Saturday, September 30, 2006

Repeat 3 Times

In today's For Better or For Worse, I found it interesting that Elly was so insistent on Iris leaving the hospital. I remember when my boy was born and he went into ICU for 2 days, I stayed overnight at the hospital, actually sleeping underneath 2 chairs to provide me protection from being stepped on by the visiting nurses who were in and out of my wife's room all night long. That was our first born naturally. With our second child, my responsibility was toward taking care of the first born, while my wife had to handle the post-birth details by herself overnight. Normally, Lynn does not put Elly into an unsympathetic position, but this time she did, and it did make Iris' desire to stay more poignant, and oddly enough, made Elly seem a little uncaring for her father. After all, she's retired and it's not like April or Elizabeth actually need care. They both could have stayed, I think. That's neither here not there.

Today in my personal life, my boy learned how to shoot a bow and arrow for the first time as a part of a Boy Scout activity. Much to my surprise, I discovered that in one of the worst parts of town is homed an archery range with an instructor who has had 4 national champions in his tutelage. He was very good, and in the course of 1.5 hours, my boy, who has never lifted a bow and arrow in his entire life, was firing arrows down the range and hitting his target.

Then after that we went to a children's play called For the Love of 3 Oranges which is hosted by the University of Arizona Theatre Department as a part of their curriculum to train their grads with the intent of going into school drama education in doing theatre for small ones. My children complained every inch of the way down to the theatre, but fortunately enjoyed the show. It's a part of my "You will be exposed to different things if it kills me" attitude.

After all this was done, I finally got to settle into writing a Howard post snarking the John Patterson letter. I actually put this one together Lynn Johnston-style, where I started with the joke "gym" sounds like "Jim" and duplicating, to a certain degree, the language from today's strip. Then I worked backwards on how to get my character into the gym and talking to John Patterson. The John Patterson letter was so iminently snarkable, I could barely resist.

Let's see the inside joke about Everett Callahan and his fiancee and the short hair has to do with Everett being gay and preferring women with the more manly short hair. That has to do with an April's Real Blog storyline months ago about how Howard and Everett had a relationships, only Everett went off with Jennifer, Dr. Patterson's dental assistant. I should mention I got to see a little CBC documentary of Lynn Johnston back in the day when For Better or For Worse was still a new enterprise and she was not living in Corbeil. The documentary maker make a point of noticing that Dr. Rod Johnston's dental assistant was very attractive, but Rod was not distracted, or something like that. My thoughts immediately went to the infrequently seen Jennifer.

As for the railroad references, I was unable to determine an exact time when handcars went out of common use for railroad repair. They may never have, because many places still give handcar rides as a part of Railway Days Festivals. The other vehicles represented are quite old and I was unable to find their use relative to Canadian Railways, but let's just say that they were long gone in use in the States, by 1944.

Tomorrow's strip: I think back to the times when I or my children got our hands caught in doors, to see if I remember a delayed reaction like Merrie demonstrates. And guess what? Never, ever. Not even once. My wife slammed my hand in her car door pretty recently, and I can assure you I screamed immediately.


Blogger April Patterson said...

Mike is a horrible, horrible father, and yet we are supposed to think he's sympathetic. And have you noticed he's been bearing a passing resemblance to Archie Andrews lately. You did a great job, as I knew you would! :)

5:36 AM  
Blogger howard said...

Thanks for the compliment.

Today's strip just mystified me. It's like the one where Merrie broke her arm but didn't cry until Mira showed up. Then on the other hand, her fingers are coloured very red in every panel, like it is a serious pain. And Mike even calls it a big hurt. So, the delay until she cries, and the frankly, frightening facial expressions of Merrie on the way, like she is going into shock, would make me as a parent doing a lot more than delaying a hug until my child started crying. Not only did it not make me think Mike was a good parent, but it made me agree with you that he was a truly horrible parent.

As for Archie Andrews, he lacks that tic-tac-toe board on his head to get the true Archie look. But who knows, maybe that's on the way for Mike.

7:35 AM  
Blogger April Patterson said...

BTW, I meant to love on your "Mr. Andrews" a couple of days back, and Elly's side of the phone conversation. This was brilliant! :)

8:14 AM  
Blogger howard said...

Thanks for the Mr. Andrews and Elly convo compliment.

8:20 PM  

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