 'dangerous renegade' and she ends up making people think about statutory rape.
Sunday, February 19th, 2017
1:39 am
Monday, 20 February 2017
We end the arc with Lynn yowling idiotically about the minor physical discomfort involved with having to take an active interest in what your kids do.

(Strip Number 4928, Original Publication Date, 20 February 1988)

Panel 1: As practice wraps up, we find Elly reminding herself that she spends five hours of her life at the Eastgate Arena.

Panel 2: She knows every change room, every exit and every loose board in the bleachers.

Panel 3: She then sets up the weak punchline by saying that we hockey parents are a dedicated breed that can be identified at a glance.

Panel 4: As she and the rest blow their noses and compensate for sore rumps, she bids goodbye to a woman named Fran.

Summary: A normal person would wonder what the point is because being a parent means having to deal with crap like this. Lynn's kind of people join her in screaming about how cruel and entitled their kids are for exposing them to cold stands with hard seats and also hateful fungus people like Paul J of Saint John, New Brunswick who point out that warmer clothing and cushions exist.
Saturday, February 18th, 2017
1:35 am
Sunday, 19 February 2017
We remind ourselves of the real reason that Elly doesn't like being at any sort of sporting venue when John and the kids are forced to take turns compensating for her lack of any sort of aptitude at skating.

(Strip Number 7255, Original Publication Date, 21 February 1988)

Panel 1: We find the family driving up to the local skating rink for a pleasant day skating.

Panel 2: As they walk to the arena, Michael takes point.

Panel 3: The family laces up their skates.

Panel 4: Since Lizzie took off her jacket and mitts, Elly puts her mittens back on for her.

Panel 5: She then zips up her jacket.

Panel 6: The family takes to the ice.

Panel 7: A little while later, an out of breath Mike tells John that if he'd mind taking his turn holding 'her' up since he and the other person holding the first person up are tired.

Panel 8: An astonished John is astonished because instead of Mike and Elly holding up an unsteady Lizzie like he'd probably expected, Michael and Lizzie are holding up a terrified Elly.

Summary: We can expect babbling and shrieking about evil family members who enjoy something that she sucks at again and how if they loved her, they'd agree to give up something they like so she won't feel as if she's a hindrance.
Friday, February 17th, 2017
1:38 am
Saturday, 18 February 2017
We end the week on another Friday strip that has Elly criticize Lizzie for only wanting to eat because she's bored only to turn around and fill a dull hour watching Mike warm the bench with food.

(Strip Number 1257, Original Publication Date, 19 February 1988)

Panel 1: When Lizzie asks for a hot dog, Elly reminds her that she just ate.

Panel 2: She then tells Lizzie that she's just eating because she's bored and that's a bad habit to get into. Lizzie meekly says "Oh" in response.

Panel 3: She then asks Elly what she does when there's nothin'else to do.

Panel 4: She gets her answer because we find Elly in the canteen buying two hot dogs and asking the woman behind the counter to throw on the works.

Summary: Between eating out of boredom and gorging herself on leftovers, it's not much of a stretch to call Elly a cautionary example as regards bad eating habits.
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
1:36 am
Friday, 17 February 2017
Elly makes a big, noisy fool of herself so Lynn can make a big, stupid (and hypocritical) point about unsupportive parents like....oh, say....herself!!!

(Strip Number 4927, Original Publication Date, 18 February 1988)

Panel 1: Now that we're at the rink, we find Elly and Lizzie in the stands. Elly is loudly exhorting the boys to skate.

Panel 2: She then yells Go, TEAM, GO!!!! as loudly as possible.

Panel 3: One of Mike's teammates (probably Darryl Smythe) points out the loud woman and asks Mike if that's his mom up there being loud. Mike says that it is.

Panel 4: Mike tells Darryl that his mom says that she's makin'up for all the parents who don't come.

Summary: We can probably expect a bunch of hypocritical noise about her wanting to be there for her kids but something came up but HEY, kids are RESILIENT!!
Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
1:33 am
Thursday, 16 February 2017
We begin an arc about minor hockey when we're reminded that Mike is not very good at remembering where he leaves his equipment.

(Strip Number 6048, Original Publication Date, 17 February 1988)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly try to get Mike ready for hockey practice by asking him if he remembers where his gloves, skates and helmet are.

Panel 2: His reaction is the usual Aw, MAAAAAAAAA!!!!! thing about how she shouldn't nag him all the time.

