As I mentioned a little while ago, I believe that had the strip gone on past August 2008, we'd right now be in the early part of a new, fifth era: the Obstructive Years. The reasons that I call it by that name are as follows:
- John's statement that he and Elly would have to be careful-careful with their money tells me that we'd return to the anxious days of the early eighties when the two of them were struggling to get by on not a lot of money.
- Their lack of spending cash would not be blamed on their improvident behavior but on their having a third child which means that the lecturing and hostility April was subjected to when Elly decided that she'd quit being a mother would look like a golden age of fair treatment.
- Mike and Liz would have to pay a tithe of their insanely high income because Elly and John fed, housed and clothed them and it was now their turn to do that for their parents.
- Finally, the ownership of their horses meant that they'd have to obey the useless unsolicited advice they'd be bombarded with.
- Elly would be horrified at the prospect that Meredith would be thus exposed to risk; people would blame her for it, you see.
- Deanna would object as it would be too much like imposing structure on her daughter's life; since her own mother made her do things and might suggest that Meredith do something that isn't sit quietly and stare into space, she'd be against it.
- Mike would be aghast because it would mean he'd have to come in contact with the awful little half-people who want to tear him away from ticka-tacka-tapping away on his laptop.
- Liz would be enraged because she never got to play organized sports as a kid and would be damned if another Patterson got to.
- John would shuffle, giggle and bloviate about how, while he isn't a chauvinist, she should do something feminine.