Poor Cayla. Doomed forever to live in Lisa’s shadow. Of course, she brought it on herself so it’s difficult to feel any sympathy when Les realizes, “Hey, this might get expensive, and she’s not Lisa, so why did I even bother telling her I’d take her overseas. I’ll buy her dinner somewhere. At the Paris Bar-B-Que & Bar-B-Beer-o-Rama in nearby Flungdown, Ohio. And I’ll pretend it’s Paris, France, and she’ll be just floored by how clever I am. She’s already happy with everything I do, so even if I instead spend the Beer-O-Rama’s five bucks on framing a Lisa picture, she’ll smile in delight.
“And if she insists on China–ha, like she’d insist on anything–I’ll take her to the Golden China Dump in Wastelife, Ohio and she’ll think I’m double clever. She always does.”
My brother went to China a couple of years ago, and it’s not the sort of trip a cheapskate Wetviewian would undertake. According to my brother, you’d be wise to go first class, because you can develop some severe health problems in a cramped lower-class seat. Although, come to think of it, if Cayla got severe health problems…
So, I went to Priceline (because Captain Kirk is cool), plugged in my nearest airport, put in Hong Kong as the destination and selected the dates of November 12 – 18. (I think Les’ anniversary is around that time. Like Les himself, I can’t remember.) The result–
Whoa. Let’s try something a little more reasonable. I plugged in my numbers for a late-August, early-September trip to Beijing.
Still up there in “Yikes!” territory for a Language Arts teacher who doesn’t make a lot of money (as the teachers continuously point out). Keep in mind, in both cases that’s per person, so Les is going to be out anywhere from $25 to $16 grand*. This is a guy who wouldn’t bother to warn his first wife that she might die–and he’s going to spend that much money on Cayla? Somehow I think the excuses will come a’runnin’ and Cayla will meekly accept them, now that she understands that she’s worthless. (Sure seems like Les has been far more damaging than her old typing teacher could ever hope to be.)
Observe that she’s just now moving next to Les on the porch swing, now that Darin has left. My assumption is that she was afraid she might distract attention away from Les, and that would never do. Cayla is symptomatic of some kind of syndrome, that’s for sure. I think it’s Lack of Pulitzer Nomination Syndrome, and I hear it’s pretty wearisome.
*Some might suggest that Les’ publishers would foot the bill. In the real world, an author who had deliberately sabotaged a movie adaptation of his own work would be lucky to get a second book, and he’d be flung out a window if he asked for a free trip to China. In the fantasy world of Westview, they’d not only foot the bill, they’d make sure it was national television news. I don’t feel bound by Tom Batiuk’s logic, however…one of the main reasons this strip consistently fails to impress.