October 13th, 2005

Friday, October 14

First of all, I'd like to give props to Ripley, over at Crown Princess, who pointed out what I should have picked up on: Lynn switched gears again, even faster than usual. From the K's being served, to Mike and Weed high-fiving? So we're to assume that the K's have been vanquished with a bill for repairs, the same way Howard was vanquished with an ear-twisting?

Now, on to the strip!

Panel 1: OMG, Deanna's actually objecting to Mike's 21-hour/day schedule! Though it sounds as if she's putting it in the context of, it's not good for him, as opposed to, "What am I, not to mention your kids: chopped liver?".

Panel 2: Two and a half hours from alarm to office? Is that all travel time? Well, I suppose it is: IIRC, he mentioned in this month's whine that he can't fit an exercise routine into his schedule. And it's telling that she says "eat" rather than "have dinner with US". And is Mike dozing off, or cringing?

Panel 3: Oh, so it's "extra" money. Not, like, they'll starve if he doesn't work nonstop. And irony? Is Lynn using that word correctly?

Panel 4: ...Well, it appears that she is. Relative to the rest of the strip, that is. But man oh man, this makes me burn. Poor, poor overworked Mike. The sympathy is all for him, not his wife or his children. I'm taking the look on his face to mean that he's come to a realization about how badly he's been treating himself; Deanna would never say anything like "You never play with the kids" or "I'm wearing out my vibrator". Meanwhile, Deanna looks more like Tootie the Tricycle Trout than ever.

And I won't even get into the fact that there are people who have to work so hard that they shorten their lifespan just so they can keep going day to day, or so their kids won't starve. Point is, there's no reason why Mike and Dee, between them, shouldn't be making a living already.

ETA: I mean, this is all set up so neatly to avoid real conflict. If Deanna did go off on Mike for ignoring his family, then he would be obliged to respond with equal aggression, and a lot of grievances would be aired before they settled the matter. But this is set up as a non-issue. "You're working too much, sweetie; I'm worried about you!" "You're right, dear. I need more sleep. Inverted cliche." "Sticky-outy tongue!" "How about some sex?" "Zzzzzz...what?" "Never mind. Lame pun." This doesn't add any depth to the characterization. All that's going to change is, very probably, the Pattersons Redux's address.