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

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Friday, July 28th, 2017
1:32 am
Saturday, 29 July 2017
We shift focus to the boys' cabin so that a sagging mattress and a fat kid can lead to both a joke at Mike's expense and an opportunity for Lynn to bray witlessly about consumer electronics.

(Strip Number 1323, Original Publication Date, 29 July 1988)

Panel 1: We switch focus to Mike's cabin so that Bob can tell the guys to flip for top bunk and if anyone wants to change stuff around, he can do so next week.

Panel 2: A fat kid with glasses I'll name Artie Feldman crows about winning the coin toss and getting the bunk over Mike.

Panel 3: Since he's still kind of sore about the whole business with Mike's big box of getting him yelled at, Brian is really digging noticing how Mike is worried that the sagging mattress overhead will just give way causing Artie to squish him and asks if he can have his MP3 player (in 1988, it was his Walkman) if something happens to to him.

Summary: Again, Lynn will probably ignore how she's making Lizzie have a great time while taking a creamy dump all over Michael to rant about evil machines of playing headache music and tuning out her helpful advice that isn't corrosive, demeaning nagging that presumes that the victim is a chaos-loving monster who hates the love in Elly's great big heart.
Thursday, July 27th, 2017
1:30 am
Friday, 28 July 2017
The CIT in charge of the girls gets them to break the ice by reminding them of how friends start out as strangers.

(Strip Number 4999, Original Publication Date, 28 July 1988)

Panel 1: We see a camp counselor I'll call "Ashleigh" calling roll for Cabin D. Accompanying Lizzie and Dawn are shout-out Luccia Messina (she'll be who the notes are about), Ranjeet Singh (because Lynn doesn't know that's a boy's name), Kietha O'Leary and Patti Scott(also a probable shout-out).

Panel 2: Since Lynn isn't especially good at understanding how groups of people behave, what we don't have is Lizzie and Dawn chatting by themselves while the other girls look at their surroundings in confusion when Ashleigh tells them to choose a bunk, unpack and take the next half hour getting to know each other.

Panel 3: This is also why Lizzie and Dawn behave as if they don't know each other from Adam as Ashleigh smiles indulgently over her shoulder at six shy little girls who are afraid to speak to each other.

Panel 4: This is so we can contrast the lovely time Lizzie has at camp with the terrible time Mike does for the first few days with Ashleigh spouting goodthink about how every good friend was once a stranger.

Summary: While Lynn will surely crow about sending a message to a friend, it seems obvious that we're meant to contrast how Lizzie has a great time at camp with Mike having a lousy one because he's got a bad attitude.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
1:27 am
Thursday, 27 July 2017
On the bus trip up to camp, Random Jerk Kid decides it's fun to scare the crap out of Dawn and Lizzie by adding some bullshit to explaining the ground rules.

(Strip Number 1322, Original Publication Date, 27 July 1988)

Panel 1: As the bus drives towards camp, the kids sing along to the traditional "let's sing of the violent death of an authority figure because as always-chaotic-evil children, we hate the people trying to end our wickedness" song kids sing along to on long bus rides.

Panel 2: When we look inside the bus, a boy who gets named Patrick in the summaries when Lizzie loses her glasses at the beach identifies Lizzie and Dawn as children who, unlike him, have never gone to Kamp Kawkawa.

Panel 3: He explains that they put you six to a cabin and that you must go outside to use the lavatory. He sets up the punchline by saying that it's pretty safe because they only lost two campers last year which makes Lizzie ask how that happened.

Panel 4: Since Bob and the other staffers kept that to themselves and also since he likes to scare people, he scares them when he says that bears ate'em.

Summary: What Lynn tends to not want to face is that her belief that children should be protected from knowing what's going on around them leads to crap like this. Griefers like him fester when people don't get straight answers.
Monday, July 24th, 2017
8:02 am
Things on Foob Twitter
There have been a few things showing up on the Website Twitter that are not duplicated in the Website News. I will discuss them after the cut.

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Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
1:24 am
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
We get a sort of reminder that the parents in Milborough love their children but don't like them all that much when their departure is met with celebration.

(Strip Number 1321, Original Publication Date, 26 July 1988)

Panel 1: We find the parents waving goodbye to the under-twelves bus.

Panel 2: John, Elly and the other parents look very much sad to see them go.

Panel 3: They watch as the bus disappears over the horizon.

Panel 4: After it is no longer in sight, they go berserk with glee because they aren't going to have the yard-apes underfoot for a fortnight.

