(Strip Number 4989, Original Publication Date, 01 July 1988)
Panel 1: After consuming the potato salad yesterday, Elly’s next move is to talk to her next-door-neighbour Annie about eating the potato salad, while drinking coffee and sitting on outdoor furniture outside the house. That is certainly high on my list of entertaining topics of conversation. “Come on over Annie. Let’s sit outside. I want to talk about this potato salad I ate last night.”
Little do they suspect they are being approached by the menace of the living shrubbery. It starts off behind Annie and to the left of Elly in this panel. No doubt it has been enticed by a rare sighting of Elly Patterson’s bare foot.
Panel 2: Annie continues to listen intently and in this panel her expression moves from passive reserve to “I think Elly is losing it.”
Her attention is so drawn to Elly that she doesn’t see the shrubbery moving even closer.
Panel 3: Elly uncrosses her legs and puts on her shoes. Annie uncrosses her arms. They both look at Farley the dog who apparently is very aware when anyone says anything about feeding a dog. Farley the dog’s head pops up and his tongue lolls out. He is ready to make that sacrifice for Elly.
Meanwhile, the shrubbery has managed to find its way underneath Elly’s chair.
Panel 4: Both Farley the dog and Annie are wide-eyed and dumbfounded as Elly launches her excuse for not giving Farley the food she has been complaining about eating. She’s not watching her own weight. She is watching the weight of Farley the dog. Not only that but she considers Annie to be crazy for even making that suggestion. Normally we get Elly with the goggle-eyed expression in the final panel, exasperated at something her family has done or said. It’s kind of refreshing to see that reaction on Farley and Annie’s face instead.
In the meantime, the shrubbery is between their chairs and rises, as if it is getting ready to strike. Possibly it is anxious to make sure that there are no more comic strips talking about feeding potato salad to dogs.
Summary: Bear in mind that there are several strips featuring Elly not eating the leftovers off the plate as in this strip coming up later this year. Plus there are strips of Elly giving Farley the human food which he is not supposed to have. Lynn told us in her Lynn’s notes from 2010-10-04 that when Farley the dog was originally purchased, first husband Doug believed he should each eat foods naturally consumed in the wild, so he bought food for Farley from a local mink farm. Lynn did not go for that and she fed him human food which Farley preferred to the point where he started refusing the mink farm food and it sabotaged Doug’s food plan for Farley the dog. Today's comic strip is oddly enough, one where Elly takes the position of Doug Franks.