dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
I should think it's pretty safe to assume that to most of you, the phrase "creepy stalker" is something of a tautology. Even if the stalker means no harm, the fact that he or she doesn't seem to quite understand that he or she is violating his or her target's personal space isn't romantic as much as it an unsettling reminder that this person simply doesn't understand any sort of social norm. It's hard to trust or like someone who might not be aware that s/he comes across less as a love interest and more as a threat to one's person. When one remembers that the reason that Liz rejected Anthony and Howard Erk in turn because they were not model handsome, it would seem that perhaps Lynn does not quite understand this social norm herself.

We get something of proof of this when Michael shadows Martha and Rhetta in turn for days on end because he cannot work up the nerve to do what he thinks of as his rightful role and 'dominating' the relationship. Lynn would have us see him as a shy boy who's afraid of getting hurt. The reality is that his romantic life is hampered by the same mental infirmity that has him at odds with Elly: he's too blasted stupid and passive to think of what to do on his own but thinks that any woman who tells him what to do is out of line because he's supposed to be calling the shots 'cause he's got a penis.

This would be bad enough in and of itself had it not become the template for all relationships that we see. Eric, Warren, Paul and Anthony all stalked Liz and I'm pretty sure that if we were to take a look at the past, Elly would look back at her past and see a familiar gangly shape in the background of all manner of photos from before she was aware of John's existence.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
The very interesting thing about the looming "adolescent children are always upset over nothing at all" thing we're about to be subjected to is that we're about to deal with a grievance that baffles me as much today as it did twenty-nine years ago. We're introduced to said confusing casus belli when Martha says her name in a mocking tone of voice and starts screaming about how an old lady name that belonged to someone who's dead doesn't at all suit her. This leads Michael to grouse about how he's gotta be named after some old person he never met either and how that clearly means that parents decide to name their children things to ruin their lives.

As I sit here and wonder exactly how fruitless it would have been to try to get the nitwits to explain what the Hell their folks were supposed to name them and why they'd still be the same dreary clodhoppers living the same dismally boring existences were their names Tyler and Britney, it occurs to me that we're dealing with the same sort of messed up logic that informs Mike's over-reaction to the discovery that Elly used to play guitar in public. As we're about to see in about a years' time, his unreasonable reasoning is

1) Mom used to go out in public and do things.
2) Said things will get me teased if they're discovered.
3) Therefore, she must have done them to get me teased because the alternative is understanding that she couldn't be asked to care about the social standing of someone who didn't exist at the time.

because of

4) Mike is too stupid to understand that the not yet born don't get a vote.

This means that instead of adhering to a cultural norm in order to conform, their parents were deliberately trying to hurt them because the alternative is admitting to being stupid and vain. It's like how they'll probably grow up to assume the same thing Elly does: children only pretend to have feelings to wreck their parents' lives.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
The irritating thing about having to watch Michael fret and fume about how miserable a time he had at Kamp Kawkawa and how no one likes him at all much there either and how everyone but him seems to get into trouble is that he's viewing life through the Michael filter and thus cannot see what's really happening around him. As it will be towards the end of next month when he's baffled and horrified by the fact that Elly isn't going to smilingly take verbal abuse like she would on television, the deluded donkey with the thinning hair doesn't especially want to face the fact that behaving as if life were television is why his own life is worse than it should be.

First off, no one is going to be applaud his cleverness for starting a rumor that they serve road kill for lunch. While he smiles along evilly at the prospect of people being revolted by the possibility, what the moron doesn't see is that they're going to be miffed by being tricked so some jerk can have fun at their expense and not want anything to do with someone as crass, selfish and unconcerned with their opinion as he is.

Second, he doesn't especially want to have to admit that the people in charge of the camp aren't cartoon characters with their heads shoved up their asses. My initial reaction to his giddy discovery that a hole had been chewed in the wall of the girls' shower was to assume that if he knew about it, it was pretty much guaranteed that his calling his bunkmates' attention to that followed the camp director's discovery of same by at least three hours. If Lynn hadn't wanted so very much to give Elly a reason to want to throttle Michael because she can't see the kids who dare him to do stupid things, she would have had him moan "Aw, MAN!!!!" because it had been boarded over by the time they got there.

