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|Saturday, December 21st, 2013|
Sunday, 22 December 2013
We share an uncharacteristic-for-the-Early Years pleasant moment in which the family share warm memories of past Christmases
when decorating the tree.
(Strip Number 7174, Original Publication Date, 23 December 1984)Panel 1:
As the Pattersons get ready to decorate their tree, Elly is delighted to find that her old bubble lights still work.Panel 2:
Mike is equally delighted to find that there are still some holly berries left over from the real holly that Grandma sent them.Panel 3:
Next, Elly pulls out the Christmas angel Mike gave her last year.Panel 4:
Next comes the wreath they bought in San Francisco.Panel 5:
She next tells Lizzie that she'd bought the silver bell ornaments before she met Daddy.Panel 6:
Mike is happy because he found the straw stars he made in first grade and Lizzie is happy because she found the Santa candle.Panel 7:
When John makes the scene, Elly tells him that she loves going through the ornaments because of the warm memories they inspire. Panel 8:
As the Pattersons bask in the glowing warmth of fond memories and a well-lit tree, Lynn herself tells us "One of the joys of Christmas is remembering the joys of Christmases past!"Summary:
Sure, it's a hokey, greeting-card sentiment that'll put the life of every diabetic in the country at risk. That's just one of the risks people have to take when dealing with the season.
|Friday, December 20th, 2013|
Saturday, 21 December 2013
We end the week with John getting a heaping helping of schadenfreude from his loving wife
and telling her "ENOUGH ALREADY!!" What he should actually do is ask her how she'd like it if he laughed at her pain. Granted, he'd be a big-ass hypocrite but at least he'd have made a valid point.
(Strip Number 771, Original Publication Date, 22 December 1984)Panel 1:
As John reads his evening paper, he's dismayed to find that Elly is on the phone to Marian talking about how he'd ended up on crutches with his foot in a cast.Panel 2:
She then guffaws about how it's a laugh riot that the store gave them the twenty-five pound turkey because she's got no idea what to do with it.Panel 3:
As she cackles away merrily, John calls her name.Panel 4:
He then yells "STUFF IT!!!" as loudly as possible; this results in her groove being harshed by a bummer self-pity trip. Summary:
While I don't like what they're doing to John much either, he's sort of what they call an asshole victim. If he didn't create an environment in which verbal abuse was tolerated, he wouldn't be its target.
|Thursday, December 19th, 2013|
Friday, 20 December 2013
As the Christmas play concludes, we get a hint that John is more sentimental than he lets on.
(Strip Number 770, Original Publication Date, 21 December 1984)Panel 1:
We skip ahead to the play itself. As Elly sees a pretty touching scene, she comments on it to Lizzie and reminds us that she loves Christmas pageants.Panel 2:
As it gets over, Elly laments getting emotional and crying because she feels that she's embarrassing herself crying like a child. Panel 3:
She wishes to herself that she was as matter-of-fact about things as John is. Panel 4:
What she doesn't see is John sniffling a little as a tear crawls down his cheek. Summary:
What we're probably supposed to take away from this is that children aren't really supposed to know what adults feel because adults are supposed to hide their emotions.
|Wednesday, December 18th, 2013|
Thursday, 19 December 2013
For some unguessable reason, Elly commandeers John's bathrobe to serve as a costume in Mike's
Christmas play. The "joke" is that John is either too stupid or too cheap (or both) to have more than one bathrobe.
(Strip Number 769, Original Publication Date, 20 December 1984)Panel 1:
We fast-forward an hour to find Lizzie asking Mike where Daddy is. Mike sets things up by saying that he's in the shower with a bag over his cast.Panel 2:
She then asks if Daddy is going to be able to see the Christmas play after all despite his injuries. Mike hopes so.Panel 3:
That's because he gets to be Joseph this year. He then shows up the neat costume Mom found him.Panel 4:
We then switch focus to a dripping-wet John asking Elly where his bathrobe is.Summary:
As you might have guessed, Lynn is probably working backwards again. She started with the punchline and asked herself what the best start should have been.
|Tuesday, December 17th, 2013|
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Today, we take a brief break from John Patterson's One-Man Pity Party so we can watch Lizzie not take crap
from her ugly brother. Ah, well. At least this time around, she's not mouthing John's version of things.
