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

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Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
10:28 pm
Lynn Johnston talks to Mr. Media about her 40-year anniversary

2019: Lynn Johnston, daily cartoonist, "For Better or For Worse," talks to Mr. Media, Bob Andelman, about her family strip's 40th anniversary in newspapers.

I will discuss after the cut.
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Monday, September 23rd, 2019
12:40 am
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
We pivot towards John looking like a moron when confronted by a question he actually couldn't foresee given his limitations as a person when Liz isn't allowed to be a tattle-tale any more because that'll be the baby's job.

(Original Publication Date, 26 September 1989)

Panel 1: We start things off with Mike having poked one of the grapes John bought up his nose and asking Liz if she has a handkerchief. Rather than ask "Doesn't that hurt, Idiot?" (because poking a grape up your nose is gonna hurt like crazy), she yells "EEEEWWW!!! GROSS!!!" because Lynn thinks that makes him look as if he's got a big load of snot up his nose instead of looking like a dope with a grape up his snoot.

Panel 2: Liz does something she should know better than to do when she tries to alert Elly to the problem. Elly does what Elly does and says that she simply doesn't want to hear about it because she has based her life on the belief that caring about what children do reduces her to the status of child.

Panel 3: She then delivers the same canned speech about rising above it she's delivered since Liz was three when she tells her that as a big girl, she should find something else to do if Mike is 'bothering' her.

Panel 4: Liz glumly tells herself that tattling isn't as fun any more.

Summary: Way to be useless, Elly. My guess is that if Mike had clobbered Liz last June, Dumbass would have huffed "Honestly! If Mike is pulverizing you because of something you did or didn't do, it's somehow your fault for not giving him what he wants."
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
12:37 am
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
For some reason, Lynn uses a joke about John having 'cravings' that puts me in mind of Lynn's "David, We're Pregnant."

(Original Publication Date, 25 September 1990)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly take a break from reading "Pregnancy Made Easy" (as if she's a first time parent or something) so she can be confused by Bug-Eyed Smiley-Faced Idjit John explain away the mound of groceries* he bought on an impulse by saying that he had a few cravings.

*(From left to right, we have tinned crab meat, a bottle of capers, pretzels, a jar of baked beans, preserved kumquats, an apple, French vanilla ice cream, a bell pepper, a box of spicy red hot Cheeze Blams, a bottle of Taba Sava(?), a big jar of olives, smoked oysters, a loaf of garlic bread, liver pate, smoked oysters, pepperoni, green grapes, licorice all kinds (because Lynn doesn't realize that licorice all sorts isn't trademarked) and soy sauce. Hint: the green grapes become important and elicit the question "Wouldn't that hurt like the dickens?")

Summary: This is the start of an irritating trend in which he is somehow suffering as much as Elly is from pregnancy that reaches its culmination in his "You WISH, Buddy!!" reaction to Lamaze class. It also leads to his looking like a gaffed trout Saturday because of the green grapes of being poked up the noses of human doorstops.
Saturday, September 21st, 2019
12:37 am
Monday, 23 September 2019
Before we begin the depressing as anything "Liz fears that she's about to be replaced so wants to feel needed and loved" arc, let's watch Elly not understand who's at the door when John needs to be let in.

(Original Publication Date, 24 September 1990)

Panel 1: As Elly types up another not at all biased or misleading review that people who aren't her, HONEST are waiting to read, she hears a scratching noise and yells for someone to let the dog in.

Panel 2: Since no one jumps to attention, she gets rage-faced and yells "For Heaven's Sake, cut it out! I'm coming!!" as she goes to let the dog in.

Panel 3: The 'joke' is that it's not Farley that needs to be let in. It's John scratching at the door because he's carrying grocery bags he's too stupid to put down on the porch.

Summary: The interesting thing is that this sitcom joke that's predicated on John being too stupid to live flows organically to his being gobsmacked because something is making Liz forget what her job is.
Friday, September 20th, 2019
12:35 am
Sunday, 22 September 2019
Today's strip is a mildly maudlin and sweet thing that has Liz come up with a depressingly cute phrase that didn't quite catch on inspired by Lynn's sadness about her father's passing.

