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

[ << Previous 20 ]
Saturday, February 24th, 2018
12:29 am
Monday, 26 February 2018
Michael boasts prematurely about getting the savages to bed only to find out that Christopher and Richard see themselves as being entitled to stay up as late as possible.

(Strip Number 1424, Original Publication Date, 20 March 1989)

Panel 1: We find Mike sprawled on the big chair on the phone to Martha. When asked where he is, ee tells her that he's babysitting.

Panel 2: He starts off by saying that it ain't no thing because he finally got the two little creeps he's sitting for to go to bed. Before he can tell her what they're sleeping like, he seems to be hearing silence coming out of the phone.

Panel 3: Since he doesn't hear Martha's voice, he panics and asks "Hello? Hello??" because something cut him off.

Panel 4: It turns out that something is actually someone. This is because Mike goes goggle-eyed when he sees Richard hold up the phone cord that he pulled from out of the wall and ask him what it's for.

Summary: Tomorrow, he compares himself to a POW identifying with his tormentors. Wednesday, he goes into shock because Anne is taking her sweet God-damned time toilet training a child who'll be three in a few months. At no point does he stop acting like it's a war crime that he has to pay attention to children he's obliged to pay attention to.
Friday, February 23rd, 2018
12:15 am
Sunday, 25 February 2018
John is made to look like an incompetent idiot dentist because he makes the wrong person relax so that Lynn might avenge herself on people who try to help her calm down.

(Strip Number 7265, Original Publication Date, 12 February 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with John dealing with his least favourite sort of patient: a frightened child named Geoffrey who does not want the big man with the scary tools jamming sharp objects in his mouth. John tells the struggling child to simply open his mouth so we can take a look inside.

Panel 2: Geoffrey hollers "Don't touch me!!" because of that fear of pain children pretend to have to make Lynn feel bad.

Panel 3: Since it's all kinds of obvious that Rod is being mocked for indulging children who simply need to be threatened into compliance, John tells an unsure-looking Geoffrey that today, we're going to be trying relaxation techniques before we look in his mouth.

Panel 4: Geoffrey is told to lean back and just let himself go limp.

Panel 5: He tells him to think of a warm, sandy beach as well as to imagine that there's a gentle breeze and the sound of water lapping against the shore.

Panel 6: He tells Geoffrey to breathe deeply and exhale slowly. With each outward breath, he should feel the tension flowing out of his fingers.

Panel 7: In a calm. somnolent voice, John tells Geoffrey "You feel heavy.....you sink into the soft, warm sand...."

Panel 8: He concludes by telling Geoff "Your arms are heavy, your mouth is open and you feel yourself drifiting into a gentle state of relaxation."

Panel 9: Now that Geoffrey is asleep, John tells Jean to pass him the topical anesthetic that will make this painless.

Panel 10: John is gobsmacked because Jean has also drifted off to sleep and is snoring.

Summary: This is supposedly funny because we're asked to mock Rod for wanting to put a child's mind at ease instead of putting a mask over his face and narcotizing him into submission like he's "supposed" to. In Lynn's angry mind, children only pretend to feel fear and discomfort to be cruel to adults anyway so Rod/John should just fucking gas the lying monsters for breaking Mommy's heart and forgetting that she's a real person with real feelings with their evil LIE about how yanking their hair hard HURTS!!! (After all, Lynn doesn't feel a damned thing so the brats must be lying!!!)
Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
12:29 am
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Since Mike's a dope, having to deal with his own bullshit served back to him makes him wish he could set fire to Christopher with his mind.

(Strip Number 1423, Original Publication Date, 18 February 1989)

Panel 1: Since the Hellspawn refuse to sit quietly, Mike reveals himself to be Elly's child by just plain tackling Christopher. This causes Christopher's eyes to bug out and his tongue to stick out.

Panel 2: He tells Christopher something Elly no doubt told him when he says if he gets out of bed once more, he will die. If he sees Christopher, he will pulverize him so stay there or face Death.