Third, of course, is having to remember that Mike doesn't learn things from his mistakes because doing so would mean admitting that television and movies lie to him about what life is like. If he were to admit that, he'd have to look back on his life in regret and despair because of all the wreckage left behind by his bad case of cathode ray poisoning.

dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Something odd happened when we were looking at the "Let's melt our brains in a big box" arc. That odd thing is that Mike didn't actually seem to understand that the girl that, for some reason or another, seems to hang around Brian's house like she lived there or some junk had a name. This led to the revelation that he can only seem to remember the names of two people in Liz's social circle: Candace because she gave Liz a hard time and Anthony because he's a dude. Otherwise, they seem to be nameless and irrelevant because, well, of a mental block he's still got: an inability to see little girls as being, well, PEOPLE.

This is furthered by his breezy declaration that he and Brian had to stop Lizzie and the girls from taking over his Fortress Of Dying Of Heat Stroke Because Moving It Into The Shade Also Means That She Wins. Rather than see a person, he looks at Dawn and sees the leading edge of a semi-human horde come to girl up frying their cerebral cortices in a refrigerator box and thus ruining it for everyone. Giving her a name would make her a person and that would mean that Lizzie was one too and that would be awful.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
To plod grimly on from last time, having to remember that most of the reason Mike was attracted to Martha is that they can be sour jerks together is remembering why he was loaded with self-pity in the first place: his angry realization that unlike the other sheep, he seemed to be having a miserable time at the stooopid camp his evil, tyrannical parents had packed him off to because they hate him and fun and life and happiness and, for some reason, love that stoopid, useless GIRL who invaded his home and all the other gloomy crap the dumbass spouts non-stop. No one, you see, seemed to really like him as a person but instead just used him as a source of cheap entertainment. This is because of something that still seems to have eluded the dimwit and been a detriment to his enjoying life.

This thing that The Delicate Genius can never quite seem to realize is that for him to be liked, other people would have to actually want to like him. The first time people took serious notice of him was, I should think, his standing around squealing about unfairness when the camp counselor read him the riot act for lousing up meal time by telling people that they served roadkill. They were enjoying supper up until that jerk Patterson made a nasty little prick of himself for his own horrible amusement. We follow that up with his being squawking annoyance yowling non-stop about the unfairness and cruelty of activities they were trying to enjoy as well as his groaning about how terrible it is that unlike in the movies, people aren't going to praise him for his cleverness and daring in poking his stupid head in the girls' shower any more than they're going to line up and take the fall because he's too stupid to get out of trouble's way. Simply put, no one really notices or cares if he's not around because he makes camp a more oppressive place to live. This fits a general pattern of his being too fucking dumb to notice what he's doing to piss people around him off only to turn around and wonder why they say he's got a bad attitude.

This would be bad enough on its own but since he's an extension of the personality of a woman with the same irritating blind spot, it's sadly obvious that none of the cast realize why they're on the outside looking in socially. It's just that the female characters have help being dimwitted isolates that makes them look more social than the male.
dreadedcandiru2: (Royally Peeved Candiru)
At some point during the arc that leads up to the kids being packed off to summer camp, Brian suggests behaving as if he and Mike had a brain in their heads and simply letting the girls hang out in the box because it's too blasted hot to just stew in the stupid thing being a dog in a manger. Mike would rather not give up something he claimed as his because he would rather not have something happen to him. Said thing is having to be enslaved by that cruel, anti-kid thing Mom and Dad want to torture him with and make him admit that he should never laugh or smile or want to be loved called "common sense."

