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

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
10:35 pm
Thursday, 20 September 2018
The one where Martha gets mentioned.

(Strip Number 1485, Original Publication Date, 21 September 1989)

Panel 1: Lawrence apparently laughed so hard at Gordon chewing the coil off his scribbler that he has left to recover his composure.  It’s either that or Gordon and Michael changed into the background colour of purple in order to sneak away from Lawrence, in case he can’t see purple.  Gordon makes a reference to yesterday’s strip description of Allyson Creemore as a “dangerous object” and makes the same comparison to Martha.  That would have been a stretch to follow back in 1989, unless the reader could remember the dialogue from the prior day. 

Artistically, this one is an odd panel.  While Gordon identifies the person standing next to him as “Mike”, this Mike has different hair than the Michael who appears in all the other panels of this comic strip.  Not only that but he is drawn heavy and with a different walking stance than Michael.  It makes me think that this was originally supposed to be Gordon and then Lynn Johnston changed her mind and drew another Gordon, this time with a hat on to stand beside him as if she temporarily forgot that Gordon was sporting the new hat and didn’t want to be bothered to erase that Gordon and draw him correctly or change him to a properly-drawn Mike.  Sometimes, it's crazy how lazy an artist she was.

Panel 2: Michael reveals what’s happened between him and Martha since the last time we saw him and Martha together, i.e., the birthday party break-up.  Martha herself is not going to make an appearance until next year, so I am not sure why Lynn Johnston is introducing this idea in September, unless she wants the clever reader to notice that this conversation is happening without Lawrence being there and make the connection that the guy Martha is “hanging ‘round with” is referring to Lawrence, and that’s why they are having this discussion without him.   It was obvious from the birthday party when Lawrence and Martha were dancing, but we have seen nothing in Michael’s interaction with Lawrence that has shown any kind of problem between them over Martha.

As for the rest, this seems like a retcon.  Mike didn’t tell Martha he really liked her unless it was in one of those notes he gave her we never saw and Martha didn’t get bored.  As we know from the birthday party story, Mike ignored Martha until he got enough chips in him to get the courage to ask Martha to dance only to find she got tired of waiting on him and started dancing with Lawrence.  Is this retcon Lynn Johnston’s attempt to get the readers to forget that, or is it just Michael lying to himself to put the blame on Martha?  Either way will work and certainly would be in character for either Lynn or Michael.

Panel 3: Michael sets up a joke based on the word “care” which he repeats 3 times in his dialogue.  The means that the punchline should play off the word “care”, but amazingly it does not. 

Panel 4: We are supposed to get that Michael is bothered by his broken relationship with Martha, but the way Lynn puts this across is to show Michael is goggle-eyed.  Most of the characters have spent the last few days being goggled-eyed, so it’s hard to see how this would communicate an emotion.  If anything, you would think Mike is having a hormone attack and needs to borrow Gordon’s hat and glasses.  What does this strip need?

First, it needs a punchline based on the word “care” like:

I’m glad to see you are so care-less.
I guess you could say Martha was your care-taker and not your care-giver.
I’m glad to see you are so care-free.
Aye care-amba!
You are like a donkey following Martha holding a stick and care-ot (carrot).
You are teenager who does not care – care-no-teen.
I can tell you don’t care from the sloppy way you care-y your sheaves of paper.

Second, Lynn needs a facial expression on Michael that shows he does care for Martha, even though he says he does not care.  How about this one?:

Yick!  You can tell Lynn Johnston doesn’t know how to draw this emotion.  She should stick with goggle-eyed.

Summary:   Michael is Gordon’s model and inspiration for driving away girls.
Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
10:11 pm
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Gordon returns and we get to see the look he will have for the rest of high school, at least the hat part.

(Strip Number 1484, Original Publication Date, 20 September 1989)

Panel 1: We can tell time has passed, since Michael, Gordon and Lawrence are now wearing long sleeve shirts and jackets, when they were wearing short sleeve shirts and no jackets just yesterday.  Seeing Gordon wearing a redneck hat and mirror shades while he is standing outside has caused Michael to laugh so hard he has to hold his stomach.   I think this is what Lynn did to let the reader know something funny was happening before she went to the sticky-out tongue laughing.  It’s either that or Michael is laughing because Gordon says he is using them for H.A. (pun on the laughing word “Ha”?)  Sometimes I think I need H.A. protection when we get a really bad pun for the punchline. 

