January 1st, 2011

Snarky Candiru2

Sunday, 2 January 2011

In today's strip, Lynn reminds us of her fear that exposure to children will lead to her being mistaken for an infant.

(Strip Number 6674, Original Publication Date, 3 January 1982)

Panel 1: We find ourselves at the local Megafoods today; as Elly pushes a shopping cart down the aisle, Lizzie yells "I wanna ride! I wanna ride!"

Panel 2: Given the existential crisis that Deanna will have when this happens to her, Elly's being merely gobsmacked by Lizzie's declaring that she wants to walk is almost pleasant to behold.

Panel 3: In any event, Lizzie has decided that she wants innacart after all; that's not important, though. What's important is that Lynn fears and loathes the language acquisition process. A normal person would not have her face frozen in the Plastic Smile of Mild Horror when faced with the 'disgrace' that is Lizzie saying "Dat's geen, Mom? Dat's geen? I see red! Dat box is red! I see ornge!"; she'd simply keep on putting her groceries in the cart and remember that she too had a shaky command of pronunciation at that age.

Panel 4: Lynn sets up the not-so-funny punchline by having Lizzie look at the blue bottle of detergent Elly is holding and saying "An'dat's BOO, right, Mom? Dat's boo!"

Panel 5: She points at what is most likely an overhead sign and stating "Dere's boo, Mom! I see more boo!!"

Panel 6: As stony-faced Elly gets to the checkout, we're reminded that blue and purple are Liz's favorite colors by her enthusiastically pointing out all the blue objects she sees. Can you spot an object that's martyred for a stupid reason? I think you can.

Panel 7: The strip's endgame involves a Megafood's employee, who I'll call Mr Sleestak, helping carry Elly's groceries to her hoverwagon; he asks her which car was hers again.

Panel 8: She points to somewhere in the distance and says the boo one.

Summary: Lynn's whining about how unfair it is that children don't come out of the womb speaking perfect English isn't just about her wanting to stiff-arm the language acquisition process for her convenience; it's, as we see here, owing to the fear she shares with Joan from Stone Soup: the fear that listening to children talk will have a deleterious effect on her own vocabulary. When I originally wrote this post, I'd forgotten that it's a real fear as well as a dark star in the constellation of post-natal depression; the only thing I remembered is that Elly didn't freaking do anything about it.