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

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
1:09 am
Thursday, 3 December 2015
Patrick (or at least I think his name is Patrick because that's what Lynn called a bland, blond, freckled boy Lizzie knows) shows Elizabeth the advantage of having compressible sandwich filling.

(Strip Number 1232, Original Publication Date, 4 December 1986)

Panel 1: We find ourselves in the cafeteria because it's lunch break. The boy I believe is called Patrick tells Lizzie that he's got a white bread and honey sandwich.

Panel 2: He then asks her if she knows what the best thing about a white bread and honey sandwich is.

Panel 3: He presses down on it.

Panel 4: When he shows her the sheet he's made of it and explains that you can flatten it, she says GOSH! in amazement.

Summary: While this is cute, I kind of hear a vacuum cleaner in the background and sense that someone is riding the benzoyl peroxide train. Heh. Watch there be notes about this going THIS IS THE TRUTH!!! THIS HAPPENED!!!!
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
1:07 am
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Elizabeth confuses Humiliation-sensei by taking her regional expression about picking up her socks literally.

(Strip Number 4724, Original Publication Date, 3 December 1986)

Panel 1: After Lizzie asks why she didn't get a sticker, Miss Blais tells her that her work needs improvement and she'll to pull up her socks.

Panel 2: Since she joins most Americans in not realizing that Miss Wannabe Brit meant "work harder", Lizzie looks down and sees that her socks have rolled down a bit.

Panel 3: She frowns the baffled frown I associate with her and shrugs.

Panel 4: Miss Blais is confused when Elizabeth takes her instructions literally.

Summary: Look for notes that have Lynn wrench her shoulder patting herself on the back for confusing the shit out of her American readers AND making it difficult to sell her strip to non-English speakers because she needs complete creative control and thinks everyone should all stop speaking any language that isn't English so she doesn't have to take subjects that bore and confuse her.
Monday, November 30th, 2015
1:01 am
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Humilation-sensei strikes again when she uses scratch and sniff stickers to exclude Lizzie from the ranks of winners and people who matter.

(Strip Number 1231, Original Publication Date, 2 December 1986)

Panel 1: We find ourselves in Super-Incompetent Arrogant WEAK-AS-WATER Idiot Teacher Miss Blais's first grade class as she hands her charges back their alphabet samples. Since she teaches by humiliation and exclusion, good work gets a scratch and sniff sticker.

Panel 2: Lizzie notices that she didn't get a scratch and sniff sticker.

Panel 3: She panics as she looks around and thought-bubbles "I bet I'm the only one who didn't get one."

Panel 4: Since Elizabeth is terrified of being not part of the group, the horror on her face as she yells that everyone is scratching and sniffing except for her is readily understandable. Her panicky bellowing makes less sense.

Summary: Who would do this to a child? Why make a point of yelling "THIS CHILD ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH" and make a frightened, lonely child MORE frightened and lonely? What the HELL did Lizzie do to deserve being shat on by this arrogant weakling and why do I think that she went on to turn an air conditioner to 'meat locker' so she could slut-shame eighth-graders dressing for a hot-ass September day?

Also, way to hammer home how evil teachers are for expecting competent work, Lynn.
Saturday, November 28th, 2015
11:36 am
What the last week of November, 1986 was supposed to look like
As we have discussed, Lynn Johnston had a set of comic strips all ready for the last full week of November when someone reminded her that she was one of the co-coordinators for the Comic Relief artists supporting USA for Africa Foundation on the U.S. Thanksgiving Day in 1986. Lynn had to redo her comic strips for the week to support a storyline about how Farley the dog has hip dysplasia and has to go on a diet and this was somehow related to hunger in Africa. The whole thing sounds extremely disorganized and that was probably one of the reasons it was the last year they did that.


Anyway, I will present the strips originally planned for the week and discuss them after the cut.
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Sunday, November 29th, 2015
1:00 am
Monday, 30 November 2015
We end the arc with another reminder that since the Pattersons are shitty pet owners, Farley is a big, shaggy imbecile because he doesn't do what they want him to.

(Strip Number 6041, Original Publication Date, 1 December 1986)

Panel 1: We find ourselves outside today. As Brian plays with a yo-yo, he tells Mike that despite the fact that he said something was wrong with Farley, the dog looks okay with him.

