Panel 1: Oh Christ, John in his train engineer costume. I don't know if I even want to see this.
Panel 2: Random pupil appearance/disappearance again. And how often does he wash that cap? Dirt particles flying out of it all over the place...
Panel 3: A dead tree? Why, for cryin' out loud?
Panel 4: Crimeny, John even wears his overalls like an old man.
Panel 5: Jeez, is the whole strip going to be like this? Watching someone with no life do something unnecessary?
Panel 6: I guess Elly's organizing jag didn't extend to John's workshop.
Panel 7: Why don't you just BUY a tree?
Panels 8-9-10: Sigh.
Panel 11: "Oh, it's her." The workshop is to John what the attic is to Mike: a place to hide. Not that I can fully blame John, of course.
Panel 12: Well, it does look like a dead tree. And it's about as necessary as the one you would have made with working equipment. Or is the joke that he spent all day fixing stuff so he could do a five-minute task? Who knows. Sunday strips make my hair hurt.