dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about the upcoming month is not that we're going to have Elly be baffled that the son she thinks is rejecting her is still pathetically dependent on her. What we're going to be dealing with is John's need to have an ego-gratifying toy collide with Ted trying to get John to be a worthless and disgusting cheating cheater who cheats because cheaters are a menace to marriage and goodness and so on and so forth. This, of course, is only laying the ground-work for the last stage of the irritating soap-operatic revenge fantasy Lynn wanted to mutate the strip into back when she wanted to have John cheat on Elly with Sue the Librarian.

This is why the man has degenerated into a cartoon villain incapable of quite seeing that other people have feelings and the right to feel as if they matter as well. In two or three months, he'll be moaning about how people ascribed too much meaning to things that he didn't want to mean anything because he's basically a stupid kid who won't see the other person's point of view. Eventually, he'll become a dirty old man who gets laughed at by women who don't want to date some old fogey in a leisure suit. That'll teach him to think that Elly isn't a demigod who he has to obey.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Since we're about a week or so away from the revelation that Ted married Irene because he believed that since Connie had moved on, he had to as well, let's remind ourselves what function she actually did play. When first introduced, she seemed to be little more than a cipher meant to absorb tactless comments about being the other woman. A year and a half later, she was pretty much a mnemonic device who existed to remind us that Ted seemed to be incapable of realizing that his stupid alley-catting around might present a problem for the women he stepped out on. When last heard of, she seemed to play the part of a reminder that Ted never did quite understand this at all and somehow managed to blame his misery on her for not knowing that since the women he coupled with in his campaign to alter the gene pool in the Golden Horseshoe meant nothing at all to him, she too should find his sex with them as meaningless as he did.

You'll notice that there's not much room for a personality in there and, as his Liography indicates, it seems to be that one wasn't a requirement. When you translate words like "efficient" and "practical" into English, what you're left with is the disturbing image of Ted engaging in the moral equivalent of marrying a Dictaphone. Hell, Lynn even as much as confessed that Irene was meant to be little more than a plot device to show us that anyone who'd dare to not cower in fear when Elly rants like a God-damned maniac is bad meat in a can and unfit to live in the world of steady, regular life. It's much like how Warren and Paul were both completely unsuitable for Liz because they had the evil capacity to evilly take John aside and evilly tell him "Look, Skeletor, I'm twice your size and sick of your pompous and ignorant beefing about stuff you don't know jackshit about so any more of your damned attitude and so help me, I'll break you in half." Just as Anthony is a great guy because he's the only person on the planet someone like John could own, Ted's inability to stay married to a fireplug in a dress is there to remind us that he's too self-absorbed to have mature relationships. 
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As you know, Ted's reaction to the realization that yes, Connie had for some unfathomable reason decided for whatever reason woman decide things that she had fallen in love with someone who wasn't him was to marry his secretary Irene. Things seemed to him to be chugging along in their own merry way when, according to him, he was taken by surprise by her having left him and making reference to a divorce lawyer. Worse still, his old buddy John said that it was all his fault because of his harmless act of engaging in meaningless extra-marital sex with anything that had a pulse. The conclusion that he seemed to draw from this is that his settling down was the mistake and that women did things for bizarre reasons that seemed to be designed to limit his freedom of action.

The lesson we are supposed to draw from this is that Ted witlessly doomed himself because he simply refused to understand the world in which he lived. As I've said before, he never seemed to have gotten it through his thick skull that the women he ran around on had feelings that got hurt or that the mother who seemed to not want to have a daughter-in-law cramping her style didn't know best after all. When last seen in the strip, he'd devolved into a creepy old man hitting on people Liz's age to the disgust of her and her peers and the simmering rage of the up-and-coming young men having to deal with some ludicrous hold-over from the seventies in a polyester leisure suit stinking up the place. This, I should think, is Lynn's ultimate means of giving a huge middle finger to the first husband she'd driven away by having a harmless friendship and not at all emotional affair with the soon-to-be second. Rather than admit to being the bad guy, she'd made the other guy look like a sap.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about this particular Christmas is that we're pretty much at the end of the horrible revenge fantasy soap opera thing. That's because we finally get the component needed to make it right: Connie revealing that she has traded up from Ted. While it's a while until we actually meet Greg (and get reminded that Elly sees him as a saviour because he keeps evil Ted at bay), what we do learn is that Connie is on her way to a happy new life while Ted gets to wallow in despair because he Let A Good Thing Slip Away.

