(Strip Number 7240, Original Publication Date, 10 May 1987)
Panel 1: As our strip begins, we find ourselves watching Lizzie tell Elly that she's never going to guess what kind of neat surprise they got her for Mother's Day.
Panel 2: Elly sets the tone by adopting Facial Expression Of Sheer Horror Number 15 and thought-bubbling that she cannot wait.
Panel 3: It seems that John has made the very foolhardy decision of taking the whole family to a fancy restaurant instead of maybe leaving the kids with Annie like a sane person.
Panel 4: Lizzie reassures Elly that she doesn't have to eat junk food this time out since they're going to a real restaurant and this means that she can eat what she likes.
Panel 5: At the restaurant, the waiter shows them to their table.
Panel 6: The ending of the strip becomes sadly predictable when Mike asks for a kids' menu because he has no idea what a brochette is and why anyone would eat something totes gross like quail and when Lizzie asks if they gots hot dogs.
Panel 7: Things continue to deteriorate when Mike (who's used to the speedy service he gets when he eats clown meat) audibly asks where the waiter is because it seems to be taking very long and it looks as if they can't see that they want to order.
Panel 8: Since John and Elly seem to have had a sudden attack of amnesia as regards the fact that children get bored rather easily, she's filled with despair and he with rage when the kids distract themselves by screwing around with a candle.
Panel 9: A few minutes later, we see them in line at a fast food place ordering kid friendly food. Those of you who've been paying attention will realize that Elly and John see this as a defeat instead of the end result of doing something silly.
Summary: Back before I joined this forum, I would have looked at this and said "Well, John tried to do something nice for Elly that the kids weren't ready for and wound up looking a bit foolish and that's the end of it. It isn't as if he's going to blame their very ordinary behaviour on some sort of sinister plot to make him look like a fool." I know better now.