(Original Publication Date, 23 September 1990)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly on the phone having a conversation with an unknown party. For some reason, whatever this person did with a bedpan is the height of hilarity. This tells me that Mystery Person is in the hospital.

Panel 2: Now that the conversation is nearing its end, she smiles as she tells Whoever to keep smiling and take care of him/herself before being asked a question.

Panel 3: Said question appears to be "Will you be visiting soon?" and the answer is "Yes."

Panel 4: Now that the conversation is over, Sundayverse Elly is seen to weep openly at someone else's problems because Sundayverse Elly is only mildly self-absorbed. Sundayverse Liz asks her what's wrong.

Panel 5: Sundayverse Elly explains that she has a good friend who's dying. When he calls up, he makes her laugh.

Panel 6: However, when the call is over, the sadness of his situation overwhelms her.

Panel 7: Elizabeth explains this as being what she refers to as a rainbow day. Elly murmurs a bit in confusion because Sundayverse Elly doesn't freak out so much.

Panel 8: Liz panders to the churchgoers by saying that when the sun is shining when it rains, God makes a rainbow.

Panel 9: This means that when one laughs and cries, one is having a rainbow day.

Panel 10: Having been charmed by the analogy, Elly says that Liz is a neat kid. Liz replies by saying she loves her.

Summary: This, I think, is what people mean when they say they love the strip: it's what Lynn is capable of when she doesn't succumb to her belief that pointless acrimony is what people want to see. Sure, it's manipulative but at least people aren't foaming at the mouth with rage over nothing or whining because things don't go their way.

Also, howtheduck is right to say that this is a farewell to her father because the chronology lines up really good.
Thursday, September 19th, 2019
12:35 am
Saturday, 21 September 2019
We end the week with two things that are predictable given the characters we see: John is not quite aware that not everyone 'accepts' the new arrival and also Elly is mostly obsessed with the inconvenience of her state.

(Original Publication Date, 22 September 1990)

Panel 1: That night, we find John and Elly in bed going over the day's events. As near as he can determine things, the kids have accepted the fact that some time in March, they're going to have a new sibling. Given that Mike's "acceptance" is contingent of his not having to change diapers or babysit or anything and that Liz has just realized that her new job description is primary caregiver, one would accuse John of being what he turns out to be: a moron who doesn't know what's going on under his own roof.

Panel 2: He, on the other hand, has accepted it. He might have to build Mike a room downstairs or find a larger house to live in but he's accepted that.

Panel 3: He turns to her, says that he realizes that she's upset because it's a rude shock but hopes she'll some day grow to accept it too. She hints at never accepting it by saying that there is one sure thing about all of this.

Panel 4: When Elly whines that she'll certainly grow, he is astonished. I am not. I know that Elly will resent him and April forever for taking a non-possibility away from her.

Summary: It seems that John is a bit premature about all of this acceptance that isn't actually a thing. That's because we spend next week watching Liz think that she's about to be cast aside for the new baby. This leads to John the idiot we've come to expect when his response to Liz asking a question anyone with a brain could foresee is to go all goggle-eyed in horrified confusion and ask himself "What is it with this kid?"
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
12:32 am
Friday, 20 September 2019
We get a foreshadowing of the asshole emotional absentee dad Mike becomes when he thinks that the optimal outcome of Elly's pregnancy is one in which his life is not affected in the least.

(Original Publication Date, 21 September 1990)

Panel 1: Liz interrupts Mike's sulking about having to be teased by four irrelevances to talk about how great having a new baby is. He dunno about that because of a rather obvious reason.

Panel 2: She can't wait to see what happens and wonders if the new baby will be a girl. Mike surprises (just) her by hoping it's a girl too.

Panel 3: Remembering that Mike has spent the most of her life cowering behind the fact that she herself is a girl as an excuse to avoid admitting that he's a noxious little piece of crap that hates sharing because he's not fit to live, she asks for confirmation and gets it.

