April 16th, 2005

Lynn Johnston's Flying Circus

I still can't believe Lynn gave us a protracted setup with no payoff. This week had FOUR DAYS of Elly bitching about her health, opening with her (alleged) aphorism (that I've never heard before), "They say aging is not for the faint of HEART." Then we have a jogging scene, in which Connie conveniently reminds us that she used to work in a HOSPITAL, right after Elly wheezes and remarks that she herself is out of shape. And Lynn even set up the option of a false alarm: Elly's stomach problem could cause indigestion that would be mistaken at first for a heart attack. But Elly gasping and holding onto a tree for support leads into...more discussion about selling the shop?

I once heard of a live Monty Python performance in which the audience was played in this manner. The lights went down after a sketch, then went to half, revealing the set for the Parrot Sketch. The audience begins whooping and hollering in anticipation, then goes dead silent as Cleese takes his place behind the counter, the lights go to full, and Palin walks through the door. Holding their breath as one, the audience witnesses this exchange:

Palin: This parrot is dead.

Cleese: Well, I'd better give you a refund then.

Fade to black.

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Lynn must have seen the same performance. Except that in this case it's NOT FUNNY.