This seems to be why it is that his attempt to do a sort of rebound thing fails. After all, it's one thing for him to actually marry his secretary because he has no option left. Making it work out and making him learn his lesson would be too much like not kicking him when he's doing and not getting all angry at the real men who didn't buy what Lynn's selling. This means that even though he does seem to have settled down, his yearning for a freedom that's a lie is always supposed to hamper his chances at real happiness.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As the revenge fantasy that is the collapse of any chance Ted might have at having the strict monogamy required to make him a human being we're supposed to respect continues on, we have to face the fact that any attempt to remind him that his mother's opinion about anyone who'd take her baby boy away from her and leave her to die alone and unforgotten and what are these odd things called grandchildren that the women in her bridge club keep talking about is doomed to failure because John loves to use the one phrase guaranteed to make people stop listening to him: "The trouble with you is....."

The reason for this is that people who do that tend to not realize that they don't actually know what the problem with the other person actually is. The problem that Ted currently has is that he's about to realize that Connie was primarily interested in him for his money. While Lynn clearly entertained the fantasy of telling a penitent Doug that he missed his chance and has to suffer for having left her for a big-busted brunette, the message she's actually sending by having her fall for a much richer banker is Ted's love is as nothing as to Greg's money. John is too busy listening to the very biased and very ignorant Elly's take on events and viewing his alleged friend through the prism of his own issues to see him for what he is and his situation for what it is. While he does later go on to be dead on about Ted's idiotic refusal to admit that no, Irene shouldn't be expected to keep house while he plays around because all his protestations  that the flings were meaningless does is make her question her own meaning to him.

In the here and now, however, John has done nothing but antagonize his drinking buddy by telling him that what he thinks is wrong with him is actually what's wrong with him. Connie was quite willing to be with Ted until his letting Mommy do his thinking for him and fear of leaving Mommy to her own devices like a 'bad' son made the situation untenable so blathering away witlessly about what he can't have adds insult to injury. 
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about the upcoming week is that we're going to be dealing with the Grade Z soap opera plot-line that always seems to take place whenever Ted makes the scene. What happened this time is that our boy reacted to his having to pay the price for being a jackass by driving to Thunder Bay to make a fool of himself begging Connie to take him and his weak bullshit back into his life. No matter how often she refuses to entertain the notion of having the simpleton mess with her emotions and no matter how clear John makes it that he's got no one but himself to blame for his heartache, our boy is probably only now realizing that his many weaknesses have made his love life a hideous chaos. To reveal why this is and why he, unlike someone else I can think of, is a bad person for being slow to admit that a woman is a person too, let's remind ourselves of what we do and don't know about him.

First off, let's deal with the fact that his name is inconsistently spelled. While in the real world, it's a reminder that Lynn doesn't keep notes, in the strip it can be explained away as a reminder that we're looking at the world through Elly's eyes. The same woman who got the details of his one and only marriage all wrong because she doesn't much care can't be asked to get the man's name right.

Second, we have to remind ourselves that he spent most of his life under the thumb of a domineering meat-axe of a mother who expected him to be her slave as a means of paying her back for having to endure the unnatural horrors of coitus, pregnancy and childbirth. His need to pay fealty to Evil Scottish Old Person meant taking her slut-shaming and need to find fault in any woman that might take her little boy away far more seriously than a man should.

Third, the Liography establishes as a fact that he was a born follower possessed of the need to impress an unworthy and ridiculous hero. While his classmates grew up and moved on with their lives after graduating high school, Ted saw it as a worthy goal to honour the memory of a reckless, antisocial clod who actually didn't die before his time despite being sixteen years old by not really growing out of the notion that a woman is a reward for having a penis.

Fourth and most important, there is the established fact that Ted cannot admit that he's been a jackass, cannot sympathize with the damage he causes and thus either claims to have been manipulated or dismisses the complaints of the women whose lives he plows through as being the humorless ravings of someone who takes life too seriously.

