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

[ << Previous 20 ]
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
12:37 am
Friday, 25 January 2018
Since Anne doesn't quite understand the person she's praising for being a good friend, she doesn't realize that Elly is dumping her on a counsellor and walking away because she can no longer respect her.

Panel 1: Elly replies to Anne's inquiry about why she doesn't feel happy by saying that it's not her business but she knows the name of a good counsellor and offers up her number.

Panel 2: She then says that even if Steve won't go, Anne can still go by herself. Anne says "Okay" in a muted tone of voice.

Panel 3: Elly quotes something this woman said about it's surprising how much one can learn by listening. Anne sets up the punchline by saying "I know."

Panel 4: She reminds us that this is the part of the sitcom where the jerk main character becomes suddenly wonderful when she praises her for being the sort of friend who listens.

Summary: The problem is that Elly isn't really her friend and kind of sucks at listening and lies about why she ditched her in order to make herself feel better about being a repellent snob with entitlement issues.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
12:34 am
Thursday, 24 January 2019
Since Anne is human, it's no real surprise to me that getting Steve to confess to cheating leaves her with the taste of ashes in her mouth. (Elly, of course, will always be perplexed by this.)

Panel 1: Later still, we find Anne and Elly walking down the street. As the snow falls, she tells Elly that she took her advice and told Steve that she suspected that he was seeing someone else. Elly asks her what his reaction was.

Panel 2: Anne turns her face so that Elly cannot see her mildly disgusted expression when she says that he cried. This is something of a miscalculation because Elly never quite figures out that Anne suspects that Steve cried a mess of crocodile tears.

Panel 3: He said it was true and that he'd never see her again and (as far as she knows), this affair is over.

Panel 4: She then asks why she's not happy.

Summary: The obvious answer is that this isn't actually anything like a victory and even if it were, a grand illusion has collapsed leaving her facing a world of nothing but bad choices. She can no longer trust anything he says, she doesn't want to up-end her whole damned life to please an idiot woman who doesn't have to deal with the turmoil so she ends up becoming a sort of cop.
Monday, January 21st, 2019
12:32 am
Wednesday, 23 January 2019
Elly tries to make sense of why Steve did what he did and comes up with the conclusion that the gnawing hunger inside him is due to his insecurity.

Panel 1: The following morning, we find Elly in her housecoat sitting on the couch asking Farley why people aren't content with what they have and why they always want more.

Panel 2: She continues on by asking why, when people have everything they need, do they still want the biggest, the best, the loudest, the fastest and most exciting?

Panel 3: Since she and Lynn would call "hedonic adaptation" gibberish, she wants to know why people throw away something good for the sake of something new.

Panel 4: The non-sequitur conclusion she comes up with is that maybe if money's not the root of all evil, insecurity is.

Summary: Elly is sort of the wrong person to ask this because her contentment with what she has tends to have a half-life measured in the picosecond range. Since she can't be happy, she's the wrong person to speculate as what makes others content.
Sunday, January 20th, 2019
12:30 am
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
John continues to not be a good person when he makes the mistake of telling Elly a harsh truth that she doesn't want to hear.

Panel 1: Later still, we find John and Elly in bed. Since the Steve/Anne mess is keeping her up, she asks John why a man cheats on his wife. He sets himself up to get pummeled by asking what makes anyone cheat on anyone.

Panel 2: He then reiterates that he has no idea before listing motives that make sense to him: boredom, frustration and a need to test one's own attractiveness. A smarter person than Elly would have picked up on the fact that he does know exactly what would drive Steve to do what he did but her, she's got to be spoon-fed.

Panel 3: He then says entirely the wrong thing when he says that everyone is tempted to cheat but one must draw the line at not giving in. Realizing that he's just admitted that if he weren't lazy, he'd have acted on his impulse to have sex with her boss makes her shocked and angered.

Panel 4: Since John didn't offer up a comforting lie about how he'd never be tempted by anything more attractive, we find him after getting whomped by a pillow telling himself that some discussions should never be had in bed.

Summary: Yet again, we're reminded that Lynn is right to be paranoid about Rod because if he had no problems with her cheating on Doug, he wouldn't have a problem cheating on her.
Saturday, January 19th, 2019
12:26 am
Monday, 21 January 2019
We begin the week with John making a "droll" comment about Steve being a fool to cheat on Anne because coexisting with a wife in the first place is hard enough without adding a girlfriend to the number of people calling him an inconsiderate oaf.