Panel 2: Gordon explains that Allyson Creemore is now categorized as a life-threatening object who emits harmful rays. It turns out that we humans do actually emit harmful radiation, but a redneck hat or mirror shades will not prevent it from getting to you.


The main emitter of these is potassium-40. Potassium-40 is a naturally occurring isotope of potassium. It gets taken up by plants (some of which have a higher affinity for it than others), and when we eat the plants we incorporate it into our bodies.

Sleeping next to a person for a year gives you about 1 millirem of radiation. Assuming eight hours of sleep a night, that means a human body gives about three millirem a year of radiation.

Panel 3: Instead of “Look! There’s a bear”, Michael goes for, “Look! There she is!”  I guess she must actually be there or the next panel would have Gordon saying, “That’s not Allyson Creemore.  That’s a bear.  AAAAGH!!” Interestingly enough, Lawrence, who had no ears in Panel 1, suddenly sprouts them in Panel 3 and we have motion lines by his head to go along with that bizarre ear-sprouting.  Weird.

Panel 4: Gordon chews the coil off his scribbler which Lawrence thinks is hilarious, or rather I should say Lawrence is letting the reader know that it is hilarious.   I don’t know why Gordon even bothers carrying bound paper at this school, since everyone else seems to like to carry those giant sheaves of loose paper.   I guess this yet another one of those situations where Lynn Johnston is trying to show that Gordon is an outcast as he is the only one who has a scribbler.   As for the scribbler:


What it means: Notebook

Where they say it: New Brunswick, and elsewhere in the Maritimes (Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (PEI))

So how did Lynn Johnston pick up this slang term?  I don’t think she has lived in any of those places.  Is she willing to adopt Canadian slang terms from any part of Canada as a part of her patriotic and nationalistic tendencies?  Does she have no standards?

Summary:   It’s funny when someone bites through paper.  The classic case:

Monday, September 17th, 2018
11:09 pm
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
"If you can control your mind, you can control your hormones.  Let me suggest some meditation techniques", says Yogi Michael Patterson.

(Strip Number 1483, Original Publication Date, 19 September 1989)

Panel 1: Brian bails after yesterday, possibly because the conversation has been getting too stupid for him.  I always love the way Michael puts a “man” in his speech to indicate his youth.  It seems very late 1960s to me as if Lynn Johnston thinks teenage speech has not changed since she was a teenager.  I also like the “palms front” look as he walks as if he is pushing an invisible cart.   Lynn wants to show that Michael is thinking and as we all know, “pushing an invisible cart” is the standard stance of a thinker.  Not really.  Let Winnie the Pooh show you the way:

Panel 2: Michael suggests that Gordon not think of “stuff” when Allyson Creemore walks by.  Once again, thank you Michael for not saying what the stuff is.  No thanks to Lynn Johnston who, for whatever reason, decides this panel is the one where she draws the odd bend in the pants of our three male characters.  I can just imagine Lynn chuckling as she got that one past her editors back in 1989 and again today.

Michael believes being aware of Allyson Creemore’s presence is the catalyst for Gordon’s hormone attack.  Sorry, Michael, as we will learn, there are a couple of basketballs who can get the same reaction as Allyson Creemore.

Panel 3: Making your mind go blank is a common stereotype of meditation and it seems like Lynn was trying to use that with Michael’s recommendation here. 

Panel 4: The final joke is Lawrence essentially telling Gordon that he is so stupid that having a blank mind should be easy for him.  Sorry Lawrence, but Gordon has taken your place as Michael’s best friend and no number of insults about Gordon’s intelligence are going to get you back in that spot, especially insults that are not that funny.  Let’s give you some alternative suggestions:

1.  If you can't blank your mind, are you sure you still have one?
2.  Gordon’s mind wandered and never came back.
3.  Gordon, your mind is on vacation but your eyes are working overtime at goggling.
4.  If you really blanked your mind, you'd be so much smarter.

