I think that I should probably qualify my statement about how Mike and Liz find surrogate parents to rely on because they're too young to stand on their own two feet. What they seem to actually find are substitutes for Elly. Time and again, we find them dealing with someone whose purpose it is to reinforce Elly's values and to make sure that they don't drown in their own filth because having tuned out Elly's wisdom, they can't live autonomously. The first such substitute for Elly was Mike and Weed's crusty old bat ethnic stereotype landlady Agnes Dingle. Her wonderfulness seemed to consist of being a dried up old crone who, having lived a very hard life, had no patience at all for Mike being a stupid young man who did stupid things because no one remembered to raise him. At first, Mike saw a belligerent, poorly-educated, barely human old grouch. Later on, he saw her as a resource so he could write two stories about how awful people used to be in that remote, poorly-explored era of history called "Post-War Northern Ireland." You see, when not talking about how the Papists were out of line to make a big deal of what that dishy Reverend Paisley said, the old doll fed him the plot not only for an article about how the human spirit endures hardship but for his magnum opus of abuse porn, Stone Season. Oddly, they parted ways the way it usually seems to happen; you see, she ended up having a mild stroke and he was the one who got someone to call an ambulance and after that, she just sort of drifted out of his life. Luckily, she didn't involve herself in his life in any sort of manner that would teach him how to live on his own or think for himself so in Elly's eyes, she ended up being wonderful.