(Strip Number 6169, Original Publication Date, 06 November 1988)
Panel 1: In the waiting room, there is a balding man and a lady reading a newspaper that is labeled as Reader’s Digest. The only problem is that the real Reader’s Digest is digest size, which is about half the size of a regular magazine.
Panel 2: John is called back to the office and I can’t see what his paper says. The nurse is holding what appears to be a page from a miniature appointment book.
Panel 3: The doctor greets John with “John! Great to see you. You haven’t been to my office for ages.” Is this because:
a. John doesn’t get his annual check-up like he should?
b. John is at a doctor’s office that usually he doesn’t go to unless he wants to get something checked out without his regular doctor knowing and it getting back to Elly? Syphilis?
c. The doctor has a really bad memory or a vision problem.
We see an eye chart in the background and it matches a real chart only in the first line of E.
Compare to a real one:
I am looking for some kind of message in the eye chart, but I don’t see one. Behind the doctor is his diploma which says he is a Doctor of Medicine, but I can’t read the name.
Panel 4: The doctor and John appear to be in the same position relative to each other in the prior panel, but the background has completely changed since panel 3. It’s interesting to compare this to the modern examination room. No computer. No protective sheets on the examination table. The doctor is not wearing gloves. My how the times have changed.
Panel 5: The doctor says, “It’s not often that I get my dentist coming in here for a check-up.” He says this as he picks up a sterile pak presumably for the thermometer he will handle in his bare hands in the next panel. This is a mysterious statement. It’s like he is saying that he gets lots of dentists in, just not his own. It does make me wonder why John is really there with this guy he hardly ever sees.
Panel 6: In the mouth goes the thermometer and the set up for the joke, which is supposed to be that John is a dentist who talks to people when he has put something in their mouth and this doctor is doing the same thing to John. Hilarious. I think Lynn has done this joke at least ten times before and it is always about as funny as this joke is this time.
Panel 7: The doctor appears to be trying to use the palpatory method to measure diastolic blood pressure and he is failing. What is with that grip? It should look like this in the following picture.
Summary: An old dentist joke. That’s pretty much it.