August 23rd, 2019


Sunday, 25 August 2019

(Originally published August 26, 1990)
In the meantime, real parents wonder why Elly even lets Michael go out at night every night.

Panel 1:
I had to look at the refrigerator for a bit because something seemed off to me.  The open door appears to be attached directly to the refrigerator instead of to a refrigerator door hinge, which normally causes a separation between the door and the fridge when the door is open.  We should be see a bigger gap than what we see.

The notes on the refrigerator are “Alan, August 11.”  I don’t know if that’s Lynn Johnston’s brother’s (Alan Ridgway) birthday or not.   Also, we have “Call Sue” which could be Sue the librarian from the comic strip or someone from real life.   

Panel 2:
Michael heads out with an apple, a chicken leg and a soda pop.  I can easily imagine this as something Aaron did back in 1990, when he was 17 years old.  However, the difference is that with Aaron, the food probably did come from the refrigerator because Lynn Johnston’s cook (Mavis/Janet) would cook the meal and leave it for the Johnstons.  It seems inappropriate for Michael to do this with Elly, who would have been cooking a meal for the whole family.

Panel 3:
Michael starts in on the chicken left mid-conversation and Elly only finds out where he is going because she asks.  He says it is Brian’s house; but this could be a lie.  We know that Michael goes out at night to spend time with Martha. 

Panel 4:
This is the sentence that would never happen in my house when my son was 14 years old.   Actually it would never happen even when my son was 17 years old.  In fact, it didn’t happen this summer when my 24-year-old son was home from school.   Parents need to know where their kids are.

Panel 5:
Michael gives Elly the eye roll as she says, “You come in, you eat, and you leave.  What do you think this is…a motel?”  I might eye roll this one too.  Motel?  That’s a terrible analogy.  I don’t eat in a motel.  I only come in to sleep at a motel.

Panel 6:
“You spend time with your friends, but you never spend any time with us.”  Well, they did spend a day at the beach last Sunday, but that was Sundayverse Michael and… Wait a minute!  This is Sundayverse Michael too.  The Sundayverse has shifted its sensibilities.  Regardless, Elly’s complaint is so wrong.  Is she the parent, actually begging her 14-year-old son to value his family over his friends when it comes to going out at night? 

Panel 7:
Elly pronounces she wants one evening with Michael at home using the standard Patterson “one finger in the air” stance, which is usually used for giving lectures or lessons.  Michael agrees without arguing.  There seems to be a little Sundayverse still left in him.

Panel 8:
The joke then is that Michael brings all of his usual friends over (Lawrence, Brian, Gordon) and he spends time with them and not his family, while Elly impotently stands to the side.  Ha! Ha!  Elly’s bad parenting has defeated her.    Also, it helps that no one else in the family is there to support her.  I guess John and Elizabeth are out some place too, possibly driven out by Michael’s gang.

As more proof this is Sundayverse Michael, in addition to his friends, Michael has apparently invited in some homeless kid.  He’s got buck teeth.  He’s wearing a wife beater t-shirt.  He has smudges all over his pants.   He crosses his legs like a woman.   He is using the TV listings magazine.  The horror. 

Not only does he look like a homeless Milborough mutant, but he has placed on the back of the sofa what appears to be a New York Yankees baseball cap except the logo is on the brim.  The hat should look like this:

Is Lynn taking a swipe at Yankees fans by comparing them to homeless Milborough mutants?  Why is he there?  You would think Lynn Johnston would add Michael’s usual friend Darryl Smythe instead of this unknown kid.