Panel 1: Later that day, Elly tells John that Anne thinks that Steve is seeing another woman. Since Steve is pretty much a stranger to him and also since this affects his own life not at all, John makes the mistake of blurting out an honest reaction: "Really? Son of a gun!"

Panel 2: Elly mistakes this for his admiring Steve and also trivializing the situation which is why she's doing the palms-out thing when she repeats back his "Son of a gun" and asks him if he thinks that a man cheating on his wife is trivial if that's all he can say.

This is probably because she wanted him to whine "Poor Anne" or growl "Let's go over there and kill that fucker Steve" or something.

Panel 3: He angers her by saying that of course it's not trivial but is simply surprised that he'd take on the responsibility of another relationship. While this pisses me off as much it does Elly, it doesn't surprise me much. That's because unlike her, I remember that he finds it hard to deal with human relationships because he's a spoiled brat who sulks and rages when he doesn't get his own way all the time.

Panel 4: As she storms off in a rage because she just got reminded that John is kind of terrible at being a social animal, we see him thought-bubble "Heaven knows one's enough work as it is!"

Summary: What a catch, eh, people? He's just told her that the only reason he doesn't cheat is that it's an awful lot like work and he's going to do so again tomorrow. Since she's stupid, she doesn't really pick up on that and since she's gutless, she wouldn't do anything about it even if she did.
Friday, January 18th, 2019
12:16 am
Sunday, 20 January 2019
Michael brainlessly sets himself up to fail another easy test by blowing off homework to the last possible second because he's a fucking moron.

Panel 1: We start things off with an establishing shot of the school bus letting two people off.

Panel 2: Having gotten off the bus, Mike waves to an indistinct shape.

Panel 3: A while later, we find Mike in the rec room watching the box listening to Elly remind him that he should study for the exam he has Monday.

Panel 4: Mike emits a chunk of bullshit about how it's Friday and he's got the whole weekend and if he starts now, he'll forget everything by Monday.

In the real world, Elly would answer that with an angry reminder that when he says something like this, it always means that he finds an excuse to put things off to the last second so he can fail and then blame her for his own poor work habits. Since this is the Foobiverse, she swallows his ordure but doesn't like it.

Panel 5: The next day, we see him getting ready to head out and waste time playing road hockey instead of buckling down. Elly gets all cringy and whiny when she reminds him that history's not his strongest subject so maybe he should go over his notes.

Panel 6: He whines that it's only Saturday and that the guys are waiting for him and he'll study later and a whole bunch of other bullshit that Elly meekly accepts.

Panel 7: When Elly comes in and starts him that it's Sunday and she hasn't seen him crack a book open, he takes a break from reading his funny book to yell that he'll study. Since I remember his shirk ethic, I know that this is a lie that will be defended by a stupid excuse that only a doormat like Elly would accept.

Panel 8: As Monday morning dawns, Elly hands him his lunch, tells him what day it is and says that she hopes that he knows enough to pass that test. Dorko McFistmagnet tells her to lay off.

Panel 9: Mike wonders what Elly's problem is because according to her, he didn't have any time to study at all.

He would also wonder what my problem is because I agree with her on this. Too bad for her that I think that she is why he didn't. He'd have had plenty of time if she wasn't a pushover who always folds when it really matters.

Panel 10: As the bus zooms down the road, the dolt thought-bubbles "If the lights are against us, I've got twenty minutes."

Summary: Yet again, we see how Elly's inability to follow through or check up or the like collides with Mike's being a goof off to make his life worse. He'll only be half right when he blames his failing mark on Elly.
Thursday, January 17th, 2019
12:52 am
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Anne continues to poison how Elly sees her by wanting to see herself as being in competition with some floozy when Elly clearly wants her to find this woman with the big chest and kill her with her bare hands for STEALING HUSBANDS.

Panel 1: As Anne gets ready to head home, Elly tells her that while she can't know for sure if Steve is cheating, if he is, he's crazy.

Panel 2: After all, they've built a home together and have three children. Since there's thus too much at stake, their marriage cannot break up.

