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

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Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
12:55 am
Thursday, 21 March 2019
We're reminded that the Patterson family have never had the least business owning a pet when they flat out tell Elly that Farley only their dog when it's no hassle.

Panel 1: Since Elly is stupid and won't take Farley to the vet to get a lecture about the dangers of just up and changing his food, she compounds her mistake by getting him something else he won't eat: the bag of low-cal dog food she's holding and yapping about when she tells Liz that they're all responsible on follow-through on the diet she imposed on Farley because reasons.

Panel 2: Mike and John make the scene when she decrees that this means no snacks, treats or leftovers and that she and Mike have to walk him after school every day until he collapses from starvation.

Panel 3: When Liz whines "Do we HAFTA?" because Farley is only 'her' dog when it's no hassle, Elly makes the mistake of asking them whose dog he is.

Panel 4: They all grin at her because he's just another responsibility that they've palmed off on her because it got boring.

Summary: Not only are they shitty pet owners, they have no problem dumping every crap job that's beneath them on her. Lovely family, eh?
Monday, March 18th, 2019
12:47 am
20 March 2019, Elly has no business diagnosing people.
I know that my original draft for today's "Let's make another fat joke to keep Elly too angry to go on a rampage" strip accidentally launched too soon but it behooves us to remember that this won't be the first time that she let her ignorance of biology make life worse and it won't be the last.

Panel 1: Since Elly won't admit that Farley begs for scraps because she let him and the reason that he's refusing his food is that she didn't gradually introduce the new stuff like she's supposed to, she wants John to agree with her that he's getting fat.

Panel 2: John asks her how she can tell because of all of that hair covering him.

Panel 3: As John makes to put his arms around Farley, Elly says that he's shaped like a footstool and tells him to put his arms around him so he can feel the dog's ribcage.

Panel 4: John irritates Elly by making a smart remark about forgetting what ribs feel like.

Summary: Yesterday's strip was all about how she projected her own need to gorge herself on the dog and today's leads to her trying to con other people into following behind and being irritated when they try to make a smart remark about a subject they don't feel comfortable discussing. It's why eventually, she comes up with that inflammation on the brain stuff....she doesn't care enough to get the facts straight. What is never going to happen is her taking the dog to the vet to see what the problem is. The last time that happened, she was forced against her will to actually pay attention to what Farley ate and where he went and since that 'meant' that the dog was boss of her, she's not gonna do that again. Also, we're reminded that they only like being pet owners (or parents) when it's no hassle.....
Sunday, March 17th, 2019
12:50 am
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
A false equivalence is made between the Patterson family's habit of witlessly feeding Farley all the wrong things and Elly's compulsive need to gorge herself.

Panel 1: As Elly starts the dishes, she does that pious closed-eyed thing as she lectures Farley about how he's out of luck if he won't eat the dry food. Liz plays the "But Mom" card in a futile effort to explain to the ignorant idiot in the ponytail that the dog has been trained to eat human food so denying him is somewhat cruel.

Panel 2: Elly will not be moved. She does the hands-out thing as she tells Liz that Farley has to cut down because he eats too much junk and doesn't get enough exercise. He goes into horrified cartoon critter mode in response.

Panel 3: As she starts to scrape leftovers into the garbage, she tells him that it's the leftovers that do it to him. If he ate just the right amount every day, he wouldn't be such a tub.

Panel 4: He reacts in confused horror as Elly gorges herself on the leftovers she denies him.

Summary: Elly is quite obviously projecting her own unhealthy relationship with food onto Farley. We get more of that Wednesday when we get a fat joke.
Saturday, March 16th, 2019
12:47 am
Monday, 18 March 2019
We begin the week with a reminder that Elly is oblivious to the fact that she has never paid attention to the fact that she and the others trained Farley to expect to eat table scraps.

Panel 1: Now that it's time to sit down to the table, Elly tells Mike not to worry about the dog. Mike tells her that Farley won't eat.

Panel 2: We get a rehash of one of the most glaringly stupid things Elly has ever said when she tells Mike that if Farley won't eat what she's willing to serve him, he isn't actually hungry.

