As I said on a recent entry on the Foobiverse Livejournal, the Pattersons seem to got out of their way to make traveling with their children as unpleasant as possible so as to justify their child-free winter vacations. The current retread of their trip to what they stupidly think is Ted’s cabin is what we could call the model example of that trend. Let’s examine what they did wrong and why:
- They started off by choosing a laughably inappropriate destination. If they had two clues to rub together, they would have immediately rejected Ted’s “generous” offer of a cabin that was a thousand miles away because they’d have taken their children’s needs into account.
- They didn’t take the needs of their children into account. Mike and Lizzie were supposed to sit, smile, shut up and stare off blankly into space instead of complaining about how boring it is to waste hour after endless hour zooming down the Trans-Canada Highway; being asked to provide anything other than angry comments in response to pathetic pleas of boredom and hunger would have been regarded as spoiling them.
- They took Farley with them; it was bad enough that they went on an expedition that would have challenged the conquerors of Everest with children in tow. Dragging a family pet along to exasperate fish and wildlife officials simply adds to the irritation I have for them.
- They never bothered asking Ted what to expect. Since they assumed sight unseen that Ted meant that his cabin looked like the Unabomber’s bachelor pad instead of the vacation cottage close to the gas station, McDonalds and similar amenities it really was, they spent a miserable two weeks in a hellhole in the stupid belief that they were where they were supposed to be.
- This speaks to the disorder that makes all their trips with the kids a freaking mess: the need to edify the kiddies by subjecting them to authenticity; they would go on to state that forcing the kids to live in cramped conditions and be woken up at six in the blessed A.M. to do farmwork would be an enriching experience they needed.
- Upon arrival home and being told that they done messed up and stayed in the wrong place, they spent a week bellowing at one another before deciding that it must somehow have been the children’s fault. It wasn’t that they were fools who blindly plunged into a vortex of stupidity and recklessness, it was all the fault of the children for not being enchanted with the mess they made.
- The reason for that is, of course, that they not only didn’t provide for the kids on the drive up and back, they made sure that there was nothing for Mike and Lizzie to do expect stare longingly at that empty cottage across the lake that was next to the store.
This leads me to my point; John and Elly don’t really have too much sympathy for the small people that get in the way of their bottomless egotism and entitlement so are willing to go the extra mile to find reasons to punish them.