Binky Betsy (cookie77) wrote in binky_betsy,
Binky Betsy
cookie77
binky_betsy

December retchcons

Okay, finally I get a chance to comment! You guys are all spot-on, of course, but here's my take:

Elly: I love how she self-consciously points out that quiche is "not a traditional Christmas food." Who cares? Have what you like! Elly is so hidebound by 1950s standards of behavior... And thank you for the image of the bug on the table.

All kidding aside, Cookie Monster and I do make liberal use of hand sanitizers after we've been to the mall this time of year. But it's not because of a specific fear that the employees have !GASP! been to the bathroom recently (and where does she get this "suspicion", anyway, hmmm?); it's just the sheer volume of people in the stores.

Are you by any chance getting April anything for Christmas? Or will she have to be content with the candles and decorative soaps you get for people you don't care much about? And is it me, or is the statement that Liz has been "fighting with April" presented as a reason to worry about Liz, not April? And Liz yells at Shiimsa? She does not deserve a cat. And again, Liz spending time with Candace and Rudy is diguised as a break for Liz, instead of what it should be: a break for the rest of the family FROM HER.

And oh by the way, she'll be dropping by her dad's place. Such a devoted daughter.

John: Okay, you guys recommended Princess Bride to me, and I will watch it (I was a teenager when it was released, but was somehow never motivated to see it), but in the meantime, I'd like to recommend a movie to you all. This Boy's Life, with an early Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Barkin as his mom, and Robert DeNiro as his dickwad stepdad. Early on, there's a scene in which DiCaprio, a wannabe JD in the 1950s, yells, "Fuck you! FUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUU!" and starts carving same in a stall in the boys' room with his metal DA comb. And that's just how I felt, reading John's letter. Except I'd like to carve the words in something else.

Ahem. Yeah, we get it: you hate shopping and gift-giving. I wonder if perhaps he's imagining the pressure that's supposedly put on him to get The! Perfect! Gift! I think he said in an earlier letter that he usually grabs whatever's nearest the door. Which probably means his gifts suck, and indicate that no thought was put into them at all. Just get gift cards, then.

Particularly esthetic work, because they will be seeing relatives they haven't seen in a while, and they want to wow them with their smile. (Sort of "wow" how long will you be staying and "wow" isn't it time to go?)

He is really turning into a cranky old man. Not EVERYONE feels that way about their family, yanno. Anyway, who do you ever see that you're so anxious to get away from again?

Now that I think of it, there are very few courses offered for dental people in December, so even the educators know the busy times.

Uh...maybe because they're busy times for the educators too? Pattercentrism is becoming less and less amusing all the time.

I understand that for some stores, they make 90% of their income in the month and a half leading up to Christmas. The rest of the year they actually lose money just so they can stay in business long enough to catch the Christmas rush.

He makes it sound like stores PURPOSELY lose money, to create an incentive. Or something. Anyway, this is no big secret, that stores make bookoo cash in December. Jeesh.

It's already been said about John's view of the legal system. All I will add is that this is a true layman's opinion. Of course you don't understand it; neither do I, because neither of us has any legal experience. But I have enough sense to give the benefit of the doubt, instead of assuming that lawyers are wasting people's time for the fun of it.

And it's funny that he says "April was so used to being the sole princess here," when he's largely responsible for spoiling the hell out of her for many years. Anyway, it's not necessarily a matter of being "princess" or not. Liz simply does not need to be there, and if she's bossing April around, she's way out of line.

Now on to the Paul-bashing and Granthony-worship. There is NO evidence that Paul is "staying away" because he thinks Liz's trial is "a waste of time." We've all said it: HE HAS A JOB. AND HE'S HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY. And when Granthony was dating Liz, he was NOT reliable, and he did NOT treat her exceptionally well. Someone else made the point about Nice Guy Syndrome. John is really grasping at straws if he has to invent a charge of Paul mistreating Liz to justify Super Future-Son-In-Law Granthony. Again as others have pointed out, LIZ MISTREATED PAUL.

And John is worse than his son, if that's possible, in making one short paragraph about Michaelagh's novel mostly about himself.

And this crap about Jim's "new lifestyle". Well, John does have a tendency to be callous, as when he described Liz's fall on the ice as a "fancy diving maneuver." And it suddenly dawns on him that perhaps he didn't understand stroke victims, or patients with equipment-crammed mouths? No big surprise: that's what he does in all situations. Imagines what he wants to hear, and claims it IS what he's hearing.

And why should he have to ask random people what ingredients he needs for turkey dressing? Elly should write this stuff down for him. Of course, I'm lucky in that Cookie Monster also likes to cook, so I don't need to dumb everything down for him. But I remember an early sequence in which Elly told John, "Get a BIG turkey," afterwards saying, "Oh, 10-12 pounds or so...He'll know what I mean." Instead, John hefted a 25-pound turkey, and dropped it on his foot, breaking it (the foot, not the turkey). They got the turkey free, though!

Anyway. So now he's cruising the grocery store. People, this. Is not. Good. And a chainsaw calendar with babes on it? I don't have time right now to dig up that train nudies site, but WE WERE KIDDING! And the connection between chainsaws and girls with MEAT on them is cree-pee.

Liz: So there are some subjects she's not comfortable putting into writing. In other words, the Lynnions are hedging their bets, wishing to avoid having Liz emotionally cheat on Paul. Or, if this strip had more character development, I'd think she was pulling these "I've got all these feelings and I don't know what to do" crap that I hate so much in romantic dramas.

the kids in my class are feeling a little destabilized. Many of them don't have consistent home lives, so it's nice for them to be able to see the same familiar face at the head of their class day after day. They had two different supply teachers while I was gone, so now they're getting some continuity back but they're eyeing me warily, expecting me to take off again.