Panel 3: It's revealed that Elly's breezy comment is a load of old bollocks when we see Farley at the table looking as if he's starving to death.

Summary: Elly comes up with another stupid idea about the dog tomorrow when she jumps to the erroneous conclusion that he needs to be put on a calorie-restricted diet to make him hungry for what she wants him to eat. This is nucking futs.....
Friday, March 15th, 2019
12:19 pm
A deep dive into the mythos.
I think it's safe to say that the Deep Dive thing needs its own thread so here we go into the mythosphere.

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As you can see, we're dealing with a sort of rambling series of vignettes that have no set chronology.
10:20 am
FBorFW at forty
The latest news entry is a sort of celebration of the strip's upcoming fortieth anniversary.

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12:44 am
Saint Patrick's Day 2019
We spend a Sunday watching Liz dribble treacle about sunbeams so that Lynn can pander to the base who want cute crap to tape to a refrigerator.

Panel 1: It seems as if we're catching up with the Pattersons fairly early on a weekend morning. That's because Liz is in a pink nightie staring at the sun as it comes up.

Panel 2: She smiles at the shadow her hand makes on the floor.

Panel 3: The strip proper begins with her calling Elly's attention to the sunbeam coming through the window.

Panel 4: She then points out that it almost looks like something a person can touch.

Panel 5: Elly smiles when Liz says that's pretending that it's the cloth angel's gowns are made of.

Panel 6: She puts her arm up just so so that she can say that now, she's pretending it's a magic slide.

Panel 7: As she makes a shadow puppet, she says now, it's a movie projector.

Panel 8: We approach the payoff when Elly agrees with Liz that you can see a lot of neat things in a sunbeam.

Panel 9: We're reminded of who Elly is when she thought-bubbles that all she saw a few minutes ago was dust.

Summary: While this is nice and all, it's kind of dead certainty that five seconds or so after this, Liz's Magic Sunbeam went back to being a bunch of dust to clean up lest Marian materialize out of the luminiferous aether and call Elly a failure who should let a competent wife take charge of things.

Also, if Lynn hadn't managed to cut herself off from feedback because she can't and won't understand the world she lives in, she'd be getting a lot of letters from people who loved how The Mother and The Daughter interacted.
Thursday, March 14th, 2019
12:46 am
Saturday, 16 March 2019
Farley reverts to a normal dog trained to eat human food so that Mike can be goaded into eating kibble.

Panel 1: Mike continues to try to talk Farley into eating his bowl of Bowzer Bits by telling him to check out the top of the line mutt chow.

Panel 2: Elizabeth shows up to remind Mike of something neither he nor Elly especially want to hear: Farley isn't going to eat anything that they won't eat.

Panel 3: Mike and Farley stare at one another for an awkward second or two.

Panel 4: As Mike eats the dog food, Liz notices the sour expression on his face and says that maybe he should smile more.

Summary: This leads us directly to Elly making the same insane and moronic mental leap she made last June when she told Liz that if she isn't hungry for something Mommy is willing to see her eat, she's not actually hungry at all. Why someone that fucking dumb and irrational is allowed to supervise children and pets is beyond me.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
12:44 am
Friday, 15 March 2019
Today, Farley is a cartoon dog who gives Mike the Penetrating Death Stare because the dog food he dished out doesn't live up to the hype.

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Farley look at his bowl as if he's about to ask where the real food is so that Lynn can demonstrate what a great ad writing person she's sure she could have been. This is achieved by having Mike try to get Farley to eat by reading the package of kibble to entice him. The problem is that even if Farley could actually understand English, I doubt that something like "Grubmaster's NEW Bowzer Bits....'Gourmet Goodness from the Kibble King'" would move him to eat something he doesn't want to.

Panel 2: Farley gives him a suspicious stare when he goes on to say "Four new shapes! Four new eye-catching colours! Four new lip-smacking tastes your dog will LOVE!!"

Panel 3: Since it's not the bowl of table scraps he's been trained to eat over the last eight or nine years, Farley goes back to staring at the bowl of kibble and wondering why they're trying to starve him to death.

Panel 4: Mike's response is to ask a pissed-off looking Farley "Shall I read that again?"

