The really annoying Foob fact about the Vacation from Hell is the Pattersons got off lightly; this is because Ted's agreeing to house-sit touches off the romantic triangle that mars the rest of the Early Years. The first of the three hearts in the crappy ending machine belongs to Connie. The reason that she fell for him in the first place is that she took pity on his pathetic attempt to do housework. As we know, she pulls that bait-and-switch thing where she reinvents herself to catch a MAAAAAAAYYYYYUUUUNNNNNNN!!!!!!! This would be bad enough if she managed to target the same dullard but she simply cannot decide which delusional man-child is the right choice to be Mr Connie Poirier. The pickings, as you remember, are slim; this is probably why she moved to the Lakehead in the first place. One first has to contend with Phil; having noted his tendency to act like he's inches away from being neutered when told to quit smoking his brains out or helping out around the house and his being a whiny little bitch throwing a temper tantrum at the merest hint that someone doesn't want what the Bee-bop King is cooking, we could, to coin a phrase, call him a delicate genius. The only thing preventing him from sending Connie a kiss-off e-mail when he got engaged to Georgia was that he didn't have access to a computer. Irritant Number Three is Ted; despite Elly's belief that he's a loutish Neanderthal owing to his tendency to laugh at her hypocrisy and John's harrumphing about his breaking a promise that he never really made, he seems to be a different sort of jerk. First off, once his infatuation with Connie wore off, he realized that they simply didn't click as a couple and said so; for his evil candor, he's demonized by the smug hypocrites Lynn passes off as heroes. His hypocrisy, which had him marry his secretary while being free to alley-cat around like a dope, is of a different brand. That makes him much the same sort of dimwit as Phil in that he fears commitment; he varies in degree only by the justifications he uses to run away from his conscience and the hated concept of maturity and self-restraint. The really depressing thing is that despite his efforts to make things right with Connie, he's rebuffed by her and smirked at by John and Elly. This gets even more revolting when his wife up and left because she got sick of playing the part his Mommy played (which is to say being his maid, meant to maintain the homestead while he made a fool of her). His baffled, self-absolving response to that reminded us that he totally didn't get that the Sixth Commandment wasn't a helpful but antiquated suggestion. Add in Elly's being a bad friend to Connie and a worse sister to Phil with John's being an arrogant tool to Ted and you begin to see why the first of the three felt so messed up, she had to leave town.