Snarky Candiru2

Saturday, 11 April 2020

The one where Liz fails to realize that Mike can be called "Mikerobe".

(Original Publication Date, 12 April 1991)

Panel 1: As Mike types up a report on his computer, he comes an oh-so-typical conclusion about the name April when he asks Liz if she knows what she's going to be called when he half-way anticipates Jeremy Jones and says that she's going to get called "Ape". All he's missing is "the Grape."

Panel 2: He makes a nasty comment about how his two sisters are "Ape" and "Lizard Breath" before becoming Call-Back Boy and saying "Dizzy, fizzy, busy Lizzie." Since Lynn probably forgot the strip for 6 September 1986, she probably thinks that the Delicate Genius (and not a boy named Patrick) was the first person to notice this. Given how Liz unhinges her jaw and yells "CUT THAT OUT!!", so does she.

Panel 3: As Elly nurses the baby, Liz comes up to her and tells her that it's no fair that Mike can call her and April names and she can't call him anything. Since she's Elly and thinks that children fight as a matter of course, she asks "Why not?" because she doesn't know that Mike's rhyming is setting up the punchline.

Panel 4: Elly is gobsmacked when Liz says "Because nothing rhymes with Michael." Well she should be because Liz lacks the imagination to realize that what Mike is doing isn't actually rhyming when he shortens April.

Summary: Liz eventually comes to realize that the smug rat is vain on top of being a peevish lout who thinks that seeing other people as being real means that he is diminished. Thus he becomes Ugly Brother.
Snarky Candiru2

Good Friday 2020

We start the mad wall arc with Liz making bad wordplay about a newborn infant's incontinence.

(Original Publication Date, 11 April 1991)

Panel 1: A few days after things have settled down, we find Liz asking Elly why she named the baby 'April'. Elly says that she did so because it's a lovely name and a lovely month.

Panel 2: As she hands April over to Liz to hold so she can change her diaper, she gushes that April is warm days, fresh flowers and nesting birds.

Panel 3: As Elly puts a fresh sheet in the bassinet, Liz mutters "Yeah."

Panel 4: This is so she can say "It also rains a lot" in order to hang a lampshade on how a baby has very little bladder control.

Summary: April is not just a bad joke about how it fools us all. April can have the second syllable lopped off by crazy idiot children. Mike is going to point that out tomorrow.
Snarky Candiru2

Thursday, 9 April 2020

The one in which Liz is afraid that she too will give birth some day.

(Original Publication Date, 9 April 1991)

Panel 1: As she watches Elly trudge down the hallway holding her sore arse, Liz asks John if Mom is still in pain. He says "Uh-huh."

Panel 2: He talks about how it's all part of the birth experience in that one expects to be in some discomfort for quite a while. Liz says that she's scared.

Panel 3: Since John doesn't know who he's talking to, he tries to reassure her by saying that Mommy will be fine. When she says that she knows this, he asks what she actually IS afraid of.

Panel 4: Her response of "I'm afraid it might happen to ME someday!" confuses him because he doesn't know how self-centred Liz can be.

Summary: We pivot away from this arc to an extended set-piece in which Mike makes a promise he is incapable of keeping. Also, there was the matter of Farley vs Treebeard that would actually have been tomorrow's strip.
Snarky Candiru2

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

The one where Elly lies on her phone call back to her mother.

(Original Publication Date, 8 April 1991)

Panel 1: As John gets ready for work, he asks an obviously struggling Elly if she's okay. She says that she is despite moaning in discomfort.

Panel 2: When he asks her if she can sit down, she says "Slowly."

Panel 3: When he gets all clingy and asks if she's sure she's all right and if he can get her anything, all she wants is the phone.

Panel 4: This is so she can leave him gobsmacked when she phones Marian to tell her that the baby is here and she herself feels wonderful. This is because he forgets that the last thing Elly wants is her mother showing up and telling her everything that she's doing wrong.

Summary: Since Lynn is who she is, it's obvious that despite having some medical training, there are varying degrees of discomfort John is not aware of. Not being able to sit down or relieve one's self is bad but carrying a child is worse so he's guilty of facecrime. Also, it's better to not have an older person around barking orders.
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Tuesday, 7 April 2020

The one where John's exhaustion from doing a hard day's work and being kept up all night is meaningless because he can never give birth.

(Original Publication Date, 6 April 1991)

Panel 1: Since we're living in a sitcom world, there has been no trip to the hospital to actually make sure that Elly and April are healthy or anything. What we have instead is Elly (who's finally managed to put on a nightgown) asking John if everyone is gone. He tells her that yes, everyone has left and the kids are at bed.

Panel 2: They both talk about how incredible it is that she gave birth at home. I wonder how they'd like the adjectives snarker-troll fungus people would use to describe it.

Panel 3: When Elly tells him that she's so excited, she doesn't know if she can sleep, he wonders the same thing.

Panel 4: Elly goes goggle-eyed with consternation and confusion because John claims to be exhausted.