You see, to an outside observer, Mike is an irrational twit who brings trouble on himself by blaming Lizzie for his mother's idiotic refusal to see that she actually doesn't treat both of them equally and never intended to matters. Said disinterested but sympathetic stranger would see that if Mike would simply let his stupid, self-destructive and irrational grudge go, he'd be a lot happier. The problem is that Mike is a melodramatic half-wit with a persecution complex, a yearning for unearned praise, a belief that he's a lot more important and cool and smart than he really is and an inability to really understand what's going on around him and what people are thinking. He really does think that Liz decided to be born on purpose out of sheer malice and that he's expected to admit that he really is an unwanted burden no one should love and that he really shouldn't have expected to want all the good things that everyone but him is allowed to have. Since people don't actually learn much from history (which explains why there's so much of it), we can expect to slouch uneasily towards an indeterminate future in which he makes showier gestures of post-mortem filial piety just to shove her out of the way because she deserves to be mistreated for wanting to ruin him.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we know, most of the time we're going to be seeing Michael in the next few years, we're going to be seeing an insanely inadequate boyfriend. I refuse point-blank to set up headers that reference his belief that any hindrance to his getting what he wants when he wants from Martha it no matter what the cost to her is actually her playing a game with him. I rebel at his insistence that she expose herself to risks that he shrinks from. I will not sit there and watch him howl about his heart being pulled from his chest and stomped on because she doesn't like being taken for granted and dumps his stupid ass. I cannot and will not deal with his craven need to repay her loyalty by believing the worst of her while still seeing himself as the injured party. I just can't do that.

What I can do is remind us that he's not just a crappy boyfriend. He's also a sullen dimwit who's convinced that he's smarter, cooler and more grown-up than he actually is. Watching a moron twelve year old arrogate to himself the rank of adult because he picked up the wrong message from John's warped remix of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch (the one in which John, having managed to trick himself into believing that fetching Daddy's slippers for a quarter actually did mean that he washed a big-ass car at the age of four so Mike doesn't know what work is) is almost as hilarious as John being an older version of the kid from the Erma Bombeck essay that had her older kid tell her younger one that his walk to the bus stop looked like something out of a sword-and-sorcery picture.

What I can also do is point out that the ridiculous asshole of a teenager spends a lot of time as a sulking infant who thinks that growing up means having the ability to enjoy life removed because his dipshit parents think that if they're caught smiling, their ability to be taken seriously goes zippa-dee-doo-dah. It also delights me to set up threads that point out that the dumb sack of shit is gonna die not getting over the fact that his parents had another child. Even unto the last days, he never wants to admit that she didn't conspire to be born to ruin his life because that would mean something cruel and terrible. Said cruel and terrible thing is not that he's not the center of the fucking universe. Said cruel and terrible thing is that he's cruel and terrible.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As history teaches us, a lot of the more self-defeating and destructive things Elly manages to waste her time have as their source Elly sacrificing her time, energy and dignity because she's convinced herself of a three-part Thing That Is Not Actually So. First, she believes that the pointless waste of time is something that a nebulously defined group other people expect of her. Second, she believes that she must do so in order to reassure these phantoms that she can be taken seriously. Third, she must never ask herself if they actually care or if their opinion really matters worth a damn.

The reason that I do this is that Michael proves himself to be his mother's son by falling into the same damned trap. Deep down, he knows that his need to treat Liz like shit makes his life worse and makes him look like a weak baby screaming about having to share his toys. The reason that isn't the need not to be the bad guy that keeps him from admitting this to himself comes from the same damned stupid place that made him send Martha an insulting gross-out Valentine's like a muttonhead. Simply put, he needs to be one of The Guys more than he needs to be thought of as a worthy boyfriend or a likable and trustworthy son because he's too fucking dumb to understand that it could well be that The Guys are actually laughing at him behind his back for being a jackass who fucks his life up trying to prove himself. It might delight his 'friends' that he messes up his love-life being a moron or gets in shit he doesn't need bullying his sister but you can't tell someone that dumb and needy that. It'd be like trying to tell his mom that people mock her for acting bigger than she really is.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
The VERY interesting thing about watching Mike stand there and get lectured about how, despite his unshaking and unshakable belief otherwise, people aren't actually all bit performers content to be bystanders in the drama of the life of Michael T Patterson, Axis About Which This World Rotates is having to notice the real reason why the editor took apart his very good story: someone had to come in after the fact and tell the city editor who the Hell crashed in the first place!!!