Panel 3: As he stomps down the hallway in rage, he doesn't notice that Christopher is sneaking up behind him. This is akin to how Elly fails to notice his doing the same thing to her when she's stomping down the hallway in a blind rage when he acts up and wants to see what he can get away with.

Panel 4: When Christopher tells him that he can't sleep unless he's kissed good-night in a mocking, I-DARE-you-to-hit-me tone of voice, Mike turns purple with rage....just like Elly.

Summary: Another way in which he's like Elly is that, as I said, he doesn't learn much from his experience except for "they don't pay enough" and even that doesn't reach to where Elly wants it to go: "they don't pay me at all."
Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
12:22 am
Friday, 23 February 2018
Today's strip has Michael drop the same 'nobody listens, nobody cares' bomb Elly does.

(Strip Number 1422, Original Publication Date, 17 February 1989)

Panel 1: As the kids jump on the couch and frighten their cat into running away, Michael tells them to stop it because he's had enough.

Panel 2: When Richard cheerfully does a buck and wing on top of a dresser drawer, he tells them to cut it out because he means what he says.

Panel 3: As Christopher tries pulling Richard's pajama bottoms off, Mike angrily declares that he's had enough of their monkey business and wants them in bed NOW!!

Panel 4: As they continue to be aggravating little shits taking advantage of the excuse "He's just a kid too so we don't HAVE to listen to HIM!!!" (and also Mom just lets us wear ourselves out because Papists like her don't discipline their children properly anyway) so they can have big fun jackhammering a bed frame into sawdust, a defeated Mike thought-bubbles that there's not much point in talking like an adult if you don't look like one.

Summary: The fun part is that we can contrast this with all the times when adults are bad for not admitting that a twelve year old boy like him looks like a grown up and should be treated like one and laugh at his being utterly lacking in any ability to keep track of the nonsense he says. Also, we can expect notes that are a passive-aggressive mailshot aimed at the neighbourhood kids for not respecting Lindy's autoritah.
Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
12:24 am
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Mike isn't too terribly bright today because he fails to realize that Christopher's asking how much his parents are paying the goof leads into a declaration that he's gotta earn it.

(Strip Number 1421, Original Publication Date, 16 February 1989)

Panel 1: As Mike turns on the television, Christopher asks him how much his parents are paying him to babysit. Mike says that he never asked.

Panel 2: Christopher says that he bets they're paying Mike five dollars an hour. Again, Mike doesn't really know.

Panel 3: Since this is the second time Christopher has brought this up, what Michael would like to know is why how much he's being paid is so important to him in the first place.

Panel 4: As Christopher turns the sofa into a trampoline, he cheerfully states that he an'Richard gotta make sure that he earns it. This alarms Micheal.

Summary: It's starting to look as if Lynn is using this arc as a means of avenging herself on either kids she sat for growing up OR her own kids. That's why Mike is scrambling around out of his depth and feeling as if he's being taken advantage of because that's Lynn as a parent.
Monday, February 19th, 2018
12:32 am
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Christopher and Richard don't waste all that much time turning into hyperactive demon spawn who want to mangle Michael.

(Strip Number 1420, Original Publication Date, 15 February 1988)

Panel 1: As Anne puts on her coat, she tells Mike that there's a bottle in the fridge for Leah, he can help himself to a snack and that she and Steve will be back by ten.

Panel 2: As she kisses her innocent-looking bastards from hell children goodbye, she says that since this is his first baby sitting job, she's told the boys to be on their best behaviour.

Panel 3: As he waves good-bye, he doesn't notice the evil grin on Christopher's face.

Panel 4: This leaves him blindsided when the two of them yell "CHAAAAAARGE" and get him into a headlock.

Summary: The horrifying thing about tonight is that I think that the horrible little monsters actually are on their best behaviour. This is, of coutse, because Anne is indulgent and also Catholic and no, Lynn is not mindlessly chanting sectarian bullshit she's too stupid to question. 
Sunday, February 18th, 2018
12:29 am
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
While Mike is sort of okay with the idea of watching over Christopher and Richard, the realization that he's also expected to watch over Baby Leah causes him to have a full-on teeth of evil freak-out.

