Panel 1: Where did that giant, one-antlered moose tapestry come from? And the extra chesterfield? It wasn’t there yesterday. The last time we saw that wall was in February and I guess it could have been obscured, but it would not explain how the ceilings are suddenly taller to accommodate that tapestry. The background artist has been getting busy. Paul looks whipped. He is so beaten down by Liz, he has lost his eye, and there is just a brow there. There must have been a lot of talking since yesterday’s strip and it looks like Liz has done another grand reveal. You may remember:
Liz's Letter, May 2006
There's a chance that I'll be able to teach summer school in Mississauga - which is a surprise - and through one of my profs at university, I have a lead on a job in Markham. To score a real job down South would be amazing. I admit, I do think about it a lot.
So she officially has the Mississauga job, and is just now revealing it to a man that she supposedly talks to on the phone every day. Their separation and the fact that they are not looking at each is nicely done. Dialogue-wise it is interesting that getting a summer job has provoked such an emotional reaction. Why is she so happy, she cried? Is getting a “real job down South” the source of her happiness? Is it the fact that she won’t have to work for Lawrence and Nick again, the reason? Or is it the fact that she can probably work out of Mississauga, and thus not have to live in the same house with Elly and John the reason? Only time will tell. Or knowing Liz, maybe not.
Panel 2: From the perspective of this panel, we really should have seen the chesterfield on the right where Liz is sitting in yesterday’s strip. The background artist is working overtime and has even put in a Genie bottle in the foreground table to show that Liz is about to get her wish granted in the next panel. If I were Liz, I would wish my eyes and Shiimsa’s eyes to be returned. If I were Shiimsa, I would wish my back right hind leg were not dislocated and my tail was a decent cat-length. If I were Paul, I would wish my girlfriend would let me be a part of her decision-making for our lives and she would turn the heat up in her apartment so I didn’t have to keep my hands in my pockets all the time. Dialogue-wise, another big reveal. It isn’t just homesickness, but it is the summer teaching job, that caused her to know she needed to quit her regular fall / winter / spring teaching job. I wish that made sense, seasonally speaking. I actually loved the way Paul phrased this, “So, the decision is made.” It represents his position perfectly.
Panel 3: I guess the background artist was so exhausted after panels 1 and 2, she couldn’t finish the now suddenly, pulled-shut, background drapes. As for me, I am quite happy with this turn of events. Paul has been represented as so much in love with Liz; he would do anything for her. I knew a breakup coming from him wouldn’t happen without it being a complete shift in his characterization. In an astonishing move for this strip, they leave him in character. It’s so amazing, even Liz questions whether or not he is serious. Now, everything is falling into place perfectly as Paul has a sudden and significant weight loss, probably from handing Liz his spine and manhood.
All the FBoFW storylines repeat these days. Here’s how this one will work:
a. Liz goes to Mississauga to teach, and then later from there to Markham.
b. She is officially with Paul, so anything that happens with Anthony will be with the same kind of guilt Mike had when he was interested in Deanna, but was dating Rhetta Blum.
c. Liz has conditions on her relationship continuing with Paul:
1. He gets a transfer south. In real life with the OPP this would actually take awhile, perhaps years.
2. She won’t visit him, but she will expect Paul to visit often, just like she expected Warren Blackwood to visit her from his job in B.C.
3. He remains loyal to her, i.e. doesn’t see any other girls, even though she will be seeing Anthony, innocently and platonically of course.
d. Paul will fail in all 3 conditions, just like Warren did and Rhetta did. If it could happen with her calling Paul and another girl answers the phone, which would be so much like Mike with Rhetta, it would be perfect. Watch for it! It will be coming to you in a strip about a year from now.
Panel 4: Paul is forced to take his hands out of his pockets to get a hug from Liz. Maybe Liz would have kissed him, but she seems to have lost her eye again, and her ear is moving toward the back of her head. Those kinds of things don’t get a girl in the mood. Paul, if you can’t get a kiss from Liz for making this kind of sacrifice, then you are never going to get a kiss. Paul has gone for the joke on the word “seriously.” However, it begs the question, “How do you ask for a transfer in an unserious fashion? Do you fill out the form in crayon? Watercolours? Magic markers with clown faces?” I suppose we will never know. Just another mystery in the wonderful world of FOOB.