It should be noted at this juncture that Elly's belief in the absolute sanctity of marriage ends up being contingent on sympathizing with the person being cheated on. If someone is an evil, mercenary and jealous Franco-Ontarian who gets in the way of Elly being presented with albino grand-babies, Therese can jolly well fuck off and die of the polka-dotted plague because she has no rights a WASP need respect.

Panel 3: When Anne shoots herself in the foot and gives Elly an excuse to treat her like crap by saying that maybe he needed romance and flattery, Elly sets up the punchline by saying that if he's seeing someone else, she's no match for you.

Panel 4: Elly is confused as Hell when Anne asks "Is that it, Elly? Am I facing a competition for my own husband?"

Summary: Elly's confusion stems from being Lynn and thus unable to understand how normal human beings think. A normal person would wonder the same thing Anne does but Lynn can't understand that and condemns her for doing so.

We see this again in a few weeks time when, having heard Martha explain to his dumb ass that she was only faking liking Lawrence to make him jealous, that pea-brain Mike dismisses her story sight unseen because he's too fucking dense to understand that she has free will and can do stuff like that.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
12:50 am
Friday, 18 January 2018
Anne tells Elly that since Steve doesn't share any details of his personal life with her, getting him to go to a marriage counselor is a total non-starter.

Panel 1: When Elly asks if Steve would agree to see a marriage counselor, Anne dismisses the idea by saying "Fat chance!"

Panel 2: Steve, you see, doesn't see that there is a problem at all and also would never discuss anything personal with a stranger.

Panel 3: Since Elly never bothered learning who Steve is, she sets herself up to be blindsided by asking Anne what makes her say that.

Panel 4: When Anne tells her that he never talks about his personal life with her, Elly stands around making the same sort of baffled frown we usually associate with Liz.

Summary: The interesting thing is that this is a plot point in Anne's Liography because when in doubt, Steve clams up, shuts down and stands around with a wounded-looking frown on his face because he doesn't feel all virile and shit. Getting the dumb bastard to explain why he feels as if cozy domesticity is the moral equivalent of being castrated with a chain saw is as likely to happen as his flying to the Moon.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
12:48 am
Thursday, 17 January 2019
We learn why Elly can't really respect Anne as a person any longer when the woman appears to go out of her way to let Steve off the hook by crying about how inadequate she is.

Panel 1: Anne appears to be trying to process the situation she finds herself in by the only way that makes sense to her when things go wrong in life by blaming herself. This is why she asks Elly what is wrong with her as a person that would make Steve see another person.

We could probably skip the next two panels to get to Elly's inevitable, literal-minded, "I look like a woman your age but my mind stopped developing when I turned five" reaction but we don't.

Panel 2: What we do get is Anne asking if it's because she's not beautiful and/or doesn't have a glamorous career that Steve has strayed because it doesn't appear to occur to her to come to the conclusion Elly wants her to.

This, I think, is because Lynn doesn't get irony. Anne could mean something that isn't "I'm defective" but do so in a manner that goes so far above Elly's head, it doesn't even muss her hair.

Panel 3: My suspicion that Anne isn't actually letting Steve off the hook, never has and never will starts to gel into something like confirmation when she concludes her want with "Is it because I'm a wife and mother who's spent the last ten years making a home for him? What's wrong with me?"

This is because I'm not a child like Lynn and can understand that the unspoken answer is "Not a fucking thing.....Steve is just a fucking fool who doesn't know a good thing when he's got it."

Panel 4: Since Elly is a well-meaning infant and doesn't quite get that the question Anne asked can mean something else, she consoles Anne while thought-bubbling "Why is it that when one partner is cheating, the other asks "What's wrong with me?""

Summary: As I keep saying, Anne COULD mean "Hey.....I'm his wife and he should be satisfied with that so what the fuck is wrong with HIM?!" but since Elly and Lynn are literal-minded nitwits, we eventually end up at a Tim Horton's watching the North American Turnip-Nosed Jabbering Dolt continue to not understand the person she wrote off as a weakling.
Monday, January 14th, 2019
12:45 am
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Having listened to Anne list off a series of warning signs, Elly tells her to confront Steve only to be told that Annie is so afraid of being wrong, she can't.

Panel 1: Seconds later, Annie is sitting at the table with head in hands as Elly expresses disbelief about what she just said about Steve having an affair. Anne might not be happy about how things turned out but at least she can take comfort in the fact that Elly said "COME ON!!! What makes you think Steve would do a thing like that?" instead of dropping the "HONESTLY!!" bomb.