(Strip Number 1419, Original Publication Date, 14 February 1989)

Panel 1: Having been asked if he can sit for the Richards children, Mike guesses that he can babysit Christopher and Richard for an hour or so. You will notice a name that is absent from his list of people he can coexist with. This becomes important.

Panel 2: As she resumes her phone call, Elly tells Anne that he'd love to sit for them. Upon being told that they're heading out for seven in the evening, she says that if the boys are in their pajamas, he'll have no problem at all.

Panel 3: She stretches credibility past the limit when she cheerfully declares that he can change baby Leah's diaper if he has to. His response is to repeat the word 'BABY?' as he does the goggle-eyed teeth-of-evil muppet-mouthed freakout.

Panel 4: Since he's stupid, he asks "They're leaving the BABY?" because he's dumb enough to think that Steve and Anne want to take a colicky two year old along to a romantic evening out to make his life easier.

Summary: Next Wednesday, he howls WAN'MAMMA!!!!! because the idea of changing a diaper (and thus exposing himself to an unknown level of teasing from the assholes he mistakenly thinks are his friends) terrifies him beyond mortal comprehension and is also too much to ask of him. Twenty years from now, he howls Deanna's name because the idea of interacting with the strange half-humans who have a baffling and wrong curiosity about his life terrifies him beyond mortal comprehension and is also too much to ask of him.
Saturday, February 17th, 2018
12:18 am
Monday, 19 February 2018
We start a two week long exercise that proves that Mike is incapable of learning from his experiences with the Nichols children by having Anne be so hard up for a baby-sitter, she'd consider letting a guy with a goalie mask and melted face look after the demon spawn.

(Strip Number 1418, Original Publication Date, 13 February 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with a panicky-looking Anne on the phone. As we wonder for what's probably the ten-thousandth time why someone as cold and unapproachable as Elly merits the nickname 'El', Anne tells her that she's looked everywhere for a babysitter only to come up empty-handed. Insert comment about how everyone else held out for more dough here.

Panel 2: As Mike races around jovially tormenting a horrified Liz with an ice cube because he's bored and she's there, Anne reminds Elly that the boy is (nominally) thirteen as a means of pointing out that in her desperation, she's clutching at the stupidest straw ever.

Panel 3: As Mike jams the ice-cube in his kid sister's ear for kicks, Elly bellows at him to not torment his kid sister while she's on the phone.

Panel 4: Having heard that, Annie leaves Elly gobsmacked when she says "Like I said....I'm desperate!!"

Summary: We're about to see two weeks' worth of Michael being on the receiving end of what he has no problem dishing out to Liz. He learns what someone from the Canadian comedy troupe The Frantics called "sweet Richard all" from the experience. Just as he never figures out that Martha is a person, he doesn't take anything away from this about how hard it is for Elly to deal with his bullshit or how she might actually deserve a bit of thanks once in a while.
Friday, February 16th, 2018
3:19 am
Sunday, 18 February 2018
It would appear that Lynn believed that Aaron was needlessly idle twenty-nine years ago. This is because Farley has been turned into a Snoopy-like cartoon dog in order to punish Mike for lazing away on the couch while he was on the porch begging to be let in out of a snowstorm.

(Strip Number 6758, Original Publication Date, 19 February 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with Farley yet again being allowed to roam around at large. What makes the Pattersons' negligence worse is that the poor fellow is doing so in a raging snowstorm.

Panel 2: When he gets to the door, he barks so as to be let in.

Panel 3: Since no one has come to open the door, he barks louder.

Panel 4: I begin to wonder if anyone is actually home because he's begun to scratch at the door also.

Panel 5: Watching the vigorous barking and scratching he's doing not being responded to makes me think that either no one is at home or someone's going to get yelled at for inattention while Mom is in the bath.

Panel 6: One wonders how long Farley has been out in the snow because when Liz comes to let him in, his back is covered in snow.

