As we all know, we're not just going to spend January 2014 watching the Patterson family fail to learn their lesson about responsible pet ownership. If it were simply another round of the family being shocked out of their alleged minds by the inevitable only to overreact and then go back to normal because it hurts too much to be consistent, we'd just be in for a depressing four weeks of asking ourselves why the Hell Mrs Baird thought that giving the Foobs pets would teach them responsibility. What we also have to contend with is Phil not realizing why it is that Mike's ardor for the trumpet has cooled. While it's true that the vain little kid in him sees Mike's "disrespect" and "lack of drive" as being inspired by ingratitude and hatred, the adult in him is completely baffled by all of this. This is because of something I said the last time I talked about all of this: Phil has no idea that there are two extraneous factors that get in the way of Mike's enthusiasm. Said extraneous factors are a peevish, narrow-minded, disruption-hating father who is more the organic adjunct of a recliner than a supportive role model and a mother who needs to destroy enjoyment in the process of living owing to her stupid belief that only miserable people matter. This inability to consider the home environment of a child as a factor in his or her willingness to learn seems to be inherent to most teachers in the Foobiverse. One would think that when he went to Teacher's College, Phil was told point-blank that a child's surroundings have exactly no relation to anything at all.