Now, the interesting thing about John is having to remember that for all intents and purposes, he didn't win when the strip faded to black nine years ago. He might have thought that having watching Liz walk down the aisle was a great way to end the story but for all intents and purposes, he can't be said to have much to look back on with any sort of pride. Sure, he got his daughter married off to someone who said all the right things but that isn't really the victory he thought it was. When I think of his history, I remember the following dubious accomplishments that constitute the wreckage of his past:
- His insistent belief that he's doing Elly a favour protecting her from claiming the identity she wanted and deserved had made his life worse by making her into a frustrated mess.
- His alternating between bellowing rage, seething disappointment and cravenly running away when faced with children's behaviour that doesn't entertain him has left a yawning void where memories of how he shaped their lives for the better are supposed to be.
- His tendency to judge his family by how well they perform the tasks he presumptuously assigned them and the accompanying refusal to find any interest of theirs that deviate from same has not only made him look like an arrogant twerp, it's robbed him of the opportunity to take pride in their accomplishment.
- His staff is still convinced that when April came along, he selfishly and cruelly checked out of his marriage and had to be forced back by her family under threat of violence because he breeds disrespect and suspicion by being a high-handed moron whining about how hard his lot is pretending that he cares about his wife's needs.
- His patients regard him as that distracted old fool who spent more time bitching about his home life than worrying about their teeth.
- The neighbours regard him as that ridiculous old redneck in the old-timey conductor costume who doesn't realize that he comes across as the neighbourhood short-eyes.
- Marrying Liz off to the septic pile of mommy and daddy issues called Anthony is a horrible solution to a non-existent problem.
- Thinking of himself as the victim because he's exposed to having his stupid point of view challenged makes him look like a worse moron than he already is.