If you've been paying attention, you'll realize that he sounds a damn sight like the Delicate Genius. What seems to have happened with him is that unlike Mike, he never actually dated the woman Mommy thought was there to bring her pretty grandchildren and a daughter-in-law that wasn't a threat to her baleful domination of her son. My guess is that when she was on her death-bed, the last thought on her mind was the hope that said woman would somehow find her way into Ted's arms so that life would work out properly and forget the life she'd made for herself.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we know, we're about a year or so away from Connie leaving town because the idea that Ted might actually consider moving on with his life to be so great a humiliation that she simply cannot live in a town that doesn't really care. While it's always fun to assume that what Connie really fled was the sheer apathy inspired by a total non-event, the end result is that Elly came away with the mistaken (but understandable from her Ted-hating perspective) impression that Ted commanded it somehow.

It's thus with great pleasure that Lynn hints at the end of the Early Years by having Ted get totally owned on at least two separate occasions. The first is about ten months or so from now when Ted's latest 'take me back' thing is rebuffed and John hammers us over the head with a leaden moral about Ted's fears of being 'trapped' in a marriage with the 'wrong' woman and totally not leaving his poor mother to die alone in some horrible nursing home. This sort of thing lasts until Christmas 1985 when he takes a long time cluing into the fact that Connie has found the manipulative douchewad of her dreams.

After this, Ted starts to become far less prominent owing to real life writing the story. You see, the farther back in time Lynn's time in the hated, adultery-tolerating, genius-disrespecting, dentist-idolizing town of Lynn Lake got, the less her need to burn the straw Lynn Laker Ted became. He eventually got trotted out for people to mock and laugh at.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
You'll have noticed over the years that John really doesn't seem to think much more of his sidekick Ted than Elly does. As we've seen and are going to see, John is the first one up at bat mocking the Hell out of the man when he gets mauled by life. About the only thing that he loves more than rubbing it in that Ted screwed himself real good when it came to his failure to be the man Connie needed is hectoring him about how his puerile stupidity cost him his marriage to Irene. It would seem that most of the time, John needs to have Ted around so that there's someone who can always make him feel superior.

Of course, being an affable buffoon John can look at and say "Thank GOD that that ain't ME!!" isn't the only reason Ted is still in his address book. Simply put, John needs to have someone in his life who can tell him that no, he isn't an indolent, puerile, passionless buffoon husband without empathy, remorse or the ability to learn from experience screwing his life up by insisting on not admitting that everything he believes about women and their role in the world is self-serving horseshit he should be ashamed to have ever believed. The other men he knows tell him to his face to join the human race; not good ol'No Normal Woman Will Have Him Ted. Ted is right there stuck in the dead and best forgotten past with him.

Given that Ted is the only person in the world who honestly believes that ass-scratching total Piltdown Man is far too generous and understanding, it would seem that his leading export is an unjustifiable feeling of superiority. After all, if Elly had found a less moronic meal ticket, John would still be a bachelor on the prowl.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
The problem with scapegoating as a means of evading personal responsibility is that it isn't a female-exclusive trait either in real life or in the Foobiverse. The disturbed and disturbing proof of that fact is Elly's sitcom archnemesis, Doctor Ted. When you read the one or two passages that refer to him directly in the book "The Lives Behind The Lines", you get told that time and again, he talks about the things that he could or should have done with his life if only conditions were exactly right. He could, you see, have married Connie if only this, that or the other thing had happened and ended up becoming a clone of John. The problem is that our boy is always more eager for what he could have than what he does have; as it stands now, he can look back on a life of regret and mourn the opportunities he let slip through his fingers because of his doubts and fears.

What is interesting about this is that I've pretty much described Elly. Granted, she was never able to cut and run from something that scared her as easily as Ted could and thus is more inclined to regret choices she wasn't able to back away from than he is but she does tend to mutter "if only" herself. She also shares Ted's tendency to use the past as an excuse for a failure to act. Just as she stands around bellowing about walking dolls, earlier curfews and busy babies as an excuse for not having the courage to do anything other than whine about her problems, Ted has the irritating habit of alluding to how his pooor mother needs him and how he's honouring the memory of a reckless idiot who he should have outgrown when he tries to explain that change scares him.

What this all means is that Ted is not only a bad person because he stands up to her. Ted is also a reminder of her own lack of real courage and her fear of actual growth; as long as he exists as an active presence in her life, she has to face the fact that she's a lazy, passive idiot who likes to complain....and that would be just awful.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
As I've said before, John takes far too much pleasure in Ted's misery. Elly's friends might think of the poor shmuck as a beastly lowlife whom Connie needs to be rescued from but they're content to simply hold him in contempt. They don't feel the same need to twist the knife in when telling Ted when he screwed up as John does. Then again, none of them have the same need to deny that Ted makes a good case for having waited to have married as John does. John needs to have living proof that he had to settle down when he did and the deluded idiot living like he's still in high school is it, baby.