(Strip Number 768, Original Publication Date, 19 December 1984)Panel 1:
We start things off with Lizzie playing with her dolly as she sings the following improvised lyrics to "Deck The Halls": "Dep the halls wif balls of folly/Falla-la-laaa/laa-laa-laaa-nahhh!!
" For some reason, this irritates Mike.Panel 2:
His response is to tell her "Y'got all the words wrong, dummy! It's 'Deck the halls.' Donchaknow what 'deck' means?!" Panel 3:
She "says" I do so know what "deck" means by decking him.Panel 4:
As a pain star radiates from his head, Mike thought-bubbles that Lizzie isn't as dumb as she looks. Summary:
I agree. As a for instance, she's not stupid enough to feed someone straight lines. That being said, I like her version better than John's "glory in excesses" or "facing unafraid the bills left unpaid." (But not as much as "Deck us all with Boston Charlie" by Walt Kelly.)
|Monday, December 16th, 2013|
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Today's strip seems to be meant to be a combination of the old standby of John being the Worst Dentist Ever
with his being a great big sooky baby. Unfortunately for Lynn, it seems to have mutated into a sort of PSA about not working injured.
(Strip Number 767, Original Publication Date, 18 December 1984)Panel 1:
As our story continues, we find John about to perform a check-up on someone who looks a lot like Ted. As he's just about to get started, Helène tells him that Jean has had a very bad bout of morning sickness and thus cannot come in.Panel 2:
John reacts to this reverse by thought-bubbling "GREAT! I come into work with no assistant AND a cast on my foot!!"Panel 3:
He then thought-bubbles "Oh well, here goes" and sprays the patient with the oral irrigator BEFORE telling him to open his mouth. Panel 4:
The patient reacts to John's mournful "Why ME?" by saying "Whaddaya mean, why YOU??" Summary:
The reason John made this blunder is that he went on auto-pilot and acted as if Jean were there. Since she isn't, he should probably have either called in a temp or stayed home to be with his 'loving' family.
|Sunday, December 15th, 2013|
Monday, 16 December 2013
We begin the week with Elly making a mildly flippant comment
aboput how they should maybe bronze the turkey. John isn't especially amused by this.
(Strip Number 766, Original Publication Date, 17 December 1984)Panel 1:
As our story continues, we find John sitting in his chair with his foot propped up when Mike tells him that Mom's back from picking up the groceries he left at the store. Panel 2:
Before Elly puts the groceries away, she tells him that Megafoods packed up everything he'd put in the basket before the accident for him because (unlike his "loving" family) they were worried about him. Panel 3:
She then tells him that as a good will gesture (and not because they can't sell it now or don't want to get sued), the store is going to give them the great big turkey for free.Panel 4:
Sadly, Elly ruins the moment by making an inane joke about whether they should eat it or have it bronzed. John is not thrilled by this. Summary:
I'm beginning to understand why John acts the way he does. Since he doesn't get sympathy, he doesn't give it either. Also, the good-will gesture involved manages to last until pretty much the end of Christmas break despite the fact that they invite Phil, Georgia and Mrs Baird over for Christmas dinner.
|Saturday, December 14th, 2013|
Sunday, 15 December 2013
In today's strip, Lynn plagiarizes Bil Keane by having John make Lizzie afraid of Santa Claus, Yuletide Voyeur.