Panel 4: We set up next week's arc by having the sullen creephead say if it's a girl, he won't have to share his room.

Summary: This, I think, is why Liz spends the rest of her life being irrationally jealous of April: Mike ruined things being his own worthless self. Said self is a godless moron who doesn't want to admit that feelings he can't feel are real because it subtracts from him somehow.
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
12:27 am
Thursday, 19 September 2019
Watching Mike whine about The Cruel Tragedy Of Elly's Pregnancy and how he's the only one suffering reminds us that the reason he and his mother are at odds is that they have a difference of opinion as to which one of them is the Victim Of ALL Victims, Surpassing ALL OTHERS!!! and have different nonsense reasons why they claim that no one in history has suffered as much as they have nor ever shall.

(Original Publication Date, 20 September 1990)

Panel 1: As John works on his train layout, Mike starts to panic and shrieks that he can't believe that Mom is expecting! How and why did this horrible thing that ruins important lives (such as his own and his own alone) take place? Why is it distressingly obvious that it's a week after "Not by us" and he just found out right the Hell now from Lawrence?

Panel 2: We get a strong hint as to why he's out of the loop when John's answer is a brusque and distracted "These things happen." A better man would have told his children earlier and not acted as if Mike is a distant cousin or if Elly had a mild stomach ailment.

That being said, it doesn't matter how John explains it. This is because we see the return of the jabbering dupe who's convinced that his mom deliberately became a folk-singer in the late sixties with the singular intent of getting him teased as he thought-bubbles about the horror of his mother in a maternity dress and how scruffy idiot boys who don't God-damned matter will supposedly react.

Panel 3: The gloomy muttonhead continues to obsess over the fact that he'll be embarrassed completely and irrevocably as the only people in the world who matter will laugh at him and he can't fight back. It matters not that most people would be happy for him and family, damaging cretins he should avoid and ignore might mock him because Elly's in a maternity dress so this is a tragedy.

This, as we know, is why he treats Martha in the disgraceful manner he does: the possibility of being razzed by four apes who don't matter worth shit matters more than the praise of a whole school that would think he's a cool dude for having a girlfriend.....because he wants to feel bad all the time and won't admit it.

He also ain't going to admit that Gordie and the boys ain'ta gonna care one way or another because he's not good at understanding what he should be worried about. If they don't react as expected, we're gonna get him hollering about how they should mock him.

Panel 4: Mike does something in response that shouldn't astonish John at all when he yells "How could you do this to me?"

Summary: Paranoid dread about his own mistreatment can only be in the full bloom it is here when it's accompanied by a leafy-green background of indifference to how other people might be affected. That's what tomorrow's strip is for.
Monday, September 16th, 2019
12:22 am
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Connie's flat-out lie about finally being jealous of Elly leads to woolly nonsense about counting on friendship. This means that we've just seen our first faith and fate strip.

(Original Publication Date, 19 September 1990)

Panel 1: Since Connie lacks self-awareness, she means it when she says that she's never been jealous of Elly before but is now. This lack of ability to acknowledge her past blinds her to the fact that she's spent her life trying to be what people in the UK would call a Manchester tribute band to Elly Patterson.

Panel 2: Elly's patented glare of blank incomprehension means that her reaction of Connie's heartfelt plea that it's not fair that a woman who doesn't want a child gets one while she does not means that she is clearly thinking "I don't want a child now! Connie shouldn't want one either but is crazy and wrong somehow!!"

This, you will notice, is the closest Elly ever got to receiving a "Stop complaining about your problem hair or I'll check your expiration date" speech and she doesn't let it shame her into agreeing that Connie has a different brand of heartache that needs respect too....because it's based on something real.

Panel 3: Connie then waxes philosophical and wonders if this is all preordained or a matter of a chance. What in the world can one count on?

Panel 4: Elly says that you can count on friendship. Connie agrees that yes, she guesses she can.