That being said, it's not just giving thanks that he has living proof that settling down is where it's at that makes him pal around with Ted. He also comes in handy when he wants to talk about something and not have a distorted version of it repeated back to him by a crazy woman jabbing her finger in the air about something she doesn't actually understand. It's bad enough that Elly's paranoia and truculence run away with her when it's just the two of them talking; I can only imagine how much it must suck when Elly has to deal with second-hand information. Since Ted tends to talk down to women, John can say things without penalty.

This leads us to his other use: watching Elly get pissed off at him. He knows for a fact that Elly hates him like no one else because he doesn't admit that he should live in terror of her ragerespect her opinion. Watching Elly scream at Ted is always good for a laugh because the dodo doesn't get why he's being yelled at.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
The interesting thing about all this business with Ted is that [livejournal.com profile] howtheduck read between the lines and came to the conclusion that Lynn's claim that Ted isn't based on reality is as big a lie as her claim that she made April up. Just as April is based on the Kate that actually existed instead of the Kate Lynn wished had been, it looks as if at least some of Ted is based on someone in Lynn Lake that Lynn hated.

This is because most of Lynn's claim that Lynn Lake was adultery central seems to be the result of the fact that when her friend Loretta Clarke's husband Robert left her for a woman named Eileen who he'd had an affair with, our hero was mildly disappointed that the townsfolk did not do their duty and burn the two of them at the stake. Since they didn't seem to see that it behooved them to treat a cheating cheater who cheats like a radioactive leper with Tourette's and since she didn't like how the man constantly told Rod to make that stand-offish Southerner not parade around like she was Lady Muck, she did what seemed right to her: she used the strip to nag Rod about what he should do. Thus was created Loser Ted who was made of fail because he didn't respect Elly's opinion.

What really sells the point is that after Lynn put a time zone in between her and that awful hick town where she wasn't appreciated, Ted became less of a factor in the strip. Every so often, he'd appear as a reminder of how lucky John was to have married a wonderful girl like Elly by showing us the high cost of freedom. Sort of too bad for Lynn that her prediction that the real Irene would certainly flee the horrible man was such a bust. The "poor" woman ended up as his widow.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
You might that that Ted's life is bad enough considering that the toxic idiot that his friend John married has far too much influence in both their lives. Not only would his relationship with Connie have gotten a lot smoother had someone not gotten her even more focused on marrying than she already was, he can't rely on any sympathy from John because he believes Elly's version of events. While our lying eyes might tell us that he's so hung up on Connie that he doesn't know if he's coming or going, we're told that he's a shallow jerk stringing her along. Since Lynn never seems to have realized that what she thinks is obvious to her would be obvious to everyone, what we're left with is a confused man whose sole mistake is trying to please too many people being cast as a heartless jerk because the sitcom mutant his old drinking buddy married hates him.

What must really sting is the realization that Elly rarely gets her facts straight. I know that I like to talk about the "I QUIT MOTHERHOOD!!" series a lot but I think that it's germane to the discussion. This is because Elly only thought that April had flipped her off because she wanted to see it. It's like how she used to insist that Mike's simply wanting to know what Mommy was saying meant that he was trying to be a defiant little jerk pushing her buttons; she wanted to see that so that's what she saw. Simply put, Elly wants to see signs that Ted is a jerk because she's a belligerent yahoo who likes to be angry. She could no more give Ted the benefit of the doubt than she could publicly admit that she goes into a blind rage for the sake of going into a blind rage. When you combine this with her child-like inability to understand adult relationships and social norms that get in the way of her winning and her need to nail herself to her cross, what generally happens is that John has to figure out what she means when she spouts her belligerent hokum.

