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

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    Friday, April 25th, 2014
    1:59 am
    Saturday, 26 April 2014
    We end the week with John reminding Elly that in five years or so, she'll be tearing her hair out wondering where Mike and Lizzie are instead of freaking out and screaming in martyred rage because they're where she can see them.

    (Strip Number 842, Original Publication Date, 27 April 1985)

    Panel 1: Later that day, John asks a wide-eyed and exhausted Elly what is wrong with her.

    Panel 2: What's wrong is that both kids had friends over and she never got any time to herself because she was too busy playing referee and wiping noses.

    Panel 3: She then asks why she keeps letting them torment her by being underfoot all day driving her crazy.

    Panel 4: John says it's because in a few years they will drive her crazy wondering where they are.

    Summary: The 'bright' side of things is that eventually, she does like having the kids underfoot....when they become nominal adults who can't function in society and finally give her the craven gratitude she craves.
    Thursday, April 24th, 2014
    1:56 am
    Friday, 25 April 2014
    We come to the home stretch of the arc when Elly is baffled when Mike doesn't man up and accept standing outside like he's supposed to.

    (Strip Number 841, Original Publication Date, 26 April 1985)-04-26

    Panel 1: Michael complains loudly that Elizabeth is making faces at him through the window.

    Panel 2: Elly goes to the door and tells him that he is too old to let a 4-year-old get the best of him.

    Panel 3: He says she isn't getting the best of him.

    Panel 4: When he whines that she's getting the WORST of him, Elly stands there gobsmacked.

    Summary: Oh, I believe him. This is because I remember his whining to Deanna that he HAD to be a complete douchecanoe to her growing up because she was CUTER than he was and he could NEVER, EVER win....despite the fact that he's the SON that's going to shine in her eyes forever. Then again, I also remember that Elly smugly refuses to do anything to defuse the toxic mess her stupidity creates so I can almost forgive him for it.
    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
    1:54 am
    Thursday, 24 April 2014
    In today's mess, Lizzie acts like a jerk because Mike isn't allowed to further tyrannize pooooooooooooooor Elly by having his friends over.

    (Strip Number 840, Original Publication Date, 25 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We find Lizzie looking out the window at Mike and Lawrence who, for an obvious reason, are standing outside. She then turns and asks Elly if they can come in.

    Panel 2: The obvious reason that they can't come in tells Lizzie that she told them Lizzie already had two friends in and obviously that's obviously enough.

    Panel 3: Lizzie asks The Obvious Reason "They can't come in?" only to have Elly tell her "No." Lizzie says that that's too bad.

    Panel 4: She then shows Mike and Lawrence that she doesn't think that that's too bad in the least when she taunts them about how they're stuck outside.

    Summary: While I do sort of sympathize with Elly's need to control how many children are underfoot, I do NOT approve of her witlessly pitting the children against one another as she does now. As we'll see Saturday, she makes the CHAOS all about how overwhelmed SHE feels and not about how it affects her children.
    Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
    1:53 am
    Wednesday, 23 April 2014
    We get more selfishness and tyrannization today because evil Lizzie expects Elly to spend ALL her time catering to her whims and NEVER have a life of her own.

    (Strip Number 839, Original Publication Date, 24 April 1985)

    Panel 1: A few minutes after washing her hands, Lizzie looks in an empty cookie jar and wonders why there aren't any cookies.

    Panel 2: Elly politely (for once) explains that she hasn't had time to make cookies. Since she's starting to expect an angry rant about how she's a hateful monster who wants to make her poor mother a SLAVE because she HATES her, Lizzie has the confused frown on her face that I think of when I try to picture her.

    Panel 3: Elly then reaches into a cupboard, pulls out a box of cookies and tells the kids to have one of these.

    Panel 4: Since Lizzie is kind of stupid, she doesn't understand why Elly has a gobsmacked expression on her face when she tells Richard and Christopher to have some home-bought cookies.

    Summary: What I see here is a fairly dim child who, while realizing that every so often Mommies rant about being treated like garbage by terrible, selfish and cruel children who take advantage of the mothers they HATE, has no idea what sets WE MOMS off. It's like watching Dexter, Boy GENIUS not realize that his calling Mom WOMAN gets on her last nerve.
    Monday, April 21st, 2014
    1:50 am
    Tuesday, 22 April 2014
    We continue on with the EVIL children evilly refusing to see that they have to clean up because children love filth and chaos and always reject all the love in the great big heart of the poor mother they're too horrible to appreciate.

