dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The Patterson perception problem.....

The really annoying thing about the new collection is, of course, that it ends with their disastrous trip to Sioux Lookout. The reason that this is a problem for me is that it highlights a belief of mine about how poorly the Pattersons are regarded by their fellow Milboroughites. Let's review what they did before I remind you of my pet theory:
  1. They did not ask Ted what his cabin was like before they agreed to go; even if John had managed to bring the directions with him, this still would have been a good idea because, well, there might be issues that Ted is not aware of.
  2. They didn't bother finding anything out about the town of Sioux Rapids; that's a bit of a shame because, having looked into the place to see what they were doing wrong, it's clear they missed out on some really fun times so they could live in squalor and thus be real, authentic adults.
  3. They assumed that Mike and Lizzie would be content to zoom down lonely country roads to a destination that was two days away and got bent out of shape when they got bored. Furthermore, they seem to have ignored the faster, saner options.
  4. They took the dog with them; that just doesn't make any sense to me because it's clear that Ted could have easily taken care of him.
  5. John lost the directions because he was in an all-fired rush to get there which led to the real problem.
  6. He assumed that a vermin-infested, abandoned hovel in the middle of nowhere was Ted's place because that's what bachelor's retreats are 'supposed' to look like; Elly didn't like the conditions but either assumed that John must have known what he was talking about or didn't have the intestinal fortitude to raise her suspicions that he'd goofed.
  7. They never once thought to phone Ted to complain or to ask the locals about things.
  8. As a matter of fact, the owner-operator of the local grocery store was the only person they met on their one trip away from Not-actually-Ted's cabin. The rest of the time, they sat there swatting flies and living in filth like idiots.
  9. Furthermore, they exposed a dog and two children to cluster flies, poison sumac, potentially rabid wildlife and a ramshackle shanty in the name of authenticity.
  10. When Farley got sprayed by a skunk, they shaved him bald in a futile attempt to rid him of the scent.
  11. What Elly took away from her experience is not that they should have gone elsewhere; what she learned is that she should pick where they go next.
  12. Upon Ted's inadvertent revelation that they'd gone to the wrong place, they spent a week arguing because Elly didn't want to admit that she screwed up as badly as John and for much the same reason. (This, of course, is not to say that Elly would have had a good time at Ted's real place; when she and John went to a similar cottage in 2003, all she did was complain.)
  13. Finally, they could find no way to describe the trip that didn't make them sound like a bunch of knuckle-dragging simpletons and thus refused to discuss it. Instead, they chose to kiss, make up and not learn anything from the disaster.

The problem, of course, is that they didn't need to worry about their neighbors thinking that they were a bunch of chumps who act like they were born yesterday. As I keep saying, they think that already. There's a reason that they call Elly "the dentist's crazy wife", after all. Watching her try to explain to Mrs Baird why she and John had shaved Farley simply adds to her legend of stupidity, thoughtlessness and cruelty. What really stings is that they don't seem to have realized that it made their long-term goal of woning Mike and Lizzie's horses a lot easier to accomplish.
Tags: one big oblivious family

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