Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Mother, Oh God, Mother! Blood! Blood!"


Ever since it became apparent that Sally's Mom Laura might be spending some time at Casa Forth, the emails have been pouring in. Some are rather enthusiastic:

"Sally’s Mom is moving in!!! Yes!"

Others not so favorable:

"Don't let that bitch step into their house."

Unlike the initially abrasive Faye--who most readers welcomed with open arms because she gave voice to their own problems with the characters and strip--Sally's Mom has proved a far more divisive character. Detractors feel her presence lessens Sally and Ted's stature as adults, makes the Forths come off as helpless and reminds them of their own unpleasant interactions with their folks. "Friends of Laura" (F.O.L.) liken her withering remarks and "in-your-face humanity" in an otherwise genial strip to that of a nice, bracing shower of pure acid and regard Laura as proof that they're not the only ones who can't get through a phone conversation with their parents without screaming into the palm of their hand or hammering their own knee to divert the anguish. The end result is a significant readership schism, one so troubling and unsettling that it can only be resolved with the aid a quickie online poll.

So, dear reader, I ask you, "How should the current story arc play out?"
1. Laura moves into the apartment over the Forths' garage, starts referring to Ted and Sally as "Mr. and Mrs. F" and--during a very special week--manages to completely reassemble her motorcycle despite being completely blind.

2. Laura moves in to help the Forths raise their new child, a caricature of Jonathan Winters that ages backwards.

3. Laura gets shot at a gas station while waving to her grandchild seated in the Forths' SUV. Laura drops to the pavement and the car rolls over her head.

4. Laura moves in with the Forths and proceeds to close-out each week's story line with a Groucho Marx impersonation, telling some old joke about yet another uncle and complaining to the constantly visiting "sweathogs" about Sally's "world famous tuna casserole."

5. Laura moves in with the Forths only for us to learn that not only was the entire comic strip the product of a mentally-handicapped child's imagination, but that the mentally-handicapped child was, in actuality, a character in the alternate-universe diary Roseanne was writing in the final episode of her series, only for Bob Newhart to wake up from that dream next to Suzanne Pleshette...who was, in truth, time traveler Sam Beckett, who sadly just had found out that not only was he never going to leap back into his own body but that he was, in fact, Number One.

Remember, your decision could impact tens of readers (20 is a plural of "ten") in over three (but under five) newspapers across the globe (by which I mean Baltimore and Reykjavik). So choose wisely!

14 comments:

Toonhead said...

I'll go with number 5

Dimestore Lipstick said...

5, because I still miss "Quantum Leap".

Although a stream of visitng Sweathogs has the potential to really live things up...

So-Called Austin Mayor said...

I like number three, but I've always been pretty sentimental...

-- SCAM

Andrea said...

I like 3 and 5 myself. Especially if you can do a special 3D strip.

Cam said...

4. No question. Let there be blood!

Cam said...

Sorry, make that 3. Got districted by the SUV-over-head-rolling goodness of it all.

yellojkt said...

It needs to be revealed that SallyMom is really a Cylon infiltrator.

Stuart P. Bentley said...

Mork & Mindy is pretty much the only one I recognized (excluding most of 5).

Jym said...

=v= Ces, just keep doing what you're doing. The Faye/Mom storyline convergence made me cheer, seriously.

Peggy said...

I vote for #5, but only if the one-armed man gets shot and falls off a tower, and Sally, Alice & Ralph huddle together while shuffling over to a box of Kleenex.

Claude said...

I'm thinking that there should be weeks and weeks of the Forths getting abuse at the hands of her mother, to the point where Ted actually commits suicide by using rat poison as a filler for meatloaf. Then, you do a Sunday strip where Sally wakes up and walks in on Ted in the shower, alive and well.

kevin said...

No. Have her adopt Faye and move in over the garage. Faye needs her.

Christopher said...

3. But I also suggest a story in which it is revealed she was once a prostitute with a heart of gold. That would explain so much.

JFK Assassination Primer said...

No vote, but a comment. How old are you Francesco? I assumed you were about Sally's age, but only a boomer could make a cult comment about "really being Number One." (No offense, I myself go so far back I remember Patrick McGoohan when he was "Danger Man.") ... Anyway, I love the strip. In the last year or so, it's become my favorite, right after Doonsebury and Rex Morgan, MD. My only gripe is there's not enough friction in the Forth family, which Sally's mom provides in such generous quantities. More Laura, please!