Summary: I do know that children can be a pain in the ass and the job seems thankless but the freakish delight that Elly and her kind show when the kids go away might be why today's children might not find the angry, screaming woman who hates kids an especially sympathetic figure or give her strip a chance. They can get behind the round-headed pain in the neck who loses all the time because he's got a funny dog but the Pattersons simply leave them cold. The parents who seem to actively resent their kids because they have emotional needs too and think that the kids are trying to deny them happiness are a different story.
Monday, July 24th, 2017
1:19 am
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
We start the Camp Kawkawa arc with Elly getting choked up a little because she compares seeing her children in matching shirts to their marching off to war. This glurge is quickly replaced by how they really feel tomorrow.

(Strip Number 1320, Original Publication Date, 25 July 1988)

Panel 1: Today's strip finds us in what's probably the parking lot of the school. As an unhappy Mike, excited Elizabeth and mildly curious John look on, the chief counselor (a man I'll call Bob) blows on a whistle and tells the 12 to 15-year olds to form up over by where he is while the younger children in yellow T-shirts get on the second bus.

Panel 2: As Bob holds up what's supposed to be a red shirt but looks orange because the colorist wasn't given a color chart despite that being SOP, he introduces them to the regimentation they'd better get used to for later in life by telling the older children that they're to wear the red T-shirts that they're wearing now during all trips and activities and that badges will be given for proficiency in sports, crafts and Red Cross training. Also, pay close attention to the gum-chewer next to Mike. She is why we're in co-op mode now.

Panel 3: As the kids get on the buses, John notices that Elly is wiping away tears and asks her what's got her down.

Panel 4: She tells him that every mother gets choked up when she sees their children in uniform.

Summary: The story Lynn wants to tell is that of parents who are, well, ambivalent about the children leaving the nest. Tomorrow's strip makes that a lie by having them go berserk with glee because the kids are out of the picture for a week or two.
Sunday, July 23rd, 2017
1:42 am
Monday, 24 July 2017
John reminds us that he is not an especially bright man when he flat out tells Mike that packing him and Lizzie off to summer camp to do chores is a vacation for himself and Elly.

(Strip Number 1319, Original Publication Date, 23 July 1988)

Panel 1: It's John's turn to try (and fail) to convince Mike that he isn't being punished for being young and having free time by being sent to camp (when everyone who ain't Lizzie knows he is) by saying that he's only going to be there for two weeks (it actually swallows up most of August) and anyway, Kamp Kawkawa will be a vacation.

Panel 2: Mike doesn't think it's a vacation at all and explains why when he reads from the camp rulebook. What sort of vacation, he asks, requires him to make their own beds, do mess hall chores, be ready for activities and obey camp rules at all times. The implication of this is that he might as well be at home because he has to do endless chores without reward or recognition so he isn't really getting a proper vacation at all.

Panel 3: John's smug and ultra-predictable to everyone who AIN'T Michael (who looks honestly shocked despite the fact that he really should have known better) of "OURS!!" reminds us that he and Elly not only don't really like having him around, they also don't like the idea of his having time to just kick around by himself.

Summary: What they actually like is to dump him on other people who also insist on a million fussy little rules to clog his days and waste his life because they fear and hate the idea of his just sitting around doing nothing in particular. Super idea, Trash Bag Johnny. Get other people to teach him the discipline you and your idiot wife are too fucking dumb, lazy and angry to.
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
1:40 am
Sunday, 23 July 2017
Today's outing uses bad wordplay in order to talk about how stupid it is to expect a dog not to want to eat something when everyone else around it is chowing down.

(Strip Number 7260, Original Publication Date, 24 July 1988)

Panel 1: We start things off with the arrival of that fixture of suburban summer, the bicycle-based ice cream vendor.

Panel 2: Hearing the familiar ringing noise he makes delights Lizzie, Dawn and the Nichols children.

Panel 3: As we see Elly buying ice cream for the group, we notice that Farley is walking into the situation.

Panel 4: Since Farley has been accidentally trained to expect that he eats when and what everyone else does, his not getting any ice cream confuses him.

Panel 5: Suddenly, Farley notices Leah Nichols off by herself.

Panel 6: Farley continues to approach Leah.

Panel 7: Since a dog isn't a person in a suit, we see an animal about to do what its instincts mandate: stealing food from something too weak to defend itself.

Panel 8: Elly stops Farley by shouting his name. This is because he remembers that whenever he hears that particular noise in that tone of voice, he always ends up having to run from the loud THING making it.

Panel 9: Elly flags down the ice cream vendor.

Panel 10: Having bought Farley an ice cream cone to eat, Elly rolls her eyes and thought-bubbles something stupid about how if you can't lick'em, join'em.

