(Strip Number 1415, Original Publication Date, 8 February 1989)
Panel 1: After spitting on Michael yesterday, Martha walks away in stony silence with her eyes closed, because that’s the way angry people walk (at least until they run into something hard or sharp). Michael only remains ignorant of his faux pas with Martha briefly because Janet AKA The Martha Whisperer is there to interpret for Michael. Unlike the situation last year when Michael would get angry with Martha and never tell her about it, we do not have that problem here.
Panel 2: Janet calls him Patterson, which strikes me as a little odd. Michael’s defense on his card choice is “At least I gave her one!” We may think that this is a poor defense but when you consider that John Patterson is his model, it is no wonder that Michael considers this to be exceeding normal Valentine’s Day expectations. Here is John's example:
Panel 3: You have to talk to Janet first when you want to deal with Martha. Suddenly Martha seems like an ultraviolent mob boss (or overly-sensitive comic strip artist) that has to be handled, because she does not react to things like a normal human being.
Panel 4: The agent line is a pretty good joke and one that works well with people who have to deal with their girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s overprotective friends. However, the premise of the idea is that Michael is supposed to automatically know what his girlfriend likes or does not like and for that to happen, Michael would have to able to have a casual conversation with Martha. This is something we have never seen with Michael and Martha, as all of their conversations have ended up degenerating into fights or kissing (or marching). Even with this business of the Valentine’s Day card, it is a mystery to me why Michael didn’t hand it to her directly and watch her open it, if he thought it was so funny. Mike and Martha are still a long ways away from the standards of normal boyfriend / girlfriend relationships, and one can only hope that Lynn Johnston agrees.
Summary: Will Michael ever learn how to have a girlfriend he can just talk to, or will he constantly have to deal with negotiators? Let me think about that one for a moment: