Of course, it could well be that Michael has already sort of learned the sort of lesson that Fiona might have had to teach him. The reason that I say this is that it occurs to me time and again that when he contemplates his Great Big Book O’Glurge, he has a very idiosyncratic take on why Ol’Harv is a bad person. It seems to me that when Mrs Dingle poured her heart out about how she started out in love with a charming-looking fellow who turned out to be a shiftless, self-pitying incompetent who let his sullen pride and hapless stupidity blight her and her children’s lives, Mike didn’t see him as being in the wrong because he was a total bonehead who had to override the good of his wife and kids so that he could live his stupid dream. The same punk kid who whined about the unfairness of Martha breaking up first because girls don’t get to decide things and who broke up with Rhetta via e-mail because he stupidly thought she was only pretending to like him so she could crush his heart in a machine has no problem with a loutish scoundrel expecting his family to go through Hell for Daddy. What Harv did bad was that he behaved the way the Delicate Genius does on a farm!!
This, I think, is because Mike’s exposure to Exile Farm and its denizens has given him a distorted idea of what farm life is actually like. The idea that children have to be kept from school so they could work and work and work on a farm is not just his venting about the unrealistic burden his own imbecile father put on him, it’s his taking Laura’s stupid comments about how she ain’t got no time fer lollygaggin’, sugarcube to an insane extreme. The same tendency to amplify and distort the inconvenience of farm life would also tend to explain why a failing farm in post-war Saskatchewan looks less like a Canadian Content “Grapes of Wrath” and more like something out of the 1870s; this is because Mike confuses lousy television reception with being cast into the Stone Age. Given how dumb he is, he’s probably right now bleating about poor April living in the horribly primitive frontier outpost of Calgary, Alberta and sending her care packages to keep her spirits up as she reads by the light of a whale-oil lamp.