Panel 7: Lizzie lets him into the house to warm up.

Panel 8: Instead of immediately shaking the snow off like a real dog would, Farley walks down the hallway with a purpose in mind.

Panel 9: Said purpose is to glare reprovingly at Mike who's spent the last God knows how long propped up on the couch eating popcorn, reading Nacho Man comics and listening to this off-brand Walkman.

Panel 10: One would be forgiven for assuming that Farley is thought-bubbling "Let's see how YOU like it, you jerk!!!" when he shakes the snow onto a horrified Michael.

Summary: Usually, Farley is a mindless mutt who's being made to hold shaking off until an enemy can be inconvenienced. That does not obtain today because today, he's a person sending a message. Said person is Lynn and the message is "Get off your arse, Lazybones, and walk Willy The Black Spaniel™!"
Thursday, February 15th, 2018
9:32 pm
Saturday, 17 February 2018
Today we learn there is nothing in the world as attractive as a big-eyed girl carrying a large sheaf of paper.

(Strip Number 1417, Original Publication Date, 11 February 1989)

Panel 1: Michael apparently believes you have to be a contortionist to tie your shoes. Maybe this is because he is tying his shoe with his eyes closed. Maybe this is because Michael is reminiscing about the simpler life when he hung around with the guys and did his own thing (like being a peeping tom with Lawrence’s sister or looking through the hole in the girls’ shower at camp or putting women’s underwear on the dog). Oh Michael, you are so much better off with Martha than in the days when you were a pervert in the making. Has he forgotten how he went from age 5 to 10 inappropriately chasing after Deanna Sobinski? The thing that has not improved with Martha is shoe-tying. Michael is terrible at tying shoes. Here is a picture of how it should be done:

Panel 2: Still with his eyes closed (otherwise Michael would be aware of Martha sneaking up on him because apparently his ears don’t work), Michael zips his jacket and thinks how his relationship with Martha is something that he needs to “fight it every inch of the way.” Michael is thinking of Martha kind of like an ex-smoker thinks of cigarettes. Michael is thinking of Martha kind of like a WWII soldier trying to advance on the Nazis. Michael is thinking of Martha like Rep. Maxine Waters thinks about Donald Trump. It’s so romantic.

Panel 3: Michael turns and is startled to see Martha. You can tell he is startled because the fingers of his left hand splay out in a gesture of surprise. For some reason only the left side of Michael is startled as his right hand holds steadfastly onto his giant sheaf of paper.

Panel 4: The happy (and much taller) couple walks out holding hands and carrying sheaves as Michael thinks the punchline, “…when I understand it, I’ll fight it.” With Michael Patterson, that is pretty much the same thing as saying, “I’ll never fight it.”

Summary: The moral of the story is that all you need to make up with your man is to look him in the face and stare at him until he gives in. That’s it for Martha who will return in April for Michael’s birthday party, easily the best birthday party in the entire 29 year run of the comic strip.
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
11:34 pm
Friday, 16 February 2018
Today we are reminded that Michael sucks at basketball almost as much as Lynn Johnston sucks at drawing motion lines and basketballs.

Just to compare, here is a picture of a real basketball.

Here is a picture of a French melon.

Which one looks more like what Michael is throwing against the wall?

(Strip Number 5087, Original Publication Date, 10 February 1989)

Panel 1: First of all mark me startled that Lynn decided to draw Michael back in little boy mode. He has a head proportion where his body is a little over 4 heads tall, which would put him around 6 years old.

I think the idea is that Michael is throwing the ball against a wall while standing a few feet away from it and then catching the ball. The problem is that Lynn is drawing the motion lines for the thrown ball, but only the motion lines for Michael’s hands for the catch. There are no motions lines for his arms throwing the ball. In this first panel it makes it seem like Michael is throwing the ball with his stomach.

Panel 2: In this panel, Michael’s hair throws the ball and the ball seems to have almost no momentum bouncing off the wall and dropping to the floor with a THUMP before the CATCH sound effect. That makes perfect sense to me. My head hair is terrible at throwing basketballs.