Panel 2: As Farley stares at the yo-yo in horrified fascination, Mike explains that Farley's on a diet because his dad his his back end is too heavy and his front end is too light.

Panel 3: As Farley growls at the unfamiliar thing because he thinks it's a threat somehow, Brian says "His front end's too light? No kidding!"

Panel 4: As Farley barks at the yo-yo, Mike says "No brains!"

Summary: This is, of course, because Mike thinks that since he would not bark at a toy, Farley is stupid for doing so despite the fact that dogs don't like unfamiliar and confusing things. Just as a dog barks at the mail carrier because he can't tell him or her apart from a prowler, he's going to bark at something that makes sudden moves because he's a dog and that's what they do.
Saturday, November 28th, 2015
1:18 am
Sunday, 29 November 2015
For some reason, Elly and Mike both blame his being something of a moocher on Farley.

(Strip Number 7032, Original Publication Date, 30 November 1986)

Panel 1: We see Mike smiling as he holds a cookie.

Panel 2: Mike notices that Farley is staring at him eating. He thinks Farley is begging but all that's happened is that Farley has been trained to think that if he stares at them in a certain way, they always feed him for some reason.

Panel 3: Mike eats the cookie as if to tell Farley that it's his cookie and he has food. Since Farley is a dog, he stands his ground because he knows that he's 'supposed' to get a bit of whatever people eat whenever he makes a submission gesture.

Panel 4: Farley gives him the sad-looking stare because he knows that if he does a certain thing, the people will give him what he wants. He doesn't know why it works but it always does.

Panel 5: As Mike gives in, he rolls his eyes in disgust at Farley for being a moocher and himself for falling for his blandishments.

Panel 6: Mike watches Farley messily eat the food he shouldn't have.

Panel 7: Michael then goes to Elly, who is baking cookies and uses the same technique to get another one.

Panel 8: He gives her the sad stare as if his belly thinks his throat is cut.

Panel 9: As Elly gives in, she rolls her eyes in disgust at Mike for being a moocher and herself for falling for his blandishments.

Panel 10: As she watches him eat the cookie, Elly asks Mike where he picked up this begging habit.

Summary: Again, Farley isn't begging for anything. He's been trained to look at people with a wide-eyed, longing-LOOKING stare and to whimper at them because he associates a gesture and a noise that he sometimes makes with getting the food he's been trained to expect. Mike, on the other hand, is a moocher of the worst sort.
Friday, November 27th, 2015
1:32 am
Saturday, 28 November 2015
Elly might feel sorry for Farley but not so sorry that she wants dog hair all over her furniture.

(Strip Number 6040, Original Publication Date, 29 November 1986)

Panel 1: We find Elly on the phone to Marian telling her about Farley's health problems and how they'll have to watch him.

Panel 2: As she frets about how he might be in pain, something untoward catches her attention.

Panel 3: Said violation of all that's good and holy is resolved when she yells at him for sleeping on the couch.

Panel 4: As Farley staggers from her verbal assault, Elly reminds herself that sympathy only goes so far.

Summary: This is par for the course, folks. Elly wants things just so and, as we'll see Monday, this whole business is going to be chalked up to Farley being a shambling, untrainable imbecile.
Thursday, November 26th, 2015
1:30 am
Friday, 27 November 2015
Elly realizes that her comment about how Farley is carrying too much weight on his hind end is a perfect lead-in for John being a fricking douchecanoe who needs to have his tongue yanked out.

(Strip Number 1104, Original Publication Date, 28 November 1986)

Panel 1: Elly reminds John that she's putting Farley on a diet because of the trouble he has walking.

Panel 2: She then reminds him that it seems that he's carrying too much weight in his hind end.

Panel 3: John smiles at Elly's butt as she bends over.

Panel 4: She yells at him that she knows what he's thinking and if he says it, he will get Alpo in his meat loaf.

Summary: On the one hand, John should shut the Hell up about Elly's weight. On the other, how could he tell if she did put dog food in his meat loaf?
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
1:19 am
American Thanksgiving Day 2015
Mike tries really hard to convince Elly to violate doctor's orders to not overfeed Farley the wrong damned thing by pointing out that even if we can't see the dog beg for the scraps he shouldn't have, he still wants them.