Summary: This is not much to count on as Connie is required to spend the foreseeable future agreeing that Elly is the victim of all victims surpassing all others to prove her friendship. Ah, well. Time to play Musical Theatrical Self-Absorbed Dunderheads.
Sunday, September 15th, 2019
12:38 am
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Aside from the somewhat predictable (given her issues) motivation of wanting to prove her love for Greg by presenting him with a child of their own, it would seem that Connie's primary motivation for wanting a child is quite obviously boredom.

(Original Publication Date, 18 September 1990)

Panel 1: When Elly says that this is the first she's heard of Connie's wanting another child, Connie tells her that she doesn't tell her everything as she gets the coffee out of the cupboard.

Panel 2: She starts to set things up by saying that it doesn't make logical sense to want a child. They have everything: good jobs, independence and self-sufficient children.

Well, not so much "children that don't need as much supervision" as "GROWN children". Not that either really applies. Mike is a murderous loon, Liz would stand there and watch the house burn down with a baffled frown on her stupid face and also, Connie has driven all of her children away being a needy and toxic bitch.

Panel 3: No one needs Connie to be home, to cook for them or to look after them so, no, having a baby now makes 'no' sense. Elly reminds her of this by asking her why she wants to be tied down.

Panel 4: Connie replies that she likes being needed.

Summary: Elly reminds me of an Experts portion on the Red Green Show in which Harold struggled in vain to explain how empty someone's wife's left felt now that the kids were grown. She'd be right there with Red and Dalton being totally fucking baffled. Connie reminds me of a stupid person who, having driven everyone away by being a whiny, self-absorbed idiot with entitlement issues, wants fresh victims.
Saturday, September 14th, 2019
12:35 am
Monday, 16 September 2019
We begin our look at how the other characters react to Elly's "bad" news by taking the first of three days of Connie wishing that she had Elly's "problem".

(Original Publication Date, 17 September 1990)

Panel 1: We start things off with Connie reacting the "wrong" way to Elly's "horrible" news by congratulating her on her pregnancy.

Panel 2: Elly reminds her that her function is to join her friend in wailing about how horrible her life always is by saying that she doesn't want to be congratulated for having another baby because it was a (horrible) accident. (Also a horrible tragedy that all must lament and curse forever.)

Panel 3: Connie counters that by telling her something she didn't know. She didn't want to hear the word 'accident' because she and Greg have spent the last two years trying to conceive and would love an accident.

Panel 4: We then get a heaping helping of gallows humour about a burned-out engine and two flats. A normal person would think this is a rather crass way of stating that Greg's sperm count is low (the flats are his testes) and Connie has trouble conceiving due to a medical condition (the burned-out engine is her uterus). Since Lynn is an insensitive jerk and an infant, this could mean that Greg's sperm count is low (the burned-out engine is his prostate) and Connie has miscarried twice.

Summary: Knowing Elly, she's going to spend the rest of her life not admitting that other people might not see her problem as a problem. We get two more days of this then Mike seeing a different problem: having to have his life altered in a manner that requires sacrifice on his part.
Friday, September 13th, 2019
12:31 am
Sunday, 15 September 2019
John buys himself a metric-frakkton of trouble by taking all day to remember a casual acquaintance's name.

(Original Publication Date, 16 September 1990)

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching John walk down Main Street. As he does so, an unknown woman looks at the camera so as to tell us that she somehow becomes important.

Panel 2: She becomes important by identifying John by first name.

Panel 3: The strip proper begins with Whoever This Person Is giving him his full name and telling him that she hasn't seen him in years. She is thus perhaps either one of his and Elly's neighbours from back when they lived in Toronto in the mid-seventies or someone he knew long before Elly came into his life.

Panel 4: We set up the joke by having John smile and think to himself that while he remembers her face and who she is, he cannot remember this woman's name. We thus begin Lynn's attempt to reach out to old friends via comic strip by having him ask himself if her name is Lois, Lorriane or Kathryn.

Panel 5: As she tries catching him up on the last ten years, he asks himself if she is Amy, Annette, Beth, Corrine, Denise or Esther.