    (Strip Number 4494, Original Publication Date, 23 April 1985)

    Panel 1: Elly tells the kids to look at their filthy hands and be ashamed of covering themselves in filth.

    Panel 2: She then tells them to march to the bathroom NOW.

    Panel 3: Having done so, they stand there trying to figure out what to do next.

    Panel 4: Since Lizzie seems to have been born without much common sense (or since she was allowed to fall down stairs while her mother whined piteously about the attention her selfish children demanded and turned her brains into guacamole), she asks Mommy if she wants them to wash them.

    Summary: Once again, we have Lizzie's being a stupid child who can't understand what Mommy is screaming about this time presented in the worst possible light. It's not that Lizzie can't read minds or pick up on things because she drank paint thinner, it's that she evilly, selfishly and criminally DEMANDS that Elly have NO TIME TO HERSELF!!!!!!!!!
    Saturday, April 19th, 2014
    11:08 pm
    Look what's on sale over at the Foob site....

    (Let's see if this posts, because my cut 'n paste apparently went into the moderation cue probably for containing links)

    Six Animated FBorFW Specials

    Price (CAD): $19.99

    Special Price: $17.00

    Farley Golf Club Cover

    Price (CAD): $20.00

    Special Price: $10.00

    Sunday, April 20th, 2014
    1:46 am
    Monday, 21 April 2014
    We start the week watching the evil, destructive, over-indulged Nichols children spread their CHAOS!!!! to Elly's house by tracking the FILTH!!!! all children are coated in all over Elly's nice clean walls.

    (Strip Number 838, Original Publication Date, 22 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We start the week with Lizzie askin'Mommy if Chris an'Baby Richard can come in an'play. (It should be noted that due to some sort of mix-up, Christopher is a brunette this week.)

    Panel 2: Elly, who's carrying a load of laundry in order to remind us that she's busy doing housework, says that they can do so but she doesn't want them getting muddy boot prints on her nice, clean floor.

    Panel 3: When Lizzie says that they won't, she means it. This is because they've taken their boots off. Too bad that they've gotten their muddy hands all over Elly's nice clean walls.

    Summary: What we have here is Elly reminding us that she was socialized to believe that a house had to look as sterile and lifeless as Casa Brady in order for a woman to qualify as acceptable company. Since she's a poor fit for the modern era and since she also refuses to understand children, we get crap like this that takes a child's well-meaning stupidity and turns it into a hate crime.
    Saturday, April 19th, 2014
    1:33 am
    Sunday, 20 April 2014
    In today's strip, Mrs Baird tells Mike and Lizzie her life story. This somehow leads to them "adopting" her as if she were a Cabbage Patch doll.

    (Strip Number 7050, Original Publication Date, 21 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves at Mrs Baird's garden shed today as she tells Mike and Lizzie that it's nice to see them visit before asking what occasioned their coming over.

    Panel 2: Being told that Mom said for them to bug someone else for a while leaves her mildly ticked off because her plan to teach Elly responsibility by giving her a dog has failed.

    Panel 3: The strip most people will stick on fridges starts with Mike asking Mrs Baird howcome she never had children.

    Panel 4: Instead of the expected "Mind your own beeswax", Thelma talks about how her husband was really sick after the war and someone had to keep the business running.

    Panel 5: He then died after they moved to Milborough and she never did meet anyone else.

    Panel 6: Mike then asks if she has any siblings.

    Panel 7: She has one who lives in the wilds of Calgary, AL-BER-TA!!! who she calls every once in a long while.

    Panel 8: She then says yes when prompted about getting lonely.

    Panel 9: A little while later, Mike and Lizzie head back home to ask Elly is she knows about them dolls that come with adoption papers. She says she does.

    Panel 10: When Mike says that he and Lizzie adopted Mrs Baird, Elly smiles.

    Summary: Today's Lynnsight isn't going to be about doing a good turn for your elders. It's about how Lynn was inspired by two lonely spinsters from her long-ago childhood. Crap. Lynn's stupid childhood is here to stay, ain't it?
    Friday, April 18th, 2014
    1:43 am
    Saturday, 19 April 2014
    We end the week with a flustered John giving Lizzie a joke answer to an odd question that she takes literally.

    (Strip Number 837, Original Publication Date, 20 April 1985)

    Panel 1: As our story continues, we find ourselves watching Lizzie ask Daddy "You can tell if an animal is a boy one or a girl one, right?" John doesn't even look up from his paper when he says that he can.