Panel 3: In this one we do see the motion lines for the throw from his hands and Michael takes one to the head. I expect the problem is that he didn’t get his hair or his stomach to throw the ball. Since his hands were occupied throwing the ball, they didn’t catch the ball.

Panel 4: Michael hits the ground and thought balloons, “Amazing how tossing a basketball helps you to think!” I know observing Michael tossing a basketball helped me to think, “Can’t this school afford basketball hoops and nets?” Growing up, I also enjoyed thinking while shooting baskets, but there was a hoop involved. Just so we don’t get the idea that this is a one-time activity, there have been other moments where the Pattersons demonstrated what I would have to say is an almost complete lack of understanding of what basketball is about.

Summary: It appears that Michael has not immediately decided to meet Martha’s demands from yesterday but is thinking about what he wants to do. Will Michael make a decision or will it once again be up to Martha to solve their relationship problem? (This is a rhetorical question. After all, Michael is a Patterson, born into a family known for their extreme indecisiveness and passiveness.)
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
10:34 pm
Thursday, 15 February 2018
Today Martha turns into a blackmailer and uses Janet to issue her list of demands in order to get her forgiveness for receiving a bad Valentine’s Day card. 

(Strip Number 1416, Original Publication Date, 9 February 1989)

Panel 1: First of all, I am struck by the sight of Janet wearing a short skirt in the middle of February.  Brrr!  When we have seen her before, she was grade A frumpy, wearing clothes that an ancient school librarian would consider conservative.   Those clothes looked a lot warmer. This is not something Lynn does by accident.  She may be sending a message with this short skirt.  After all, we did not see the conversation where Martha cooked up this series of demands and when Martha approaches Michael in two days, none of this stuff comes up.

Demand #1 from Martha is a “date at the mall for lunch.”  Is she insane?  Neither of them drive and what parent is going to be stupid enough to pick up their 12-year-old son’s/daughter’s girlfriend/boyfriend so they can spend time at the mall together unsupervised?  Okay, Elly Patterson might do that.

Let me work from the idea that Lynn Johnston considers this to be an acceptable activity and she may have done exactly that with her son Aaron, who would have been 15 years old at the time.  This sort of demand would say, “You’ve been my boyfriend for 3 months and we haven’t been on a date.”

Panel 2: Demand #2:  Give Martha the little Olympic pin Michael wears on his jacket.  What?  In 1989, when this comic strip was originally published, the Olympics were not going on.  It is somewhat ironic that in reprints in 2018 the Olympics are going on.  The Olympic pin comes out of nowhere and it is a very specific item as if there was a whole story about it that we have not been told (and never will be told unless Lynn helps us out in her Lynn’s Notes).

Panel 3: Michael asks the question, “If Martha wants me to do all this stuff…why doesn’t she ask me herself?”  Don’t you know the first rules of blackmail, Michael? You never negotiate directly or the person being blackmailed might recognize you. 

Panel 4: Janet says, “She wants it to be your idea!!”  I guess Janet is not going to get the award for manipulation, if she says it this directly.  Nevertheless, this is a common relationship complaint when one member of the couple does all the social planning while the other does nothing.  They want to know that the other person is interested enough in them to plan something too.  Sorry, Martha.  If you want that, you don’t want a Patterson.

Summary: Personally, I don’t like it when people turn an innocent mistake made into an opportunity for blackmail.  It makes it seem like Martha’s forgiveness is something that has to be paid for.  Will Michael give into the demands, or will Michael get to keep that Olympic pin we have never seen him wear on his jacket?
Monday, February 12th, 2018
10:11 pm
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!!

(Strip Number 1415, Original Publication Date, 8 February 1989)

Panel 1: After spitting on Michael yesterday, Martha walks away in stony silence with her eyes closed, because that’s the way angry people walk (at least until they run into something hard or sharp). Michael only remains ignorant of his faux pas with Martha briefly because Janet AKA The Martha Whisperer is there to interpret for Michael. Unlike the situation last year when Michael would get angry with Martha and never tell her about it, we do not have that problem here.

