[Mournful-sounding guitar solo; graphic of Farley with one eye open which fades into the title card 'The Death of Farley.]
Lynn: The death of Farley was probably one of the more difficult things to write because I so did not want to do it. But then you've got lifespans and he was over thirteen, too old for an Old English Sheepdog so he had to go. And how do you make it happen so it's not taking him to the vet and saying goodbye there; it had to have some kind of drama so I wrote the story about April going down to the creek with her boat and he rescues her in the creek.
[As she speaks, we see the strip that has April find the toy boat.]
Um, meanwhile, Charles Schulz says to me "If you have that dog die, I'm going to have Snoopy hit by a truck at exactly the same time and nobody's going to read your stupid strip" so I didn't tell him. I wrote it quietly, privately and didn't tell him. So, when the story ran, um, y'know, he was blindsided by it and he was very angry with me, seriously, and it was funny because we're all so convinced that our characters are real [Graphic: the strip wherein April nearly drowns because her parents are too busy to watch over her despite being warned to.], instead of Schulz being mad at me, he was mad at April, he said "That stupid little girl!! She should never have gone down to that creek!! What the Heck was she thinking; where were her parents???!!!!!", y'know, and I thought "Isn't that funny that he blames the character?" But the thing that really blows everyone away is that is that you never know what is gonna happen on the day that something runs; you send the work in six to eight weeks in advance and the headlines change hour by hour, day by day in the newspapers and so the day that Farley died [Graphic: the strip that has Farley pass on] was the time of the Oklahoma bombing. Everybody was overwhelmed, it was the first real terrorist act that was so...it was so part of everyone's day that day; y'know, when it happened, we were all aching and sore and confused and I mean, I'm overwhelmed now even talking about it [Graphic: Elly washing Farley's bowl for the last time before she puts it away] but to have a favorite dog die in a comic strip on that same day, people were reading it in the subway in tears probably not realizing that it was not so much the death of a cartoon character as it was their feeling betrayed and beyond grief by this act of incredible cruelty and stupidity. That's what, that's what made the death of Farley sink in.
[Guitar outro. Graphic: "For Better or For Worse" logo.]
- Most of the time when she talks about how Sparky reacted, she left out his asking the question "Where were April's parents?"; had he known, he'd probably have figured out that he couldn't, after all, blame a child for her parents' ineptitude. I know he was a sorehead with a competitive streak and a need to not deal with the past but even he wasn't that big a jerk.
- I think that most people could, after all, have realized that they were trying to process what McVeigh did; that's because I remember thinking that Farley's dying was a rather cruel coincidence.
- Lynn really, really likes to talk with her hands.