(Strip Number 6728, Original Publication Date, 17 July 1988)
Panel 1: As Michael reads a comic book, Elly asks if they could have a few words.
Panel 2: Since most of the them, the words Elly uses "I wish you were never born", Mike gets all guarded and says "Sure, why not" because if he's going to get threatened with a beating, he might as well delay that for as long as possible.
Panel 3: When Elly probably starts talking about a subject that escapes him because it's not about him, Mike looks at his finger and wonders where the green ink came from.
Panel 4: As she continues to say something benign or possibly even supportive, he notices that if you stare long enough, the pattern on the wallpaper disappears.
Panel 5: As she tries to connect with him, he fixates more on the cookie crumb on her chin than whatever gibberish she might be spewing.
Panel 6: He then wonders if anyone blinks quite so much as she does.
Panel 7: After she's done talking, he thinks that he'll call Gordon.
Panel 8: Flush with a phony victory, Elly tells John that she and Mike had a nice long chat.
Panel 9: She's all smiles because she doesn't know that despite what she might think about how for the first time in years, they actually made a connection, he didn't listen to her at all.
Summary: We're probably going to get Aaron and Katie clubbed over the head for tuning her out but the problem is that Mike probably doesn't know how to react to Elly talking like a sane person. Also, Elly's a fine one for talking about not listening. I'm pretty damned sure the late Thelma Baird went to her grave thinking that Elly listened to her.