Panel 3: He knows exactly what he needs to bring so she shouldn't ride him like he's an idiot.

Panel 4: He then proves that he is an idiot she has to nag all the time because he can't remember where any of it is.

Summary: What we have here is another example of Mike being hopelessly dependent on Elly because it's easier that way. Ah, well. He can remember where his hockey stuff is now because Deanna hauled away all that silly stuff to the landfill least Poopy Pants get any ideas about getting hurt or something.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
1:29 am
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
We end the blizzard arc with Mike making a bad pun about insurance when he tries to explain away the loaner Elly got as part of her coverage.

(Strip Number 1256, Original Publication Date, 16 February 1988)

Panel 1: Having noticed the new car in the driveway, an impressed Lizzie asks Mike where it came from. He tells her that they're renting it.

Panel 2: He then says that Mom and Dad pay a company to wait for them to have an accident and when they do, he THINKS that they have this thing that sort of says that they can use this car until the one they have is fixed....he guesses.

Panel 3: Since Lynn loves terrible wordplay and doesn't trust insurance companies, Mike tells her that it's called unsurance.

Summary: We get another reminder of Lynn's distrust of insurance people when Velocity Boy nails John's joywagon.....and when she goes nuts because we don't have flood insurance in this country.
Monday, February 13th, 2017
1:27 am
Valentines' Day 2017
John only seems to realize that Elly's being without a car is a problem when he risks having to have his children somehow child his car to bits or some stupid bloody thing.

(Strip Number 6047, Original Publication Date, 15 February 1988)

Panel 1: Now that they're home from the garage, we find an angst-ridden Elly telling John that the situation they're in is serious because she cannot function without wheels.

Panel 2: She tells him that she does not know how she's supposed to get Lizzie to her swim class before reminding him that Tuesday and Thursday are hockey practice, Mike has computer club on Friday and Lizzie skates on the weekend.

Panel 3: She alarms him by suggesting that they can cram their stuff into the Penismobile and HE can drive them.

Panel 4: Since John sees his children as two sets of grasping hands that break his stuff, he gets all goggle-eyed and finally agrees that the situation is serious.

Summary: We get to revisit John's aversion to doing stuff with his kids if it requires sacrifice on his part for most of the rest of the strip. We get to revisit this punchline when Elly is horrified by the idea of her adult children moving back in a year and a half from now.
Sunday, February 12th, 2017
1:23 am
Monday, 13 February 2017: John Patterson Is WRONG
Lynn is clearly trying to cast John as a chauvinistic creepola preaching the evil gospel of Woman As Unfit Driver when he says that the accident was actually not her fault but the way she set it up makes it look as if he's trying to spare her feelings instead.

(Strip Number 6046, Original Publication Date, 13 February 1988)

Panel 1: We find ourselves at Daly's Garage watching Elly freak out and tell everyone to look at her car.

Panel 2: Ray Daly tells Elly that the snow plow got a couple last night before telling her that they'll get'er all fixed up for her.

Panel 3: Elly tells John that she can't believe it; her car was in one piece yesterday and now, it's all smashed up.

Panel 4: Given that John is never going to know that she drove into a ditch, his comment about how amazing it is that it's not even her fault looks like him being a jerk hiding behind a stereotype to his wife's dismay but is actually something that Lynn didn't intend.

Summary: As I said, John is supposed to be a typical evil, conflict-causing MAN who thinks that women are stupid. What he looks like to me is someone trying to spare her feelings because I know that it kind of IS Elly's fault that her car got smooshed.
Saturday, February 11th, 2017
1:20 am
Sunday, 12 February 2017
In today's exercise in Elly focusing on the wrong thing again, she's too busy screaming about how coats on the floor clearly mean that her evil children HATE her and want to DESTROY her to understand why they're motioning her to see the love note they made for her.

(Strip Number 7254, Original Publication Date, 14 February 1988)

Panel 1: We start things off with Mike and Lizzie running in the snow for some reason.

Panel 2: Having done whatever they set out to do, we find them leaning against the house gasping for breath.

Panel 3: Angry Elly is ANGRY because the kids' mittens have just been flung on the floor despite endless lectures about how much it hurts her when they do that.

Panel 4: Terrified Elly is TERRIFIED when she sees the boots just casually jettisoned and dripping snow and oh, the MESS!!!!!