(Strip Number 4722, Original Publication Date, 27 November 1986)

Panel 1: We find the Pattersons at the dinner table. As always, Farley is begging for the table scraps he should never been allowed to expect in the first place. Not as always, Elly has a doctor's advice to deny him the beloved harmful items. As always, Mike doesn't get the point of things when he whines that since there's so much good stuff, it's cruel to deny Farley what he should never been allowed to have.

Panel 2: He doubles down on being a stupid idiot by asking Elly how she can Farley's pleading face.

Panel 3: Elly solves the immediate problem when she puts Farley outside.

Panel 4: When Michael says that just because you cannot see someone, it does not mean they're not hungry, we get beaten over the head with a message.

Summary: I should think that if there are notes for this, Lynn would probably remind us of the fact that everyone was told to produce a strip about hunger and the need to think of the less fortunate. Too bad the real Lynn shines through this Saturday. Anyhow, happy Turkey Day from us up North. Enjoy the Macy's parade, the company of family and the insane idiots killing each other over home electronics you'll be running into Friday.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
1:57 am
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
Today's strip reveals the fact that Mike doesn't quite understand that dogs age at a different rate than human beings do.

(Strip Number 6039, Original Publication Date, 26 November 1986)

Panel 1: At home, we see Panicky Mike ask Elly if whatever's wrong with Farley can be fixed.

Panel 2: She tells him that apparently, he's always had this problem with the way his hips are put together.

Panel 3: She then says that veterinarian says that now that he's older, it's started to actually manifest itself as a problem.

Panel 4: Mike complains that since Farley is five, he's far too young to be old.

Summary: On its own, this looks very much like what I thought it was back when I was twenty-one: a small boy not quite working it out that since Farley grew from puppy to adult dog in a year, it sort of means that he was going to keep on aging faster than a person would. Given who Mike is, though, we're probably going to see moral force ascribed to an impersonal fact of life. Farley dying at fifteen is unfair for the same reason that numbers always adding up to the same thing every time despite the fact that he'd like them to add up to something else for once is unfair.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015
1:55 am
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
When the veterinarian tells Elly about Farley's condition, he tells her what to do before confusing her by making a mild joke.

(Strip Number 6038, Original Publication Date, 25 November 1986)

Panel 1: We find Elly and Farley to at the clinic of local veterinarian Dr. Schell. After the examination, he tells Elly that Farley has mild hip dysplasia and goes on to state that sometimes, it doesn't bother a dog until he gets older.

Panel 2: When he tells her that sheepdogs are especially vulnerable to this, Elly asks him what she should do.

Panel 3: Dr Schell tells her to keep Farley's weight down and not play too roughly with him.

Panel 4: He then tries to lighten the mood by making a tepid joke about buying him a good cane.

Summary: This is another strip that should have ended a panel sooner than it did. This is because my initial reaction to this twenty-nine years ago was to keep myself from yelling "No, STUPID!!! She'll run around trying to buy the dog a cane!!" and thus be given the stink-eye by my family.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015
1:53 am
Monday, 23 November 2015
We begin the "Farley has hip dysplasia" arc with John smiling at Lizzie's speculation that he might have arthritis because her lisp makes it sound like wordplay.

(Strip Number 4719, Original Publication Date, 24 November 1986)

Panel 1: As the dog saunters by, Elly asks John is he's also noticed that Farley has been limping lately.

Panel 2: She goes on to say that whenever he runs or goes up the stairs, Farley seems to be in pain.

Panel 3: She wonders if they should get him checked because there might something wrong.

Panel 4: When Elizabeth suggests he may have "arfritis", John smiles behind his hand at the unintended pun.

Summary: This is harmless in and of itself. As an isolated strip, it's a kid lisping and a parent noticing the mildly amusing coincidence. As part of a wider pattern of John being a self-satisfied assbucket who says condescending bullshit about not intending to raise a princess because he's too stupid and arrogant to find out what's going on in his own damned house, it's NOT at all harmless.
Saturday, November 21st, 2015
1:47 am
Sunday, 22 November 2015
The first great zits-and-vacuuming thing is a bit of pointlessness about Elly and a nose whistle.

(Strip Number 7231, Original Publication Date, 23 November 1986)

Panel 1: It's nighttime at the Patterson house and we find Elly sleeping. As she does so, a sort of whistling "EEEEEEEEEEE" noise emanates from her nostrils.

Panel 2: Said noise wakes her up.

Panel 3: She tries to sleep but the noise won't go away.

