October 15th, 2005

The Planned Accident

Okay, I found the strips. Mike an' Dee have returned from their honeymoon (where, since it was not the dictionary, shopping came before sex). Weed tells Mike that Portrait (for which Mike is already working as an editor) have "lined up a series of interviews an' they want lots of pics!" Mike hesitates, on the grounds that it would take up nights and weekends, while he was already working full time. Weed counters that "it's gonna pay megabucks". Mike wonders what happened to "art".

Next strip. Weed says, "I told you not to take a full time editing job!" Mike tells him, "I couldn't get married and do freelance" despite the fact that Deanna is working. "She's covering for people on maternity leave. We needed more security!"

During this, Weed was burning an egg while boiling it, which leads to a brief Lovey interlude. "Oy! Why do I rent this place to KIDS!"

Next strip. Deanna, summoned by the smoke alarm, appears at Weed's apartment, where this convo was taking place. Weed: "I'm trying to talk him into dumping the full time gig, and go into business." Mike: "It would mean taking a few risks, but Weed and I are fairly well known now, Dee. We could do something crazy!! What do you think?"

"I think I'm pregnant."

Next strip: Deanna clarifies that she hadn't been sure, but now she's "relatively" sure. Weed provides an alternate definition for "relatively".

Next strip: Mike: "Deanna, how could you be pregnant? You're a pharmacist, for heaven's sake!"

Deanna: "I'm sorry, Mike! I wanted to change medications, so I waited for the first one to leave my system, and...it just happened!" When Mike grasps at the straw of still not knowing for sure, she informs him that the home pregnancy test was positive. Weed offers cognac to the father-to-be.

Next strip: Elly is ecstatic. "SHREIK!! A BABY?!!" And so forth. "Honey, we are going to have more in common than we ever had before!" (What an odd thing to say.) Michael feels a hair go grey.

Next strip: Deanna: "I'm so sorry, Michael." Mike: "You can't take all the blame, Dee. I had a hand in it too...so to speak." Deanna: "I hoped we could start a family in a year or two. I never thought..." She's not due until October, but "all these bills are due NOW."

Next three strips: John, Elly, Grampa and April discuss impending grandparenthood and aunthood. Connie points out to Elly that now wrinkles won't matter so much any more. Elly: "Oh, they'll matter...They'll just be hidden in the smiles!"

And finally, Candace's fabled "planned accident" insight. Liz: "My brother's wife is pregnant!" Candace: "Planned or accident?" Liz: "I don't know. I thought they were going to wait a while, but..." Candace: "Deanna's a pharmacist, right?" "So?" "So it was a planned accident!"

But that was all there was to it; no "What do you mean?" or similar springboard for further discussion. However, Candace, being a psych major and abuse survivor (remember the poster on r.a.c.s. who kept insisting that Candace was not to be taken seriously, to the point of saying that, since she was the one who said it, that meant it wasn't credible?), is presented as the character best able to see through bullshit. At any rate, I am glad the idea was brought up in the strip. At that point, it was possible for someone with the last name Patterson to have a personality flaw. But as someone pointed out tonight, things changed pretty darn fast after this.

Sunday, October 16

I saw this in the early edition of the Sunday paper this afternoon, so I'm all ready with my commentary.

First of all, are we really supposed to believe that April is unfamiliar with this situation to the point of SFE panic? Elly has been menopausing and arm-flapping since April was, I think, six.

Secondly, I'm not sure Elly has ever been this red during one of her episodes. And her nose in the last panel is as big as her head used to be.

And third, ENOUGH ALREADY. It's not a matter of the gag being old; after all, Schulz had Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown 29 years in a row. It's that there's never any point to it, other than "Menopause sucks". People looked forward to the football strips, because they wanted to know what kind of crap Lucy would pull this time (the document wasn't notarized, CB shouldn't be fooled by a woman's tears, he can't watch her eyes because she's wearing enormous sunglasses, and so forth). But these strips are all the same. Panel 1: Flap flap flap. Panel 2: Flap flap flap. Repeat until the lame pun in the last panel. In the words of Charlie Brown: "AAAAAAAAUUUUUGHHHHHHH!"

ETA: Okay, I overlooked something earlier. How often do we get the treat of elephant-butt and camel toe in the same strip? And you're right, qn: the 'Asse is supposed to have every convenience, including Arctic Blast air conditioning.