Sometimes I think the real reason that Lynn Johnston wrote Farley the dog into the strip was so she would have something to use as a regular comparison to John Patterson. Today’s reprint in For Better or For Worse
is yet another in the “John is like a dog” series, last seen in this strip from June 19.
In this case, the comparison for point of humour is that John, who claims he could probably eat the same thing every day is like Farley, who eats the same dog chow every day. As John says, “Surely there are others like me!” we see Farley munching away on the chow. So, the joke is that John’s preferred eating habits are like that of a dog.
Unfortunately, anyone who is a dog owner knows, the comparison is not a fair one. Dogs munch on the same chow every day, not usually by choice. If Elly were to offer the coq au vin and the beef stroganoff of yesterday’s strip to Farley, she would probably find that Farley would eat both of them with little difficulty. After all, this is the same dog who was so desperate for food, he scented out Easter eggs to eat
which were hidden in a number of unusual locations.
If John wants to meet someone who really is like him, I recommend he chat with Don Gorske
, renowned Big Mac enthusiast. Now, there is a man who eats the same thing every day. In fact, I am little like John Patterson. There are a few restaurants in Tucson, I really like and there are a few dishes on their menu I really like, and so a lot of times I end up ordering the same thing from those restaurants whenever I go there. If I apply the same philosophy to John Patterson, he may be saying, “I could probably eat the same thing every day” while he is thinking, “There are only a few things Elly makes I can stand to eat.”
On a side note, I enjoy the fact that Elly is carrying that big bowl of fruit. Even though John is talking about food, I wouldn’t be surprised if that fruit is for decoration only, especially considering how well the Pattersons recently handled a banana
I also enjoy the artistic use of the counter. It appears that Lynn Johnston does not want to draw the lower half of John’s body. In the first 2 panels, John’s lower body is off panel, and in the last 2 panels, she has essentially replaced his lower body with the counter.
On the plus side, this strip is one of a few where Elly appears but does not say anything. Although the comparison with Farley is there, it is never stated directly. Eventually Lynn Johnston will find Elly’s screaming when she is upset to be funnier than these slow burns Elly used in today’s strip. Personally, I find the slow burns to be funnier.