Panel 5: She then finds their jackets on the stairs instead of on a coat hook.

Panel 6: Having found them, she launches into another angry tirade about how they think she's their slave and how much they HATE her and NEVER want to see her happy.

Panel 7: Since they're become so accustomed to her screaming that it washes over them, they motion her to the window.

Panel 8: Baffled Elly is BAFFLED by the fact that the kids were in an awful hurry to show her that they'd stomped out a sort of Valentine that says We Luv U in the snow.

Summary: What a lovely Valentine's gift this is: Elly being too busy focused on things that make her feel bad to notice the good things in her life. This is the sort of thing that makes me wanna read between the lines my own way and call the Pattersons an otherwise normal family blighted with a mother who can never remember good experiences and quiet times. All Elly can see and remember are bad things and hurt feelings.
Thursday, February 9th, 2017
7:42 am
Saturday, 11 February 2017
We end the week with Elly panicking after 'Buster Hadfield' tells her that the city hauled her car away after the snowplow clobbered it.

(Strip Number 6045, Original Publication Date, 12 February 1988)

Panel 1: Elly asks Buster that if this is his car she was shoveling out, where hers is.

Panel 2: He tells her that he remembers that they hauled a blue station wagon away from where Elly really parked an hour or so ago.

Panel 3: Elly freaks when Buster says that the snow plow musta got'er pretty good last night 'cause the whole passenger side got caved in.

Panel 4: As she takes off running to home to phone the impound lot, Buster says "Say, ma'am!! Y'fergot yer shovel!!"

Summary: I've seen this happen before after storms. I've also had it described to me in rather angry and profane terms from the perspective of the plow driver because people who fucked up like Elly did and left their car in the way of his plow were the bane of my late father's winter-time existence back when he was alive and plowing out the streets. (Also, this was a Friday strip originally. I have no idea when things are going to line up again so we'll have to deal with things looking weird for a while.)
1:41 am
Friday, 10 February 2017
We get to the home stretch of the arc when a guy in his fifties tells Elly that despite her belief otherwise, she's shoveling out his car and not hers.

(Strip Number 1255, Original Publication Date, 11 February 1988)

Panel 1: A little while later, we find Elly where she thinks she's parked shoveling out what she thinks to be her car. As she does so, she says 'No thanks' when someone I'll call Buster Hadfield asks her if she needs help with that.

Panel 2: When Buster asks her if she's sure, she tells him that she can manage quite fine by herself.

Panel 3: Since he won't leave and since she thinks he thinks a weak little wifey should stand aside and let a big strong man like him take care of business, she tells Buster "Look...I appreciate the offer to help but I'm fine and I'd rather you didn't stand there and watch me!" He says okay to this.

Panel 4: He then alarms her by saying that she happens to be shoveling out HIS car!

Summary: What we have here is Elly being 'wrong genre savvy' because she thinks she's the victim of chauvinism when she's actually the victim of not being able to remember that her car was at an angle when she had to abandon it and also of a plow truck.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
1:38 am
Thursday, 9 Febuary 2017
As Elly gets ready to dig out her ride, Mike's complaining about having to 'waste' a snow day at school pisses her off even more than remembering that she's a sometime driver does.

(Strip Number 1254, Original Publication Date, 10 February 1988)

Panel 1: As he looks out the picture window, Mike wants people to lookit the beautiful, gorgeous wonderful snow before complaining about having to go school.

Panel 2: He is quite angry because this is the most snow they've had in ages and they don't even get to enjoy it; he then sets Elly off by screaming that it's unfair.

Panel 3: As a scowling Elly puts on her winter coat, he asks her where she's going.

Panel 4: Rage-faced Elly tells Mike that she's about to have the thrill of shoveling out her car.

Summary: As always, only Elly's perspective is right. Mike should also be angry that she has to shovel out her car and be glad that the city is efficient enough to get him to school. Too bad that the city is too busy to be bothered with being solicitous to the needs of dumb women who drive into ditches.
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
1:37 am
Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Lizzie tries to use Farley as a justification as to why it's wrong for Elly to expect her to change her clothes for the day.

(Strip Number 4926, Original Publication Date, 9 February 1988)

Panel 1: As they get ready for the new day, Elly tells Lizzie to change her clothes before going to school. Since Lizzie is too stupid to realize that she'll never hear the end of it if she doesn't, she asks "How come?"

Panel 2: Elly reminds her that she slept in the clothes she's wearing and thus cannot wear them the next day.

