(Strip Number 5135, Original Publication Date, 23 May 1989)
Panel 1: We find Mike about to head out. Since this is a comic strip, Elly is contractually obliged to ask someone who's clearly going out where he's going and he is also obliged to tell her.
Panel 2: When she says that she'd like to know where he's going, he asks what the difference is. Since he can't watch television, he can see what's going on. He then does something very stupid that isn't really necessary by saying that maybe Mr and Mrs Mayes are out and he and Gordon can swipe some beer. Not only does this not help his case, it's ridiculously unnecessary because Elly would get just as angry if he'd reminded her that there are other households with television sets that he can watch without her knowledge or approval. (Also, Lynn tends to forget that what Aaron can do, Mike can't always do.)
Panel 3: This leads to her angrily digging in on his staying in and his stating that he's going out. This is because Elly's authority doesn't mean much because sooner or later, she rescinds her decrees and is seen to whine to Connie about how she hates being firm.
Panel 4: When he's confronted by a pissed-off John, Mike stands there on the porch declaring that he's staying in. This is because John's authority actually means something to Mike: "behave or I'll knock your block off."
Summary: While it is good to see a united front instead of John undercutting Elly like he usually does, what bothers me is that his lack of curiosity makes me wonder if he really knows what Mike was being punished for to begin with. What also bothers me is what concerns howtheduck and aprilp_katje because I too wonder if he'd just have been allowed to roam around until all hours if he hadn't mentioned beer.