    Panel 2: Lizzie holds up an earthworm and asks him how he can tell the difference between a boy worm and a girl one.

    Panel 3: Since John can't figure out quite how to tell Lizzie about how a worm is both things, he's kind of stymied. Since she's sort of an impatient little kid who can't read people too good, she asks "Well?!" in order to kick-start Daddy's mouth.

    Panel 4: A few minutes later, we find Lizzie outside telling the Nichols kids that Daddy says boy worms gots deeper voices.

    Summary: In the real world, this would be a banal slice of life that looks like something from a sitcom. Sadly, we're not going to get a Little Lynnie Show. Instead, we're going to get Lynn braying about how her evil editors had no sense of human because they didn't want her real (and much more revolting) punchline to see the light of day. Silly people....just because THEY didn't want to live in an air-raid shelter didn't mean that her creativity should not be acknowledged.
    Thursday, April 17th, 2014
    1:38 am
    Friday, 18 April 2014
    In today's strip, Elly is confused by the fact that Lizzie doesn't know how long it takes flowers to grow.

    (Strip Number 836, Original Publication Date, 19 April 1985)

    Panel 1: Elly tells Lizzie that if she wants flowers to grow, she has to plant a seed or bulb first.

    Panel 2: Having put a daffodil bulb in a pot for her, Elly tells Lizzie that they'll add some water and wait for it to grow.

    Panel 3: Lizzie looks at the pot in blank-eyed consternation.

    Panel 4: When she tells Mommy that nothin's happenin'yet, Elly just stands there looking mildly confused.

    Summary: This is because Mommy thought that she didn't have to tell Lizzie it would take a while. Also, Mommy tends to not remember that her children experience time as crawling along sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly and thus is always surprised by how they don't realize how quickly time zips by.
    Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
    1:33 am
    Thursday, 17 April 2014
    We transition to an arc wherein the ultra-destructive Nichols children show up with Lizzie somehow ruining Elly's life by not understanding how plants grow.

    (Strip Number 835, Original Publication Date, 18 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Lizzie as she fills a bucket with dirt.

    Panel 2: Since she's an oh-so-typical kid who doesn't understand how plants growevil, chaos-loving monster child who wants to ruin everything, she breaks off Elly's daffodils because she thinks that they'll grow if she transplants them the way they are now she hates to see Elly being happy because that's just how children are.

    Panel 3: She then pokes the lifeless stems of the poor flowers she doesn't know that shedeliberately killed into the new pot.

    Panel 4: Having to bear witness to the indescribable horror that no one anywhere could ever possibly have anticipated that is a four year old evilly showing off how she mutilated the daffodils, Elly does what any sane person would have to do and gasps in sheer, blank-eyed horror.

    Summary: This is yet another example of a very dumb woman making a point of not understanding what children do and do not understand so that she can be in her favourite emotional state: terrified out of her mind by something she doesn't want to understand lest it not be a catastrophe. Also, five bucks says that if we really wanna get on her bad side, we could tell Lynn "You're LOOKING for an excuse to be angry with your children!!"
    Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
    1:26 am
    Wednesday, 16 April 2014
    We come to the end of the arc today with the strip in which John is relieved that Elly didn't find a man that she could compare him to.

    (Strip Number 834, Original Publication Date, 17 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We find John and Elly in bed telling each other that they missed each other during her trip.

    Panel 2: She then tells him that the good thing about traveling along is that shegot to meet lots of new people.

    Panel 3: Since he's worried that one of those new people is a richer, more handsome man, John asks if she compared him to anyone. She did. He asks how he compares.

    Panel 4: She gives him a big hug and says there is no comparison.

    Summary: My guess is that this is Lynn making her family a sort of peace offering as regards her being on the road so much. Given that she needed a chaperone at all times, she needn't have bothered.
    Monday, April 14th, 2014
    1:18 am
    Tuesday, 15 April 2014
    In today's strip, John somehow magically ruins Elly's life by serving his kids TV dinners instead of reheating her lovely casseroles and not at all crimes against gastronomy and nature.

    (Strip Number 833, Original Publication Date, 16 April 1985)

    Panel 1: Michael tells Elly that while she was away Daddy taught them how to cook.

    Panel 2: Elizabeth says it was easy and they had peas an'tatoes an'chicken and everything.

    Panel 3: Elly is amazed that he showed them how to cook those things.