Panel 2: Janet calls him Patterson, which strikes me as a little odd. Michael’s defense on his card choice is “At least I gave her one!” We may think that this is a poor defense but when you consider that John Patterson is his model, it is no wonder that Michael considers this to be exceeding normal Valentine’s Day expectations. Here is John's example:

Panel 3: You have to talk to Janet first when you want to deal with Martha. Suddenly Martha seems like an ultraviolent mob boss (or overly-sensitive comic strip artist) that has to be handled, because she does not react to things like a normal human being.

Panel 4: The agent line is a pretty good joke and one that works well with people who have to deal with their girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s overprotective friends. However, the premise of the idea is that Michael is supposed to automatically know what his girlfriend likes or does not like and for that to happen, Michael would have to able to have a casual conversation with Martha. This is something we have never seen with Michael and Martha, as all of their conversations have ended up degenerating into fights or kissing (or marching). Even with this business of the Valentine’s Day card, it is a mystery to me why Michael didn’t hand it to her directly and watch her open it, if he thought it was so funny. Mike and Martha are still a long ways away from the standards of normal boyfriend / girlfriend relationships, and one can only hope that Lynn Johnston agrees.

Summary: Will Michael ever learn how to have a girlfriend he can just talk to, or will he constantly have to deal with negotiators? Let me think about that one for a moment:

Sunday, February 11th, 2018
9:56 pm
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Back in 1989, for some reason Lynn Johnston decided to put Martha along with Megan and Janet in the frumpiest clothes possible to talk about Michael’s Valentine’s Day card to Martha. Nevertheless, those clothing choices were not as horrifying as the colourist’s choice to put all three girls in almost identical mauve colours.

Compare it to the original black and white where Janet is wearing a dark outfit while Megan and Martha are wearing what should be lighter-coloured clothing

(Strip Number 1414, Original Publication Date, 7 February 1989)

Panel 1: Martha has received Michael’s menacing pumpkinhead card from yesterday and suddenly becomes a Valentine’s Day card critic. As they say, “It’s the thought that counts” or in Michael's case, “the lack of thought.”

Panel 2: Janet is forced into the awkward situation of trying to interpret what was going through Michael’s mind. He’s joking. He likes you too much to use real words. She’s using the same kind of defense you would use for someone with a kind of mental illness.

Panel 3: Megan talks!! Believe it or not this is the first time that Megan is attached by a line from her head to text of her own. She also tries to defend Michael by explaining that guys don’t say what’s on their minds. Both of these friends are implying that boys want to say, “I love you” but they are unable to do that because of their gender. That’s the stereotype, but as Psychology Today tells us, men actually say, “I love you” first. Sorry, ladies.


Panel 4: Ah yes, the raspberry punchline. This is another one of Lynn’s favourites. When you consider that Elly and Elizabeth went to such a gesture on a fairly regular basis, you would think that this would put Martha completely over with Michael. After all, she acts and spits just like a Patterson woman. “That spittle spraying over me. What could be more feminine and graceful?  It reminds me of mother.  I think I am in love.”

Instead Michael is startled so much that he drops his giant sheaf of paper that the schoolkids in Milborough seem to carry around with them wherever they go. Years later in the new-runs, Lynn seemed to realize that the raspberry was the sign of Mrs. Right and corrected her mistake with Martha by giving the raspberry to future wife Deanna:

Summary: How can Michael salvage his failure with Martha? Will it be painful? Will it involve thinking a girl is irresistibly attractive when she is carrying a giant sheaf of paper? We shall see.
Saturday, February 10th, 2018
10:43 pm
Monday, 12 February 2018
Back in 1989, for some reason Lynn Johnston decided to start Valentine’s Day a week earlier and 29 years later she appears to have learned the error of her ways as we see Michael pick out a Valentine’s Day card a few days before the actual day.