Panel 2: Anne tells Elly that a woman knows when something like this is happening. Steves' 'late nights at work', his 'weekends or two out of town', a new aftershave, a tie she doesn't remember buying him all add up to something suspicious.

Panel 3: She is this positive that Steve is a cheating cheater who cheats. Elly then says that she should come right out and confront him.

Panel 4: Anne responds to that be saying something that destroys any chance that Elly could ever really sympathize with her: "I can't, El....What if I'm wrong?!"

Summary: This, of course, is meant to make Anne look weak, vacillating, overly ready to give a right bastard the benefit of the doubt and thus unworthy to be Friends With The Pattersons. The problem is that Anne is clean out of easy choices that will make her happy because she can either believe his denial if he lies and continue to be made a fool of or deal with the horrible choices her being right leaves her if he confesses. Since Lynn/Elly are kids really, Anne looks like a garbage person because black and white have turned into shades of grey.
Sunday, January 13th, 2019
12:43 am
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
We add to Lynn's mythos today when Anne blindsides Elly by making a panicky declaration that she thinks that Steve is cheating on her.

Panel 1: We fast-forward to a few days after Elly's laryngitis clears up so that we can watch Anne come over and tell her that she heard that she wasn't feeling well so here's a casserole.

Panel 2: As she puts her coat away, she says that she thought Elly could use some company after spending all that time as a shut-in.

Panel 3: As she gets the coffee ready, Elly thanks Anne because she could use some conversation to cheer her up.

Panel 4: Anne does provide a conversational topic but it's not one that cheers Elly up at all. This is because she gets all freaked out and tells Elly that she thinks that Steve is having an affair.

Summary: This is Day One of Phase One of the "getting the Nichols family out of the way because Sparky told her that she has too many characters" process. It starts here, continues on by removing Christopher from the playing field so he can be replaced by the inferior substitute called "Anthony" and ends with Anne getting work. This is also Day One of Lynn trying to convince herself that said process moved a lot quicker than it actually did.
Saturday, January 12th, 2019
12:40 am
Monday, 14 January 2019
We end the "Elly gets sick" arc with a reminder that we cannot rely on her family to look after themselves without her booming in their ears.

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching John stand at the rec room door to ask Mike what's going on in the kitchen. Mike says that he dunno 'cause it's Liz's turn to cook dinner.

This sets off an alarm signal in my brain because I know not to leave stoves unattended. The problem that I see and that Lynn does not is that the kids don't because watching Elly has taught them that "cooking" means "dumping grub in a slow cooker and walking away."

Panel 2: As they walk upstairs, this suspicion of mine that dinner will be ruined because children can't do anything right is confirmed a little when he asks what she's cooking and she says "macaroni and cheese."

Panel 3: It's confirmed a lot when she tells him not to worry 'cause all you hafta do is put it in the pot an'boil it till it's done. Something is not going to go well because Elizabeth cannot quite see the surface of the stove, let alone do much without standing on a chair or something.

Panel 4: When he pulls out a big block of KD that's still stuck together, he asks her if she's not supposed to stir it.

Summary: This is somehow meant to prove that the kids can't be trusted to look out for themselves without Elly telling them what to do and when to do it but all I see is them doing what they see her doing: dumping slop in a pot and walking away so as to sit on her arse grousing about working half to death. Showing them how to do it clashes somewhat with Lynn's/Elly's refusal to understand that children are naturally curious about what grown-ups do. This means that Elly's being driven nuts by the oppressive and evil presence of tiny people in her vicinity ensures that she must run around in circles cleaning up the mess they don't know how not to make.
Friday, January 11th, 2019
12:38 am
Sunday, 13 January 2019
We get a mostly wordless strip about how Elly and tobogganing (or anything else remotely fun) are incompatible.

Panel 1: We start things off with Elly grimly shoveling the driveway.

Panel 2: She glowers in rage when she sees Mike carrying a toboggan instead of a snow shovel.

Panel 3: For some reason, Mike tells her to take a break from shoveling.

Panel 4: This is so he can ask her to go sledding with him.

Panel 5: He makes a determined-looking face as he prepares to leave.

