(Strip Number 6709, Original Publication Date, 18 October 1987)
Panel 1: As she and John walk down the street, he tells Elly that he'll only take a second or two at the hardware store they're in front of.
Panel 2: This occasions Elly thought-bubbling that his 'a second or two' there is like her 'second or two' at a dress shop.
Panel 3: John tells the clerk at the building supplies counter that he'll need a 1×6, some 2×4's, 2 sheets of plywood and 36 ft of trim.
Panel 4: Another employee sets up the punchline by telling John that the metal edging he'd ordered has come in before asking the width of his hall door.
Panel 5: John thinks about it and is astonished by the fact that he doesn't remember.
Panel 6: He spots Elly shopping for a mirror and tells the clerk to hold on a second.
Panel 7: He then grabs onto Elly's hips so as to measure them.
Panel 8: He walks to the counter with his hands still the same distance apart.
Panel 9: Elly glowers as the clerk laughs when John tells him to simply add four inches to each side.
Summary: The interesting thing is that just as John would tell Elly not to be so serious about something that can't help but ruin her day, Rod was told not to care about how this sort of crap affected his public image. In both cases, an abuser hid behind the phrase 'it's just a joke' to go right on making people feel like shit.