(Strip Number 1452, Original Publication Date, 28 April 1989)
Panel 1: The archive identifies the kids in the first panel as Michael, Janet, Martha, Lawrance [sic], and Brian. “Great party, Mike!” The word balloon points at Brian, who does have his mouth open, but he has his back to Mike. Janet, on the other hand, also has her mouth open and she is turned to Mike and waving at him. My guess is that she was supposed to get the words. Martha lingers towards the back but does not have a moment with Mike, and Lawrence is also lingering towards the back. In spite of Elizabeth’s claims yesterday that Mike and Martha had made up and were holding hands, we see no sign of that today. If anything, Janet seems to be the happiest with Mike, even though this is her last appearance. Bye, Janet. Martha has learned her lesson and will only get female friends that are the girlfriends of Mike's friends from now on.
As we know, Martha will not be mentioned again until September and it will be Gordon talking about her when Lawrence is not around. Michael says she is interested in someone else, but does not say the name. In February next year, Martha reveals the person was Lawrence and she says she liked him but she really likes Mike. If I were to interpret this just by what the characters said, I would assume that sometime between the end of the party and February (possibly 10 months), Martha and Lawrence have been dating. However, it is just as likely to me that Lynn put in that “like, really like” stuff as a reference back to Michael’s birthday party the prior year and didn’t really think it would mean that Martha and Lawrence could have been seeing each other for 10 months.
Regardless of what Lynn meant, it’s obvious that Lawrence has been replaced by Gordon as Michael’s best friend and it starts with this party. Lawrence doesn’t even go to the dance where Martha picks up Michael again in February. He appears as part of the gang when Gordon has his hormone attacks, and one other time in the spring and that’s it for the whole school year. Brian Enjo appears just as often as Lawrence.
Panel 2: Michael can’t believe it is over, but Elly can as she puts disposable dishes in the trash bag. Now, why Elly would do that upstairs instead downstairs in the rec room where the dishes would have been. I don’t know. And that’s the end of the story, except it’s too soon. We have two more panels left to go. What to do?
Panel 3: Let’s go to the old standby of torturing Farley. Farley looks sick and Elly suspects too much birthday cake, because that’s what dogs do at parties. They finish off the birthday cake and it makes them sick.
Panel 4: Michael explains that he was aware Farley did not eat cake, but ate just the candles. Elly grimaces, possibly because she knows that cake will not actually hurt a dog, but candles could. They should have gone all Marie-Antoinette and let him eat cake.
Watch the dog carefully. The wax probably won’t do anything, however the wick could wrap around something inside of the dog and cause problems. The scent of the candle might cause a problem, if it has any toxic-ness in it. Also, if it was burning, check the dog’s mouth and throat for burns.
Summary: The party is over. Mike and Martha are done until next year, but we have one more birthday-related comic strip tomorrow, before the dreadedcandiru2 takes back the commentary.