The Angst-O-Meter: Day 4

(From Ctrl+Alt+Del. Click for full-sized incriminating evidence.)

I know I said I was done with the Angst-O-Meter until after the election, but circumstances have intervened and I have to comment on today’s strip, despite the mountain of other stuff on my plate.

So it seems that if, when Shannon was first introduced, you had Ethan leaning on her as an escape from Lilah, well… you were half right. Ethan wasn’t having any of it, but Lilah was sure going to think he was.

This strip, in a way, is really a summary of the past month or so of strips, with a couple of peeks into Lilah’s actual situation and some looks at Lucas’ attempts to patch things up with Kate. As that relationship appears to be on the mend, if slowly, it’s possible the main reason for that subplot may be the last panel of this strip.

Ethan really has been focusing almost singlemindedly on his contest with Christian, and looking back on previous strips, it’s partly his fault. How far has his relationship with Lilah deteriorated that he’s not telling her about his day-to-day life, his day-to-day struggles? Even after Christian reassures him he’s not looking for Lilah, Ethan acts like a paranoid maniac with someone he knows is sensitive right now, leaving him unable to talk about his situation with someone who might be a more useful font for ideas than Shannon turns out to be, which leads to a phone conversation that inadvertently backs up Christian’s story about a cheating Ethan.

There are two reasons I’m not setting the Angst-O-Meter to 100%: Lucas still appears to be on the mend with Kate and the strip is still nominally having punchlines each day. But this strip about a week ago is the last strip that can be said to have a real punchline, and I can just see Ethan going on a woe-is-me diatribe within a couple of strips. And don’t forget Buckley’s ominous warning, back during the miscarriage, that “I know who moves out and when”. He assured people there wouldn’t be too much in the way of woe-is-me diatribes, but it’s sure looking like that’s only because he’s too busy adding more angst-worthy stuff to the fire.

So up goes the Angst-O-Meter to 92% and I could easily justify setting it higher. And I’m pretty darn close to the end of my rope with Ctrl+Alt+Del – it’s pretty much train-wreck fascination at this point.

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