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

[ << Previous 20 ]
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.
Sunday, February 4th, 2018
12:26 am
Tuesday, 6 February 2018
We continue on from yesterday with a dialog-free strip about how Farley prefers the table scraps that he's been accidentally trained to eat to the pet food his angry idiot caretaker wants him to eat.

(Strip Number 5090, Original Publication Date, 28 February 1989)

Panel 1: A few seconds after Farley digs in, the loud, always angry female creature starts shouting at him for tearing up the garbage bags to get to the tasty food she doesn't want him to have.

Panel 2: What the loud creature doesn't realize is that brandishing the can of pet food WHILE bellowing in an angry tone of voice is going to set up the association "Alpo = ANGER."

Panel 3: She scoops the food into the dish while still angrily hollering at him. Again, this means that he's going to think that the food is a punishment because as far as I can remember, she never praises him for eating the food she actually wants him to eat.

Panel 4: The woman writing the strip imagines that he's wistfully dreaming of demonstrating his hatred for the love in Elly's Great Big Heart by happily eating the garbage instead of her loving bargain bucket pet food of smelling worse than garbage because she doesn't understand dogs either. In real life, the dog would simply be confused because for no reason that makes sense, the human screamed at him again.

Summary: One of the cool things about "Farley And The Lost Bone" is that it faithfully reproduces the Elly who doesn't have the blindest idea of what makes Farley's mind work. We're going to spend another six years or so watching her be totally baffled and angered by easily predictable behaviour she just can't fathom so it's good to have the kids' book be sort of in continuity with the strip.
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
12:23 am
Monday, 5 February 2018
We begin the "Farley and the garbage bin" arc with him scaring off another dog in defense of HIS garbage.

(Strip Number 5089, Original Publication Date, 27 February 1989)

Panel 1: As John puts the garbage bags at the curb, we see Farley growling at something in the distance.

Panel 2: We find that he's growling at someone else's dog that has also been left to roam at large by its negligent imbecile owner.

Panel 3: Having chased away the other dog, Farley sniffs at the household trash.

Panel 4: He then cheerfully rips the bags open to get to all that yummy food that the loud, angry female creature who always yells at him no matter what he does won't let him have.

Summary: It might look as if we're just going to get a solid week of "dogs are filthy and stupid" but towards the end of it, some other large group that Lynn hates for inconveniencing her is in for a scraping. Also, you will notice the original run date. As near as I can determine, this month is being rearranged so that Mike can be a terrible boyfriend on Valentine's Day.
Friday, February 2nd, 2018
12:32 am
Sunday, 4 February 2018
Lynn seems to be trying to actually tie the Sundayverse to the Dailyverse today when Elly tales too long telling John that he put the garbage out on the wrong day.

(Strip Number 7266, Original Publication Date, 5 March 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with John making a concerned "Umph?" noise as he looks at his alarm clock.

Panel 2: A panicked John puts on his robe for some reason.

Panel 3: John rushes to the curb carrying a full garbage bag in each hand because he thinks he's slept through garbage pick-up and hopes that they're slow today.

Panel 4: He rushes back to get a second load of garbage.

Panel 5: As he carries the second load to the curb, he's horrified because someone else's moronic dogs are tearing up the bags of Load One to get to table scraps.

Panel 6: John curses under his breath as he picks the garbage pack up.

Panel 7: John's rage at the dogs other irresponsible imbecile pet owners let roam at large is interrupted by Elly hating to have to tell him something.

Panel 8: He looks like a casserole that fell in on itself when she explains that what she hates to tell him is that they don't come for the garbage for another day.

Summary: You'll no doubt have noticed that this one is from March 1989; we're going to have to deal with strips shuffled crazily all over the place in order that Mike might be a terrible boyfriend on Valentine's Day. Oddly enough, this is actually a bit more coherent and it's likely that it was done at the same time as next week's arc.
Thursday, February 1st, 2018
12:37 am
Saturday, 3 February 2018: And yet again.......
We end the arc being reminded that Liz's anxiety about her physical appearance is a personality trait Elly doesn't want to admit that she passed down to her.

(Strip Number 5086, Original Publication Date, 4 February 1989)

Panel 1: As they get ready for bed that night, Elly ruefully states that like most kids, Liz has just gone through a phase of thinking she's ugly.

Panel 2: As she brushes her teeth, an off-camera John tempts fate by thanking goodness that people eventually mature to a point where they can accept themselves and be objective about their looks.

Panel 3: Elly pauses to stare at something 'horrifying' in the mirror.

Panel 4: John is horrified because a freaked-out Elly asks him if he thinks she's got one eye higher than the other.

Summary: John is, of course, as screwed here as he was when Liz asked why her nose was too something. He can't answer that question in a way that won't get him in trouble. As for Elly herself, Liz's insecurity cannot be said to have anything to do with how she was raised but instead must be blamed on an external evil such as network television or peer pressure.
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
7:07 pm
12:34 am
Friday, 2 February 2018: Here we go again...again.....
We get a sort of Scooby Doo summation as to why Liz feels anxious about her looks when we're reminded that her older brother is an abrasive asshole who can only feel good about himself when he knows that she's miserable.

(Strip Number 1412, Original Publication Date, 3 February 1989)

Panel 1: As Liz hangs up her winter jacket, Elly (who's carrying her signature pile of laundry) makes a note of her good mood; Liz explains that her friend Candace said she wasn't weird looking after all.

Panel 2: A shadow of imbecile malice looms in the background when Elly confirms Candace's belief and goes on to say that she's a pretty little girl whose face is perfectly normal.

Panel 3: Someone perfectly abnormal barges in and kills the mood when Mike asks "Hey! You talking about Bozo Beak here?" and upsets Liz and Elly.

Panel 4: As he runs away from a good thrashing, the asshole smiles and thought-bubbles that teasing is his life.

Summary: Yes, tearing Liz down to build himself because the pig-headed idiot is convinced that life is a zero-sum game is his life. In ten days, howtheduck talks about something else that's his life: being a hypocritical idjit self-servingly painting every single thing Martha and her friends do in the most negative light possible so as to avoid facing the fact that he's a shitty excuse for a boyfriend.
Tuesday, January 30th, 2018
12:31 am
Thursday, 1 February 2018
We take a break from Liz being filled with anxiety about her looks so we can watch her channel Sally from Peanuts.

(Strip Number 1411, Original Publication Date, 2 February 1989)

Panel 1: Candace's little talk seems to have done Liz a world of good. This is because she's engaging in a bit of good-natured roughhousing with friends by using her scarf as a sort of impromptu tether.

Panel 2: She bounds down a snowy hill using said scarf as an odd kind of jump rope.

Panel 3: When Mike comes along and tells her that Mom gave her the scarf she's using as a means of spinning herself on a tree branch to keep her warm, she tells him she knows.

Panel 4: She also knows that it worked because she's currently boiling.

Summary: The odd thing is not that Candace's talk about how she's not really hideous has made her feel a bit better. The odd thing is that I don't remember kids doing half the things Liz did with her scarf when I was a kid.
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