Summary:  We have meditation humor from Michael and if that didn't work, we fall back on insult humor from Lawrence. 
Sunday, September 16th, 2018
10:11 pm
Monday, 17 September 2018
You don’t know what puberty is ‘til you’ve had a hormone attack.  Well I guess I don’t know what puberty is.

(Strip Number 1482, Original Publication Date, 18 September 1989)

Panel 1: The orange-haired kid (Darryl Smythe?) and the dark-haired girl from last week are gone, leaving Gordon with Michael, Lawrence and Brian.  You can see the focus of importance shifting as Brian does not say a word in this comic strip and will not speak again until Saturday.  He will disappear tomorrow and then Lawrence will also disappear two days after that.  Gordon is taking over the best friend slot.

Panel 2: Gordon explains to the boys that you don’t know what puberty is ‘til you’ve had a hormone attack.  Lawrence and Michael don’t say a word, but if I were there I would say something like, “What you just did has nothing to do with puberty.  You should go see a doctor.”

Gordon takes off his glasses and he cleans them with his fingers, because that’s what glasses wearers do when they want to put more smudges on their glasses.  I realize now that without his glasses, Gordon would be virtually unrecognizable except for his signature look of having an ear more even on his face with his mouth than with his eyes. That ear often appears as though it wants to crawl off his face and hide under his shirt. Go, ear! Go!

Panel 3: Gordon explains that his problem has to do with thinking stuff.  Once again, Gordon, thank you for not being explicit.  Gordon says he is a quivering, foaming, uncontrollable mass.  Foaming?  Like with rabies?  I didn’t see any foaming.  I did see and still see a lot of goggled eyes, as Gordon is up to three straight panels of this. 

Once you toss foaming into it, this isn’t hormones.  A simple internet search for those symptoms (quivering, foaming) show it is probably a tonic-clonic seizure.



Usually, only one type of seizure, which is called a tonic-clonic seizure or convulsive seizure, is associated with drooling, slight foaming, or bubbling at the mouth. People experiencing tonic-clonic seizures have abnormal electrical firing throughout their brain simultaneously.  Tonic-clonic seizures usually cause an immediate loss of consciousness followed by whole-body convulsions.

Panel 4: This panel is very poorly drawn as Lynn Johnston puts Gordon, Michael, and Lawrence in silhouette, while Gordon with his arms outstretched laments to anyone around that he would prefer zits to hormone attacks.   In these kinds of situations, Lynn usually goes for a broad comedic physical expression to emphasize the punchline and it is completely eliminated here by the all black.  For once, Lynn actually needs a Schulz face.  This is just plain, old, bad cartooning.  She is de-emphasizing just as she should be emphasizing.  I fear we may be at the beginning of Lynn’s silhouette period, where she silhouettes for no other apparent reason than she didn’t want to take the time to draw something.

Summary:   Zits are better than seizures.  Now there’s a lesson every Patterson kid should learn.

Friday, September 14th, 2018
12:41 am
Sunday, 16 September 2018: John has no comic timing at all: OFFICIAL.
Mike does something that gets on my last God-damned nerve today when he dares to dictate to Elly how to dress while Elly does something far God-damned worse: she gives in.

Panel 1: We start today's example of spineless underparenting in which Elly caves when it actually kind of counts with Mike asking her if what she's wearing is what she plans on wearing down town. Having Michael express a concern that should be Elizabeth's reminds us that Lynn intends to go right on not understanding teenage boys because in the real world, Mike wouldn't notice it if Elly were to parade around in an original series Starfleet uniform.

Panel 2: He then does something that I myself knew better than to do or want to do despite my being one of the stupidest teenagers known to man (mostly because of the fact that I only noticed what my mom wore once in a blue moon) and laughs at her appearance.

Panel 3: He starts off by telling Elly to roll her slacks up because they look like bell bottoms because he's Lindy trying not to have her mom totally humiliate her by looking like she's from the olden days.

