June 4th, 2005

I'm back!

I was without connectivity for roughly 36 hours! Aack!

At this point, I don't know if you need me to analyze Saturday's strip, so I'll just make a few comments.

What the heck is Mike doing in panel 2? I assume he's putting toothpaste on his brush, since the thing he's holding is dark, like the toothpaste tube next to the sink in panel 1, but it's suddenly a lot wider; it looks like a ketchup bottle!

BWAH! to ellcee for pointing out that Deanna must close her eyes and think of Elly! And man does she look smug in that last panel. She probably did get explicit instructions from the Big E.

Mike, "not sure when it will run" means it will almost certainly not see the light of day. In real life, that is. But this is Lynn's world; we're just in it. Still, usually when an editor tells you that, it means they'll hang onto your crappy column just in case the regular columnist is hospitalized or something.


Re: the Kelpfroths' entries in "Who's Who": One of Melville's interests is bowling. Well, there you go! Instead of banging a broom handle on the ceiling, take your bowling ball upstairs, roll it along the hallway, and if it gets away from you and bumps down the stairs...well, you live here too. And Winnie enjoys entertaining! They can host the loudest people they know!

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Some other remarks:

A friend of mine, who might be reading this (hi, Steve!) told me that he's noticed Mike looking more and more like he did in high school. In other words, he's reverting. Not surprising, IMO, since we now see that he's married his mother.

When did the trend of columnists bitching about the tiny, meaningless little annoyances that don't make life any worse unless you're a total neurotic begin? I'd like to say the 1980s, but my awareness of the phenomenon does not necessarily mark the genesis of it.

When do I wear my robe? 1) For a short time after I get up, assuming I'm not leaving the house as soon as I've pulled myself together. 2) Immediately after showering, until my hair's dry enough that it won't saturate my shirt. 3) If I get up in the middle of the night. Other than that, I don't like that heavy thing flapping around.

Times I've turned my back on Cookie Monster when he's implied that he's In The Mood: Zero. Unless I'm deathly ill, or was just about to start something important. I've never used the headache excuse either; sex cures my headaches.

Cookie Monster and I do not share toothpaste, either. I like my brand and he likes his. I think a lot of people are like that, actually, otherwise there wouldn't be so many different brands.

Instruction and Advice For the Young Bride

I'll see if I can get it all in one post. Thanks, chucique And this is SO a description of Elly!

The following is a reprint from The Madison Institute Newsletter, Fall Issue, 1894:
INSTRUCTION AND ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG BRIDE
on the Conduct and Procedure of the Intimate and Personal Relationships
of the Marriage State for the Greater Spiritual Sanctity
of this Blessed Sacrament and the Glory of God



by
Ruth Smythers
beloved wife of The Reverend L.D. Smythers
Pastor of the Arcadian Methodist
Church of the Eastern Regional Conference
Published in the year
of our Lord 1894
Spiritual Guidance Press
New York City


INSTRUCTION AND ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG BRIDE

To the sensitive young woman who has had the benefits of proper upbringing, the wedding day is, ironically, both the happiest and most terrifying day of her life. On the positive side, there is the wedding itself, in which the bride is the central attraction in a beautiful and inspiring ceremony, symbolizing her triumph in securing a male to provide for all her needs for the rest of her life. On the negative side, there is the wedding night, during which the bride must pay the piper, so to speak, by facing for the first time the terrible experience of conjugal relations.

At this point, dear reader, let me concede one shocking truth. Some young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure! Beware such an attitude! A selfish and sensual husband can easily take advantage of such a bride. One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of carnal lust.

On the other hand, the bride's terror need not be extreme. While conjugal relations are at best revolting and at worse rather painful, they must be endured, and have been by women since the beginning of time, and are compensated for by the monogamous home and by the children produced through them.

It is useless, in most cases, for the bride to prevail upon the groom to forego the carnal initiation. While the ideal husband would be one who would approach his bride only at her request and only for the purpose of begetting offspring, such nobility and unselfishness cannot be expected from the average man.

