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

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    Friday, December 26th, 2014
    1:42 am
    Saturday, 27 December 2014: John is stupid and useless.
    Stupid and useless John is too stupid and useless to realize that Ted is exactly the last person who deserves to talk to Connie ever again; this causes him to pull the same stupid stunt he did at the barbecue by trying to set up a conflict between Connie and Georgia.

    (Strip Number 4549, Original Publication Date, 27 December 1985)

    Panel 1: A few minutes after the 'haven't changed' thing, Connie takes Elly aside and tells her that before she meets her parents, she wants to show her something.

    Panel 2: Said 'thing' is an engagement ring Elly believes to have come from Ted.

    Panel 3: Since Connie doesn't want to put up with his shit and has found a richer and thus better man to take shit from, she corrects Elly and talks about how she's met a wonderful man and is in love.

    Panel 4: Just then John comes in and, seeing Connie, calls into the other room for Ted. This horribly ill-timed act astonishes and horrifies Elly and Connie.

    Summary: What is it with John and his horrible timing? First, he tries to get Connie and Georgia to murder one another and now he tries to give Ted an opening to keep on bullshitting Connie because he's stooopid and useless and relies too much on his mother's opinion. It's like he's too out of touch to know what's going on around him.
    Thursday, December 25th, 2014
    1:38 am
    Friday, 26 December 2014
    We begin the terminal phase of Connie's direct involvement in the revenge fantasy soap opera arc with her laughingly telling Elly that she's a blatant phony.

    (Strip Number 4548, Original Publication Date, 26 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves watching a delighted Mike exclaim that yes, by golly, Lawrence and his mom are sure here.

    Panel 2: Despite knowing that she would come, Elly says that she can't believe that Connie is really here either.

    Panel 3: She then comments on how great Connie's new hairdo is and she's lost weight and looks ten years younger.

    Panel 4: When Connie laughs and says Elly hasn't changed, we can she that Elly doesn't think that's a compliment.

    Summary: The interesting thing is not that we're about to return to the soap opera. The interesting thing is that Connie eventually becomes a mere device that tells us how wonderful Elly is.
    Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
    1:33 am
    Christmas 2014
    Today's strip about how Lizzie is too focused on toys to behave in church is a "Doug Wright's Family Starring Nipper" panel lifted clean. Let's hope Lynn gives the late Doug Wright the gift of acknowledgement.

    (Strip Number 999, Original Publication Date, 25 December 1985)

    Panel 1: During Christmas Day church service the minister talks about how the spirit of giving and good will should be with us every day and not just on the twenty-fifth of December. As he does so, Lizzie releases a mechanical chicken down the aisle. It clucks and bucks and drops eggs, to mixed reactions from the other parishioners.

    Summary: It should also have gotten a reaction from Doug Wright's estate owing to Lynn giving us the gift of plagiarism:
     photo Doug2_zps88f694ba.jpg
    Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
    1:30 am
    Christmas Eve 2014
    Rather than say something about how it'd be nice if Jim and Marian got to bask in the glow of opening presents like a sane sort of person, John makes a stupid (and, given linguistic change, off-color) pun that doesn't do a good job of disguising how greedy he thinks the kids are.

    (Strip Number 998, Original Publication Date, 24 December 1985)

    Panel 1: On Christmas Eve Night, we find Mike asking John if he and Lizzie have to wait until Grandma and Grandpa are awake to open their Christmas presents.

    Panel 2: Instead of being a smart, decent person and making a nebulous comment about wanting the Olds to share in the holiday magic, John does the palms-out pleading gesture and asks them to remember the old saying.

    Panel 3: Since said "old" saying is "age before booty", Mike is less than impressed.

    Summary: Join the crowd, kiddo. Not only did Daddy remind him that he thinks that kids are a bunch of greedy, unappreciative and ungrateful brats, "booty" means something else these days. Too bad this means that we'll probably get the gift of Lynn resenting that fact.
    Monday, December 22nd, 2014
    4:08 am
    The Christmas pageant and its discontents.
    Now, we all know that every so often, someone will talk about how Lynn had the unhappy tendency of letting plot threads drop because of her messy priorities and innate forgetfulness. The reason that I mention this is that for some reason, she decided to actually show this year's Christmas pageant by creating new, not-in-any-newspaper strips specifically for a treasury.