Panel 4: He then commands her to wear a T-shirt because her blouse is like so totes yesterday.

Panel 5: He then irritates her by suggesting a different style of belt. He should not use that word because belt is a verb applicable to his situation. Its use is "Elly should belt him for acting like a snot."

Panel 6: The final straw is his telling her to do something about her hair.

Panel 7: When she finally yells that she's had enough of Mike's beefing about her looks, John makes the scene.

Panel 8: Elly tells John that she's about to drive Mike down to the mall to meet his friends.

Panel 9: Having heard his wife's explanation for the conflict, John asks her why she submitted to her son's dress inspection like a chump.

Panel 10: John is severely astonished when Elly says that she degraded herself like that because she planned on getting out of the car.

Summary: The next time Elly starts ranting about how disrespectful Mike is and how he's got it in his head that he can boss her around, John can tell her that she should stop giving in. It's like watching Megatron not shoot Starscream in the back of the head even though he should have. Also, Joshua K is bloody well right that this isn't something a teenage boy would do but, well, Lynn has no idea what a teenage boy's deal is and doesn't wanna learn. We prove that tomorrow when we continue with her belief that having an erection must feel a lot like menstrual cramps.
10:56 pm
Saturday, 15 September 2018
Today we get to see how a teacher would react to Gordon and his hormone attack.  Hint: It does not make teachers look good.

(Strip Number 1481, Original Publication Date, 16 September 1989)

Panel 1: Lawrence seems to be checking Gordon’s pulse as he lies on the floor with his tongue lolling out.  I guess it’s a good thing Lawrence was brought up by a woman who works (Does Connie still work?) in the medical profession.   After he finishes with Gordon, maybe Lawrence can take a look at Michael, whose eyes appear to have been glued together causing him to lean way over to the left with motion lines included as if he has to lean over to see the readers through the panel box.  Michael warns the readers to stand aside and recaps the hormone attack from yesterday.  We see an orange-haired kid (Darryl Smythe?) who is unidentified looking at Michael if he is the focus of attention.  I don’t blame him. Look at all that dandruff flying off Michael’s head, and he probably wonders just who Mike is talking to.

Panel 2: The hormone attack infection that causes purpling the bodies shows up again as everyone around Gordon turns purple.  Someone has managed to put a sheaf of paper in his hand (which he was previously not holding).  I assume this is to make Gordon look like a normal sheaf-carrying student as a teacher says, “What’s going on?”  In the purple crowd we see one character that appears to be female, which is fairly amazing all things considered.  Maybe this was intended to be early Tracey, but her hair is blackened in. 

Panel 3: Michael explains to the teacher that Allyson Creemore walked by in spandex shorts and Gordon freaked out.  The old fellow looks at Michael glassy-eyed as if to say, “When I was a guest character in Mary Worth, we never had stories this idiotic.  Mary was all class.”  A real teacher would send Gordon Mayes to the school nurse and would assume that Michael was an idiot.   After all, the kid said he couldn’t see and he was feeling weak and he was lying on the floor getting his pulse checked.  We have not seen a decent teacher in Lizzie or Michael’s school, since Lynn Johnston moved to Corbeil five years ago and that cycle continues here.   

Panel 4: The whole gang has risen and they are magically de-purpled.  On the floor is the dazed Gordon and the amazing girl who has not run in fear from Gordon.  Forget Tracey, Gordon.  It’s this girl you want to ask to see a movie.   She is the only one that doesn’t have her hands in her pockets as if she might actually try to help Gordon to his feet, unlike all his so-called “friends” with their hands conveniently in their pants pockets. 

The teacher who leaves after Panel 3 apparently talked about two more years to retirement, which is a punchline that comes up a lot with teachers in this comic strip almost as much as “for this I spent 4 years in teacher’s college.”