Panel 4: Its continued presence angers her more.

Panel 5: She is both horrified and astonished when she realizes that it's coming from her turnip-like proboscis.

Panel 6: She reaches over to her nightstand and grabs onto some tissue.

Panel 7: Her violently blowing her nose startles John awake.

Panel 8: He asks her what the [BOXCAR] is WRONG with her that she'd do that.

Panel 9: She angrily slams her head onto the pillow.

Panel 10: The bleary-eyed wreck says that she can't sleep with a nose whistle.

Summary: Neither, it seems, can John. Ah, well. For sickness and in health, right? He should have known going in that there would be sleepless nights and Elly obsessing over something baffling. Since he's soft and stupid, this is a calamity instead of business as usual.
Friday, November 20th, 2015
1:40 am
Saturday, 21 November 2015: Oh, Elly, who will they ever find to replace you? Anyone!!
We end the week realizing that Phil's got good reason to suspect that Vindictive Ball Of Hatred Elly's motives are not pure. She'll deny it forever but most of why she yearns to see Phil get married is so he can be angry and miserable all the time so he can be punished for winning their childhood.

(Strip Number 1102, Original Publication Date, 22 November 1986)

Panel 1: In bed, John tells Elly that she seems excited over Phil's possible wedding. She agrees.

Panel 2: She states that he's been a bachelor too long before saying that she wants Phil to have a home, a family, a mortgage, a diaper pail.

Panel 3: Since she's a shitty parent who blames her inability to get along with her kids on them instead of on herself for being a high-strung jerk who's been spoiling for a fight all her life, her eyes turn evil thinking about kids.

Panel 4: When she says that she wants him to have it all, John is a little terrified.

Summary: Here, we see the collision of two of Elly's uglier personality traits. The first is her need to punish Phil for being born because her empty, belligerent brain sees him as being why she's miserable and angry all the time and why her parents don't really love her. The second is her need to see children as a force for chaos and backtalk because her fragile ego can't tolerate such evils as their awful free will, the hateful feeling in their limbs that tells them that moving around is good and especially the horrible need they have for attention. Since she's a vain simpleton and a toxic egomaniac, she sees normal childhood behaviour as part of a plot to drain her of her vital juices.
Thursday, November 19th, 2015
1:38 am
Friday, 20 November 2015
Lizzie's excitement about being a flower girl is matched by her lack of knowledge of what a flower girl is.

(Strip Number 1101, Original Publication Date, 21 November 1986)

Panel 1: As Mike reads a funny book, Lizzie comes along and tells him that next summer, she gets to be a flower girl.

Panel 2: She goes on to say that Uncle Phil said so and when he and Georgia get married next Summer, she gets to be a flower girl.

Panel 3: In her excitement, she tells Mike that she can't wait.

Panel 4: She also doesn't know what a flower girl is and asks Michael.

Summary: She likes the idea now but won't when she realizes that she has to go way out of her comfort zone and be first in the procession. Being first means being alone and being vulnerable to the Looming Shape Of Imbecile Malice and Envy that still haunts Liz's dreams.
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
1:37 am
Thursday, 19 November 2015
Elly's enthusiasm for the wedding and lack of concern for his feelings have got Phil thinking that the fix is in and a conspiracy to make him as miserable and angry as Elly is all the time is in play.

(Strip Number 4718, Original Publication Date, 20 November 1986)

Panel 1: Phil is clearly still ambivalent about asking Georgia to marry him but Elly is so jazzed about the process, she assumes that it's all systems go for her. This is why she tells him that a summer wedding would be wicked cool.

Panel 2: She can barely contain her delight when faced with the delightful prospect of photos at the Botanical Gardens, a reception on the island ferry and Lizzie adorable as a flower girl.

Panel 3: Super-Delighted Elly is super-delighted that he's going to tie the knot.

Panel 4: Since said knot is starting to feel like a hangman's noose, Phil thought-bubbles "I KNEW IT! I'M GETTING ROPED IN!!"

Summary: What Mrs Jumpsthegun doesn't realize is that Phil has a lot of concerns that she's going to right on ignoring. We'll see why Saturday. Also, Lynn can't quit regionalisms that don't translate well.
Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
1:33 am
Wednesday, 18 November 2015: You've brought shame on your people, John.
Glib Jackass John antagonizes Phil by making light of his ambivalence as regards getting married.