(Strip Number 7173, Original Publication Date, 16 December 1984)Panel 1:
We start things off with John sitting in his chair and reading his paper. What he doesn't know is that a smiling Lizzie is right behind him.Panel 2:
She astonishes him by announcing her presence by yelling "HI,DADDY!!!!" at the top of her lungs.Panel 3:
The strip proper begins with Lizzie going back to hiding behind the chair and asking John if Santa can see her, He says that the jolly-except-in-Rankin-Bass-specials
old elf can.Panel 4:
As she hides herself under an area rug, she asks the same question and gets the same answer.Panel 5:
John tells her that yes, he can even see her hidden in the hall closet.Panel 6:
She then asks if Santa can see her wherever she is in the house. Since John forgets how literally kids take things, he sets himself up for a minor fail (and us up for a derivative, by-the-numbers punchline) by saying that yes, he can.Panel 7:
As a terrified Lizzie cowers behind the stairs, Elly asks John what
he told Lizzie; that's because for some reason, she won't take a bath until after Christmas.Summary:
When Bil Keane did this, Dolly, Billy and Jeffy were all afraid to change into their sleepwear because they were as uncomfortable with the idea of Santa seeing them naked as Lizzie is. The difference is that Bil was slightly more humane and blamed the problem on his avatar for forgetting how kids think. Lynn, on the other hand, wants it to be all the small one's fault for misjudging Santa.
|Friday, December 13th, 2013|
Saturday, 14 December 2013
We end the week with John reacting the way most people would to the shitty treatment
he's been getting and will get from his 'loving' family: poorly.
(Strip Number 765, Original Publication Date, 15 December 1984)Panel 1:
We find ourselves at the hospital today. As Elly explains that she brought Phil along to drive them home owing to her wanting to play nurse instead of chauffeur, she's aghast at finding that John is on crutches with a cast on his foot.Panel 2:
As they walk out of the hospital, a laughing Phil laughs tells John that he's sorry but that he cannot help himself.Panel 3:
He goes on to say that when he thinks about how John broke his foot, he just cracks up.Panel 4:
John says that he loves how Phil exudes such warmth and sympathy.Summary:
What we're supposed to take away from this is that men ain't supposed to have emotions. John is thus being upbraided for not acting like a robot. This time next week, he's positioned as being an ogre for not wanting to be a living punchline.
|Thursday, December 12th, 2013|
Friday, 13 December 2013
John gets even more Schadenfreude in his stocking when Elly cautions Michael to work his need to laugh at Daddy
out of his system before
they get to the hospital.
(Strip Number 764, 14 December 1984)Panel 1:
As Elly rehearses her 'you love your tools more than you love me' speech, a panicked Michael tells her that the person on the other end of the phone says that Daddy is in hospital.Panel 2:
She talks to John to find out what exactly happened.Panel 3:
As Elly grabs her coat and purse, she tells Michael that John has broken his foot by dropping a 25 lb turkey on it.Panel 4:
As they leave, she tells him to get the laughing done before they get there.Summary:
While I don't ordinarily condone laughing at something like this, I like the hypocrisy even less. After all, Elly isn't mad at Mike for laughing. She's mad at him because he's not old enough to laugh at an adult.
|Wednesday, December 11th, 2013|
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Since Elly doesn't have ESP, she assumes that John swung by Ukrainian Tire to kill
an hour or five.
(Strip Number 763, Original Publication Date, 13 December 1984) Panel 1:
We switch back to the Pattermanse for a second. As Elly does her ten daily loads of laundry, she notices that John is taking a long time getting home and wonders why he isn't back from doing the shopping.Panel 2:
She is convinced that only one place could have made him lose track of time like this.Panel 3:
Since he isn't a bar hopper or skirt chaser, her angry assumption is that he's at a hardware store having a storegasm looking at power tools.Summary:
While this would have been an excellent guess, he's prevented from doing so because he's getting a cast put on the foot he usually sticks in his mouth
|Tuesday, December 10th, 2013|
Sort of off-topic: an experiment in revisionism.
As you know, I like to check the strip catalog to see if there are any strips that could be improved by getting rid of those stupid sound effects when this one:
caught my eye. I decided to alter it thusly:
to make Elly a bit more thoughtful than she usually is. Do you think that this is an improvement or not?
