Monday, June 08, 2009

Love Your Uvula

I wondered if there would be a comic strip response to Miley Cyrus cutting her uvula back in January. Little did I suspect it would be Lynn Johnston with this reprint in today’s For Better or For Worse. Young Miss Cyrus temporarily lost her voice from a simple cut to her uvula coming from a piece of chicken she ate. In the strip, it’s a lucky thing for little Michael Patterson that his fist is too big to fit in his mouth, or he may have had a similar problem. Of course, I am sure comic strip Michael would not be injured if he actually did pull on his uvula. Real humans could do some damage. Fortunately for Lynn Johnston, there are almost no kids in her readership anymore; so the likelihood of a little kid reading the strip and deciding to imitate Michael is remote.

The whole idea of the strip makes me cringe. My late uncle was reputed to be a fabulous singer as a young man. He never completely recovered his singing voice when his university voice professor decided one day to make a point by grabbing his tongue and yanking. It effectively ended his potential career as a professional singer and he was forced to change his major to music education from music performance. That was a tongue and this is a uvula, but grabbing anything in a mouth sets me off.

As for the theme of the strip, this isn’t the first time in the strip Michael Patterson has been susceptible to a dare by Lawrence Poirier. To me, the oddest part of the strip is in the final panel of the strip. Lawrence seems to be completely unfazed when he is caught by Elly Patterson. He mockingly opens his mouth to show Elly his uvula, when Michael implicates him. It’s hard to believe this is the same kid who was afraid of waking the mothers when he was going to the bathroom in the strip storyline last week. The more I see these reprints from the first year of the strip, the more I realize that Lynn Johnston portrayed Michael as the violent kid who acts without thinking, and portrayed Lawrence as the smarter, but more mischievous of the two.


Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said...

This dynamic, sadly, persisted for years; the first few pages of "What, Me Pregnant?" contain an arc that had Liz lock Mike out of the Pattermanse because he wouldn't apologize for an act of the thoughtless and selfish hatefulness I associate with the smarmy microbe. Lawrence's constant exhortations to think things through seemed to me to be designed to spur him to being even more mindlessly furious. I also remember how he met up with Martha; she, too, was an idiot who constantly got rooked into humiliating herself by believing lying promises of friendship.

3:06 AM  
Blogger howard said...

The interesting thing is that eventually, the violent Michael as a child becomes the Michael who avoids confrontation at all costs. Or, in other words, Michael become less like Lynn Johnston's son, and more like her idealized version of him.

10:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home