Summary:  It’s funny when teachers hate their jobs and hate the students.   That’s comedy gold.
Thursday, September 13th, 2018
10:22 pm
Friday, 14 September 2018
And now for one of the stupidest storylines Lynn Johnston ever created in her 29 years of comic strip creation as she demonstrates just how little she knows about teenage boys: 

Gordon Mayes and the Hormone Attacks

(Strip Number 1480, Original Publication Date, 15 September 1989)

Panel 1: Gordon cries, “Holy Spandex, Batman!!!” as he sees Allyson Creemore, who is making her very first appearance.  Meanwhile in stately Wayne manor, I mean, in the background Lawrence makes the first appearance that he has made since Michael’s birthday party last April. 

Panel 2: Gordon describes Allyson as a bowser, and now without her giant sheaf of paper to cover her body, Gordon realizes she is not a bowser.  There is no way to sympathize with Gordon here as he is basically saying Allyson was as ugly as a dog last spring and the only reason he is thinking of her differently is that her tight spandex is showing him parts of her body he was unaware of before.  At this point I am really glad Lynn Johnston chose to blacken in Allyson’s clothing, because the implication of the spandex and Gordon’s overreaction is a little creepy.

That sort of comparison turns me off of Gordon and there is a part of me that is glad that he never ended up with Allyson, if that’s the way he thinks about girls.  It also makes me feel a certain degree of pity for poor Tracey who ends up being saddled with this schmuck.

Panel 3: We have an “AAAGHH!” and Gordon goes to full-on Schulz face as Michael grabs him to keep him from attacking Allyson.   Gordon says, “Hold me down”, which I can only assume means that Lynn Johnston never saw this classic Key and Peele:

Panel 4: You wouldn’t notice this in the original, but thanks to the colourist, it appears that hormone attacks turn you a light purplish colour and it affects the people around you as if it’s some kind of communicable disease.   We will see in upcoming strips that this purpling is used pretty consistently.  I think the colourist is attempting to de-emphasize people in the background as is done with Lawrence in Panel 1, but I have no idea why the hormone-attacked Gordon would be anything but the major focus of this panel.  I am assuming that the colourist did not take the unnamed girl standing next to Allyson seriously when she says, “…Act like you don’t notice.”  She was talking to Allyson, not to you, colourist. 

Summary: Gordon is attacked by his hormones and judging from his reaction it is a clear case of ass halt and bladdery.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
12:31 am
Thursday, 13 September 2018
John is pissed off at Mike using the phrase "I KNOW!!!" to mean "Stop explaining because I don't want mathematics to make sense."

Panel 1: Mike attracts John's attention by hollering about how much he hates stoopid math while attracting our attention by being a Peanuts character in the realish world.

Panel 2: This leads to the bog-standard "How not to teach OR learn anything" pas de dumbass that ensured that the Patterson children got shitty grades as John mansplains the Pythagorean theorem to a sullen goof son who won't explain the real problem: someone is making him do math without a calculator because she didn't have one growing up.

Panel 3: When he makes with the Peanuts crap and hollers "I know, I KNOW, I KNOW!!!!" at John, John mutters "Fine."

Panel 4: When John talks about how his ignoramus of a son thinks that he knows everything, Elly reminds him that that's why they're so hard to teach. Since she's not the one having to deal with their common failure to parent this time, she can be the one making witless banter.

Summary: As howtheduck will demonstrate over the next little while, Mike would rather not waste his time learning anything or paying attention in class because tomorrow, we see something far more to his tastes: enabling his entitled shlump of a friend as he makes a sinister and ridiculous ass of himself because he and Lynn have funny ideas about girls who wear 'dangerous' outfits.
Monday, September 10th, 2018
12:28 am
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Lynn nags Aaron sbout his poor grades by suggesting that he spends more time pretending to do homework than getting it done.

Panel 1: We find Mike sitting at the kitchen table deciding that the book he's not reading is too low.

Panel 2: As he piles another book on, he declares that it's still too low.

Panel 3: Now that he's got a pile to the correct height, he declares that said pile is perfect.

Panel 4: Why it's perfect is that he can take a nap instead of having to do his homework.