This is why marrying a dullard who doesn't like to think comes in handy. Anyone who knows John can tell you that the person who confirms his biases for him stands the best chance of being believed. Since he thinks that Ted can't be taken seriously because he didn't do what THEY said and witlessly marry a fruitcake so he could have a free maidsettle down, it only stands to reason that Elly must be right about his being a jackass. Since John is a very lazy man, it's sort of obvious that he isn't going to find out what happened for himself. He's also a very stupid man because he can't seem to realize that someone who claims more knowledge than they should really have is usually making most of it up.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Now that we're hip-deep in another "Ted is a very bad man" arc again, I think it's time to remind you of what he gets out of being friends with John Patterson. By any objective standard that matters, Ted cannot be said to get much out of it. John seems to take a sick pleasure in watching Ted crash and burn and when Ted wants sympathy, what he hears reminds him of something that he's long suspected about what used to be the country boy he took under his wing back in the day. He remembers that John used to be a lot more tolerant back before Elly started to do his thinking for him.

For an example of what I'm saying, let's discuss the first time that Ted cooled to Connie's constant nagging, obssessive ranting about wanting to get married as well as her off-putting need to change how she behaves to make herself into what she thinks his ideal woman is. Back when they were in University, John would have understood that he had to put some distance between himself and someone who looks like that common stereotype The Clingy Jealous Girl. Add the huffy irritant who put the idea of getting married far too early into things into the mix and next thing you know, his good friend was hectoring him about what a jerk he was for breaking a promise he didn't even make.

My guess is that the reason Ted simply didn't tell John to go piss up a rope is that he hoped that one day, John would realize that Elly is not an honest person and tends to only be happy when everyone else around her is as miserable as she makes herself. This, of course, is why he's an antagonist. Much like Evil Mira, the Evil Career Woman and Evil Becky, he thinks that Elly and the Pattersons need to stop parading around like Lord and Lady Muck.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
It's not just keeping themselves safe from having to realize that April isn't a spoiled little child who doesn't know about the real world that keeps John and Elly at pains to keep her in the dark. They also have to keep themselves from having to realize that Mira Sobinski isn't some horrible monster who wants to enslave them with her family politics. What Mira is is someone a lot like Annie or Connie who simply doesn't feel the need to panic about the possibility that Elly Patterson doesn't like her.

This, I should think, is why her ambitions are bad while Gordon's ambitions are good; Mira's ambitions don't have as their basis a healthy respect for the opinions of others....or, as we say in English, the possibility that what she's doing might make a paunchy pea-brain with anger issues screech doesn't alarm her much. This is also why Ted, Becky and Thérèse are pure evil: they don't care if a screaming lunatic might be angered by what they do.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
I think that it's fairly safe to say that most of the female characters in the strip are exercised by a need to be needed. Like most of us, they want to be reassured that they make a positive difference in the lives of their families. What the problem seems to be is that they have a hard time dealing with any sort of concept of declaring mission accomplished when it comes to being a wife and mother. For most of them, there is no 'something else' to do that isn't darning socks, scrubbing biffies and baking Gramma buns. This allows them to indulge in another destructive result of their need to not feel as if they're just wasting space: the creation and maintenance of that annoyance called the mama's boy. As I mentioned earlier, behind every smug asshole assuming that any sort of female complaint about their entitled idiot swinishness is caused by weird, scary woman hormones is a mother who over-indulged him and, owing to her need to fuss over the deluded donkey while treating any daughters like peons, left him with the laughable delusion that anything without a Y chromosome was plopped on the landscape to save him from cleaning up after his stupid ass.

What really sort of irritates me about this is that these women don't see themselves as having created monsters. As a for instance, Marian has no real idea that her blind insistence that Phil gets more hell-room to be a massive screw-up because he's got a willy is not only why she and Elly mix like oil and water and why his taking too damned long to get it through his thick skull that living like a damned college kid made him look like a real-life version of one-note hippy imbecile Shaggy Rogers but was also responsible for any number of pointless arguments with Georgia. She sees a wonderful little boy who needs protecting and nurturing. We see a revolting spectre made up of macho idiocy, whining and entitlement and wish to vomit in disgust and terror.

The irritating need to indulge a creature her eyes see as the little boy she gave birth to instead of the dime-store Don Juan whose pathetic strivings irritate Elly as well as sane people is most of why Ted's mother took entirely too damned long dying. Sure, she might have complained about his cramping her style but she sure didn't want any woman coming in and replacing her stupid ass.

