Panel 1: After his check-up, the young boy with the teddy-bear tells his mother that Doctor Patterson's hygienist said that he had such a good check-up, he gets to choose a prize.
Panel 2: As he searches through the toy bin, John tells an elderly patient named Fred that his results look good and that he'll see him in six months.
Panel 3: Having noticed that the ten year old gets a prize for a good check-up, Fred points to the box as if to say that he too wants a prize. This confuses John because Fred isn't a kid.
Panel 4: As Fred plays with his toy, Jean laughs at someone who's a kid at heart while John reminds us of what his last name is by standing there like a wooden Jesus in a country graveyard trying to figure out what just happened.
Summary: Now that we're a decade in, I think it's safe to say that yes, it probably would kill them to react the way people are supposed to to the things that they say. It's like how Elly is always screaming in horror when reacting to mild bullshit instead of rolling her eyes in irritation or smiling ruefully.