Most men, if not denied, would demand conjugal relations almost every day. The wise bride will permit a maximum of two brief intimate experiences weekly during the first months of marriage. As time goes by she should make every effort to reduce this frequency.

Feigned illness, sleepiness, and headaches are among the wife's best friends in this matter. Arguments, nagging, scolding, and bickering also prove very effective, if used in the late evening about an hour before the husband would normally commence his seduction.

Clever wives are ever on the alert for new and better methods of denying and discouraging the amorous overtures of the husband. A good wife should expect to have reduced intimate contacts to once a week by the end of the first year of marriage and to once a month by the end of the fifth year of marriage.

By their tenth anniversary many wives have managed to complete their child bearing and have achieved the ultimate goal of terminating all conjugal contacts with the husband. By this time she can depend upon his love for the children and social pressures to hold the husband in the home.

Just as she should be ever alert to keep the quantity of intimate encounters as low as possible, the wise bride will pay equal attention to limiting the kind and degree of visceral contacts. Most men are by nature rather depraved, and if given half a chance, would engage in quite a variety of the most revolting practices. These practices include among others performing the normal act in abnormal positions; mouthing the female body; and offering their own vile bodies to be mouthed in turn.

Nudity, talking about conjugal relations, reading stories about conjugal relations, viewing photographs and drawings depicting or suggesting conjugal relations are the obnoxious habits the male is likely to acquire if permitted.
A wise bride will make it the goal never to allow her husband to see her unclothed body, and never allow him to display his unclothed body to her. Conjugal relations, when they cannot be prevented, should be practiced only in total darkness. Many women have found it useful to have thick cotton nightgowns for themselves and pajamas for their husbands. These should be donned in separate rooms. They need not be removed during the conjugal act. Thus, a minimum of flesh is exposed.

Once the bride has donned her gown and turned off all the lights, she should lie quietly upon the bed and await her groom. When he comes groping into the room she should make no sound to guide him in her direction, lest he take this as a sign of encouragement. She should let him grope in the dark. There is always the hope that he will stumble and incur some slight injury which she can use as an excuse to deny him sexual access.

When he finds her, the wife should lie as still as possible. Bodily motion on her part could be interpreted as sexual excitement by the optimistic husband.

If he attempts to kiss her on the lips she should turn her head slightly so that the kiss falls harmlessly on her cheek instead. If he attempts to kiss her hand, she should make a fist. If he lifts her gown and attempts to kiss her anyplace else she should quickly pull the gown back in place, spring from the bed, and announce that nature calls her to the toilet. This will generally dampen his desire to kiss in the forbidden territory.

If the husband attempts to seduce her with lascivious talk, the wise wife will suddenly remember some trivial non-lewd question to ask him. Once he answers she should keep the conversation going, no matter how frivolous it may seem at the time.
Eventually, the husband will learn that if he insists on having intimate contact, he must engage in it without amorous embellishment. The wise wife will allow him to pull the gown up no farther than the waist, and only permit him to open the front of his pajamas to thus make connection.

She will be absolutely silent or babble about her housework while his huffing and puffing away. Above all, she will lie perfectly still and never under any circumstances grunt or groan while the act is in progress. As soon as the husband has completed the act, the wise wife will start nagging him about various minor tasks she wishes him to perform on the morrow. Many men obtain a major portion of their visceral satisfaction from the peaceful exhaustion immediately after the act is over. Thus the wife must insure that there is no peace in this period for him to enjoy. Otherwise, he might be encouraged to soon try for more.

One heartening factor for which the wife can be grateful is the fact that the husband's home, school, church, and social environment have been working together all through his life to instill in him a deep sense of guilt in regards to his carnal feelings, so that he comes to the marriage couch apologetically and filled with shame, already half cowed and subdued. The wise wife seizes upon this advantage and relentlessly pursues her goal first to limit, later to annihilate completely her husband's desire for salacious expression.

