(Strip Number 5010, Original Publication Date, 23 August 1988)
Panel 1: Time passes and we see Pale Lawrence approach Mike by leaning out from behind a building. Presumably no one in this camp can just walk up to someone. As we saw last week, Martha also approached Mike by leaning out from behind a tree.
Pale Lawrence tries to get Mike excited about watching an unknown “they” put a frog in Cramer’s bunk (whoever Cramer is). Mike is busy with…What is Mike doing?:
a. He is on a scavenger hunt for a leaf.
b. He is trying to find just the right leaf for Martha after she asked him to “Leave her alone.”
c. Martha asked him to tell her his beliefs, and he didn’t quite understand what she was asking when she said the word "beliefs (be leafs).
d. Martha told him that trigonometry was her favourite subject and Mike thought she said, “Try and go on a tree.”
Panel 2: Pale Lawrence pleads with Mike by saying, “Come on, man. You haven’t hung around with the guys for a coupla days now. What’s with you?” Mike says, “Nothing”, but what he should say is “What are you talking about? I share a cabin with the guys. I have daily activities every day with the guys. I shower every day with the guys. I eat every meal with the guys. Have you forgotten this is a summer camp and not some place that doesn’t have planned activities every day? This isn’t a place where I can just wander around and do whatever I want. I refer you to this comic strip from a few weeks ago and pay attention to the daily activity calendar part. This means you, Lynn Johnston!”
Panel 3: As Pale Lawrence puts his hands to his breasts, he inadvertently answers his own question as he says, “What’s a stupid girl got that we don’t have?!!” This is an interesting mix of language. I would have guessed if Lawrence was going to misuse the word “got” he would do it consistently as in, “What’s a stupid girl got that we don’t got?!!” The language misuse startles Mike so much he goes all Exorcist on us and turns his head completely backwards as he is walking in the opposite direction.
Panel 4: The final panel punchline is Mike with a smile that would lead someone to believe that he is actually getting something from Martha that he could not get from another guy. Lynn may be going for a sort of funny lusty thing, but my reaction is, “They are only 12 years old!! They are not even teenagers yet!!”
Summary: This shows a significant change in Mike’s character. Mike is not only abandoning his friends in favour of Martha, but he is doing that even when he is not with Martha.