That's right, people! Michael had the one job (find out what's happening and who it's happening to) and Mister "The Living Buried The Dead" was too busy being a pompous, grandstanding twerp to bother actually doing it. Not, of course, that Lynn or the Pattersons see it that way. Just as when a Patterson blurts out a brainless pseudoprofundity about how prairie and prayer HAVE to be connected, she's wise beyond her years instead of being a ferblondzhet idiot with an advanced case of recto-cranial loopback, we have to deal with the following truism:

The more obviously inept a Patterson is at what he or she is supposed to do, the more we are supposed to believe in his or her being scarily competent and also too awesome to actually live.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Every so often, we end up dealing with the unsettling realization that Michael tends to think that The World That Is is a show put on for his exclusive benefit. This is why the dumb-ass makes unsettling comments about how wartime footage of people dying should have been in colour so it could entertain him more. The notion that what he sees as the ciphers being blasted to stir his senses because that's what they're there for were people like himself seems very much to elude him because he has an extreme case of what they call the air-gap problem in that if he cannot feel someone else's pain, it is foolish (as well as a real bring-down) to state that it can exist.

This, I should think, is why his world got rocked when it was revealed to him that Anonymous Car Crash Victim (who failed of her sole purpose in life because his story got reduced to a few lines of print) turned out to have been someone he actually knew. While John tried to explain to him that no one is 'just another person' and while it sure looked like it sunk in, it really kind of did not. This is because, well, it's damned hard for Mike to come to any sort of realization that might intimate that to most of the human race, he's "Dark-haired white guy who uses too much hair gel" or "that goof who acts like the same kind of God-damned hillbilly his parents did." He can cope with the destruction of flowers in his way because there are plenty more where they came from. He cannot deal with the idea that outside the charmed circle of the Pattersons' world, he's just another guy.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
One of the odder things about the sleep-over arc is that we remind ourselves that Michael doesn't really change all that much as a person when he gets older when he boasts about how much bigger and smarter than Elizabeth is only to stand around looking like a pole-axed ewe when someone comes along and asks him to assume adult responsibilities. While I don't know of anything that isn't having the memory of a goldfish that explains John and Elly's being surprised that he wants to be as big as an adult but still be treated like a small child with less responsibility but I do know that Middle Years Mike is still really the kid who wishes Lizzie was born first so he wouldn't have things asked of him.

Since this sort of thing keeps on happening to him and since his reaction is always first be totally blindsided by the expectation that his maturity be proven by a mowed lawn and then to assume that his parents hate fun and happiness and want him to hate it too, we're still dealing with the dumb little bastard who flew off the handle accusing everyone but himself of being part of a plot to humiliate him when he was asked to assume responsibility when he did something dim. Again, he doesn't really change much but a fixation on his chronological age and physical size keeps his moron parents from seeing this.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we're about to see, Mike tends to not notice certain things about the clean-up phase of the storm because he's never been especially aware of his immediate surroundings. The same boy who's about to wonder why his family is mad because he made an obnoxious jerk of himself is racing around not seeming to see people shoveling out their cars. The reason is that he's simply not especially all that bright a person. The problem is that Elly would rather not believe that Mike is a stupid little boy who doesn't understand what's going on around him. She would rather believe that he's evil and doesn't care because it makes her life worse and that's a really high priority for a melodramatic twit like her.

We're going to see that soon when Lizzie has another episode of brain failure. We know that Lizzie is too dumb to anticipate what swining the milkbag is going to do because we remember that Elly is raising a family of pliable dimwits who come to her with every little thing. Elly still thinks that she deliberately planned to be as dumb as shit to make her pooooooooor mother's life harder because that's where her idiocy leads her.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
I told a bit of a lie the other day when I said that Mike doesn't change much next year. This is because when Martha makes the scene, he mutates from the dumbass who seems to think that Elly's need for a life that doesn't rotate around catering to his whims is a war crime to a dimwit who can't understand what he's doing to make himself an unpalatable fool of a boyfriend. What best symbolizes the whole stupid mess is that damned Valentine he gives Martha and why he doesn't admit that he done fucked up one time too many.

We start things off with him buying the damned thing in the first place and deciding that he cannot risk ridicule by the guys by buying a mushy Valentine that would get him teased and also, gushy stuff isn't him so clearly, Martha will love what he buys her because it's him. What is clearly happening is that, as always, he refuses to let common sense or what other people might actually expect of him or actually like get in the way of making a decision.

