August 1st, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Monday, 2 August 2010

In today's strip, John's attempt to lighten the mood with humor collides with Elly's being upset for reasons that we never really learn.

(Strip Number 160, Original Publication Date, 2 August 1981)

Panel 1: As a clearly-enraged Elly unpacks, John tries to distract her by pointing out that at least Ted kept the place in good shape. Events are about to prove that he had help but that's not important right now; what is important that Elly is angry for some undefinable reason.

Panel 2: Having noticed that said anger has manifested itself as a cold, angry silence, John shows a grasp of the obvious by saying “So, you're not speaking to me, right?”

Panel 3: He then witlessly pushes Elly's buttons by saying that he'd better enjoy this silence while it lasts.

Panel 4: His reward is to have a beach towel WHAP him on the head.

Summary: When I think of all the times when John greets mild humor at his expense with an act of disproportionate violence, I wonder why he runs around like a fool talking about how everyone else but him takes themselves too seriously. And, since we never learn what Elly is really angry about, I wonder what the point of the next two strips are. Is she playing the ‘I knew it all along’ card (which makes her a liar) or is she going for the ‘I should have known better’ (which makes her either a coward or an ostrich) thing? We never find out. I do have my suspicions, though; as jjamele reminds us, neither one of the two asked the questions they should have before they left. It seems to me that Elly is angry because she was first made aware that those questions even existed about the same time that Ted asked why John never discussed them with him; if I'm right, this means that John has to endure stoney silence and Michael threats of punishment because Elly is upset that no one told her to ask certain things that should have been obvious to most people.