howtheduck raised an intersting point on his blog yesterday. If you check out Iris's retcons on the FBorFW.com site, you'll notice a pattern: she can't abide the people her children married. Not only that, they live so far away from Milborough, visiting them is difficult for a person on a fixed income like her so she does it very regularly. This means that she's not a regular part of her children's lives. Not only that, Jim is fine with that. He, too, isn't involved all that much with Phil and Georgia and spent most of his time in Milboring trying to avoid Elly and the others. They'll complain about their children's choices to their faces but they won't go further than that because the kids have made their mades and thus must lie in them. They may not be mice people but they're easier to take than John and Elly. As we know, Train Man and Flapandhonk have arranged their lives so that their adult children are living the lives they chose for them. The road to adulthood leads not to the freedom they have but to dependence on them for almost everything. This is, of course, so that when John's time to go the the Big Roundhouse in the Sky comes, Elly can become a female Ed Crankshaft, living in Mike or Liz's house, spouting nonsense and cooking greaseburgers.