    We start the trio of bonus strips with Miss Lyon trying to organize the kiddies before the start of the thing. As we see here, she seems to be rather poor at handling her charges and also rather easily overwhelmed.

    Cecil B DeMille, she ain't.Collapse )

    The next strip in the sequence has her turn the minor crisis of Lizzie's losing the batteries for the star into a huge crisis.

    The light that failedCollapse )

    We end the thing with John's plan to record the play for posterity going up the spout because no one thought to keep spare batteries on their person just to be safe because taking precautions is for picky-faces.

    She bums D cells.Collapse )

    What we learn is that children are chaotic idiots who witlessly get in the way of adult plans because they aren't smart enough to look out for themselves. We learn something else: we learn to be careful what we wish for.
    1:28 am
    Tuesday, 23 December 2014
    John thinks that Elly's need to invite everyone she knows over to the house for Christmas is her way of sharing the gift of chaos.

    (Strip Number 996, Original Publication Date, 21 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We find John and Elly on the hide-a-bed in the family room. As they settle in for an uncomfortable night's sleep, John asks who else beside Jim and Marian is coming.

    Panel 2: She reminds him that Phil, Georgia, Connie, Lawrence, maybe Connie's parents, Steve, Annie, the devil children and Mrs Baird are coming over.

    Panel 3: She then tells him that it's going to be an old-fashioned family Christmas.

    Panel 4: Since his parents can't budget time either, he moans "Yeah....absolute chaos."

    Summary: The odd thing is that the chaos goes unseen because of all of those people, we only see Jim, Marian, Connie and Lawrence. What's more, we never see Connie and Lawrence interact with Jim or Marian because Lynn can't imagine a situation in which more than two people speak at any given time.
    Sunday, December 21st, 2014
    1:26 am
    Monday, 22 December 2014
    Lizzie ruins Elly's life FOREVER!!! because she wishes to prove Jim wrong about the amount of soot in the fireplace.

    (Strip Number 997, Original Publication Date, 23 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly gasp in horror when Lizzie tells her "Tell Grandpa he's wrong....there's still soot in the fireplace." This is because she's cleaned out said soot and tracked it all over the newly-cleaned floor.

    Summary: For once, I can get behind Elly's terror. This is because I do a really moronic thing called remembering that Marian is present and would be only too happy to lecture her about turning her back on Lizzie. It's not like Marian thinks it's on her to actually look out for the kid so Elly's kinda stuck.
    Saturday, December 20th, 2014
    1:24 am
    Sunday, 21 December 2014
    We get a Hallmark card quality Sunday strip in which Lizzie gives a Santa hot chocolate.

    (Strip Number 6153, Original Publication Date, 22 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves downtown watching Elly and Lizzie walking down the street on a frigid December day. As they do so, Elly reminds Lizzie to walk quickly.

    Panel 2: This is because it's freezing outside.

    Panel 3: As they walk on, Lizzie spots a Santa standing in the wind raising money for charity.

    Panel 4: She points out the man's problem to Elly.

    Panel 5: We shift focus to a coffee shop where they're buying a hot chocolate.

    Panel 6: They give the Santa the hot chocolate.

    Panel 7: They then wave good-bye to one another.

    Panel 8: As they continue on to where they were going, Lizzie tells a smiling Elly that she thought somebody should give Santa a present for a change.

    Summary: This is the sort of cute-little-slice-of-wouldn't-it-be-nice-if-life-were-like-this scene that ends up on fridges and gets turned into Tim Horton's ads.
    Friday, December 19th, 2014
    1:09 am
    Saturday, 20 December 2014: Marian listens to herself and hates it.
    We end the week with Marian watching Elly be the same kind of inflexible idiot parent she was and being grateful she doesn't have to get into a pointless row with her children any longer.