Summary: I should think that if there are actual notes for this, once again, Lynn would blank out on the fact that a dog has (and can have) no idea in its head what human standards of behaviour are but instead wrench out her shoulder patting herself on the back for another moronic pun.
Friday, July 21st, 2017
1:26 am
Saturday, 22 July 2017
When Mike bitches about how dull he knows summer camp is going to be, Brian replies by saying that dull people with empty brains like Mike lead dull lives.

(Strip Number 4998, Original Publication Date, 22 July 1988)

Panel 1: We find Mike wailing to Brian about how big a bummer it is that their parents have packed them off to summer camp like chumps.

Panel 2: We then get a big whiff of why Mike fails at life by having him exclaim about the unfairness that is life not being like television or the cinema. If life were like what he saw on the screen, he'd have a blast being in a real-life Meatballs.

Panel 3: He sets up the punchline by knowing that it's gonna be dull and boring and why is life so [boxcar] dull instead of being like movies (in which he would not only get away with being stupid and selfish, he would be praised and respected)?

Panel 4: Brian says something that goes over Mike's head about how it's because we hafta be our own writers.

Summary: If Mike were a smarter, more genre-savvy 'writer', he'd have figured out that he's not the focus of a sitcom but instead an average kid who can't get away with poking his head into the girl's shower. No such luck there, gang. We're stuck with the plodding potato-head who ends up using a lot of big words to disguise the fact that his idea of a story will always be "Sum kidz wuz lost an'then wuz fownd."
Thursday, July 20th, 2017
1:56 am
Friday, 21 July 2017
Mike growls at Lizzie because her actually thinking that camp might be a great thing gets makes him look like what he is: a melodramatic nitwit making his life worse by posing as the Victim Of All Victims Surpassing All Others.

(Strip Number 4997, Original Publication Date, 21 July 1988)

Panel 1: Since he sees summer camp as the punishment his idiot parents turned it into, Mike is not happy about it at all and whines "Aw, JEEZ!!" about it.

Panel 2: Since Elly lacks self-awareness and honesty, she plays up the fact that since Lawrence, Brian and Dawn are going, he might as well accompany them while leaving out the part about how they didn't really want him underfoot all summer anyway. (John at least has the honesty to say what she thinks.)

Panel 3: Since Lizzie has yet to be infected totally by the default moodiness and victim complex that plague everyone else, she sees the upside of Camp Kawkawa because they have cabins and canoes and all sorts of ever neat things.

Panel 4: Mike's need to see everything as part of a conspiracy to make him unhappy cannot be denied as he bellows about the unfairness of her being positive when he wants to be depressed.

Summary: Mike is supposed to be in the wrong here but as yesterday's "I'm punishing you by sending you away" and Monday's "We don't actually like having you around but do like the idea of having the people we drop in your lap give you the discipline we don't" tell us, he's pretty much figured out why he's being packed off to the middle of nowhere.
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
1:51 am
Thursday, 20 July 2017
We get a huge-ass hint as to why the insane and stupid conflict Liz and Mike have is still on the boil when Elly, having declared that what they were fighting about was pointless and not worth sullying her ears hearing, inflicts isolation from home on them.

(Strip Number 1318, Original Publication Date, 20 July 1988)

Panel 1: Having noticed the noise coming from the back yard generated by two large boys trying to dismantle two girls half their collective sizes, Elly finally shows up to supervise her children and bellows "THAT'S ENOUGH!!"

Panel 2: Rather than do what a normal person might do and tell Mike and Brian that they should be ashamed of trying to beat up far weaker children, Elly cuts off Mike's whiny blathering about that stupid box. This is so she can be Elly and stand around yapping that she doesn't care who's at fault, what the fight is about or who did what to whom. Reason: caring about what children care about would, in her mind, reduce HER to a child.

Panel 3: She compounds her being a feckless mutton-head who brings her trouble on herself by coming up with two words that should end the fighting.
Panel 4: She gets a sadistic gleam in her eyes when she terrifies Mike by saying 'summer camp.'

Summary: Given Tuesday's Lynnecdote, I think that we might have to endure yet another ad hominem attack on a dead woman because an old woman is nursing an old grudge that has as its roots her not really understanding what her mother was thinking. All Lindy knew then and knows now is that Mommy was angry at HER instead of Alan for plotting to be born and thus win her childhood.
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
1:47 am
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Today's strip is pretty much the first example of Mike underestimating the lengths Lizzie will go to in order to fight back against his being a brutish dick; this is because she and Dawn think of a more powerful improvised weapon than he does.