Summary: We can probably expect to see a ringing defence of Lynn's own shitty time management skills today because she's where Mike gets his thinking that he's at his best when he's trying to stiff-arm the Grim Reaper from.
Sunday, September 9th, 2018
9:08 pm
Portable Artist Leaving Manitoba
I was looking at the third treasury, Making Ends Meet, in Google Books. (I realized that the book isn't listed in "search by book" in the catalog--which is weird, because the first two are.)

Anyway, there is an article from November 2, 1983, which I think howtheduck has mentioned in the past. It's the one where Lynn reveals that the family has already purchased the property in North Bay and will be moving the following year, after the kids' school year in ends in the spring. I have transcribed it and will post below the cut.
Collapse )
3:44 am
Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Lynn uses a favourite gag of hers when she has Mike piss and moan about doing the math he sucks shit at while congratulating the poor bastard paying the bills at not having to be forced to count past five without doing so on his fingers.

Panel 1: Mike sets himself up to become yet another "I can unhinge MY jaw and yell about piddly little bullshit that doesn't matter too" avatar when, having been assigned homework on the first day of class, howls about the unfairness of it all when he wants people to feel sorry when they lookit all the stuff they're making the poor baby do.

Panel 2: He makes me wanna shove his head into the drywall by pissing and moaning about having to spend hours on end doing the stooooopid math he HAAAAAAATES because it reminds me of why he and his wife are so pooooooor.

Panel 3: As he reaches into the cupboard for a glass, he bellows that he hates and wishes he never had the homework of reminding him that he's a fucking imbecile who'll need a minder his whole damned life.

Panel 4: He further proves his being an oblivious muttonhead by telling John, who's busy balancing his and Elly's chequebooks, that he's lucky he doesn't have to do it no more.

Summary: This, as I have said, is why he and Deanna were so poor all the damned time. He refuses to learn math and she's too passive to bitch him out for spending money on foolish crap so John and Elly were forced to marry Liz off to a bookkeeper to keep a roof over their grandkid's heads.
Saturday, September 8th, 2018
12:17 am
Monday, 10 September 2018
We follow Mike at his first day back at school with a reminder that while he and his posse like catching up with their friends, they don't like having to go to school.

Panel 1: We find Mike and a group of his friends in the hallway before class starts. As Generic Blond Guy asks Mike it's going, a silhouette says "Yo!" and Gordon asks him what's happening, Mike contemplates Gordon on the cool shades that are part of his hormone attack prevention gear.

Panel 2: Someone who looks like Janet waves hello, Gordon says that it's been a while since he met a third party and Mike asks Andrea how it's going.

Panel 3: We then have a panel full of happy students catching up with one another.

Panel 4: Now that is over with, we can resume hating on formal education as Mike gets Brian, Gordon and a silhouette to agree that they hate going back to school because it's a bummer.

Summary: While we're waiting for howtheduck to cover Gordon's first hormone attack Friday, let's have three of Mike getting on my last nerve howling about doing stoopid math which he hates and has no use whatsoever and that's why he and Dee are sooooooo poor.
Friday, September 7th, 2018
12:25 am
Sunday, 9 September 2018
When Elly expresses her exasperation that Farley expects to come with them every time they drive someplace, John makes an attempt to explain that she trained him to do so.

Panel 1: We start things off with Farley being awakened by the sounds of people trying to walk quietly.

Panel 2: He rises up fully when someone clicks the door shut.

Panel 3: For the purposes of today's strip, he has the annoying tendency to want to come with John and Elly whenever they drive somewhere because Lynn is trying to nag Willy The Black Spaniel by proxy. This takes the form of Elly telling Farley that no, he can't come because the poor woman doesn't understand that he can't and doesn't understand English.

Panel 4: She also futilely stands on the porch and tells him to go back into the house, there's a good boy.

Panel 5: She follows that up by trying to lure him back into the house with a treat.

Panel 6: When that fails, she's reduced to using baby talk to keep him from getting into the car.

Panel 7: When this also fails, she just stands there looking all sad because she's tried everything that isn't "grabbing his collar and marching him into the house" and nothing worked.

Panel 8: She then sighs in defeat and despair.

Panel 9: As they drive to where ever, Elly asks John how she's supposed to stop Farley from acting that way every time they want to drive some place.