Panel 6: As they part company, he wonders if he's been talking to Sharon, Charlotte or Jill.

It should be noted at this point that he could have saved himself from the pillow to the face he's going to get at any time by simply pointing out that he'd forgotten her name. Since he doesn't want to look stupid, he didn't do that.

Panel 7: A while later, he gives Elly a chaste peck on the cheeck as she takes some Little Orange Surprise out of the stove. Since she can't see his face, she doesn't know that he's trying to remember something.

Panel 8: As he reads his evening paper, he's still trying to fighure out who Mystery Person is.

It should also be noted that he could have simply asked Elly if she remembered this person they knew from the big city and avoided the cold shoulder he's gonna get. He doesn't because he doesn't wanna look week.

Panel 9: Hours later, we find them in bed.

Panel 10: John alarms Elly by shouting out the name "PATRICIA!!!!!"

This is probably because he usually says "Medium double-double and an everything bagel with cream cheese!" at this time of night. Also, she remembers something that he suppresses: a Patsy O'Connor who dumped him back in tenth grade.

Summary: As I said, John could have easily escaped from what's going to be another long, pointless beef that he will never be forgiven for by simply getting off his high horse and saying "I'm sorry but while I remember who you are, I don't remember your name." Since that would mean a mild bit of public awkwardness and an admission of ignorance, he just smiled politely as he strolled towards another apocalypse.
Thursday, September 12th, 2019
12:34 am
Saturday, 14 September 2019
John and Elly are most definitely not on the same page about what a horrible, unfair and cruel calamity having a third child is.

(Original Publicastion Date, 15 September 1990)

Panel 1: Hours later, we find John and Elly sitting at the table trying to digest the news of a third child. We contrast Elly's gloomy thought-bubble of "Dirty diapers....late night feedings" with John's more upbeat and sentiment "Music boxes....teddy bears" so we can be hit over the head with the fact that Elly has to do all the work and John swoops down when it's fun and leaves in a baffled huff muttering "What does this child WANT? Why did we raise a princess?" when it ain't.

Panel 2: We get more of the same when she reminds herself that they sold all the baby clothes and crib when Liz was four and they have no room anyway. John forgets that practical detail to gush about baby giggles, baby hugs and that very first step.

Panel 3: We get to what Elly will hold against April for the rest of her life (and perhaps beyond) when she realizes that she might have to either quit her non-job or go back to working part time. This is AWFUL because she'll be tied down again! Meanwhile, the oaf husband who has never understood how little Elly likes having to actually raise children (or wanted to because he believes in a fake, bullshit, no way maternal instinct that kicks in automatically) likes the idea of a third child.

Panel 4: Meanwhile, Elly reminds us that she thinks that everyone knows that this is a tragedy when she says that they must be thinking the same things.

Summary: He might like the idea now but we all know that when it stops being fun, John has no immediate use for his kids. When it's not fun, they have emotional needs he doesn't want to meet because doing so is a reminder that he's an ogre, a dolt and a man-child with a distinct aversion to finding out who the people around him are and what they want because he's a self-absorbed jackass who thinks that the only problem a child could possibly have is with him because everything else is all about him too. The idea that a child is in a bad mood because she doesn't fit in can't register because it's not a problem that involves him.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2019
12:28 am
Friday, 13 September 2019
When Elly whines "Please, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!! check the tests again, I can't be pregnant!!!", the nurse tells her that the only mistake made was John got his clavicle broken and it ended up costing them.

(Original Publication Date, 14 September 1990)

Panel 1: Having been told that she's in the family way, Elly is the picture of bewildered and panicky disbelief. She doesn't believe it. She cannot be pregnant. Marcia tells her that the tests are conclusive and that Elly is ten weeks pregnant. Given a due date of 26 March, this meshes pretty well timeline-wise.

Panel 2: Elly tries to plea-bargain herself out of having a third child. Reason, she's thirty-nine, her kids are in school and she's working full time! She CAN'T have another baby....not NOW!!

Panel 3: She then tells Marcia that there's obviously been a mistake made here. Marcia agrees.