(Strip Number 1317, Original Publication Date, 19 July 1988)

Panel 1: We figure out why the boys are melting when Mike declares that the Enemy is sneaking up on his blindside; this means that The Noble Scribe To Be doesn't understand what cross-ventilation is.

Panel 2: The nitwit's response is to make too big a deal of loading up a pea shooter to fire out of an improvised gun port.

Panel 3: Brian plays along by declaring that the cardboard tube they call a torpedo tube is ready.

Panel 4: We see Lizzie telling Dawn to turn on the hose that she's shoved down the cardboard tube on NOW!! thereby "settling" the issue by just plain destroying the box.

Summary: The simmering aggression that made dimwit Mike sit in a hot damned box like a turd drying out on a bad stretch of road because he needs to 'win' is going to boil over now that said box is wrecked. This leads into Elly once again "solving" the problem by dumping him on someone else because the presumptuous jerk expects them to fix what she won't.
Monday, July 17th, 2017
1:43 am
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Mike gets Brian to stay on message as regards being a dick to his kid sister because life isn't supposed to be rational and easy and smart.

(Strip Number 1316, Original Publication Date, 18 July 1988)

Panel 1: We switch our attention back to Mike's poorly ventilated clubhouse of being stupid boys. As Mike takes off his t-shirt, Brian complains that it's very hot (as evidenced by his quoting an interior temperature that would convert them into monoatomic gas) and they should just get outta there like people with brains.

Panel 2: Since Mike is not equipped with a properly functioning brain, he says "No dice" because if they do, Lizzie and the girls will rush in and "win" baking their brains like idiots inside a box with no cross-ventilation. He saw the big box of heat-stroke first and it's his.

Panel 3: After Lynn reminds us that she thinks a boy is a stupid creature that mangles the language by having Brian louse up "We could die of heat prostration", he tells Mike that what he's doing makes no sense at all.

Panel 4: As Mike scans the horizon for the implacable enemy bent on his total annihilation (or, worse than that, his having to voluntarily share things) that is Lizzie, he sullenly declares that this is war and it's not supposed to make sense.

Summary: I've no real idea what today's notes will be. Either she'll make a sweeping generalization about the world that reminds us of her facile ignorance of it (I think this is probably what we're going to see), slam her kids or boast about getting other people's children to fight each other. All I know is that Mike is a rather bad influence on Brian and deserves to get tossed under the bus by Brian's mother. Someone in town has to lay the smack-down on a dumb kid dragging their kid into the shit and we know it ain't gonna be Elly.'

ETA: In hindsight, aprilp_katje is right on the money about how behaviour this teeth-rattlingly stupid HAD to have been inspired by Lindy "Rebel Without A Brain" Ridgway's being the most boring psycho child on the planet.
Sunday, July 16th, 2017
1:41 am
Monday, 16 July 2017
Complaining about Mike and Brian being bog-standard dickweed older brothers leads to a reminder that Lynn dismisses most men as selfish children who get in the way of busy women.

Strip Number 4996, Original Publication Date, 15 July 1988

Panel 1: When Dawn asks why all boys are creeps like Mike and his flunky Brian, Lizzie dunno.

Panel 2: Dawn screams that she's never, EVER gonna have a boyfriend because who could like someone like THEM?

Panel 3: We set up the punchline by Dawn declaring that the only time she's ever gonna like them is when they grow up.

Panel 4: Lizzie says that she's got news; her mom says that they never do.

Summary: On the down side, we have more default misandry from Lynn. On the plus side, she finally realized that Liz and Dawn should be besties. Also, I'm starting to realize why Carol gleefully threw Mike under the bus. To her, he might as well be have the words "BAD INFLUENCE" stenciled on his shirtfront.
Friday, July 14th, 2017
6:34 pm
Saturday, July 15th, 2017
1:28 am
Sunday, 16 July 2017
We find out why Mike has a hard time getting along with Elly when we're shown that he's too easily distracted to listen to what she's saying when she's talking at a normal register.

(Strip Number 6728, Original Publication Date, 17 July 1988)

Panel 1: As Michael reads a comic book, Elly asks if they could have a few words.

Panel 2: Since most of the them, the words Elly uses "I wish you were never born", Mike gets all guarded and says "Sure, why not" because if he's going to get threatened with a beating, he might as well delay that for as long as possible.

Panel 3: When Elly probably starts talking about a subject that escapes him because it's not about him, Mike looks at his finger and wonders where the green ink came from.

Panel 4: As she continues to say something benign or possibly even supportive, he notices that if you stare long enough, the pattern on the wallpaper disappears.

Panel 5: As she tries to connect with him, he fixates more on the cookie crumb on her chin than whatever gibberish she might be spewing.

