May 31st, 2017

Snarky Candiru2

The strip that launches a thousand arcs....

The interesting thing about the post-Thelma world is that by any real standard, it can be said to be when what people think of as the Golden Age of the strip actually begins. What's more interesting is what kicks things off: Elly's desire to not get blamed for the end result of having to work with appliances that were obsolete for ten years when she and John moved in. As it started to dawn on most of the readers that most of the reason why Elly made stews and casseroles that sat like hot lead in people's stomachs was that her cheapskate husband didn't see the point of repairing or replacing appliances he didn't use and just as he finally got guilted into acting like a man instead of a petulant child, any number of plot arcs that we had to deal with for years got their start.

First off, we have to deal with the fact that John really doesn't feel like getting to know who the people around him are lest he look in the mirror and see the damned stupid ogre he actually kind of is. He needed to think that Elly was making a big deal over nothing and was actually a helpless, mindless child who wanted to spend HIS money on luxuries that he'd be in hock for forever because it's easier than admitting that he doesn't know who he married and never cared. This eventually becomes not knowing that he'd raised a princess because that was easier than actually fucking deserving to be called a father.

Second, having to dispose of construction waste leads us to having to deal with the 'fact' that Anne Nichols somehow brought the affair that damned near tanked her marriage on herself by being complacent enough to actually tell her husband what he thought of making promises that he never got around to keeping. It also led to Mike admitting that there is no rational God-damned reason for his attacking Elizabeth but that doesn't matter because there's too much made of common sense or acting in one's own best interests. His precious feelings were hurt because he had to share the spotlight and Liz needs to feel miserable all the time for being in his way and there's an end of it. 

Third, and finally, we have to deal with Elly getting frustrated with her kids enough to pack them off to summer camp. This led, of course, to Mike meeting Martha and spending most of the following decade being a shitty, self-serving and whiny little puke of a boyfriend. If there's a social norm that involved him having to not be a festering asshole full of himself, he never wanted to hear it. 

That being said, the Pattersons probably don't understand that all of those odd things came about because Elly finally got tired of a stove stuck on broil and being blamed for things that weren't her fault for once.