howtheduck (howtheduck) wrote in binky_betsy,
howtheduck
howtheduck
binky_betsy

Sunday, 28 August 2017

Today is a day when we get to see Elly Patterson doing something she loves more than almost anything else:  lecturing her children and playing the victim.   Up until the last panel, Elly looks so happy doing something she clearly adores doing.

(Strip Number 7261, Original Publication Date, 28 August 1988)

Panel 1: We see a red AAAAGH!! which has such a life on its own that it actually has the dandruff normally associated with living creatures.  Mike and Lizzie have shocked looks on their faces as if the red AAAAGH!! just whacked them on the back of their heads.

Before we go on, I would like to point out that Mike’s height relative to Lizzie’s height varies wildly today, with them almost the same height in some panels to other panel drawings where Mike towers over Lizzie.

Panel 2: Assuming this is the correct perspective, Mike and Lizzie’s heads are either at a level below Elly's knee (indicating they fell to the floor in surrender), or Elly has managed to approach them while hovering horizontally in the air.   Really, either choice has its appeal.  She informs Mike and Lizzie that they have to go into the family room! NOW!  There is such a fury to Elly, you would think we are going to see some horrible, awful, earth-shaking monstrosity in the family room.

Panel 3: Mike and Lizzie look shocked to see that the thing which has gotten Elly so angry is one bowl and a spoon.  Frankly, I am little shocked myself.  One bowl and a spoon?  Elly is going to have a lecture so long that she could have easily picked up the bowl and spoon in the amount of time it takes to deliver the lecture.  Elly starts her lecture with a rhetorical question:  “How many times have I told you…’if you’re going to eat in here, you will clean up after yourselves!’?” Hmmm?”  At this point, I would hope that Michael would say something like, “I think it has been 8 or 9 times.  What do you think, Lizzie?”  Mike doesn’t say that which clearly shows us that he does have a sense of self-preservation.

Panel 4: Onto the next rhetorical question from Elly:  “What do you think this is – a restaurant?!!”  At this point, I would hope that Michael would say something like, “No.  In a restaurant the food is better.”  Mike doesn’t say that which clearly shows us that he does have a sense of self-preservation.

Panel 5: Onto the third rhetorical question from Elly:  “Do you think I’m your personal waitress?”  At this point, I would hope that Michael would say something like, “No.  Waitresses don’t scream at you over a bowl and a spoon.” Mike doesn’t say that which clearly shows us that he does have a sense of self-preservation.

Panel 6: Elly now does a gesture with her right arm that I don’t think is physically possible.  Her right arm is on the same parallel as the left side of her body.  Nevertheless, something about this gesture empowers Elly to scream full force, “Well, I have had enough of being an unpaid housekeeper to people who don’t have the decency or the courtesy to pick up a few dishes!!!”  At this point, I would hope that Michael would say something like, “Mom.  I don’t think of you as an unpaid housekeeper.  Here’s a dollar.” Mike doesn’t say that which clearly shows us that he does have a sense of self-preservation.

Panel 7: Still screaming and playing the victim card, Elly does her classic move of putting her one finger up in the air when she is lecturing.   Here are a few other examples of this:







This time her lecture is: “I’m tired of being taken for granted around here, do you understand?  I’m tired of it.”  At this point, I would hope that Michael would say something like, “Mom.  If you are tired of being taken for granted, shouldn’t you get a nap?  That way you will be well-rested when you are being taken for granted.” Mike doesn’t say that which clearly shows us that he does have a sense of self-preservation.

Panel 8: After bringing in Mike and Lizzie to the family room and lecturing them as if they were both the guilty party, Elly actually asks them who the guilty party is.  I guess Elly must figure that even if only one of them deserves the lecture, at some point later the other will deserve the lecture too, and why should she waste her time giving the lecture more than once?   At this point, I would hope that Michael would say something like, “Mom.  That was a terrific lecture, but may I suggest you end it bigger than just asking whose bowl it is?  It is kind of anticlimactic.”  Mike doesn’t say that which clearly shows us that he does have a sense of self-preservation.

Panel 9: Elly is gobsmacked when Michael and Lizzie tell her the bowl belongs to Daddy.  Honestly, the mess with the bowl is so small, you would think that was obvious.  Mike and Lizzie leave behind much bigger messes.

Summary: I always enjoy the comic strips where Lynn Johnston doesn’t mind poking fun at Elly and her terrible parenting habits.  The high-and-righteous Elly annoys me, but an Elly humbled is a delight.  I don’t mind a gobsmacked Elly when she is being gobsmacked at herself.

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