Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Final Return of the Malevolent Bath Duck

Although today’s new-run of For Better or For Worse could be interpreted as an indication of how a toddler loves to splash water, but hates to be put into a bath made of the same stuff; I prefer to think of it as the toddler’s recognition of the power of the Malevolent Bath Duck.

Of course, there are those who might say that little Elizabeth has an aversion to removing her clothes which poisoned all her relationships with men and this is the first appearance of that fear. They do have their point. After all, we’ve never seen grown Elizabeth in bed with a man, even when we knew she was doing it.

There are those who might say that the strip is a demonstration of how Elly Patterson fails to learn that her daughter gets into water and so things like toilet bowls, buckets of water and cleaning solution, and Farley’s water should be guarded from her. We see Elly constantly running to stop little Lizzie, which wouldn’t be necessary if Elly learned her lesson with Lizzie after the first time.

All these things are fine and dandy. However, my money is on the duck. You see, the last time the bath duck appeared, I rejoiced over it. I wrote the Coffee Talk saying,.”Give me more bath duck” and here you have it. My wish has been granted by Lynn Johnston. In what could be one of the last new comic strips from the pen and pencil of Lynn Johnston, the bath duck and Lizzie’s rightful fear of it have been illustrated. I am a happy man.

For those you may have missed my exposition on the subject of the Malevolent Bath Duck and its horrifying end in 2002, this is the link to the original Howard Bunt Blog discussion on the matter and a link to another strip I missed the last time where we see the Malevolent Bath Duck speak.

As for the joke in the strip, Lynn Johnston is once again reusing a joke she has done before, just not with Lizzie. Here’s one with Michael. Here’s one with April. Lizzie, on the other hand, likes baths, as you can see in this strip. We have had a theme of this mischaracterization lately with Farley the dog scratching the door the way Edgar the dog did, and with Steve Nichols undermining Anne’s authority the way John Patterson does with Elly. What’s one more to add to the list?

Finally, we must show the best bath strip of all time. Guard your eyes!

6 Comments:

Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said...

It seems to me that the children have every right to fear bathtime; it would be like Elly to have the water at either too high or too low a temperature, to scrub them like they don't have silly things like nerves and to get soap in sensitive areas. Also, it doesn't help matters that she's always about one second away from swatting them on their rumps.

As for that last one, what kind of idiot gets angry at her son because he doesn't want his ying-yang used as a squeeze toy?

11:00 PM  
Blogger forworse said...

Frankly, I think the best bath strip of all time might go a long way to explaining Elizabeth's problems with men...and also Mike's need to marry someone who looks like his sister.

The squeaky bath duck says, "Wonk?" Or is that Lynn taking a dig at Rod for something?

12:00 AM  
Blogger howard said...

DreadedCandiru2,

It seems to me that the children have every right to fear bathtime; it would be like Elly to have the water at either too high or too low a temperature, to scrub them like they don't have silly things like nerves and to get soap in sensitive areas.

When we have had Elly scrubbing Michael, it always seemed to me like one of those cruel bathings of children like you would see in a film adaptation of a Dicken’s novel.

As for that last one, what kind of idiot gets angry at her son because he doesn't want his ying-yang used as a squeeze toy?

An idiot who not only doesn’t have a ying-yang, but doesn’t like squeezing ying-yangs.

6:15 AM  
Blogger howard said...

forworse,

Frankly, I think the best bath strip of all time might go a long way to explaining Elizabeth's problems with men...and also Mike's need to marry someone who looks like his sister.

There is so much in it that explains the characters over the years. It’s one of the reasons why it is the best bath strip of all time.

The squeaky bath duck says, "Wonk?" Or is that Lynn taking a dig at Rod for something?

It’s one of those strips that makes you wonder if a squeaky bath duck is one of those things which Lynn Johnston has never personally experienced.

6:16 AM  
Blogger FDChief said...

Or how about this; your little girl likes to play in the water, Elly. So how 'bout you make her tubby-time an extension of playtime? Give her lots of toys, let her splash and play with her, forget about the mess for a little bit and just enjoy your daughter when she's little? Soon enough she'll be grown and gone and you'll be alone shaving sheets.

Of course, this assumes that Elly LIKES her kids, and we know that instead she thinks of them as imps from hell whose infernal goal is to torment her with mess.

Oh, and just a parental note: babies and small toddlers will play in the toilet if they aren't well supervised. But older toddlers - that is, children Nizzie's age - who understand what the toilet is for will avoid touching it at all costs other than to sit on it to excrete.

The notion that Elly's/Lynn's small child would splash in the toilet is the sort of nonsense a 60ish woman with a toilet fetish would imagine as humorous.

1:41 PM  
Blogger howard said...

FDChief,

Give her lots of toys, let her splash and play with her, forget about the mess for a little bit and just enjoy your daughter when she's little?

I have to admit, I do miss those times with my kids, who are shower children now. When they were little and old enough to use the full-size bathtub, I used to bathe them and then let them play with bath toys as long as they wanted or until the water got cold, whichever came first. Sometimes, if they had gotten particularly filthy, a good soak was the only way to get some of that grime off them.

Oh, and just a parental note: babies and small toddlers will play in the toilet if they aren't well supervised.

We never experienced that, because my kids grew up in the age of toilet locks. My kids’ favourite toilet pastime was running the toilet paper off the roll and onto the floor, and they loved to flush. I do not recollect them ever playing with toilet water, but I suppose they might have done that, if we didn’t have the toilet locks.

The notion that Elly's/Lynn's small child would splash in the toilet is the sort of nonsense a 60ish woman with a toilet fetish would imagine as humorous.

She does have a toilet fetish. After all, this is not the first new-run featuring Lizzie and a toilet.

3:32 PM  

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