    (Strip Number 995, Original Publication Date, 20 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We lead off with Elly telling Mike and Lizzie "LOOK! I said upstairs, in bed NOW!!!!!"

    Panel 2: Mike tells her that it's unfair because he has a later bedtime than Lizzie and she's making them go to the same time now.

    Panel 3: As Marian and Jim bear witness to their imbecile daughter making certain that the kids make the mental association "grandparents = doubling down on how rigidly they're policed", he asks her if he remembers when they were parents with small children. She does.

    Panel 4: She astonishes him by saying she wouldn't go back to that for the world.

    Summary: This is because Jim doesn't understand how conflicted Marian was any more than John understands that Elly is torn between the desire to be seen as a loving, firm, fair and kind parent and her need to emulate her mother. Perhaps if Marian were to have gotten off of her high horse sooner and told Elly that she hated being the heavy and was too close to the situation to realize that she was making a big mistake sitting on her, the worst excesses would have been avoided.
    Thursday, December 18th, 2014
    1:03 am
    Friday, 19 December 2014
    Jim is astonished by the fact that Mike takes losing all the time seriously because of the fact that he's no more aware of the fact that Mike feels his life is one long humiliating defeat than his son, son-in-law and daughter are.

    (Strip Number 1007, Original Publication Date, 13 January 1986)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Jim trounce Mike at a game of chess. When the future Delicate Genius gets checkmated yet again, he complains that Gramps always wins.

    Panel 2: Jim asks Mike if he wants him to lose on purpose before saying that he isn't going to learn how the game works if he does something crazy like that.

    Panel 3: Mike tells Jim that he doesn't actually want to learn anything at all.

    Panel 4: He then baffles Jim by saying that all he wants to do is to win.

    Summary: What no one seems to have realized is that Mike thinks that everything is arranged so that he not only loses everything ever and has to like it, he's to be mocked and laughed at and kicked for daring to want to be happy in the first place. This leads into a need to be rewarded for breathing and handed unearned victories that teach him nothing just to make him feel good about himself.
    Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
    1:59 am
    Thursday, 18 December 2014
    Today's strip has Jim resent the fact that Elly found passively watching television more riveting than his being the sort of free spirit who encouraged Phil to live as a nomad and not have it all.

    (Strip Number 994, Original Publication Date, 19 December 1985)

    Panel 1: As he reads Lizzie a story on the couch, Jim tells her that he used to do the same thing for hours on end with Elly when she was young.

    Panel 2: He then says that one day, that all went away like magic.

    Panel 3: When Lizzie speculates that it's because she grew up, Jim corrects her.

    Panel 4: He then smiles ruefully when he says that the magic act that killed storytime was his being prevailed upon to buy a television set.

    Summary: Lynn and Elly seem to make Jim into an old grouch who's behind the times because he rejects the passive box watching that enthralls his children. While there does seem to be a great deal of resentment of the competition involved, he does actually seem to mean it when he fears that the flickering blue parent isn't quite the friend Elly thinks it is.
    Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
    1:57 am
    Wednesday, 17 December 2014
    Marian's trying to be nice leads to Mike making an asinine remark that falsely suggests that Elly is a negligent housekeeper. Mirth ensues.

    (Strip Number 993, Original Publication Date, 18 December 1985)

    Panel 1: Now that they're at the house, we find Marian trying very hard not to take Elly up on her offer to let her and Jim sleep in the master bedroom.

    Panel 2: This need to be a good guest (and pretty much stiff-arm Elly's attempt to be a gracious host) leads her to say that she and Jim would fine in the family room on the couch.

    Panel 3: When Elly insists she couldn't ask her to sleep down there, Marian asks why that is.

    Panel 4: Michael irritates Elly by making a jokey and asinine comment about how this bedroom is the one she cleaned.