(Strip Number 1413, Original Publication Date, 6 February 1989)

Panel 1: Michael thinks, “Bleah” with his tongue out. This is, of course, another reference to the master, Charles Schulz, except that Schulz understood why “Bleah” goes along with the tongue out. As it is, Michael is sticking his tongue out to ridicule a card. If only Snoopy and Lucy were here to correct him:

Panel 2: “Cute. Sappy. Syrupy-cute. I don’t think I have seen the use of “syrupy” and “cute” as a hyphenated combination before. My internet search shows no evidence of anyone else doing this either. Nevertheless, Mike contends that he couldn’t give anyone a card like this.  That's just because he’s the type of guy who likes to combine his syrup with cuteness.  Me I prefer pancakes or waffles.

Panel 3: First of all, let me note that we see a sign of amazing maturity on the part of Michael Patterson here because he manages to think, “stupid”, instead of “stoopid.” I'm so happy to see him all grown up and not dropping his yod. As for his card choice, this is more like a Hallowe’en card than a Valentine’s Day card, because the head pictured looks a little like this:

Panel 4: Michael goes for the “I’ll take it” joke which Lynn only brings out to let us know that a Patterson has made a terrible shopping decision. Mike is no different.

Summary: We are about to enter a new era in the Michael / Martha relationship where she is upset with him and he actually tries to please her. In other words, Michael acts way out-of-character.
Friday, February 9th, 2018
12:23 am
Sunday, 11 February 2018
We get a broad hint as to why John and Elly don't get adequate rest when it's made obvious that they're both going to spend the night passive-aggressively stewing about Elly's feet being ice cold.

(Strip Number 6739, Original Publication Date, 5 February 1989)

Panel 1: We find ourselves at the end of another busy day. As John beds down for the night, he yawns as he puts his eyeglasses on his nightstand.

Panel 2: He smacks his lips contentedly as he prepares for what he falsely thinks will be a pleasant night's sleep.

Panel 3: Conflict emerges when he notices that Elly is putting on heavy wool socks before getting into bed.

Panel 4: Instead of realizing that this is because her feet get cold and simply shrugging it off, he acts as if he's never gotten into bed with her before and looks at her as if she's from Mars or something.

Panel 5: He doubles down on forgetting who she is when he laughs at her. Instead of explaining herself, she gets all rage-faced and takes her socks off.

Panel 6: This is so she can angrily jam them into the small of his back.

Panel 7: Since her poor circulation means that her extremities are ice cold, John reacts by yelling in pain.

Panel 8: As she smugly puts her socks back on for a night of growling to herself about how he wants her to freeze to death, he's ready for his own night of passively stewing about her cold-ass feet.

Summary: The thing you can't help but notice about this idiot is that he can't seem to remember who he married no matter how many times he gets the shock of his life when her freezing feet meet his bare back. Starting tomorrow, howtheduck will spend next week telling you that Mike's his father's son because he can't remember that Martha has feelings no matter how many times it's explained to him that she does.
Thursday, February 8th, 2018
12:36 am
Saturday, 10 February 2018
We end the "Farley and the dump bin" arc with Michael carelessly taking the garbage out of the bin because he uses it as a fort for horseplay thereby giving Farley an opening to seek out the human food he should not have.

(Strip Number, Original Publication Date, 4 March 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with Mike and Random Neighourhood Boy (is that you, Darryl?) having a snowball fight near the garbage bin.

Panel 2: Since Mike has the same blind spot Elly does and probably assumes that Farley is where he last saw him, he doesn't notice that he's created a dog-sized problem for himself when he takes the trash out of the bin to use it as a defensive position.

Panel 3: There's an awkward moment as Farley eyes the garbage because he doesn't know if Mike is going to notice him. Since Mike is stupid enough to play in a dumpster, I don't think ol'Farl's got much to worry about.

Panel 4: It would seem that Mike only noticed what Farley did too damned late. This is because he's nowhere to be found when John looks in horror at the results of his inattention. He's going to delay that lecture about being irresponsible and wasting everyone's time as long as possible.