Panel 10: His telling her to stop giving in leaves her gobsmacked because she thinks that she actually tried to stop him from expecting to be driven around.

Summary: We can probably expect a Lynnsight about her having to endure letters from dog owners with brains about how Elly did everything wrong and thus trained Farley to expect to be driven around but since no dogs wrote in, she discounted them.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
10:44 pm
Thursday, September 6th, 2018
12:43 am
Saturday, 8 September 2018
We end the week with "Liz takes a metaphor literally because children are stupid and Elly is gobsmacked because it inconveniences her".

Panel 1: For some reason, we find Liz walking down the street wearing a pair of Elly's shoes. Said reason is probably so that evil snarker troll fungus people might be irritated by having to watch Elly overreact to a horrid pun.

Panel 2: As she starts to change direction, one particular basement dweller asks himself if she's smiling at the unsound effects she's stirring up.

Panel 3: She starts to head back into the house.

Panel 4: When she tells a horrified Elly that she just walked a mile in her shoes, we are left to gaze in awe at the display of skewed priorities.

Summary: This is because while Elly will always remember this incident and hold it against her child forever, the business of throwing a teddy bear at a bus driver in cross town traffic will be forgotten.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
12:41 am
Friday, 7 September 2018
Liz is used as a mouthpiece to call bullshit on Mike (and Aaron) when they howl about the need to be treated like the adult they mistakenly think they are.

Panel 1: As he and Liz get ready to watch television, Mike is dismayed to find that Elly has taped a note to the screen telling him that he has to do his chores first. Since he remembers that they can never be done to Elly's satisfaction and that when she criticizes him for failing her because he hates her, she talks to him as if he's still the four year old who howled that nooooooobody loves him, this irritates him.

Panel 2: He expresses his irritation by asking what is their problem anyway. He believes that he does not deserve to be treated like this because he's the same size as Elly and mistakenly believes that he looks like an adult.

Panel 3: He then opens himself up to a smart remark by howling "Why does everybody treat me like a child?!!" because he won't admit that he still is one.

Panel 4: Liz's reply of "Maybe they're just waiting for your brains to catch up to your body" leaves the dope looking like a gaffed trout.

Summary: Here's a lot of Mike's problem right here: he thinks that he matters more than he actually does. He doesn't so much outgrow this sort of thinking as he does change how he expresses it. This allows him to wail idiotically about being a rung on a ladder because he won't admit that yeah, he has to pay his dues writing puff pieces like a boring, ordinary person.
Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
12:39 am
Thursday, 6 September 2018
Mike interprets a note from Elly in a rather self-serving fashion.

Panel 1: When he and Liz get home from school, Mike notices that no one is home and asks where everyone is.

Panel 2: We next see him at the kitchen counter reading a note from Elly that says that she's at work and will be home at five.

Panel 3: Liz asks if the note is from Elly and if so, what does it say.

Panel 4: As he reaches into the cupboard, Mike tells her that they can open a box of Fudge-O-Bars and have six each.

Summary: This wanton display of ruining his appetite for Little Orange Surprise (the surprise that that despite it being banned by an international treaty protecting us from biological weapons, Elly is never jailed for violating the Geneva Convention by serving it) is the first half of a two-parter that foreshadows Elly's Nag-By-Note system AND reminds us that Mike is a dumb kid who thinks he's more grown up than he is. Also, the Aaron of this time period was chunkier than Lynn thought right and she has to nag him by strip.
Monday, September 3rd, 2018
12:36 am
Wednesday, 5 September 2018
We end the Super Teddy arc with Mrs Grunion telling Liz what Elly should have and Liz herself channeling her mother and throwing crap at Christopher for laughing at her.

Panel 1: Having accepted Liz's apology note and thanking her for it, Mrs Grunion gives her back her teddy bear and is about to do Elly's damned job by offering her some advice.

Panel 2: Said advice is not to do what people tell her to do but to only do the things she actually wants to do. As she says this, Christopher is looking on as if getting her into shit and seeing her lectured was the whole point of this mess.

