August 28th, 2010

Snarky Candiru2

Sunday, 29 August 2010

In today's strip, Elly's worrying about her appearance somehow or other leads to Mike comparing laugh lines to parentheses.

(Strip Number 7091, Original Publication Date, 16 August 1981)

Panel 1: We start off with Elly sitting around moping and thought-bubbling that she guesses that she's got to face the facts.

Panel 2: As she stares a horrified stare, she thought-bubbles that it's true.

Panel 3: She really is looking old. (This is where a man from Saint John, New Brunswick who is twelve years or so older than she is here thought-bubbles "Bullshit.")

Panel 4: The whiny little dolt tells herself that she has to accept that she's no longer 'young'.

Panel 5: She then whines to herself that she wishes it didn't matter or that she didn't care about it.

Panel 6: About then, Mike walks into the room and asks her what she's looking at.

Panel 7: She sets up the punchline by telling him she's looking at the lines on her face.

Panel 8: He asks what's wrong with them because he likes them.

Panel 9: It's like her smile has brackets around it. Judging from the bug-eyed glare she's got, she doesn't think that he's paid her a compliment.

Summary: First off, her constant fretting about her appearance never really stopped; even at the end of days, she never really accepted the fact that she wasn't hideously old and fat. Second, her telling other people to not fret about their looks is rank hypocrisy. One would expect Liz to pop up and tell her that she learned whining about being ugly and unpopular by watching her.

Elly Goes to Court

John is off on a business trip.  Since he's driving some colleagues, he takes the family hoverwagon and leaves Elly with his sports car.  She's not as confident as she wants people to think, but just as she begins to settle into driving it, she has an accident: she makes a left turn through a busy intersection while another driver pulls out from behind a school bus and tries to go straight across.  Elly worries about what John is going to do to her / think about her.  (Further backstory: John is not attempting to get cuddly with a colleague: a typical sitcom situation has arisen where the hotel reservations have been lost and they have to bunk together.)  After a good night's sleep, Elly is able to tell Michael that she wasn't at fault and that John will be understanding, but they both know that's false bravado and John needs to be approached with caution: after all, the sports car was his favourite family member.  John sits by its 'bedside' at Richard & Ted's Body Shop and, despite appearances, it turns out that the car is not damaged beyond repair.  The story is redeemed as John and Elly count their blessings.

Some weeks later, a traffic ticket arrives (I'm not up to speed on Canadian law here: do you get traffic tickets for car accidents?) and Elly is determined to contest it in court, since to pay the ticket means admitting responsibility for the accident.  It's OK: she watches Night Court, so will be just fine defending herself.  John tries to get her to consider the outcome.  Connie congratulates Elly on standing up for women's rights (er?) while Elly considers what to wear and makes a complicated diagram of the accident scene.  On some level, however, she is nervous.  Even Connie begins to advise her to get some proper legal representation: Elly asks Connie to come with her and Connie's advice is abandoned so Lucy and Ethel they can go to court and see what wacky hijinks ensue.

Fortunately, this isn't a trial for attempted rape so the trial is held the very next day.  Elly recalls the appearance of the other driver and makes assumptions about him, only for him -- a Mr Pervrett, which makes my spell-checker suggest just what Lynn was going for -- to arrive in court clean-shaven and in a suit.  Justice Willis B Sullen (sigh) presides.  Elly acts like a fool (at least Connie tries to hide her face in embarrassment) and is told to sit down.

Elly's understanding of the legal system is tested when the prosecutor shows up and she thinks that someone has independently appointed a lawyer for her.  Finally she gets her chance to show off her diagram and take the stand, giving such over-the-top testimony that the judge rules it inadmissible.  In the funniest strip of this sequence, we see what the judge is really thinking.  He rules that, based on the diagram and the admissible testimony, no one was at fault and the case is dismissed.  Elly acts like a fool and is again reminded by the judge to temper her behaviour in the courtroom.  Connie gushes over Elly and they exit the courthouse to find that Elly has a parking ticket.  Presumably she just paid this one and forgot about it.
Snarky Candiru2

Elly: the kids learned obsessing about their looks from her....

As we know, Liz went through something of an extended awkward period as a child. From about Grade Four on to, well, Grade 13, she was convinced that her lack of real friends was somehow due to her being insufficient in the looks department. Try as Elly might to reassure her that she wasn't, in fact, hideous, Liz was inconsolable. The problem really, of course, lay in the fact that Liz stormed through the hallways with a frown acting like she was about five seconds away from busting someone upside the head. Things would have been bad enough were not Liz equipped with an insensitive jackhole of a brother who can be counted on to say the wrong damned thing because he's convinced it's funny and cute to be a malicious little prick who needs to be horsewhipped and what might be called extreme tunnel vision; her real problem is that she could not help but be filled with anxiety about her looks. That's because she thinks that it's normal for a girl to stand in front of a mirror and whine about how ugly she is and how said hideousness is ruining her life because, well, it's what Elly does all the time. What's really humorous is that Elly thinks that it's the fault of fashion magazines when, as we know, that Lizzie has spent her life looking at Mommy spending her life whining about how it sucks to be her. It's fortunate that all April had to endure was an inane lecture about acne; at least she was spared the worst of it.