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
John's suffering continues today. This is because Lynn is depicting him as a spoiled brat who can't take a little pain
(Strip Number 762, Original Publication Date, 12 December 1984)Panel 1:
As the EMTs wheel John to the ambulance, he cannot believe that this is happening to him. He also can't believe that Lizzie is so excited that she wants to call attention to his being humiliated forever.Panel 2:
Since Lizzie is four years old and has been raised specifically to not understand social norms, it's no surprise that she's only too happy to tell everyone ever that Daddy droppeded a great big turkey on his foot so she gets to ride in a ambulance.Panel 3:
John warns Lizzie to not broadcast by being just about to threaten her with physical harm.Panel 4:
Before he can really destroy his reputation by publicly threatening to wring a child's neck to avenge a minor indignity, a younger clerk asks him if he intends paying for his groceries.Summary:
I should think that if there is a Lynnsight today, it'll be all about how Rod is not very good with children at all. If so, it's going to be loads of fun watching a woman who doesn't get kids diss someone else for making the same mistake Lynn makes whe she assumes that her children are her adversaries.
|Monday, December 9th, 2013|
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
As our story continues, the butcher tells John he shouldn't try to walk off having broken
his foot. The 'joke' is that John is being diagnosed by a store employee who can't 'really' know what he's talking about because he doesn't have a degree permitting him to know things.
(Strip Number 761, Original Publication Date, 11 December 1984)Panel 1:
Now that a crowd has started to develop, John is mortified when the butcher tells a fellow employee named Pete that the man with the glasses has had an accident and needs an ambulance.Panel 2:
Since John doesn't want to attract negative, humiliating attention, he insists nothing is wrong.Panel 3:
The butcher assures John that he has indeed broken his foot.Panel 4:
You see, having done his job for the last eleven years has given the man real-world experience.Summary:
Hmmm. I wonder what television show Lynn stole THIS punchline from. With our luck, it's straight out of the worst sitcom EVER: "The Trouble With Tracy".
|Sunday, December 8th, 2013|
Monday, 9 December 2013
We begin the week with John dropping the turkey that's far too large for his bad back to cope with
on his feet.
(Strip Number 4457, Original Publication Date, 10 December 1984)Panel 1::
As John struggles with his too big a turkey for a man with his issues with lower back pain, he asks Lizzie to move the bread out of the way so he can get it into the shopping cart before his spine pops out of his body.Panel 2:
Before he can do so, the turkey slips out of his hands; his muffled cry of pain seems to be coming from his having lifted something his bad back tells him is too damned heavy.Panel 3:
As it lands on his feet, he howls in even greater pain.Panel 4:
Since Lizzie is not credit to team, she asks Daddy if he dropped the turkey on his foot.Summary:
This is another instance in which Lynn should explain things better. It could well be that just as he was about to put the thing in the cart, his back muscles started to spasm. This makes this a PSA about getting someone to help you if you know you've got lower back pain.
|Saturday, December 7th, 2013|
Sunday, 8 December 2013
It would appear that Lynn wants to nag her children
about their poor phone manners. Either that or she wants celebrate her past as a crank caller.
(Strip Number 6145, Original Publication Date, 9 December 1984)Panel 1:
We find ourselves at John's office watching Jean rewinding the answering machine on her lunch break so she can review the morning's messages.Panel 2:
When the tape gets to the first message, we hear the standard BEEEEEEEEEEP noise.Panel 3:
Jean is irritated because the first message was not left by a patient but by an ill-mannered git who has nothing better to do with his or her free time than to leave the following absurd, tasteless and vulgar message (Hi, NERD-HEAD! Hoobabooda!!! What's up, doc? Bysie-wysie!!) on the answering machine of a busy man.Panel 4:
Message Two is from a right head-banger who belches loudly into the receiver and laughs at his or her alleged cleverness.Panel 5:
Jean is really pissed off at having to hear a rather vulgar and insulting take on "Roses are red/Violets are blue."Panel 6:
Having returned from lunch, John asks Jean if there were any messages.Panel 7:
Jean says that yes, there were.Panel 8:
She then tells him that his children called.Summary:
Michael's antics are what I like to call "beyond the pale." There's no call for phoning up your dad and being a shit just because you're boooooored. Then again, Mike has a pretty lousy example to live up to so he, if not forgivable, is at least understandable.