Well, why wouldn't they? That is what you do.

We're in pretty constant communication, but I haven't seen Paul in quite a while, so it was very strange indeed to be spending days at the courthouse with Anthony.

This is a very odd phrasing. Odd, that is, unless you take into account Liz's lack of object permanence that someone mentioned a few days ago. She basically admits that Granthony supplants Paul simply by being in her sightline. And word on "LAAA LAAA LAAA" with her fingers in her ears. Story of her life.

Christmas is going to be nice. I'll spend the day with my family, see as many of my old buddies as possible, then head up to Mtigwaki for a while to visit with friends. I'll be staying with Gary and Viv. Paul's going to come up to stay with them too, and I'll be able to see Jesse and Marg and Susan and everyone else.

In other words, Paul is just one of many people you're going to see on a flying visit. You're going to work him in, somewhere in the rotation. If this strip were at all realistic, that would break them up right then.

I can re-use many of the exercises and things that I prepared in Mtig, but a lot of those were tailored for our specific location so they need to be rewritten for city kids. The gym classes, for example, need to be totally different.

Zuh? Mtig is one thing, but in schools that are not one-room, only gym teachers teach gym. Do the Lynnions research ANYTHING?

And I love how Paul gets the teenybopper designation of "my b.f."

April: I would cut her some slack about the guitar strings. The store may be hard to get to without a car, so perhaps it's not a simple matter of stopping on her way home from school. But I won't cut her slack on this:

a guitar-trumpet duet is...well, not so much fun. I just get to do accompaniment and I'm not into that enough to sound good. Just, chord, change, chord.

Her attitude really, REALLY sucks. Anything that's not tons of fun is hardly worth doing. If you're not having a barrel of laughs, then LEARN to do more than "just chord, change, chord." This is why Becky is famous and you're not.

Liz's advice to April is all very sound (although I'm sure she got it from her counselor, as opposed to figuring it out herself). But I'm mildly surprised that April takes it so much to heart, instead of having the 15 y/o "I'm invincible and what do they think is going to happen anyway?" attitude. Also, this business about Liz being equally spooked is SUCH a retcon. If she was going to be like that, we should have heard about it before. Last year it was all, "I'm jogging at night! Thank you for your concern; fuck off." Now she supposedly freaks if someone walks up behind you. Perfectly understandable in someone who was traumatized by being gone after, but when it happened, she WASN'T. Also, I love how April says "OF COURSE I don't drink!"

Michaelagh: I'd almost be willing to cut him some slack for saying "Maybe" to Merrie, since it is an M word. But it's always so hard to tell what he's getting at.

And "childless friends cannot relax in our cluttered space." IOW, you're wallowing in being poooooor just to martyr yourself. There are plenty of people with kids who still have nice homes, yanno.

Deanna has left the menagerie in my care. She's taken a day off to shop - but I know it's a day for herself as well.

I love how she always has to have an EXCUSE to get away from your pompous ass.

"Dare I ascend" has already been commented on, but what I wonder is if Merrie, let alone Robin, can be left by herself. A minute ago, he was saying how close he is with his darling daughter, but now he can't wait to get away from his spawn.

Now, the whole Sheilagh thing...I...I hardly know what to say that's not been said already. I will say that the whole thing just sounds WAY too over-the-top, Wilm DeGroot (is he an antecedent of Brad and Luann) punching out Harvey is so Granthony/Howard it's not even funny, I'm not sure what Sheilagh thought Harvey would "do to them if they left"; I mean, they could have just piled into the wagon or whatever (truck! Y'all are right; this does sound 19th century!) and stayed gone, and it doesn't sound like the Sheilagh-verse has any of that newfangled stuff like divorce courts. But of course, she has to keep martyring herself just so she can use a recursive punchline.

Oh, and this:

The boys were writing notes from the books Wilm had given them. They wondered where Harvey was. So did Sheilagh.

Is genius. Pure genius. No one can turn a phrase like you, Mikey-boy.

And I forgot to mention that Wilm being able to do all this farming AND artwork despite MISSING A HAND is...There's no way. No agent or publisher would be able to keep a straight face.

Deanna: Someone left out a paragraph, I think, or at least a sentence. She says "I really like her," but I didn't realize she meant Carleen until halfway through the paragraph.

And this jazz about childless couples not liking to visit them. Perhaps you just need to choose your friends more wisely. Granted, in Cookie Monster's and my circle, childess couples outnumber parents, but among those we know who do have kids, I've never found their houses to be repugnant, and it would never occur to me to criticize their housekeeping or their kids. It's probably YOU they don't like, not the fact that you have OMG KIDS.

Iris's letter just makes me sad, so I'll skip over that.

Pets: It's worth noting that [Shiimsa] and my Mom don't get along so well because I think Shiimsa knows Mom is kind of afraid of her. Make that mildly hysterical about her. Mom isn't happy about having an animal that can climb things. The idea of cat footprints on the kitchen counter makes her crazy, but I don't personally see the problem because we put OUR hands on things too, and as long as we keep the place clean I don't see the big deal. It's not like Shiimsa is spitting in our food. And so what if she gets on top of the cupboards? She'll come down eventually. I think Mom just wigs out because she doesn't understand cats.
Tags: retcons
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