Summary: In the real world, dogs and cats really don't understand ad copy. What they do understand is what they've been trained to understand and what Farley understands is that if the people don't eat something, he shouldn't eat it either.
Monday, March 18th, 2019
12:54 am
Wednesday, 20 March 2019: First Draft....
We get to see why Farley will die of his owners' stupidity one day when John makes a fat joke when Elly asks him if he thinks that Farley is getting to be too fat.

Technical Note: The reason that this one is up too damned early is that we're dealing with something that really damned bugged me: without knowing why Farley won't eat his Bowzer Bits, Elly immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion because she will not go to the vet and John is no help because he wants to score points. This is why I ask myself "Why did they let these dunces have a dog in the first place."
Tuesday, March 12th, 2019
12:37 am
Thursday, 14 March 2019
We launch into this year's "Farley is overfed" arc with Mike making a nasty comment about how lousy a cook Elly is.

Panel 1: We don't get to see Brian asked if he's channeling a forty year old woman like we should because Elly yells for Mike to come inside for supper.

Panel 2: We then get reminded of Elly's faulty ability to prioritize when she gives him a list of chores to do before he sits down: hang up his coat, wash his hands and feed Farley before he sits down.

I think it fair to warn people at this point that even then, I wondered why she didn't assign him chores instead of just kicking him outside to stand around idle and frustrated. He'd still be busy and frustrated but at least he wouldn't be standing around understimulated. Letting him stand outside getting bored only to hand him chores when he's about to eat is just stupid.

Panel 3: In any event, she sets up the stupid punchline by telling him that the dog food is on the counter and help himself to the casserole. He says "Okay" as he puts his jacket away.

Panel 4: Since he remembers how terrible a cook she is because she won't cook regular food people like, he irritates her by asking if he will be able to tell her cooking from Alpo.

Summary: The wiseass in me wants to say that the dog food will taste better and be less salty. The normal person in me remembers that Elly would have been a lot better off if she would not conduct culinary experiments and stick to everyday foods her family actually looks forward to eating.
Monday, March 11th, 2019
12:34 am
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
We get to the point of this micro-arc when Brian is used as a mouthpiece for a preachy comment about how today's stupid kids don't know how good they got it that's pretty God-damned guaranteed to go clean over the head of the teenagers whose behaviour is critiqued today.

Panel 1: A few seconds after deciding that there isn't much to do that isn't watching the great show he's missing, Mike tells the other boys assembled on the Pattersons' back porch that he's bored, bored, bored because everything's like totally dull around here. Elly would probably deny that because knowing her, she finds frantically sweeping porches the most thrilling thing ever.

Panel 2: He then sets up the virtue signaling we're going to end up absorbing by pointing out that on television, he sees that there are places in this world where wars, demonstrations and riots taking place and where boys their age are firing rocks, carrying flags and yelling at soldiers.

Panel 3: He makes the mistake of asking what the four of them would be doing if they were living in one of those places.

Panel 4: Brian makes Mike's eyes bug out in confusion when he says that they'd probably be wishing that nothing was going on.

Summary: While I can agree that they probably would be wishing that nothing much was going on, making a problem hair/refugee in a war zone speech is kind of a dick move to pull on someone because he feels as if there's nothing to do. Besides, Mike will have plenty to do when he helps out with being shitty and brainless pet owners.
Sunday, March 10th, 2019
12:31 am
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
We finally see the limitations of Lynn's philosophy of chasing children out of their houses to save her sanity when she has the boys bring up what she assumes are pointless excuses for doing nothing.

Panel 1: Now that they're outside, let's see how Mike and his friends are 'enjoying' the bright, sunny day. We start off with Mike asking Gordon if they should go hang out at the park. Gord says "Nah....too boring."

Panel 2: When Brian suggests going to the mall, Lawrence objects that it's too far to go.

Panel 3: When Lawrence suggests hanging at his place, Mike objects because Molly is there.

Panel 4: We head back inside so that we can watch Elly ask John what the boys are doing. John tells her that they're just hanging around.

