This is because despite the fact that the real younger John made Blandthony actually look like the icon MOTHERS KNOW about in comparison, we're dealing with someone who views likes to view his past as being some sort of idealized version in which he dumped Patsy O'Connor and he wasn't some whiny jerk moaning about leaving his friends behind when his parents decided to uproot them and so on and so forth. Only under conditions of extreme stress wherein he's confronted with the unpleasant truth about himself does he begin to approach honesty about his past.
Unfortunately for the family, there are three general types of occasions in which said stress occurs:
- When he does something stupid like break his foot because he bought too big a turkey or when he roots around a dumpster like a raccoon and has to be reminded that he was a dumb, clumsy boy who often bit off more than he could chew. This means he's back in high school being laughed at again.
- When a family member proposes doing something that would minorly inconvenience him. From being a grouch about Elly working to being a dick about having to drive April to the Telethon of Tedium, it doesn't take much to unleash the goof who wanted to stay in Flin Flon even if he had to stay there by himself.
- When people want to spend money on something not for him and remind him that his parents weren't vending machines.
You'll notice that all of those stressors involve his family in some way or another; this is because those closest to him are potential threats because they shall surely force him to confront the fact that he was a big, stupid goof who passive-aggressived his way through life until he met a fellow mental pygmy.