Now that we're at the end of the Vacation From Hell and at the beginning of the Ted-Connie-Phil debacle, it behooves me to leave the Pattersons behind again; I part by showing you how it is that the people the Pattersons think that they've supported over the years filled up the Favor Bank. We start, of course, with Gordon; as we know, he's a self-made man who allows the Pattersons to think that they had a hand in things because they've convinced themselves that they did something about his abusive parents other than make stupid aphorisms about dark houses. Since they think that they've been there for him, he has to cough up limos on demand. Next comes Lawrence; since he allows them to pose as being tolerant and progressive when they're actually close-minded throwbacks, he has to provide floral arrangements. Iris comes off the worst; for agreeing to take the burdensome old man off their hands, she has to suffer the torments of the damned in grinning silence.
Now that I'm about to go back into the wider world of the comics page, I'd like to remind you of what most bothers me about the genre: the fear and hatred a lot of creators have of the younger generation. As regnad_kcin reminds us, it's a vast exercise in watching the people who used to grumble about their parents being Nazi space monsters because they tell them to turn that rock crap down and get a job grumbling about how children are, well, Nazi space monsters because they don't have jobs and think that prog rock is something that Fred Flintstone grooved to. What I really don't care for is the nerds who didn't rate with the girls writing about them; this is why Greg Evans's Luann has become somewhat painful to watch. The portrait of a sensible young woman I painted earlier is a trifle optimistic, you see; it does not take into consideration the author's default belief that a typical teenaged girl is a callow, amoral manipulator whose purpose is to toy with boys much as a housecat 'casually' torments the rodents it consumes. Much as the child who states that there's a dragon in the bathtub simply wishes to avoid taking a bath, Evans's "teen girl = mean girl" philosophy would appear to stem from his blank-eyed incomprehension at being laughed at for committing the comic faux pas of reading an awkward, stupid love poem to the girl it's about. One doesn't have to be a man to fall into that trap, of course. There's a woman I can think of that shares Evans's unreasonable hatred of a demographic cohort: Allison Barrows.