I'd like to examine the Patterson's behavior with reference to the seven deadly sins. I know that aussiereader has already done this before and better, but I'd like to take my stab at it. Instead of focusing on one character as the avatar of a particular sin, like Sherwood Schwartz did whenhe created Gilligan's Island, I'd like to examine how it affects them as a whole. The first sin I'd like to cover, and the one that affects them the most is their personal favorite, Sloth. The Foobs, you will allow, seem to be pretty much consumed by it, because instead of investing the time alloted them to take positive action to lead decent lives, they fritter their time away on worthless follies and duck their responsiblities. Take, for instance, John. Instead of dealing with the chaos that surrounds him, he retreats into a silly fantasy world rotating around his toy trains. His wife is far too devoted to pointless busywork like shaving sheets to actually be a good mother to her children and can't work up the courage to spend any but a token minute or two with her ailing father. You will also note she lacks the imagination and courage to hope that the man is doing far better than her pessimistic predictions otherwise, moral defeatism also falling within Belphegor's purview. Instead of being a real husband and father Michael retreats from the world to churn out bad novels, only emerging when he doesn't really have to do anything. Not only that, but when he's asked to make any sort of decision he's consumed by paralysis and chooses badly, all the while blaming the other man for putting him in that spot. The oldest daughter lurches away from one self-induced catastrophe to the next, self-pityingly wailing about the havoc in her life and never once having taken responsibility for her life. Even the youngest isn't really free from the taint, having simply reduced to standing around bellowing about injustice while not DOING anything to stop it. And we ALL see how much they love to avoid confronations when possible.