    Summary: The next time she tries doing the martyrdom tango, Jim shuts Marian down cold. This is because he can get behind being the recipient of gracious behaviour despite that not allowing Marian to bask in the cozy glow of nailing herself to her cross. Also, when Mike whines about having an earlier bedtime while the Olds are in the house, he should reflect on his need to pretend that life is a sitcom with him as the wise-cracking star.
    Monday, December 15th, 2014
    1:54 am
    Tuesday, 16 December 2014
    Lynn treats us to more non-humor about how funny it is to watch small children misunderstand things and be somewhat literal-minded.

    (Strip Number 992, Original Publication Date, 17 December 1985)

    Panel 1: As they walk to the car, we find that they've talked Mike into helping Jim with his luggage. Having found it to be heavy, Michael asks the old boy what's in it.

    Panel 2: Jim's rather flippant way of telling him to mind his own business consists of him commenting on how he brought his iron underwear and wooden socks.

    Panel 3: Not one to be deflected by being told to step off, Mike tells Lizzie not to believe that but instead believe that it's actually Christmas presents.

    Panel 4: Since Lizzie still believes that Santa puts presents under the tree and dinner on the table, she asks Jim if he really has iron underwear.

    Summary: Given that Jim is mildly gobsmacked and Marian is giggling behind her sleeve, we can guess where Elly got not having a clue as to how children think from.
    Sunday, December 14th, 2014
    1:10 am
    Monday, 15 December 2014
    Today's entry in the "Why did these thin-skinned arsewipes have kids in the first place?" file has John speculate that Jim and Marian asked the pilot to delay their flight so as to minimize their exposure to the horrific horror of happy children who are excited by the idea of meeting beloved relatives.

    (Strip Number 4547, Original Publication Date, 16 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves at the airport watching Elly die of embarrassment because Mike and Lizzie are visibly excited at the prospect of Jim and Marian's arrival. In her attempt to reassure the Quality People that she's got the kids under control, she tells them that the Olds' plane isn't going to get there any faster and that they should stop acting silly and stupid and be good kids and display no emotions at all.

    Panel 2: Chaos-loving Lizzie displays her need to destroy Elly's image by making irrational chatter about how they wanna see Jim and Marian now so howcome they're taking their time getting there.

    Panel 3: Elly speculates as to why they might be late; there could be bad weather, the flight might be delayed and so on and so forth.

    Panel 4: As he bears witness to the horrible horror of children behaving normally instead of being good kids and being too frightened to think or move or speak, John thinks that they know what they're in for.

    Summary: As I've said before, both of these imbeciles want children to either be little dummies whose reaction to anything is to either stand quietly in the face of temptation to be bad children and react in a way that doesn't disgrace them or be robots who mindlessly and enthusiastically obey their self-serving nitwit parents' witless decrees without evil and anarchistic backchat.
    Saturday, December 13th, 2014
    1:07 am
    Sunday, 14 December 2014
    In today's strip, Elly is extra-boorish to clerk who's doing her best only to be revealed to be far less organized and intelligent. The interesting part is what the woman doesn't do.

    (Strip Number 7204, Original Publication Date, 15 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We find Elly at Philpotts' cosmetics counter tapping her fingers at the counter while the clerk stares at the cash register.¨

    Panel 2: Elly rolls her eyes when the woman apologizes for not quite figuring out how to work the blasted thing.

    Panel 3: As the girl fumbles with the machine, Elly rolls her eyes and thought-bubbles about how incredible the poor thing is.

    Panel 4: When Elly asks for something called "frosty prune lip-pusher," the young lady wonders if she even has it in stock.

    Panel 5: Rage-faced Elly tells her that she's got it in the display case.

    Panel 6: She then tells another another woman "What would SHE know? She's only been here two months!" in an effort to demean the clerk.

    Panel 7: She then grumbles about the person's clumsiness at filling out the receipt.

    Panel 8: She finishes off by suggesting that the clerk must have had a lobotomy at some point.

    Panel 9: As Elly walks off in triumph, the clerk alerts her to an issue.

    Panel 10: Said issue is that Elly left her pen, gloves and chequebook on the counter. Being called out on being forgetful by someone she presumed to feel superior to leaves Elly gobsmacked.