Since he's got a rancid baked potato for a brain, Martha's inevitable angry reaction to his mind-blowingly stupid and insulting card is not taken well. Rather than admit that he has to do something to make up for brainlessly hurting her feelings and making her feel small, the idiot smacks himself on the head with a basketball so he can focus and makes everything her fault because she is clearly trying to dominate and confuse and trap him by making him admit that he has to think about other peoples' feelings and not just do whatever he pleases. It's sort of like how it never penetrated his thick skull that no, Elly isn't a robot plopped on the Earth's surface to clean up after him because he's programmed for oblivious, entitled selfishness and screaming about victimization when asked to give as well as to take. Eventually, she decides that she can do better than this stupid manchild and is punished for not wanting to immolate herself on the pyre of his pea-brained ego by living the horrible life Phil wanted Connie to have because he's a stupid piece of shit who can't take rejection either.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about watching the Patterson children manage to bum a car from a parent is that how they pay for gas tells us how they'll handle money later on in life. About ten years from the current strip, we'll be dealing with the fact that Liz wound up paying for gas when she drove her friends around because she was too 'nice' to tell Dawn and Shawna-Marie that she felt as if they were taking advantage of her generosity. It mattered not that their idea of sharing the load meant paying for things at their destination, she really wanted to go Dutch but couldn't bring herself to actually say so. This means that present day Liz is probably eating big bills she doesn't want to pay because actively telling people that their behaviour is a bad thing if they have enough power to fight back.

Let's contrast her with her ugly brother. As we know, Mike never returned the car with a full tank because his experience was that it always magically filled up every time he got to use it. This is because the Delicate Genius doesn't understand that money he doesn't spend is really real to the person supporting his stupidity. As far as he knew, his parents were making unreasonable demands on him because they didn't believe in the Petrol Fairy. This blank-witted irresponsibility with money is, I should think, why he and Deanna were treading water until the family managed to get someone competent and male to take over his finances. While Deanna is smart enough to 'keep' her bum husband, he won't listen to her but will trust Gordon's pal....which means that the Settlepocalypse had to happen so that Anthony would want to be a bookkeeper for a moron.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
You might have noticed over the years that Jim and Michael never actually got along all that well. Jim seemed to see the boy as a television-obsessed clod who had no real time for his granddad and Mike seemed to see just another old person wanting to keep him down. The reason that I mention this is that I remember a failed attemopt at bonding in which Mike wanted to learn cool stuff about the war only to be disappointed and feel like Gramps failed him somehow. This points to the following three facts:

1) Mike spent his life counting on his grandfather to provide him cool stories of battle to boast about to his pals.

2) Jim hated talking about the damned war.

3) This means that Mike thinks that his granddad let him down; eventually, he called a sick man crazy because he's stupid.

as to why they never really connected. While April was smart enough to figure out Fact 2, Mike never was.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Since tomorrow, we remember those who died to preserve our freedoms from enemies without, it behooves us to have to remember that Michael has always had a rather poor grasp of what Jim had to go through. As we'll see next year, Mike looks at footage of men dying in the Battle of Britain or carrier warfare or some other example of the crimson results of the failure of the politicians to keep the peace and wishes it were in colour. While it's clear that Elly thinks he's a ghoul who's a fan of violent death and as well as being actively indifferent to the plight of widows and orphans, this might not be the case.

This is becase it seems to me that Michael is unable to quite understand that World War Two wasn't some sort of movie. In his experience as a passive box-watcher, the man who got gunned down like a dog on last week's police procedural is a comic hindrance on this week's office comedy and a bit player in something else the week after that. This means that we're dealing with something of an immature mind that can't really understand how death works. He doesn't quite manage to see the suffering as real because the maniac thinks that life is a drama put on for his amusement....which makes him a far worse person than the ghoul Elly thinks he is.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we all know, the depressing idiot Michael still insists that Liz had all the mean-spirited crap he dished out coming because she was cuter than he was. Since he's too stupid to realize that his being a pain in the ass who never met a dare he wouldn't take, his hatred of sharing and his inability to want to admit that his mother is a person too is why no one likes him, he thinks that he's the victim of a plot to ruin him because admitting that he's a jackass who needs to have the sullen, stupid, counter-productive and quite inappropriate pride kicked out of him.

The reason that I mention this is that every so often, learning impaired Mike ran into Lizzie's fist when his being a malicious clodhopper who thought that she wasn't allowed to be happy because his band of scruffy vermin would tease him if he behaved like a human being instead of an inflamed boil. What always happened went something like this:

1) Mike says something stupid and demeaning when a decent human being would shut his yap.