    Panel 4: When Michael pulls out a TV dinner and tells her "Yeah! Just put one of these in the oven an'turn it up to 450°!," Elly rolls her eyes in disgust.

    Summary: This is because Hungryman dinners are far too 'impersonal' to be allowed; after all, how can she show her love for her family if she can't trick them into eating things they hate?
    Saturday, April 12th, 2014
    7:59 pm
    Off-topic, sort of: The Popeye Test.
    By now, most of you have heard of something called the Bechdel test for gender bias in a work of fiction. Said work of fiction passes the test if it meets the following three criteria:

    1. It has to have at least two women in it,

    2. who talk to each other,

    3. about something besides a man.

    The reason that I mention this is that it reminds me of another 'test' that my late mother used to judge whether female characters were being depicted as helpless dimwits needing salvation. You see, whenever someone looked like a passive dimwit being come after by a cartoon ogre thereby needing salvation at the hands of an implausible hero, she'd mutter how the woman might as well be squealing "Help, Popeye, HEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLP!!!!" (Hint. Luke and Laura really bugged the crap out of her for this reason.)

    You can probably guess where I'm going with this. Instead of saying that he'd finally found someone to fight for, it would have made more sense if Anthony had said "I'm strong to the finich 'cause I eats me spinach!!"
    Sunday, April 13th, 2014
    1:08 am
    Monday, 14 April 2014
    Today's strip has Mike tell a confused Elly that they were forced to wash the floor because Lizzie did the dishes.

    (Strip Number 832, Original Publication Date, 15 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We fast-forward to just after the Pattersons get home. As she, Elly and Mike walk into the kitchen, Lizzie tells Mommy that yes, they did so clean the whole house.

    Panel 2: They picked up their stuff an'made their beds an'Michael even cleaned the floor.

    Panel 3: When asked why he did that, Mike tells Elly that he sorta had to.

    Panel 4: Upon telling her that Lizzie did the dishes, Mike turns on his heel because watchin'Mom's jaw scrape the linoleum gets old fast.

    Summary: While I sort of feel Elly's pain, what bugs me is that she's directing it at the wrong source. Instead of blaming the four year old for making the mess, she should perhaps be more upset at the grown man who decided washing dishes was women's work.
    Saturday, April 12th, 2014
    1:32 am
    Sunday, 13 April 2014
    We revisit an old theme from the very early years of the strip today. That's because Stewpid (gotta remember the yod) and Useless John stewpidly and uselessly tries to disgrace Elly and blacken her name for generations to come by behaving as if he gets dressed in the dark.

    (Strip Number 7181, Original Publication Date, 14 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We start things off with John wondering if he should actually wear the ratty looking undershirt he's got on underneath his good clothes.

    Panel 2: Since he isn't aware that Elly is staring at him in grim horror and also has a sort of danger sense that alerts her as to when her family is dressed in a manner that will heap shame and disgrace on her, he thinks that no one is ever going to notice.

    Panel 3: Upon beholding the retina-searing mish-mash John calls perfectly acceptable, Elly tells the imbecile that he can't go out looking like that in public.

    Panel 4: She tells him that he cannot wear pin-striped trousers with a checked shirt.

    Panel 5: He can also not wear the polka-dotted tie with anything.

    Panel 6: Since all straight men in the Foobiverse are clods who need mothers to keep them from dressing like clowns, he mutters "Oh."

    Panel 7: He said that since he matched, he thought he looked great.

    Panel 8: She's appalled and baffled by this and points out that since he's wearing stripes, checks and dots, he can't possibly say that he matches.

    Panel 9: He pulls the Men-from-Colour-Women-From-Pattern card and points out that everything he has on is blue.

    Summary: What we have here is Lynn nagging Rod about his lack of dress sense. Given what howtheduck found out about his idea of what's acceptable, we have Lynn doing something rare: understating her case.
    Friday, April 11th, 2014
    1:46 am
    Saturday, 12 April 2014
    We end the week with Mike over-reacting witlessly to Lizzie spoiling a surprise that really isn't one when you come to think of it. By that, of course, I mean that the "surprise" is that they put in the minimum effort possible to adapt to Elly's absence.

    (Strip Number 831, Original Publication Date, 13 April 1985)

    Panel 1: As the family drives home from the airport, Lizzie tries to start to tell Elly that they've got something to show her only to have Mike stop her.

    Panel 2: When she tells a mildly happy Elly that she's going to love what they did, Mike says no, she's going to spoil the big surprise.