Summary: As we've seen here, the whole point of this arc seems to have been to howl "WE MOMS NEVER GET ANYTHING DONE BECAUSE CHILDREN HAAAAAATE US AND WANT TO MAKE WORK FOR US!!!" That being said, I'm glad that we have "Mike being a thoughtless idiot" and "Mike being a garbage person" in the same strip. This will make howtheduck's job of chronicling his being a mincing little non-entity who imputes the worst possible motives to a girl who simply wanted a nice Valentine no matter what THE GUYS might have said so much easier.
Wednesday, February 7th, 2018
12:34 am
Friday, 9 February 2018
Today, the neighbours are evil because they recognize John for All The Wrong Things.

(Strip Number 5093, Original Publication Date, 3 March 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with John in his workshop building that garbage box Mike talked about.

Panel 2: As he and Elly put it on the curb, she looks over her shoulder to check to see how much room she has to maneuver with that awkward bread box John built. Since Lynn can only draw 'panic', it looks as if she's afraid that word will get out that they built a box for their garbage.

Panel 3: We sort of see why when it draws an appreciative crowd. One man praises the bin, a second tells him he should go into business, a third man asks him if he's taking orders and a fourth man simply gazes in awe.

Panel 4: This does not please John because it angers him that despite four years in dental college and eleven years of practice, it's only now that he's being publicly recognized.

Summary: Not only does John want people to bow down and worship Mr King Tooth Doctor Man, he also doesn't want to make a career of this because it would be a means of placing himself under Elly's vigilance. He'd rather avoid that, thanks loads.
Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
12:31 am
Thursday, 8 February 2018
Today, Michael is evil because he proposes a practical solution to the problem and thus hates Elly's ability to express herself or some such nonsense.

(Strip Number 5092, Original Publication Date, 2 March 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with Elly being really bad at training Farley to stay out of the garbage; her ineptitude at doing so (as is evidenced by her thinking that pointing at the garbage and yelling "SEE THAT, FARLEY?! NO!! BAD DOG!!! BAD, BAD DOG!!!" is going to work) attracts the attention of Mike's silhouette.

Panel 2: Mike asks her what she thinks she's doing. She tells him that she thinks she's training Farley to stay out of the garbage.

Panel 3: Since he knows this isn't going to work, he points out that the Fongs have a nice wooden garbage box and asks her why they simply don't get one. Being told of a way to keep Farley out of the trash without making her look like a moron who doesn't know what she's doing causes her to have brain failure and get all gobsmacked.

Panel 4: Since she thinks a smiling Mike is trying to steal a victory from her, she grouses about his being a typical kid who wants something the neighbours have.

Summary: As I hinted at earlier in the week, it's not all "Dogs are filthy and stupid and no, I'm not simply terrible at dealing with pets" this week; we must also deal with Lynn's grudge against the children who 'want to make her look like a fool'.
Monday, February 5th, 2018
12:29 am
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Today, John is evil because he understands dogs better than Elly ever will (or especially wants to).

(Strip Number 5091, Original Publication Date, 1 March 1989)

Panel 1: Elly makes that stupid palms-out pleading gesture Pattersons always make when, having noted that this is the third time in a month that Farley has gotten into the trash, states that she cannot figure out why does so.

Panel 2: John does something stupid and tells her that Farley is a dog when she wants him to be a person she can browbeat into doing something when he suggests that he's simply obeying an urge to forage for himself. He compounds his folly by adding in the synonyms "Y'know...animal instinct....the thrill of the chase...the taste of the kill." to reinforce his premise.

Panel 3: Since that would mean that she cannot hector or yell Farley into obeying her, she dismisses that as being ridiculous.

Panel 4: She's immediately proven wrong when Farley apes a bloodhound tracking a scent when looking at the trash.

Summary: As I've said before, Elly is averse to admitting that Farley cannot be reasoned with on human terms. Having to admit that she can't bellow him into agreeing that he should behave the way she wants him to is seen as a defeat, you see.
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