Panel 6: As they zoom down the hill, I wonder why his eyes aren't bulging out because a frightened out of her tiny mind Elly has got a death-grip on his mid-section.

Panel 7: As they catch some air, he yells with delight while she screams in blind terror.

Panel 8: They continue to zoom down the hill.

Panel 9: As he comes to a stop, she lets go and falls flat on her back.

Panel 10: We next see him telling John that she does not trust his driving as a means of explaining why she's frozen in freaked-out rage.

Summary: As I've said before, Lynn and Elly appear to share the same terror of falling down on slippery surfaces and being left to die. This strip itself eventually reappears as her freaking out because Mike takes her on a snowmobile ride which leads to her screaming about how he's trying to kill her or something.
Thursday, January 10th, 2019
12:46 am
Saturday, 12 January 2019
We end the week with John making a smart-ass remark about the family enjoying a break from Elly's incessant yapping about how everything they do is bad and wrong.

Panel 1: John starts out by trying to reassure Elly by saying that though she feels miserable now, after a few days' rest, she'll be right back to normal.

Panel 2: She smiles a little when he tells her to rest in the meantime. She shouldn't do anything or say anything at all.

Panel 3: Given the setting, we know to be suspicious of the comment he makes about how she shouldn't worry about him and the kids.

Panel 4: That's because we can see his smart-ass remark about how they'll just try to enjoy their break from her as long as possible coming. Since she doesn't, she's angered.

Summary: We get one strip of Liz not really reading the directions to the Kraft Dinner box and that's meant to establish that without her non-stop bitching, they'd starve and die in a pile of their own filth. This is so we can get to something important: two weeks of Anne blaming herself for Steve being a philandering piece of shit.
Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
12:43 am
Friday, 11 January 2018
When John returns home from work, he's told about the nag-by-note system Elly was forced to resort to in order to keep the family in line.

Panel 1: Upon arriving home, John is taken aback when Liz says "Guess what, Daddy!! Mom has laryngitis!!"

This is not just because Elly has laryngitis. He is also non-plused by how happy that makes Elizabeth.

Panel 2: He's equally confused by Mike's upbeat tone when the boy talks about how Elly is forced to be silent and comments on how frustrating that must be for her.

Panel 3: When he sees the endless passive-aggressive notes taped to any flat surface that treat the children like imbeciles she has to stand over to make sure things get done, Mike tells John that Elly has had to resort to a nag-by-note syndrome.

Summary: This leads us directly to tomorrow's rank-out at Elly's expense in which John angers her by reminding her that they find it a relief not to have an angry voice yell "NO!!!" all the time.
Tuesday, January 8th, 2019
12:40 am
Thursday, 10 January 2018
When Elly finds out that she isn't going to be able to speak for the next few days because of her laryngitis, she ends up making a maudlin thought-bubble about how no one in the family listens to her anyway.

Panel 1: Elly stands there horrified because her voice is totally gone and she cannot say a thing. Since she doesn't admit that she's rightly seen as a kill-joy and a scold, she won't see the inevitable joke about a vacation from her angry yapping coming.

Panel 2: She looks through one of the medical textbooks to find out what to do about her laryngitis. The book says to rest her vocal cords completely because even whispering is a strain.

Panel 3: This horrifies her because the kids will be home soon. What is she to do now that she cannot speak? How is she to communicate?

When one remembers that what she wants to communicate is the fact that she can never be pleased and that everything they do is wrong because they're bad children who hate her and want to see her suffer, one can see the punchline coming a mile away.

Panel 4: She slumps down in a chair so she can gloomily thought-bubble that it doesn't make a difference because they don't listen to her anyway.

Summary: Since Elly lacks self-awareness, she doesn't admit that most of the reason for that is that all they ever hear is a non-stop stream of angry bluster about how they hate her and want to destroy her because they have free will.
Monday, January 7th, 2019
12:45 am
Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Things take a turn for the worse when Elly gets laryngitis at the worst possible time and it's reacted to in the stupidest possible way.

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly try to answer the phone only to have her say "Hllllhhhhhh" instead of "Hello." Her sudden inability to speak naturally alarms her.

Panel 2: As someone I'll call Myrtle Gronvlop asks if this is 555-4590, a horrified Elly realizes that she's lost her voice.