Panel 4: Elly is horrified when Marcia doesn't give her the answer she wants to hear but instead says that THEY aren't the ones who made the mistake.

Summary: It is starting to look as if howtheduck is on to something here when he says that Lynn is reacting to Cathy Guisewite's advice by telling herself "Be glad you can't have more kids, Stupid!"
Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
12:44 am
Thursday, 12 September 2019
Elly faints in theatrical panic because Doctor Sphincter tells her something that she does not want to hear: "being thirty-nine is no barrier to getting pregnant, one has to wait until menopause happens for that to stop being a possibility, PUT DOWN THAT IV STAND!!!!"

(Original Publication Date, 13 October 1990)

Panel 1: A while later, we find Super Naked Elly in the exam room telling Doctor S that she doesn't know what's wrong. She's feeling sick in the morning and she's tired all the time. The reason Elly is in the raw is, as John Jamele says, quite simple: Lynn feels naked when she can't bullshit or bully her way through a situation so her avatar is au naturel.

Panel 2: When she thinks that it could be a bug of some kind, the doctor says that he'll run a few routine tests and see what they can find.

Panel 3: Having remembered that this is how she felt when she was told she was carrying both Mike and Liz and also remembering what Monique said, she gets all smiley as she asks if there's a chance she's pregnant at HER age. He sets up the joke he saying that there's a faint possibility.

Panel 4: Since Elly thinks that having a child now would ruin EVERYTHING, she faints. I mean, you can understand that, right? All she did was claw and roar at John and hurl heavy objects at him while he recited love poetry and ducked a lot. That doesn't mean that the mating ritual took, does it?

Summary: This, I should think, is what got Elly into trouble in the first place: she does not know how the reproductive system Connie lovingly compared to an engine works. She was counting on being too old to be a mother but she wasn't old enough yet for that to no longer be a possibility.
Monday, September 9th, 2019
12:42 am
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Elly compares the receptionist telling her "These things happen, sit down and wait your turn like everyone else" to a recording on the phone.

(Original Publication Date, 12 September 1990)

Panel 1: Having waited quite long enough, Elly tells the receptionist (who I'll call Marcia) that her appointment was for 10 and now it's 10:45. The woman tells her that they're a bit behind schedule today.

Most people would take this to mean what it actually does: "Doctor S has no control over how sick or messed up the preceeding patients are so kindly have patience." Elly takes it to mean "Your time is not important to us."

Panel 2: Elly explains that she has a job and would like to get back to work. She then reminds us that she has no idea how doctor's appointments work by saying that she'd known she'd be this late, she'd have come in later.

Panel 3: Marcia avoids getting her head bitten clean off by telling Elly to take a seat because the doctor will be with her in a moment. If she'd told her that they'd charge Elly a fee for a missed appointment, her neck would be a bloody stump by now.

Panel 4: Having sat down, she tells the woman next to her that she tried getting through to him but all she got was a recording.

Summary: At the time this was written, the UK used to air a public information film (British English for 'public service announcement') about wait times that hammered people over the head about how doctors have no control over what patient's needs are so sit down and shut yer gob, you dozy prat!! Elly needs to see that one.
Sunday, September 8th, 2019
12:38 am
Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Now that we're at the doctor's office, we get the standard joke about how long Elly has to wait in line like a nobody.

(Original Publication Date, 11 September 1990)

Panel 1: Now that we're at the doctor's office, we find Elly looking around the waiting room and observing that it's not a waiting room.

Panel 2: As we zoom out, she looks at her watch and observes that it's a waiting and waiting and waiting room. Meanwhile, I wanna know which GP pissed Lynn off so much, she named his avatar Fundus Sphincter.

Summary: If there had been a third panel, Fred Flintstone would have said "When I saw that joke in the Bedrock Daily Slab, I laughed so hard, I fell off my dinosaur."
Saturday, September 7th, 2019
12:38 am
Monday, 9 September 2019
When told about the doctor's appointment, John reacts in horror to Elly's repeating the great big joke about her having another child....but not for the reason one might actually expect. (Or, perhaps, exactly for the reason one might expect.)