Panel 3: She then sets up the stupid punchline by asking what kind of mother would she be if she let THAT happen.

Panel 4: As Farley scratches himself, Lizzie baffles the Hell out of Elly by pointing to him and saying that his mother didn't mind.

Summary: There are so many things wrong with Lizzie's 'reasoning' that it baffles me that Elly thinks that she does any of the stupid things she does on purpose. I see a mental pygmy who would have wound up blubbering about how cruel people are when they tore her a new asshole for being gross and wearing the same clothes two days straight. Elly seems to see an evil mastermind.
Monday, February 6th, 2017
1:35 am
Tuesday, 7 Febuary 2017
Elly realizes that the power is back on because the children are fighting over using it again.

(Strip Number 1253, Original Publication Date, 8 February 1988)

Panel 1: The next morning, we find Lizzie turning on the television set.

Panel 2: This causes Mike to show up and tell her to turn it off because she's not supposed to have it on this early.

Panel 3: When Mike won't stop using her hair dryer, Lizzie yells for MAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! so she can make him stop doing so.

Panel 4: Having been rudely roused out of her slumber, a disheveled Elly thought-bubbles "Oh, good....the electricity must be back on."

Summary: The thing is about power outages is that you don't turn everything back on all at once. Since Lynn never seems to have been made aware of this, we should probably expect notes that are all about the unfairness of brown-outs just when things were getting back to normal.
Sunday, February 5th, 2017
1:07 am
Monday, 6 February 2017
Mike expresses his regret that he did not after all spend the night at school because it was like his Granddad's stories about air raids.

(Strip Number 1252, Original Publication Date, 6 February 1988)

Panel 1: We put sort of a capper on the school day when Mike says that he almost regrets not spending the night at school.

Panel 2: He then says that it was scary when the lights went out because it was like an air raid or something.

Panel 3: He then says that things like that change people because in an emergency, people act differently than they normally do.

Panel 4: He reveals a lot about himself and what he's come to expect when he says that just for a while, everyone cared about everyone else.

Summary: This is because he seems to have grown up with the expectation that in the normal course of events, no one seems to want to care about him or his concerns. Every time he's threatened with violence or told to go away when he just wants to be near Elly convinces him that people are built to be indifferent to one another.
Saturday, February 4th, 2017
1:30 am
Sunday, 5 February 2017
We wind up with Lynn ripping off Hatlo when the steps John takes to make sure he has restful sleep by a given time cause him to be fast asleep at the stated time.

(Strip Number 6715, Original Publication Date, 7 Febuary 1988)

Panel 1: It's late at night. As Elly sleeps, John tosses and turns because he is unable to do so.

Panel 2: He wakes her up when he rises and snorts in frustration.

Panel 3: When she asks him what the matter is, he tells her that he cannot sleep.

Panel 4: He makes something of a meal of explaining that he's obliged to be up at five thirty and cannot sleep.

Panel 5: We find him in the kitchen getting a carton of milk out of the fridge.

Panel 6: He reads the paper at the kitchen table hoping to lull himself to sleep.

Panel 7: Since this doesn't seem to have worked and it's one forty five in the morning, he's not happy.

Panel 8: He goes back to tossing and turning.

Panel 9: When it's five thirty, his alarm goes off and Elly tells him that it's time to get up.

Panel 10: She's gobsmacked when his response is to snore loudly.

Summary: I should think that we're in for some angry comments about how it's always been impossible for Lynn to get a good night's sleep. Something or someone always seems to interrupt.
Friday, February 3rd, 2017
1:25 am
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Mike irritates Elly by trying to make light of the annoying situation they're in right now.

(Strip Number 1251, Original Publication Date, 5 February 1988)

Panel 1: When they get inside, Elly tells the kids that the power's still out so they have to sleep in the living room. Lizzie balks at this.

Panel 2: Elly tries to get them to imagine that they're living in the olden days huddled around a fireplace for warmth in a cottage on the Scottish hillside as a cold breeze blows past the moors.

Panel 3: Having heard a noise, Mike thinks he's heard bagpipes.

Panel 4: Angry Elly tells him to lie down because that was her stomach growling.

Summary: I'd rather end the week with this than the warped aesop we get Monday. It says a lot that I'd rather see a humiliating body function joke than watch Mike assume that most people are totally indifferent to the needs of others most of the time.
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