Panel 6: He then wonders if anyone blinks quite so much as she does.

Panel 7: After she's done talking, he thinks that he'll call Gordon.

Panel 8: Flush with a phony victory, Elly tells John that she and Mike had a nice long chat.

Panel 9: She's all smiles because she doesn't know that despite what she might think about how for the first time in years, they actually made a connection, he didn't listen to her at all.

Summary: We're probably going to get Aaron and Katie clubbed over the head for tuning her out but the problem is that Mike probably doesn't know how to react to Elly talking like a sane person. Also, Elly's a fine one for talking about not listening. I'm pretty damned sure the late Thelma Baird went to her grave thinking that Elly listened to her.
Friday, July 14th, 2017
1:40 am
Saturday, 15 July 2017
Mike makes a big, freaking deal about how Lizzie and Dawn are NOT ALLOWED to know what super-awesome things go on in his and Brian's manchild cave only to have it revealed that most of what goes on is his having not a blasted clue of what to do with his free time without someone barking orders at him.

[Strip Number 1315, Original Publication Date, 15 July 1988)

Panel 1: We find Mike pointing to the fridge box and angrily explaining to Lizzie that the comically misspelled version of "Private: No Girls Allowed" on the fake door means "take a hike."

Panel 2: Since we've seen that the sullen jerk has no problem trying to beat the tar out of a slip of a girl a third of his size because he's angry, I believe him when he says that it'll be game over if she and Dawn intrude on his and Brian's privacy.

Panel 3: He goes full Charlie Sheen on us when what the two of them are gonna do these is top secret, private and none of their business.

Panel 4: When we get to see the crazy awesome stuff that the girls aren't allowed to see, Lynn proves the point Brian makes next week about how dull people with dull minds lead dull lives when he and fellow dull young boy Mike ask one another what the other boy wants to do because they're both running on empty idea-wise.

Summary: Watching Michael in action almost always reminds me of watching a dog chase a car because he's got no blasted idea in his empty head of what to do when he achieves a goal. He needs someone to stand over his shoulder telling him what to do 24/7 because he has no ideas of his own but he's too stupid and vain to understand this and brays witlessly about the curse of not being boring and ordinary.
Thursday, July 13th, 2017
1:37 am
Friday, 14 July 2017
Mike gloms onto Elly's good bread knife so he can turn the fridge box into the Fortress Of Nitwit Macho Begrudgery.

(Strip Number 1314, Original Publication Date, 14 July 1988)

Panel 1: As our story continues, we see that someone has turned the refrigerator box on its side and is sawing it up from the inside.

Panel 2: Said someone happens to be a very determined-looking Michael busily turning it into a sort of treeless tree fort.

Panel 3: We switch focus to the basement as Elly, having looked through the knife drawer, ask if anyone has seen her good bread knife.

Summary: I'd originally thought "Well, there goes the knife and here comes a lecture" but bread knifes would plow through that no problem. That being said, Elly would probably be far more concerned with the disappearance of her good bread knife than the possibility that Mike might end up cutting himself quite badly with it.
Tuesday, July 11th, 2017
6:53 pm
Watch FBorFW Animated Specials in Dutch!

We’re very excited to announce that KidHit.tv has dubbed Lynn’s animated specials into Dutch!

Known as Familie Petterse in the Netherlands, the Pattersons appear in five of our popular animated specials – now, for the first time, in Nederlands!

We will talk about it more after the cut.

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Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
1:34 am
Thursday, 13 July 2017
Another scheduling conflict leads to a reminder that Elly is rather easily cowed into submission. This results in her looking like a doormat to the Big Strong Men at the cabinetry warehouse while also looking like Queen Kong to her kids.

(Strip Number 1313, Original Publication Date, 13 July 1988)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly phoning the cabinet makers about why they've yet to install the cupboards they ordered. When told that they can slot her in next week, she reminds them that they were supposed to have installed them two weeks ago.

Panel 2: When the man at the other end up the phone line vaguely alludes to their being busy without specifying what they're busy doing, Elly seems to visibly shrink as she says that she doesn't want to be a bother so next week will be fine.

Panel 3: Having noticed that Mommy looks the way she does when she yells at her, Lizzie asks her whatsa matter and why aren't the new cupboards there.

Panel 4: When the Mommy who bellows at her nonstop over piddly crap declares that she's too nice, Lizzie looks at us in confusion.

Summary: This is because Elly is not "too nice". Elly seems to have derived the wrong lesson from the idle comment the men who delivered the mattresses back in 1979 made about how their time is valuable too and sees a scheduling conflict as meaning that she's an oppressor or some such weird crap.
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