(Original Publication Date, 10 September 1990)

Panel 1: Having noticed that Elly is sitting down and relaxing for once, John asks "Not going to Work this morning?"; Elly tells him about her doctor's appointment with destiny and chaos and being tied down THIS IS AWFUL at ten this morning.

Panel 2: When he asks what's wrong, she blanks out on telling him about her feeling like crud in the morning and says she's fine, she just thought she needed a check up, that's all.

Panel 3: She then lays in on really thick about how hysterically funny it is that the girls at the library think that she could be pregnant.

Panel 4: His response to that funny, funny thing is to look as if he's just borne witness to an eighty-car pileup with multiple fatalities.

Summary: A casual reader might think that John never wanted the kids he has. A more involved reader would think his reaction is "Holy Mother Of Crap! She's finally started to stop baying at the moon about how Mike and Liz are tying her down and eating her self-expression!! I might want the kid but I don't want fifteen years or so of her screaming about being enslaved!!!"
Friday, September 6th, 2019
9:07 am
Lee Salem, 1946-2019
Well, you wanted to see Lynn's eulogy for her sounding board Lee so here it is.

(I have also included Cathy Guisewite's eulogy so we can be reminded that learned helplessness makes one a better writer than infantile egomania does.)

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You will note that Ms Guisewite is somewhat maudlin in her self-flagellating gratitude but at least she is sincere. Lynn reminds me of a Season 11 episode of MASH wherein Hawkeye's eulogy for a nurse manages to be something like "Enough about me....let's talk about me."
12:32 am
Sunday, 8 September 2019
Today's strip in which Liz's idea of finding something to do at the library is "mess around with the photocopier instead of read" would be less of a condemnation of John and Elly's stupidity if we didn't know that reading for pleasure has been twisted into something painful by the idiot leaving her to her own devices.

(Original Publication Date, 9 September 1990)

Panel 1: We begin today's "Why I Don't Let My Kids Near Where I Work" piece with Elly taking Liz to the library with her.

Panel 2: As a confused Liz looks around her at the unfamiliar place, Elly greets a fellow staffer who is at the circulation desk.

Panel 3: As she hands her a book to read, Elly tells Liz that she has to work for a while and hopes that she can find things to do while she's busy. Elly clearly means "find something to read" but doesn't know Liz well enough to understand that she should say that.

Panel 4: Since Liz has no idea that she's been told to look for something interesting to read because she never gets told that at home, we see her staring off into space bored out of her mind.

Panel 5: Having decided to wander around aimlessly like she always does, she comes across Wilma (or, as Elly has called her since she signed her pink slip, "Nilda") using the copier in the staff room.

Panel 6: Having ignored (or not noticed) the sign saying "STAFF ONLY" that's obligatory for employee-only rooms like that, Liz watches Wilma leave the staff room.

Panel 7: After Elly's shift is over, we find her collecting Liz. Since she's kind of stupid, she doesn't understand what it means that she does so at the staff room.

Panel 8: As we watch Elly and Liz leave the library, we notice a sign for Book Week that has Elly smile when interacting with children she does not actually have to live with.

Panel 9: We know that Elly isn't going to be smiling at one child. This is because Wilma is confused and horrified by the fact that Liz had diverted herself by photocopying her face in various girning forms. This tells me that Liz will have to absorb an angry lecture about how BAD she is and why she can never be trusted to go anywhere near where Mommy works again. I imagine that it would be as bad as the horrible lecture absorbed by the poor slob who had the temerity to tell Lynn that most of the pictures would be of Liz screaming in pain because the light from the photocopier blinded her.

Summary: The average person who doesn't understand who these people are would see a dumb and naughty kid who didn't know what her mother meant. We, sadly, do and realize that the reason Liz doesn't hit the stacks for something to find is a combination of her getting yelled at for not using a bookmark and Elly turning every possible useful habit into another WEIRD PUNISHMENT!!!™ thereby guaranteeing that she has no help and no time to herself.
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