May 5th, 2019

Snarky Candiru2

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

The blast to the past begins with a revelation that while Elly still thinks that her flat-footed attempt at flirtation was incredibly daring, the boy she fixated on had no real feelings for her at all. This tells me something that she's at pains to ignore: he was spoken for and also saw her as an adhesive annoyance.

Panel 1: In an effort to make herself and her life more impressive than it actually was, we contrast a visual of Teenage Elly Richards being as obvious and stupid as 1960s Betty Cooper as she lies in super-obvious wait for the paperboy with the description "I was shameless, Connie. Every day after school, I'd take the long way home so I could be at the corner of Fifth and Pine where Colin Winch started his paper route."

This is because Elly still believes that she actually was on the ragged, bleeding edge of existence. It doesn't matter that most people saw a goofy child who was as subtle as a mallet about her puppy love, she knows that she was a terror whose adventures would kill her mother.

Panel 2: We then accompany the visual of his making an effort to not notice the rather plain looking girl with the goofy grin walking in step with him with the dialogue "Then, I 'just happened' to meet him. I guess he liked the company and I was in heaven just being with him."

This tells us that Elly was afraid of being seen as forward by people with the ability to control her behaviour and that she didn't want to understand what the target of her fixation actually thought about her. Also, she never wanted to hear the words "Oh....the paper boy? She'll be over him in a week. It'll be the Bobby Curtola thing all over again" coming out of her mother's mouth.

Panel 3: We return to the present day as Connie asks "What happened next? Did he ever hold your hand or say that he liked you?"; Elly says "Almost."

Panel 4: We accompany the visual of his blithely not noticing or caring that Elly's straining under the weight of the newspapers she's carrying (because he doesn't care about her as a person anyway) with her saying "He let me carry his papers." Given that she came back for more being treated like a bad joke after this instead of saying "You know what? I don't need this crush and I'll fight it every step of the way!", it's hard to relate to what happens next.

Summary: Back in the sixties, a regular feature of Archie Comics was something called "Betty's Diary"; what would happen is that the writer made a concerted effort to remind the readership that Betty lived in denial about how doomed her pursuit of Archie was and what a shitty day she usually had trying to disrupt his relationship with Veronica by contrasting her words with her super-depressing reality. What we're seeing is a sort of rip-off of that only we're supposed to take Elly's take on events as gospel.