Lynn's Comments: Aaron's "punch lines" were a gift. He would unwittingly change an expression or a turn of phrase that would then become part of For Better or For Worse. Kids say funny things all the time, but some are just prone to word play and Aaron trumped them all. There were times he would be "let off the hook" if his remarks got a laugh and I had to be careful not to encourage him too much or the discipline we managed to instill would go whizzing down the drain. Aaron wasn't the only one to add to the comic strip dialogue. Other family members did, too. The problem was that it wasn't always the funny remarks that wound up in the "funny papers." Sometimes the serious ones did, too. It wasn't uncommon for me to have a tense exchange with someone and after everything was resolved, I'd hear a threatening: "You'd better not put that in the strip!!"
Lynn's Comments: In my life, I have purchased a goodly number of items which include operating instructions. I now know that it is not in us to read them. No. It's more important to try and figure out how the thing works or how to put it together than to waste time on "important information enclosed within". I think this is because we are all perfectly capable of operating, using, wearing, applying or cooking whatever it is without any advice from you, thanks very much. Last week, I bought an outdoor thermometer to attach to my kitchen window. It was a plastic ruler-like device with the image of a blue jay in the middle and a suction cup at each end. I took the thermometer out of the package, ditched the instructions, went outside and dutifully wiped the surface of the window clean. Any idiot knows you have to clean the "receiving surface" first. The only thing left to do was to center the thing where I wanted it to go and push! I placed the thermometer on the window, pushed it to engage the suction and SNAP! The damned thing broke in the middle...right through the beak of the blue jay. Bummed and babbling things I won't repeat, I went inside, pulled off the cups, tossed them into the what-not jar and fired the remains of the thermometer into the trash. A funk ensued. I whipped the instructions off the counter to see what, if anything, I could have done wrong. With a simple diagram and wording in both official languages the page clearly stated: Do not press thermometer in the middle. It will break. Press only on suction cups at either end. Hah! Stupid, dumb thermometer. I didn't like it anyway. The blue jay, for one thing, was corny and the whole thing looked cheap. I went back to the store and bought another one. A better one. And, this time, I read the instructions.