© 1894 The Madison Institute.

(I edited this slightly to make it more 1890ish---chucique)

Sunday, June 5

Panel 1: Is Elly eating a salad, or chow mein?

Panel 2: I know Sunday strips are mostly panto, but "!" is probably all John can say anyway, with his mouth full like that.

Panel 3: Kind of cute how the Bushwhacker leaps in the air like that.

Panel 4: That guy in the yellow pants (!) and blue jacket---is he a bullfighter?

Panel 5: Let's see what we've got here, not counting the last two rows which are mostly obscured. And most of these are porn titles, not to be found in any googleplex cinema.

KILLER GRUBB (huh?) * ROLLERBLOOD * WWII ANIMATED VERSION (is that trying to say that Hollywood is trivializing war? I beg to differ) * BUST OR ? * A WHIFF OF EVIL * WHERE NO HAIR SHOULD GROW (porn) * RUTT! (porn) * TIME? * PASSION OF THE CRUST (ha ha, not) * GROINS! (porn) * THE IMPLANT (porn, unless she means like Minority Report) * THE THONG ? (porn) * ?UCUS WARS (huh?) * TEARS OF A TRUCKER (huh?) * SUCKED IN BY LOVE (porn) * ALIEN LUST (oh come on) * POLL DANCER (April's how-to guide) * MASSACRE THIS! * ?ED EGG (huh?) * BORBORYGMUS (medical term for a stomach growling) * BLOWING CHUNKS (see Alien Lust) * FOOB (look, kids, an in-joke!) * ? BOTTOM (probably porn, since Lynn no doubt classifies that as a Dirty Word) * WITHOUT STEROIDS (not sure what she's getting at here) * FOAM ON DERANGED (porn, I guess, or just a raunchy comedy) *

Panels 6-7: That's a nice sky in the background.

Panel 8: Of course, no decent movies have been made since 1939.

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Okay, first of all, we've been through this before, the December before last, when the members of 4-Evah wanted to rent a video, and everything with a Christmas theme was raunchy, vulgar or violent, so their ONLY option was "A Charlie Brown Christmas". While it was great that Lynn wanted to give a shout-out to Charles Schulz, I honestly don't think there are a whole lot of "inappropriate" movies with a Christmas theme. And there's plenty of tasteful stuff besides CB. There are other specials, like "Emmet Otter", "Rudolph" and any of the ten million versions of "A Christmas Carol". In features, you have, among others, "A Christmas Story", "Nightmare Before Christmas", and "The Santa Clause". Beyond that, though, you start opening the door to stuff like "Home Alone", or the "Die Hard" movies. And since those films are not 99 44/100ths % pure, they wouldn't get Lynn's stamp of approval.

Second of all, how is it that they didn't find out what was on at the VitaMeataVegaMinPlex before they left the house? John's look of alarm when he checks his watch indicates that they have a timetable, so how do they know that they're running late if they hadn't yet decided what they were going to see?

And finally, why doesn't she just go ahead and rename this strip "Pattersons Against The World"?

ETA: I forgot to mention that this gag was originally done years ago, with far more subtlety. Back in high school, Gordon and Tracey, who were not yet a couple, reluctantly agreed to double-date with Michael and Martha. Gordon was stressing about this, and said to Mike, "A movie? I can't go to a movie with Tracey! What if there's all kinds of mushy stuff?" Cut to the four teens at the cineplex. "So what'll it be, guys? 'Terminator III', 'He's Nine and He's Nasty' or 'The Bludgeoning'?"

Now that was effective, because a) all three of those titles were reasonable reworkings of then-current films (T2, Problem Child and any generic slasher flick) and b) we didn't see them take a sanctimonious fourth option; in fact, we don't know what movie they chose at all. The joke was simply that Gordon was shuddering in anticipation of a romantic film that wasn't even on the menu. Those were the days, my friends.