Panel 1: Once again, Elly's nitwit belief that she can not pay attention to the kids and nothing bad could possibly happen collides with the reality that kids move and think and talk even when she isn't looking at them and she cannot deal. What she can do is what she always does: whine to John about the unfairness and cruelty of it all. After all, she can't be the library mule all summer long if Mike and Liz cannot get along.
Panel 2: We switch focus to the kids listening in so we can contrast and compare their reactions. When John says that Liz can go to day camp or a sitter or something or other, Liz is downcast and Mike is filled with glee because both idiot kids think that she's being punished for standing up to a pea-brained bully with a short fuse while Mike gets to sit in the house all day long. They should know better because it's obvious to me that John thinks that Mike's bad attitude stems from not knowing the value of hard work.
What this translates to in reality is that John believes that if Mike could transcend child wickedness and ingratitude and embrace his destiny of being a biological robot that does yardwork without expecting gratitude, he would be happier. It's like how he assumes that Liz should know that her function is to smile vapidly no matter what shit is going on in her personal life or how Elly's crazy wimmin hormones are why she's unfulfilled. He's a stupid sack of shit who sees the people around him as apps.
Panel 3: We go back to the kitchen so that Elly can ask what they're supposed to do with Mike.
Based on what I've seen last week, his answer should be "get the kid a scrip for horse tranquilizers" or [Maltz]"beam the human to the slave colony on Terra Belleview."[/Maltz*]
*(The Klingon John Larroquette portrayed in "Search For Spock")
Panel 4: When John says that Mike is plenty old enough for a summer job, Liz is filled with elation while Mike is horrified. He would be even more horrified if he realized that ain't no one sympathizes with him and that he deserves the mess he blundered into. After all, a Freudian excuse is no excuse.
Summary: John's solution would be a beneficial one everyone could get behind were it not for what he does tomorrow and if it were not for the fact that 'treating' violent rage by getting it to sell hot dogs is as useful as putting a Band-Aid on a stab wound. Then again, he would not actually be John Patterson were he to not be an old fart making the "I walked to school fifty miles in the snow in June and it was uphill on the way up AND the way back" speech.