2) Liz gut-punches him.

3) He thought-bubbles that 'weaker sex' doesn't apply to his sister.

4) He promptly forgets this because learning things is a humiliation he cannot survive.

5) Goto 1. Repeat forever.

Since he's got a baked potato where a brain's supposed to go, he's probably wondering why his kids don't get along; after all, he's doing right by Eatdirt and telling him that women are objects so what could be wrong?
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As you will recall, one of the things that really made a mess of Mike's romantic entanglements is his inflated self-image. As what I called Foob Fact Seven mandates, Mike believed that he was a much better catch than he actually was; while we saw a paranoid, touchy ignoramus with an inability to trust, forgive or understand, Mike still manages to blame all the mess Martha is going through now on being mean to the coolest kid ever.

The reason that I mention this is that it also makes him something of a pain in the ass to raise. While John and Elly are content to blame this on his reaching a certain age, history teaches us that his mistaken belief that he was being held back by parents who didn't want to admit that he was their peer has always made his life a mess. What he's at pains to avoid admitting is that his belief that he looks like an adult is so much nonsense because it would mean admitting something he doesn't want to. It means admitting that people who ain't gonna shut up about it are right for the wrong damned reasons. It's one thing to be an arrogant goof who thinks he's ready for things he ain't; it's quite another to be bossed around by nitwit parents who make that the case owing to what we can call

Foob Fact Forty-Eight B: Since Elly and John would far rather win arguments at any cost because they inflate the downside of letting their kids be right about something, the result of their damn-the-consequences belief that they have to win all the time has created passive idiot children who, despite their belief otherwise, can't cope with life's demands.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we all know, Lynn appears to have been going to a real "boy next door" thing by pairing Christopher off with Liz before her questionable decision to more or less write Anne's children out of the strip because she couldn't bear to look at someone who "tolerated" infidelity. What got lost in the transition to Anthony is the fact that history teaches us that Richard hates Lizzie and does his damnedest to be a shit to her because he can. From being a malicious pile of crap to her about ice cream and chores to being a rat-bastard about swings and missing dogs, it's clear that he shares Michael's yearning that Lizzie would somehow disappear forever and make his life good and keep him from having everything taken away from him and all the other crap he spouts when he's told to grow up and stop expecting to be coddled.

If Lynn had pursued this, we would have been reminded of another of my Foob Facts:

Foob Fact Forty: Michael suffers from confused thinking and believes that Elizabeth is somehow to blame for his life being 'bad' because he doesn't understand that correlation does not mean causation; this results in his daffy belief that if she were to be made to disappear, he would be treated better.

when it would be revealed that Richard suffered from the misapprehension that Lizzie wants to take his brother away from him and ruin his life and be mean to him because he's the same sort of crazy-as-a-shithouse-rat idiot Mike and Jeremy turned out to be. Were that to be the case, he'd be just another idiot male with fragility issues.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about the real Cruikshank family is that they have three daughters. The other interesting fact is that they're much the same age as Kate and Aaron are. This is why whenever Cousin Laura appeared, she seemed to be just a little older than the Patterson child she was calling a clodhopper. What this tells us is that something entertaining is happening that the Patterson family are too dim to realize: Bev and Danny also have three daughters. For the sake of convenience, let's call them Karen, Laura and Melanie. They look similar enough that someone not especially familiar with their family would confuse them with one another and none of the three of them especially loved playing baby-sitter because their idiot uncle from the big city was too big of a girl's blouse to deal with the alleged out-of-control behaviour of his slug-like imbecile offspring.

This led the three of them to formulate a plan to prank the moron city folk; said plan involves their conceit that whatever 'Laura' stuck Foob-sitting is an only child. Since idiot Mike and clueless Liz are almost attentive as their moron parents, the gag is a viable one and since by the time the Martian showed up, Karen and the real Laura had moved elsewhere, it seemed appropriate to just let the idiots from the city go right on being ignorant. It should be noted that John was probably as big an asshole as an older brother as he is a father and husband so it's easy to see why Bev and Danny would get in on the fun. After all, there's nothing farm people love better than putting one over on city folk. The success of the Letters From Wingfield Farms series of plays is testament to that.

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