If you’ll allow me, I’d like to do another sort of parody animated special that highlights certain problems I have with how the characters behave. For the purposes of drama, I’d like to set the thing in 1999.
- We begin with Elly ranting about an unnecessary new innovation that’s bound to take all the fun out of Halloween: a safety night organized by the school that some young man named Darryl asked her to help run because his mom says she needs all the warm bodies she can get. When John reminds her that she kind of hates having to accompany April when she’s trick or treating anyway, she snaps at him for being a ‘jerk.’
- We then have pseudo-creepy music as Edgar gets abused.
- As Elly drives up to confront this Mrs Smythe who wants to deprive children of a childhood, she also complains about April’s costume choice. For some reason, Becky has convinced her to dress up members of a violence gang called the Sailor Guardians. When April asks why dressing up as Sailor Mars is a problem, Elly makes as big and ugly a fool of herself as Mrs Garrett did when she broadly hinted that Tootie must want to be loose because she’s wearing leg warmers.
- When she gets there, ‘Darryl’ introduces himself as someone who used to hang out with Mike only to somehow magically lose touch when they went into different fifth grade classes. His mother is the woman who, upon seeing Elly try to force a frightened Lizzie to attend an Easter parade she didn’t want to, denied her the chance to be a good mother by asking her to actually consider her child’s feelings instead of proving her worthiness as a parent by forcing the issue.
- Mrs Smythe tells her to her face that she wants mothers who can be asked to care about child safety to be part of her thing. Elly simply need not apply.
- She then laughs in Elly’s face when she blathers on witlessly about April’s costume choice before making a comment about how lucky she is to have a child to make panicky nonsense about given what she did…….or didn’t do.
- Afterward, Darryl phones Mike to ask him what his mother could possibly be talking about because his mother constantly talks about a disaster no one else seems to have heard of. Mike then talks about how for some reason, April fell in a stream four and a half years ago and their dog died rescuing her. He has no idea how his mother is involved or why it is that Liz never seemed to be around on the weekends for a few years afterwards. He’d actually have to phone Liz and ask her what was up.
- Darryl does so and is told that she was serving out a sentence of community service for ‘letting’ April out of the gate after Mom had warned her to stay inside the property eight months before the fact. When pressed, Liz makes a comment about how Mom thinks that saying one thing one time ought to be good enough when dealing with a three-year old.
- An outraged Darryl drives up to confront Elly only to have John run interference. John explains that Elly is incapable of understanding what she did wrong because she has this odd tunnel vision of the mind’s eye when it comes to children. She doesn’t understand child development, she can’t think straight when they’re in her field of vision, she doesn’t know how to talk to kids and she sure doesn’t understand that unicorn farts, rainbows and wishful thinking can’t keep kids safe. Liz had to take one for the team because unlike her mother, she can take one up the jacksie for the clan. He also says that the reason most people don’t rock the boat is that those who aren’t afraid of her volatile temper don’t expect any better of her than simpering about toppling in rivers.
- We end at the safety party itself. Despite not being on staff, Elly is there anyway fuming about the awful things John said about her. It burns her butt to think that most people think of her as being the one in every crowd. The idea that she’s seen not as a role model but as a cautionary example has, as she tells Connie, always been her worst nightmare.