|Friday, December 6th, 2013|
Saturday, 7 Decmber 2013
We end the week finding out why John broke his foot. Simply put, he's too stupid too understand what Elly means by a 'big' turkey.
Since he can't read minds, it's clearly his fault he bought too big a bird.
(Strip Number 760, Original Publication Date, 8 December 1984)Panel 1:
Back at home, Mike reminds Elly that she asked Daddy to get a big turkey and wonders HOW big it'll be.Panel 2:
Elly guesses that said bird would be ten to twelve pounds or so before saying something she shouldn't about how John knows what she means.Panel 3:
We shift back to Megafoods's butcher's counter. As he looks at the Christmas turkeys, John reminds himself that Elly wanted a big one.Panel 4:
He then confidently states that twenty-five pounds should be plenty big.Summary:
And Elly has been married to John how long exactly? She's as clued into the fact that he needs precise directions as he is into her belief that he reads minds.
|Thursday, December 5th, 2013|
Friday, 6 December 2013
Today, John learns that Lizzie will not be denied her 'rightful' place
in the baby seat. This could cause a bit of a problem later on.
(Strip Number 4456, Original Publication Date, 7 December 1984)Panel 1:
As our story continues, we find ourselves at Megafoods. As John puts the items in the cart, Lizzie indicates that she wants to sit in the baby seat. John's reaction is to tell her that no, she's too big physically and too old a child to do so.Panel 2:
Lizzie tries turning up the volume and turning on the waterworks and John is still saying that no, she's too big for the baby seat.Panel 3:
His reaction to her going into full-on tantrum is much the same in that he's trying to remind her that she won't fit.Panel 4:
Somehow or other, she manages to wedge herself in the baby seat anyway. While she's happy, John ain't.Summary:
I remember what my mother said about this. She said that a child is too big to ride in the baby seat when she says that she doesn't want to. Also, we're dealing with Lynn not realizing that using John as an avatar for her whining about she can't lift her child any longer is a complete absurdity.
|Wednesday, December 4th, 2013|
Thursday, 5 December 2013
We begin the "John breaks his foot" arc with his being baffled by how big the words 'Not Really'
(Strip Number 759, Original Publication Date, 6 December 1984)Panel 1:
Later that day, John says that he's going downtown and asks Elly if she needs anything. Panel 2:
She says "not really" but tells him to wait a second or two.Panel 3:
She then gives John a long shopping list, asks him to pick up some clothes at the cleaners, to get a big
turkey and to take Lizzie along with him. Panel 4:
As he and Lizzie walk to the hoverwagon, a flabbergasted John is amazed that she started that with "not really".Summary:
And John has been married to Elly how
long exactly? Seems to me that if he and she are as close as they claim to be, he'd know what 'not really' really meant, right?
|Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013|
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
We get more of Lynn's patented Christmas aggravation today when John gets pissed off the string of lights he spent hours putting up
(Strip Number 758, Original Publication Date, 5 December 1984)Panel 1:
Despite the blowing snow, John finally gets the outdoor Christmas Lights strung when he asks Michael to plug them in.Panel 2:
It would seem that Mike said that he already did; this angers him because he's just put up the string that doesn't work.Panel 3:
John reacts to the aggravating discovery that he's spent all of that time putting up the broken lights by swearing angrily. Panel 4:
Michael reminds him to be jolly.Summary:
Were John any other person, I'd share both his frustration and his need to tell Mike where to stick his advice. Given that he's the king of verbal and emotional abuse, I really don't care what happens to him just so long as it hurts him.