(Strip Number 4717, Original Publication Date, 19 November 1986)

Panel 1: We find Phil in the living room telling John and Lizzie that he need that he'd propose to Georgia sooner or later.

Panel 2: He ascribes the fact that it's later to his ambivalence about the whole thing.

Panel 3: Lizzie sets up the punchline by asking Daddy what the new word 'ambivalence' means.

Panel 4: When John says it's what you call when faced with an emergency, Phil recoils at the bad pun.

Summary: John sees himself as trying to smooth over hurt feelings with a bad pun because he sees himself as being a fount of wisdom and gentle humor. Everyone else sees him as what he is: an abrasive and insensitive jerk who delights in prolonging the misery of others for his own sick amusement.
Monday, November 16th, 2015
1:32 am
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Elly makes a point of tuning out Phil's legitimate concerns that he might end up doing wrong by Georgia because WEDDINGS!!!

(Strip Number 4716, Original Publication Date, 18 November 1986)

Panel 1: We continue on with Phil trying to ask Elly about marriage in general and what happens to a relationship when one has made a legal commitment in particular.

Panel 2: The reason he asks is that up until now, if the relationship wasn't viable, either he or Georgia could simply move out without the stigma and recrimination associated with divorce.

Panel 3: He tells her that this is a serious commitment and he wants to know if he's doing the right thing.

Panel 4: Since all she heard was blahblahblah I won't eat my spinach, she astonishes him by stating that Georgia would look beautiful in antique lace. It's as if she wasn't listening because the vision of the Perfect Wedding drowned out all other concerns.

Summary: The person tasked with writing the description stated that Elly's head is full of wedding dresses and thus she cannot be asked to care about trivialities like whatever Phil is saying. All Elly hears when Phil gets to talking about making a big mistake that could ruin lives is static that means that he won't listen to her and do what she tells him to.
Sunday, November 15th, 2015
1:29 am
Monday, 16 November 2015
Adult Child Phil equates getting married to being pretty much a prison sentence for some reason. This astonishes Elly despite her being pretty much BEING the reason he makes the mental association between matrimony and misery.

(Strip Number 4715, Original Publication Date, 17 November 1986)

Panel 1: Elly can barely contain her excitement about how Phil is (finally) talking about marriage.

Panel 2: She asks Super-Glum Phil what made him start thinking this way.

Panel 3: Phil explains that he has given up drinking, smoking, and carousing for Georgia.

Panel 4: This means that he might as well give up everything else that makes life worth living.

Summary: What Elly doesn't quite get and never will is that she's a rather poor advertisement for being a married person with children. Perhaps if Phil had a married friend who didn't go out of her way to make herself miserable and was also competent to run her own affairs and wasn't a vindictive bitch and didn't spend most of her free time belly-aching about how HORRIBLE and UNGRATEFUL children are when they're sitting right next to her, he might think better of the process.
Saturday, November 14th, 2015
1:27 am
Sunday, 15 November 2015
Despite being told that he should stop wasting time on stupidity because he might miss the bus, Mike wastes his time on stupidity and misses the bus. If this isn't an opening for a Corbeil story, I don't know what is.

(Strip Number 6158, Original Publication Date, 16 November 1986)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Mike in his room reading a funny book. As he does so, an off-camera Elly yells for him to hurry up.

Panel 2: He yells that he IS hurrying right back.

Panel 3: For some reason, he tries to milk taking his vitamin pill. Said reason is probably making Elly yell that if he doesn't stop wasting time, he's going to miss the bus.

Panel 4: He takes his sweet time eating his cereal only to have Elly try to get him to look at the time.

Panel 5: When he wastes time playing with Farley, she reminds him that he's going to miss the bus so he should quit doing that.

Panel 6: This makes him yell that she should stop nagging because he's old enough to take care of himself.

Panel 7: He slams the door on his way out.

Panel 8: Rage-Faced Elly starts to saunter off and also to tell John to KILL Michael when he gets home.

Panel 9: The door slams shut again for some reason.

Panel 10: Said reason is Mike because, as he tells an underwhelmed Elly, he missed the bus.

Summary: This, I should think, is Lynn's way of answering the people who tell her that Elly panics over nothing a lot of the time because, as we see, her family would probably sit in its own filth if she didn't nag them non-stop. The problem is that they've come to rely on being nagged and haven't learned to be self-starters.
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