    Panel 3: When Elizabeth (who for some reason appears to be wearing a dog leash) blurts out that they cleaned the house, Michael screams incoherently and thus ends up startling both Elly and John.

    Panel 4: A ticked-off Michael tells the little dummy that he wanted the clean house to be a surprise. This freaks Elly the Hell out because she just realized that normally, they'd have handed her a broom and dustpan and told her to get back to work.

    Summary: This, of course, is the trifecta of wish fulfillment for the person writing and drawing this mess. In the real world, keeping the place up to spec when she was away was just something they did; here, it's going the extra mile so Lynn can feel needed. Well, that and pandering to housewives who feel taken advantage of by people who can never be appreciative enough because it won't be allowed.
    Thursday, April 10th, 2014
    1:42 am
    Friday, 11 April 2014
    Today's strip has Elly traumatize her weak, puny family who selfishly refuse to allow her own identity by expressing a need to go on trips by herself more often.

    (Strip Number 830, Original Publication Date, 12 April 1985)

    Panel 1: As they walk to the car, Elly talks about the workshop in Winnipeg. She tells John that the course was super, she'd learned a lot and met some fantastic people.

    Panel 2: She continues on by saying that she loved being on her own and it did her a world of good.

    Panel 3: To the shock of the rest of the family, Elly announces that she needs to go away by herself more often.

    Summary: Well, they can console themselves with the fact that this never happened. Looking back on a past wherein Elly never did quite manage to create an identity for herself that wasn't "male relative's (daughter/sister/wife/mother)" makes this strip and the implicit promise that Elly could finally be someone who isn't simply someone's someone and not a person in her own right depressing as all get-out. That being said, it's sort of obvious that Lynn sort of hopes that her family reacted like this deep down because she doesn't actually want to know that they were fine.
    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
    1:41 am
    Thursday, 10 April 2014
    The very pale imitation of a joke in today's strip involves Lizzie not realizing that despite promising to not pester Elly about if she got her something from Winnipeg, she just pestered Mommy about getting her something from Winnipeg.

    (Strip Number 829, Original Publication Date, 11 April 1985)

    Panel 1: We find ourselves at Pearson International as the family greets Elly at the terminal building.

    Panel 2: She is then immediately caught in a family group hug.

    Panel 3: When Lizzie asks "Knowwhatmomknowwhatmom" in the hyper way only preschoolers and Abby Sciuto can manage, Elly asks Lizzie what what is.

    Panel 4: Lizzie astonishes John and Elly by saying "Even if you brought me something... I'm not gonna ask if you brought me something."

    Summary: This is because Lynn can't understand children and their habit of not realizing when they're doing what they promise not to do. A regular human being would immediately realize "Heh. Typical four year old kid. Doesn't realize she just did what she said she was not gonna do. Whatcha gonna do, right? She doesn't understand so there's no use getting upset." Since everyone is Lynn, they're going to join her in going into Insane Panicky Imbecile mode and screaming "SHE'S TRYING TO TRICK US!!!!!!!" like so many lunatics.
    Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
    1:37 am
    Wednesday, 9 April 2014
    Despite being way too happy that Elly is coming home in his own right, John tells super-giddy Mike and Lizzie to not go nuts with the enthusiasm and get in the car already.

    (Strip Number 828, Original Publication Date, 10 April 1985)

    Panel 1: As our story continues, we find John and the kids getting ready to drive up to the airport to pick Elly up. Well, he's getting ready. Mike and Lizzie are so happy that Mommy's coming home, they caper like good little cavemen and chant the phrase in glee that she is making them a real family again.

    Panel 2: Since this is eating into his day, John tells them to settle down, put their jackets on and hurry up.

    Panel 3: Since they're too busy being blissed out that Mommy is back to stay forever and forever and never leave to be on her own ever again because children are EVIL and hate their mother being happy, they play with the dog instead of listening to John.

    Panel 4: As they drive to the airport, Mike and Lizzie get into a fight over how wants Elly to be chained to the house more while John mentally chants Mommy's coming home.

    Summary: I was going to write a longish rant about how they want to restore Elly to her rightful and proper role as servant but given what I know about the Johnstons, I should think we'd have to file this under "Wishful thinking." This is because Lynn needs to believe that her family pined away for her wonderful presence when she was away because the idea of a world in which her family gets along just fine without her when she's away filled her with despair. (Great. I've turned her into Zetsubou Mangaka.)
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