Panel 3: He fucking proves it by laughing at her, the filthy little heathen. Realizing that he's a piece of shit who delights in the misery of others (in short, a larval John) leaves Liz looking horrified and sad.

Panel 4: We next see him getting whacked onna back of the head with the damned bear.

Summary: He'll probably get his arse in an uproar about having to pay for mouthing off but, hey, he should thank God that Liz didn't have a ceramic mug ready to hand. This is because the advice Mrs Grunion gave her is not quite to the point. What she should have been told is something direct like "Don't assault people just because you were dared or happen to feel like it" or "Your 'harmless' action could have gotten a lot of children hurt or killed, you idiot" instead of something vague she can take to mean anything she wants to. This inability to understand children eventually leads to us standing by a swollen stream watching a four year old half-way drown because Lynn and Elly are too stupid to understand what 'someone' means to a child.
Sunday, September 2nd, 2018
4:15 am
Tuesday, 4 September 2018: You've brought shame on yer people, Dawn Enjo.
When Liz laces into Christopher for goading her into making an ass of herself, Dawn makes me pissed the Hell off at her for trying to get him off the hook by being fulla bullshit.

Panel 1: The following morning, we see the kids waiting for the bus and Christopher is being a really snotty little creep about the apology letter Liz had to write for throwing her teddy bear at Mrs Grunion because he won't admit that kids who dare kids to do stupid shit have anything to do with said shit. He and his companion idiots would also make no logical connection between sticking their hands in a fire and coming back with second degree burns.

Panel 2: Liz tells Christopher to leave her alone because this mess is his damned fault that she's in trouble because he's the one who told her to throw the bear and kept chanting "Do it! Do it! Do it!"

This allows her to avoid coming to the dangerous conclusion that what she was told to do was wrong in and of itself and arrive at the accepted one that it was only wrong because someone else told her to do it. If she'd come up with the idea of pegging the woman on her own, it wouldn't have been bad because Lynn has a lot of fucked-up ideas about peer pressure.

Panel 3: Dawn ignores the fact that she was there egging Liz on when she simpers that the problem is that Liz did throw the bear because she (as a bog-standard jerk kid with a typical jerk kid's exaggerated dread of admitting being in the wrong) wants to pretend that she wouldn't have called Elizabeth a chicken if she didn't. Having to listen to Dawn's weak-ass bullshit breaks Liz's brains.

Summary: No, Dawn. That is not the trouble. The trouble is that you and the others made her feel as if she had no say in the matter so telling her that she had the right to refuse after the fact is blame-evading nonsense of the worst sort. Worse still, you don't understand that what she did was a dangerous thing because you're not allowed to know things Lynn doesn't. It's why you whine about getting a fade in three years.
Saturday, September 1st, 2018
12:34 am
Labour Day 2018
When confronted with the fact that her daughter has inherited her own pants-shitting terror of admitting blame, Elly thinks that a simple apology is the best weird punishment ever.

Panel 1: We find Liz screaming that she HATES writing an apology note because she can't DO it owing to the fact that she doesn't know what to say. This is because she's never actually heard anyone in her immediate family make a sincere apology and (since she's Lynn) also thinks that if she does apologize for stuff she did do, she'll have to apologize for stuff she did not do.

Panel 2: Since Elly is all about advising people how to do things she'd never do herself, she asks an angered Liz what's so hard about writing down "Dear Mrs Grunion, I'm sorry, Sincerely, Elizabeth."

This is rather stupid of Elly because if one is to write an apology note, it must not be so general in nature. She should be advising Liz to apologize for giving in to peer pressure and endangering herself and her fellows.

Panel 3: Liz screams that she hates writing an apology because it's the worst punishment she's ever had. This is because it's pretty much the only punishment she's ever had.

Panel 4: Since Elly thinks that the point of raising children is to make them miserable, she thought-bubbles that it's the best punishment she's ever had.

Summary: How would Elly know about punishing her children anyway? If she's not giving them the wrong ice cream or making them hate chores and reading by making those punishments, she's doing what she's doing now and letting someone competent do it.
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