(Original Publication Date, 1 May 1991)
Panel 1: As she casually dumps her luggage inside, John announces that Fiona is here.
Panel 2: As she hands John her coat and Elly her purse, Fiona tells them it's nice to meet them, it's good of them to let her stay and they've got a nice place for this area.....which tells us that she feels as if she lucked out because she was probably expecting a dump. Since she's an exaggerated caricature of a coarse maiden aunt who's not anyone's idea of what belongs in a house:
we know immediately that she is BAD NEWS and a fault that the Pattersons have been generous to.
Panel 3: She then complains about the lousy trip, drops hints that she was going to spend her career calling Elly a lousy cook by talking about her sensitive stomach and how the airline meal went down like a rock.
Too bad for us that she followed Janice Madigan to where ever Chuck Cunningham lives because she's also just too real for Elly to co-exist with. All we get is Elly whining about her smoking in the house, being messy and lazy and letting her scary, scary CAT prowl the kitchen and suck the breath away from babies, everyone KNOWS cats do that!!!!
Panel 4: We then solicit a rehash of Lynn's story about being a refugee in her own home when Elly wants to show her to her lovely room only to have Fiona say she hopes that she isn't going to end up in a basement.
Summary: This should be the first warning that Fiona WAS meant to spend years on end being a low-class foil to Elly. What amuses me is that any number of people are either going to wonder who Elly was trying to impress in the first place or (better yet) congratulate her on classing the place up by bringing Fiona over to stay. Also, while it is a kind of a rough trick to play on a kid to make her give up her room for a bit but it's not the war crime Lindy still thinks it is. We'll see her moaning about the evils of being displaced by old people who try to boss her around any day now...like maybe even today!