Summary: This is because she and Lynn choose to interpret his saying so as meaning that he diminishes her pain on general principal.
Snarky Candiru2

Monday, 6 April 2020

The one where Mike boasts about how rapidly he grew to despise competition.

(Original Publication date, 4 April 1991)

Panel 1: As Mike pours himself a glass of milk, Liz tells him that this has to be the most exciting night in her life as she actually saw her sister being born.

Panel 2: She held her in her arms before they even bathed her. She heard her first cry.

Panel 3: She then sets up the withering put-down by saying that at first, she wasn't sure she even wanted a baby sister but now that she's here, she can't imagine wanting to be without her. Mike starts to remind us who he is when he says that he knows the feeling.

Panel 4: Ugly Brother walks away from her as he says that he felt like that about Liz herself once. Since she can't remember the past any better than Elly can, this astonishes her.

Summary: Liz's enthusiasm for being an older sister has a half-life of half an hour. By May, she'll be kicking a baby toy in an attempt to appeal to sympathetic magic.
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Palm Sunday 2020

The Sunday strip where April really debuted and what Lynn decided to change.

(Original Publication Date, 31 March 1991)

Panel 1: As it was before, we see Liz standing by the doorway telling Mike to listen. This means one thing: Mike starts a long tradition of either being physically or mentally absent at a birth.

Panel 2: In the original version, Liz tells Mike that it's here! OUR baby is here!! Now, Liz reacts to the baby's crying by saying that it sounds as if the baby is awake.

Panel 3: In the original, Carol tells Elly "Here's your baby. It's a girl"; in the reload, she says "Here's your baby. She's all clean."

Panel 4: Both strips converge when Liz tells Mike that it's okay for him to come in.

Panel 5: Since Mike is used to television births and thus would not know why Robin Williams talked about little old men dipped in forty-weight, it mildly disgusts and baffles him that boy, Baby Whatever sure has a red face.

Panel 6: He then comments on how strange her head looks.

Panel 7: Next, he points out that her skin is all powdery and wrinkled.

Panel 8: A beaming (and bare-ass naked) Elly says "I know! Isn't she beautiful?"

Summary: What's equally beautiful is that despite believing that John doesn't really belong at the bedside while the kids and neighbours do, Elly can hold his absence over his head like a bludgeon for the rest of his life. Hell, not even Death will stay her grudge!!
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Saturday, 4 April 2020

The one where Elly makes an ironic comment about having a private little home birth.

(Original Publication Date, 5 April 1991)

Panel 1: As he cradles April in his arms, the stand-in for Doctor Enkin tells John that everything looks fine and that his friends did very well in an emergency situation.

Panel 2: John mildly chides Elly about not going to a hospital immediately because they were very lucky. This is because he forgets that he has a stooooopid son more fixated on filling his belly with other people's pizza that could and should have called an ambulance first. Elly knows this but......

Panel 3: As we zoom out to see all the people in the bedroom (Randy the pizza guy, Dr Enkin, Officer Silhouette, Carol, Connie, Liz, Farley, Mike, Agnes, the paramedic) that there are hovering over them, she gushes about how nice it was to have the child in the privacy of their own home.

Summary: This 'lovely' means of cheating probably angered Dr Enkin almost as much as the people telling her how irresponsible and foolish Mrs "I'm Not Sick" was. The trouble is getting Lynn to admit it.
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Welcome, Baby April

The latest blog entry is the newest version of the "Why April even exists" story so should be rather interesting to read.

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Personal Observations:

1) We have the standard 'origin' story: Lynn thought that it was her job to crank out toddler jokes but didn't have toddlers for Elly to be baffled and overwhelmed by. This led her to be amazed by the simple suggestion of "making one up."

2) Lynn choked under the pressure, pulled her punches on April's birth and left no one happy.

3) I don't think it's physically possible for Lynn to be grateful to Dr Enkin. Not only does that mean that she didn't actually make it on her own merits, it means that he is more worthy of praise than she is.
Snarky Candiru2

Friday, 3 April 2020

The one where an elderly neighbour takes over a casserole as one does in an emergency.

(Original Publication Date, 3 April 1991)

Panel 1: We switch focus to a house which we have never seen before and will never see again as an older neighbour of the Pattersons looks through the curtains and asks her husband what could possibly be going on over there because there's a police cruiser, ambulance and pizza delivery van in the driveway.

Panel 2: What's more, Carol Enjo is also over there for some reason that the woman must find out. When telling her husband that she's going over there, he tells her "Oh, for Pete's sake, Agnes! It's 2 AM!"

Panel 3: When he tells her that the last thing they need is her barging in and looking for gossip at pitch-dark o-thirty in the morning, she says that she's not looking for gossip but instead doing what any concerned neighbour would do in her place.

Panel 4: As she trudges through the snow, she thought-bubbles "I'm taking over a casserole."

Summary: This leads us to the stupid joke that ends the week about how intimate April's birth wasn't.