Summary: What we have here is a huge hole poked in Elly's command "Go find something to do" that can never be safely admitted to. Children aren't simply trying to destroy their parents when they say that they're bored but Lynn's people can't and won't admit it.
Saturday, March 9th, 2019
12:27 am
Monday, 11 March 2019
We have one of the last examples of Elly being depicted as being a hypocrite when it's revealed that when she tells Mike and his friends to go outside and not waste their lives in front of the box, she really means that she doesn't want company when she watches television.

Panel 1: We start things off with Elly asking Mike why he, Gordon and Brian are inside on a sunny afternoon watching television before ordering them to go outside and mill about aimlessly. Mike futilely tries to explain that they're watching a great show.

Panel 2: Elly does that closed-eyed lecture thing of hers that makes me wanna slap her stupid face with one of Iron Man's gauntlets as she sniffs that she doesn't care because she doesn't want them wasting time sitting on their duffs watching television. That's because she wants them standing outside having no idea what to do with themselves. Since he realizes that he can't win, Mike scowls in rage as he, Gord and Brian leave the room.

Panel 3: We pause for a second as Elly is about to turn off the television.

Panel 4: We then wish that Captain Marvel would show up and blast her in the face because we find her sitting on her duff and wasting her time watching television.

Summary: Tomorrow, we see the limitation of Elly's "chase children outside because their presence drives her half crazy because of her extra-wide personal space" thing when Mike, Brian and Gordon have no bloody idea what to do with their freedom. This leads to a stupid lecture about how children should be glad to be bored so stop whining about having nothing to do, half-people.
Friday, March 8th, 2019
12:20 am
Sunday, 10 March 2019
We waste a Sunday watching Lynn nag her children about not dressing appropriately for winter conditions when Mike and a group of other children his age mock someone who isn't brainlessly freezing to death.

Panel 1: We start things off with Michael at a bus stop freezing half to death in a winter storm because for some reason that eludes Lynn, he's dressed for much warmer weather. As he shivers needlessly, a silhouette approaches.

Panel 2: It's revealed that said silhouette is Lawrence. Like Mike, he isn't wearing a hat, a scarf, gloves or snow boots and his spring jacket is also wide open. It's the sartorial equivalent of having all season tires on your car in the middle of winter.

Panel 3: As the strip proper begins, Alyson (who's wearing a short skirt and holding a shit-load of loose leaf like she's daring the wind to take it from her hands) and Darryl Smythe join Mike and Lawrence as members of Team Hypothermia. As they try in vain to warm up, a fifth person heads their way.

Panel 4: Lawrence invites the other three idiot children to check out the weird person coming their way.

Panel 5: Said odd figure is dressed properly for the cold day ahead. S/he's not only wearing a warm parka, ski pants, gloves, snow boots, a wool cap and a scarf, s/he's also carrying his or her homework in an actual binder like a sane person.

Panel 6: The person walks by the idiots freezing at the bus stop.

Panel 7: As s/he continues on his or her journey, they laugh at his or her expense.

Panel 8: They then go back to freezing like morons.

Summary: We're clearly headed for a Lynn's Comments about how Aaron and Kate seemed to court frostbite in the name of looking good that lets Elly clean off the hook for yelling about snow gear just left for her to pick up.
Thursday, March 7th, 2019
12:34 am
Saturday, 9 March 2019
Lynn fails to stick the landing on this mildly pleasant slice of life arc because she cannot resist having Elly wail "Woe is me! I have to spend all my life sweeping up sawdust without thanks or recognition!!"

Panel 1: Now that things have wrapped up, John solicits praise from Elly on Liz's behalf because she's getting to be a good little carpenter.

Panel 2: He practically bursts with pride about how she spent the afternoon in the workshop and enjoyed every minute of it.

Panel 3: As they walk away trailing sawdust, John horrifies Elly by saying that day by day, she's getting more like her dad.

Summary: The joke is pretty much on Liz and Elly, sadly. This is because John's fussy nature and fear that tiny hands will wreck his toys soon take care of whatever interest Liz might have in his interests that his putting up his much birdhouse up didn't kill. Today, it's sort of helping out. Tomorrow, she'll be in denial about standing there in the background doing nothing because she doesn't want to get yelled at.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
12:32 am
Friday, 8 March 2019
John's attempt to reassure Liz that birds aren't going to resent her inferior house doesn't take because she has the thought processes of a much younger child.

