dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The Stealth Moving-day of Phil and Georgia Richards

As I've said in the past, I'm not a fan of the rather cowardly, stupid way in which Lynn wrote the Nichols family out of the strip; it seemed to me that there were any number of better ways for her to not deal with the departure of her first husband than having Elly shun a friend because she was too blasted stupid to understand what the woman was doing. She, for instance, could have created a third friend out of thin air for Elly to treat as if she were radioactive because she was too God-damned dumb to tell the difference between a doormat and a jailor.

The reason I bring this up is that there's another set of characters who really did matter for years on end who simply departed like a thief in the night because Lynn didn't like the real person that one of them represented: Phil and Georgia. From what others have been able to piece together over the years, Lynn's brother Alan Ridgway had long taken exception to the way he and his wife Joan had been depicted in the strip; what distinguishes the two of them from all the other people Lynn ignored is that he probably had an exceptionally strong negative reaction to the infamous Hogan's Alley interview wherein she depicted their mother as a vicious abuser. Rather than deal with the controversy her actions created, she did what she did before and simply banished Phil and Georgia to Montréal without any indication that they'd ever left Milborough; one week, they were complaining about their neighbor's moronic barking dog and the next, they'd vanished from the mortal sphere.

Granted, Phil made the occasional walk-on part later on but none of the people who'd started following the strip in the Declining Years had any real idea who important he used to be. All that they knew is that every so often, Elly's brother (who seemed to not want to be part of the family that they could see) showed up to remind them that, yes, he existed. The reason for their departure in-strip is telling; Phil (and not, of course, Georgia) got a better job elsewhere and didn't see fit to tell Elly about it. The message that that sent the long-time readers is that something happened off-camera to make Phil tired of having to deal with his big sis and her friends; what that something might be is beyond me but it would have to be something that Elly didn't even know she did.
Tags: amazonian catfish tinfoil hat, georgia, phil: bee and bop king

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