    Summary: You'll notice what the clerk didn't do in response to boorishness: take it out on innocent phone books. As I've said before, it's sort of irritating watching Elly fly into a rage because people don't like the saleslady who won't leave them alone while having to remember her actively insulting someone having a bad day.
    Friday, December 12th, 2014
    1:12 am
    Saturday, 13 December 2014
    We end the week with Lizzie offering up a little kid solution to Elly's whining about the expense of the season.

    (Strip Number 991, Original Publication Date, 14 December 1985)

    Panel 1: We find Elly whining about how she can't believe that she's already spent so much this Christmas.

    Panel 2: She tells John that she's trying to stay in budget but everything is so expensive.

    Panel 3: Elizabeth says they should just ask Santa for all of the presents.

    Panel 4: As John laughs behind his sleeve, Elly rolls her eyes in exasperation when Lizzie says that way, it won't cost them anything.

    Summary: Given who Elly is, she'd rather believe that Lizzie made an absurd comment to torment her instead of a childish comment because she's five.
    Thursday, December 11th, 2014
    1:12 am
    Friday, 12 December 2014
    We spend the day being reminded that the children want to stab Elly in her great big heart because they evilly and selfishly hate eating the left-overs she serves them with love.

    (Strip Number 990, Original Publication Date, 13 December 1985)

    Panel 1: When Lizzie asks if Christopher can stay for supper, Elly does the closed-eyed turn-her-back-to-her-child thing as she tries to tell her no dice.

    Panel 2: When Lizzie asks what's for supper, Elly tells them they are eating leftover stew, corn and rice casserole.

    Panel 3: As Elly does more Christmas cooking, the kids consult.

    Panel 4: When Elizabeth then asks if she can eat at Christopher's house instead, Elly is gobsmacked.

    Summary: This is because she can't quite wrap her head around the fact that her family doesn't like her experiments in cuisine and prefer simple fare that doesn't leave him bloated and dyspeptic.
    Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
    1:12 am
    Thursday, 11 December 2014
    Again, Lizzie is made to look like an ignorant idiot because she speaks and understands as a five year old kid.

    (Strip number 4543, Original Publication Date, 12 December 1985)

    Panel 1: A smug Lizzie tells Christopher about doing the Christmas Story at school and how she gets to be the Star of Bethlehem.

    Panel 2: She then tells him that Miss Lyon said that all the kids who are kings and shepherds will wear their pajamas and bath robes.

    Panel 3: When Christopher asks why, she tells him that it's obvious.

    Panel 4: The reason that it's obvious that people have to be in their sleepwear is that it all happened at night!

    Summary: Again, the reasoning processes of small children should not be comic fodder. They don't know any better so don't deserve to be made to look stupid.
    Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
    1:11 am
    Wednesday, 10 December 2014
    We introduce the Christmas pageant with Lizzie getting literal about what being a star is.

    (Strip Number 989, Original Publication Date, 11 December 1985)

    Panel 1: As John puts his coat away after coming home from work to find, an excited Lizzie tells him she gets to be the star of the upcoming Christmas play.

    Panel 2: She lists the actors of all the major roles. We have Sherrilee as the verging Mary, Gerard as Joseph, the twins and Kelley are the three kinds, Jaime is a shepherd, and other children get to be cows.

    Panel 3: John interrupts because she didn't list her name yet and asks how she is the star.

    Panel 4: She explains that she IS the star and gets to hold a flashlight on a stick! Since he's an idiot, this literal comment baffles him.

    Summary: This sort of strip is why I'm against "Kids say the darnedest things" humor; always and ever, honest ignorance and an inability to see the world in adult terms is presented as being as funny as animal abuse and ethnic humor.
    Sunday, December 7th, 2014
    8:45 am
    News and Notes: Bullying is no laughing matter.
    Lynn's latest news note is about her contribution to an anti-bullying initiative.

    The new book.Collapse )

    While her thing about Jermy Wormy Jeremy Jones isn't up yet, Jan Eliot's is. The subject matter of that one is dealing with skinny people who brainwash the healthy into anorexia....
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