We also see this trend to be loyal to mother at the expense of one's wife whenever John can't see why his constantly comparing Elly to his mother is a problem. This blindness meshes nicely not only with the mother in question not being able to see how her need to be needed is a problem but also her inability to realize that most people tend to be repulsed by grown men who slobber and grovel to mother when they have a wife.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Okay, I know I promised that I was going to put a full stop on the whole Connie and Ted thing but Lynn's vague comment about maybe marrying them off so we could 'prove' once and for all that he's not husband-and-father material might well have been fairly entertaining because of what Lynn thinks that a husband and father should be. In her world, a real father is a stern, distant, unapproachable figure who can only ever interact with the small, strange people that he, for some reason, shares his living space with when it suits him; this means that Ted would probably do something wrong like be there for Lawrence when it was inconvenient and say crazy things like how children don't only cry to make parents feel bad. We might also well see him not paying lip service to adapting to serve Connie's needs; he might actually reform and be the sort of failure people feared Anthony might become: a man who was willing to take his wife seriously. Heck, their marriage might well have been healthier than the Pattersons which would make him pure evil in a black polo shirt.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
The latest official story about how and why Ted broke things off with Connie is that his evil, overbearing mother is to blame; since he would rather please her than be his own man, Connie stood a snowball's chance in a blast furnace of marrying him. The trouble I have with this idea is that last June, she'd told us that the woman wanted to lose two hundred pounds of mama's boy. Later on, of course, she'd blamed Ted's emergency stand-by girl, Irene for the break-up before deciding that Ted was a screwed-up jerk with commitment issues. The thing is that we'd have been a lot better off if she'd said that last thing from the get-go and ran with it; that way, John can resent him with a clear conscience if he sees Ted as a moron who only thinks he's doing the right thing. That being said, he's not going to explain to Elly why he hates Ted more than she does; that's because he knows that his wife isn't going to be swift enough to realize that Ted's mother might resent being used as an excuse for her idiot son's refusal to get her grandchildren because he thinks he's supposed to do something he shouldn't. (That being said, his having cold feet beats his objecting to the way she treats Lawrence; the poor kid has enough on his plate without Connie's belief that he wants her to die alone because he's selfish being reinforced.)
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
The other curious thing about John's reaction to all the mess Ted is enduring is how grimly delighted he is when his sidekick suffers. John grins malevolently when Ted hears about Phil, laughs his ass off when he gets divorced and chortles in malicious glee when he learns that Connie is engaged to Greg. The reason for this seems to be fairly simple; as we've seen over the years, Ted has the nasty habit of questioning John's decision to get married to the first woman he dated more than once. While it's true that John makes not-so-funny jokes about wishing he could have changed his mind, he really doesn't like the idea of having whatever he has with Elly questioned; Ted's being pummelled by the mighty fist of ham is thus his well-deserved punishment for not accepting that Hallmark and cheese rule the Patterverse. By that, of course, I mean he's going to spend the next twenty years or so treating a confused man like vermin because he'd rather not admit that he might have made a bad decision in haste.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we're about to see, the Pattersons present something of a united front when it comes to talking about what a shmuck Ted is for breaking things off with Connie. They, of course, do so for wildly different reasons. As we know, Elly hates Ted because he never has nor never will take her as seriously as she herself does nor does he put much stock in the things she thinks she values. Also, she doesn't have it in her to see that there is more to him than meets the eye owing to her being a spoiled brat who should probably re-enroll in middle school and stay there. John, on the other hand, is a more interesting character; his dislike of Ted comes from his lack of patience with the man's indecision. His initial angry comment about Ted's breaking a promise tells us that he has a virtue that Elly does not acknowledge despite it benefiting her; if Lynn could write dialogue for men, we'd have seen John tell his sidekick to man up and not welch on a promise, no matter how much it hurts. He did and his life is pretty good; he's got a nice house, he eats fairly well and he has a lot of his thinking done for him so for Ted to waver out of fear makes him look puny and insignificant.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As you will recall, Lynn likes to talk about how, back when her first husband was cheating on her, his girlfriend was laughing at her behind her back. Since Connie was transformed from a straw feminist antagonist into the single Lynn who was stuck with a child, it makes sense that this person be somehow turned into a background character: Ted's very temporary wife, Irene. Lynn more or less gave the game away when she had Connie take Elly aside and tell her that back when she and Ted were dating, Irene was pretty much the 'other woman'. Ted's reaction to her finally breaking it off is somewhat telling; when John called him out on his philandering ways, our boy stood there like a goof and said that none of the other relationships actually mattered. What this tells me is that John is the most mature adult male in the strip; Phil, as I've explained, is a member of Robert Ringer's Diaper Corps and Ted is way too high school for his own good.

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