August 16th, 2019


Sunday, 18 August 2019

(Originally published August 19, 1980)

The Patterson take a rare family trip where they all get along.  Even for the Sundayverse, this is an extraordinary comic strip.  I will show you all the reasons why:

Panel 1:
Elly is packing with a smile on her face.  Elizabeth has a backpack with a smile on her face.  Michael is listening to music on his Walkman.  John is in silhouette because nobody cares what he is doing.

Panel 2:
The Patterson car travels across a rugged road by itself.  Maybe it goes back at some point to get the Pattersons.

Panel 3:
Every member of the Patterson family helps carry something out to the beach.  This seems so abnormal.  They have gone to some beach so cold in August that Elly has to wear a coat, which is probably the reason they have an entire beach to themselves.   Aside from Michael sucking down a juice box, the family appears happy and smiling and talking to each other.

Panel 4:
Michael has a smile on his face as he splashes Elizabeth with a smile on her face.  Amazingly they are not trying to kill each other.  John swims with a mask and cross-eyed.  It is a funny-looking image, even though it doesn’t make that much sense.

Panel 5:
Back on the shore the family eats together.  John offers food to Elly.  The kids are not fighting.  No one seems to be making a giant mess.

Panel 6:
Elly is miraculously in the water.  Michael swims.  Elizabeth plays on a floatie with a smile on her face.  No one is pranking each other or irritating Elly.

Panel 7:
Elly calls the family to leave without leaning her head back, unhinging her jaw and screaming. 

Panel 8:
Everyone helps carry things out and Elizabeth delivers the punchline “But we just GOT here!!!” as the sun goes down across the mountain.  Oh, Elizabeth, I know just what you mean.  A whole afternoon with the Pattersons acting like a normal, fun-loving family.  I can see why you would want this to go on forever.  This would be a dream come true.

Who are these people and what did they do to the Pattersons?  Even the Brady Bunch was not this nice to each other.