February 8th, 2015

Snarky Candiru2

Introducing Paul Gauthier.

The very interesting thing about last Friday's strip is that it's quite likely that we've seen the first appearance in-strip of a local contractor based on a real man named Paul Gauthier. The other very interesting thing is that we end up having to look at how he and Elly will end up interacting right the Hell away. As we saw, he was there to do a very simple little job only to have the lady of the house treat him like some sort of lackey put on this Earth to do what she wanted when she wanted it. Also, since the man seems to have had something of a lingering Franco-Ontarian accent, it made sense to her to amplify and distort his dialogue so as to make him sound like Pepe Le Pew.

We'll see this come into play in about six years or so when John stops acting like a sitcom mutant groaning about the bills and agrees to put an add-on to the house to give everyone more room. As one could expect from the "John remodels the kitchen in such a way as to maximize the inconvenience Elly" arc from about two years from now, we're going to have the contractors speak either hick-speak or wit'an exAGGerATed acCENT to remind us that the lower ranks aren't as exalted as people like Elly. We're also going to have them balk at her super-reasonable and not at all insane requests as well as having them make her life harder because reasons.

The interesting thing about all of this is that she claims to be friends with the real person despite making him into a caricature. She seems to have a lot of people like that in her life.
Snarky Candiru2

On not letting things sink in.

As we know, we're coming up to a bit of a break in the "Elly assists John" arc to remind ourselves that once again, Mike is struggling at school because percentages and decimals and all the other stoopid numbers make no sense. As you might also recall, I speculated that Mike might have an organic disorder that prevents him from understanding that one hundred percent of anything will always be all of everything; I went so far as to get banned from Coffee Talk by alluding as to how two plus two equaling four every time (instead of being three, seven, R or tangering) was the same sort of unaccountable miracle birth and death are.

The odd thing is that John himself inadvertently disproved this notion by marveling at a tendency to not let a fact he didn't feel like hearing sink in that he himself demonstrated. We get a further hint as to why Mike doesn't seem to make much headway with mathematics later on when another wise-ass who thinks that school is all about only doing things that please him when Liz's overseer tells her flat out that Dylan's math grades are in the cellar because a child has to actively want to understand math in order to do well.

We thus have to deal with the possibility that Michael simply suffers from a mental block that prevents him from wanting to understand math because it's hard and it's not fun and it's too much like work and life is supposed to be easy and fun ALL the time. It's akin to how John has a mental block that prevents him from understanding that it's not woman hormones that make Elly feel as if her life has no meaning because that would make him a bad guy who welched on a deal because he believed in a fairy story about some fake, impossible, bull-shit and non-existent thing called a maternal instinct that magically makes women love domesticity because he's too stupid to understand that his mother wasn't a grinning robot who mindlessly baked socks and knitted cookies. She CHOSE to do so because it pleased her and besides, someone had to. John can't allow himself to listen to complaints that require him to be a less self-serving dick because he can't face the possibility that he actually IS a self-serving dick.