Panel 3: Myrtle won't give Elly much of a chance to answer when she badgers her with questions like "Who is this? Who are you? Who am I speaking to?"; since Elly can't talk, all she can do is make incoherent wheezing noises that sound a damned sight like the stereotypical heavy breather on the phone.

Panel 4: Since Lynn's muse is the sort of sitcom that led Cesco Marciuliano's kid brother to ask why everyone on Bewitched was a high-functioning alcoholic, Myrtle alarms Elly when she tells her husband Edgar to come quick because she's got an obscene answer. Elly is, of course, worried that she'll be arrested for sex fiend crimes because Myrtle is a prurient sitcom dough-head.

Summary: I know that I might offend some people but God, I hope that there are no notes because if there are, they'll be "This is the truth!! This happened!! You can't make this stuff up!!" and so on and so forth because this is just stupid enough a situation to have actually happened to someone.
Sunday, January 6th, 2019
12:41 am
Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Being forced to stay in bed brings out the needy child in Elly and also hammers home the "Nooooooobody loves me!!!!" subtext that drives any plot in which Elly needs help or affection or attention or anything like that there.

Panel 1: We find Elly in bed on the phone telling Sue at the library that she can't come in that day because she's got a terrible cold.

Panel 2: As she stares at the ceiling, she tells herself "It's strange how well you remember your childhood when you're forced to spend time in bed."

Panel 3: She thinks back to when she was a kid, her mother would bring her hot lemon and sit beside her when she was sick.

Panel 4: Since she's sick and maybe a bit delirious, she asks Farley if he knows any good stories.

Summary: Well, this is a rather commonplace situation, isn't it? Elly wouldn't be human if on some level, she didn't wish she were still somebody's little girl because she too has emotional needs. We get to see why this is when we see how they react to her laryngitis.
Saturday, January 5th, 2019
12:38 am
Monday, 7 January 2019
Elly is filled with misery, despair and disappointment because she does not realize that instant relief means the instant after cold medicine enters the bloodstream.

Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Elly holding up a box of cold medication with the brand name "Un-Plug"; Un-Plug is described as being fast-acting and as relieving nasal and sinus congestion due to colds and allergies.

Panel 2: She then holds up a bottle of Koff-Stop which promises long-lasting relief from pain and fever. The medicine within that acts a cough suppressant soothes sore throats and controls coughing and irritation.

Panel 3: Elly coughs extremely violently.

Panel 4: Since Elly is an idiot who doesn't understand how medicine works, she mutters "Probises, probises, probises" at the lying medicine that doesn't work because instant relief takes too long.

Summary: It would be worse than useless to try to explain to Elly that the medicine has to enter her bloodstream in order to even begin to work because she knows better. After all, the woman on the ad takes Un-Plug and it works in seconds!!
Friday, January 4th, 2019
12:29 am
Sunday, 6 January 2019
When Mike questions Elly's acceptance of Farley's presence under the table during breakfast, we're reminded that Elly is probably too stupid to wear slippers like a normal person.

Panel 1: We begin a typical mid-winter morning at the breakfast table watching John stare daggers at Michael because someone is making noise when he eats. This is stupid because John makes worse noises than this all the time.

Panel 2: Since it's not him this time, Mike wonders why John is looking at him like that....as do i because when John eats, Klingons are disgusted by how slobby he is.

Panel 3: The strip proper begins with Mike telling Farley to get out from under the table.

Panel 4: Elly kick-starts the plot (such as it is) in motion by saying that he's fine where he is.

Panel 5: Mike reminds her that normally, she does not like him to be under the table when they eat.

Panel 6: She insists that it's okay because it's just breakfast.

Panel 7: Since that isn't enough of an answer, he asks what makes breakfast so different that he can stay there when he isn't allowed to normally.

It should be noted at this point that Mike should, as howtheduck said, have learned that his parents' rules are arbitrary and self-serving. Since he's dim and we have a punchline to get to, not so much with that.

Panel 8: She says it's because they're relaxed at breakfast and that formality and etiquette are not so very important at this time of day.

Panel 9: As Mike leaves, he doesn't know that she's thought-bubbling the real reason: he keeps her feet warm.

Summary: This, I should think, is yet another overly-long weekly strip that could have been told a lot quicker. We usually get one of these a month. Also, the theme is that the only real consistency in whatever passes for rules in that house is that said rules are created at random to make it easy for parents to be angry with children.
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