(Strip Number 5197, Original Publication Date, 23 September 1989)
Panel 1: Time has passed since Gordon had a hormone attack due to the gym teacher and sadly we do not get to see the consequences of that other than Michael telling Gordon that he’s nuts. I assume that’s the only consequence of the gym teacher hormone attack, but it could just as easily be a reference to the grass that Gordon has in his mouth. Lynn Johnston is hitting the “Gordon is a hick” button pretty hard. Gordon probably thinks he looks this way:
In reality he is closer to this:
Gordon’s response is that everybody’s nuts. “Haven’t you noticed?” Brian and Lawrence don’t say anything, but if they did, it would probably be, “No, Gordon. We have not noticed, and there’s a reason for that.”
Panel 2: And now for the litany of teen problems. Michael says he has been feeling weird, his voice cracks a lot, and he gets depressed. Sorry, Michael, but from that list only the cracking voice is normal and I would watch out for that depression.
Panel 3: Lawrence talks about how his knees ache, how he is always hungry, and his skin looks like someone with cleats ran over it. I was doing pretty well until the description of the acne. With me, acne manifests as bumps on the skin, not spots on the skin with big indentations as if from cleats. Now if you pick at your acne, that’s a different story.
We have another bad artistic moment as Lynn draws this panel and the next one as if the boys are walking away from the readers, so all we can see are their backsides. Perhaps Lynn had seen this scene from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and thought it would be better to get the jokes from the boys’ butts.
Panel 4: The whole gang turns purple to let us know the most important thing in the picture is the green grass. At least the most important thing is not watching grass grow. Then Brian Enjo finally speaks. Why would the Enjo parents tell Brian the best years of his life were when he is a teenager? Has Lynn forgotten that whole backstory where the Enjo parents spent their childhood in a Japanese Canadian Internment camp? He is absolutely the worst character to be dropping this punchline
Summary: The parents think the teenage years were the best; but the teenagers think they are terrible. It seems more sad than funny.