Panel 1: A little while later, we see John and Liz looking up at the tree in the back yard. As he starts to put the ladder away, he tells her "There we are.....two birdhouses side by side."

Panel 2: When she gets all gloomy about how his is better, John attempts to reassure her by saying that they're both good homes.

Panel 3: We find them in the garage actually putting the ladder away and explaining to her that birds don't know the difference anyway and won't even know that she built the one she built. Rather than ask him "Then why did you make me feel like a garbage person by building yours in such a manner that I couldn't possibly be expected to follow", Liz sets up the sitcom punchline by insisting that they will.

Panel 4: Since he forgets that he's in a domcom from the fifties, he's shocked when Liz says that she put her name on it.

Summary: The teaching moment has been thoroughly squandered. Now, to the depressing denouement of Elly getting to nail her stupid ass to her cross.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2019
12:30 am
Thursday, 7 March 2019: John Patterson needs a diet I call "Death."
We get a mildly sweet single-panel strip about the family marveling at Liz's birdhouse. What ruins things is that Liz has internalized John's assholish commentary about how bad she is.

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly and Michael marvel at Elizabeth's birdhouse. As they do so, Liz tells them that Dad said it would look a lot better when it's varnished. He smiles at her because he doesn't know what his birdhouse (obscured by his elbow) or his need to slam her work to her face to 'help her improve' means to her.

Summary: What we find out that it means to her is that she feels shame that she cannot be as good as he is. John cannot understand this because it means that he has to do something he's always hated to do because he confuses it with being muzzled: shut his fat yap and think about what he's saying and how other people will react to it.
Monday, March 4th, 2019
12:26 am
Wednesday, 6 March 2019
As it will be when Liz talks about Canada's copulation, John finds her blank-witted ineptitude as a carpenter risible.

Panel 1: Having hammered together her cruder birdhouse, Liz shows it off to John and tells him that she's done. He says that it's not bad for a first effort but she forgot something.

Panel 2: When she asks what she forgot, he tells her "A hole for the birds to go in and out of."

Panel 3: She knows this but wants to wait a while to decide something. He sets the punchline by asking if she's trying to decide what kind of bird it'll be for (which means that he'll talk over her head when he drills the entry hole).

Panel 4: When she says "Until she decides which side is the front", John laughs out loud.

Summary: This does not appeal to me too much because the last thing you should do to someone who just plain doesn't understand something is laugh at their confusion and ignorance.
Sunday, March 3rd, 2019
12:24 am
Tuesday, 5 March 2019
John tends to forget that Elizabeth has a short attention span so is somehow surprised that she has shoddy work habits.

Panel 1: We find John in his workshop telling Elizabeth that the first thing that needs to be done is to decide what kind of wood to use for her birdhouse. When he asks if pine is all right with her, she says "Okay."

Panel 2: He then loses her by using what she, Elly and Mike interpret as indecipherable gibberish and what we call mathematics; this is because he says that first, we'll (which means 'he'll') measure the bottom and sides and peak the two pieces with a 45° angle to support the roof. Since all she hears is arga-barga-hooba-dooba and since she can't actually see what she's doing because John puts everything on a high table, it's not really a surprise that Liz isn't looking at what he's doing at all and simply saying "okay" to acknowledge that he was speaking. It doesn't mean that she understood a blasted thing or cared to notice what he's doing.

Panel 3: Since he picked up on that (and also since he finally noticed that she's just grabbing stuff out of the scrap bucket because at least she can see what she's actually doing), he asks her if she's paying attention to what he's trying to show her. She admits that she isn't.

Panel 4: When she tells him that this is because she's looking for stuff to build a birdhouse with, John acts as if her inattention and just grabbing things is some sort of big surprise.

Summary: Paying attention to what people are saying and understanding details are not something Liz does much because it's not something Elly does much. It's like how she thinks cooking is dumping grub into a pot and walking away until it's done. Since John has never bothered with the silly and wasteful habit of learning who the people around him actually are or how tall they are, this comes as a shock to him.
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