Today we have two different comic strips. There’s the comic strip we see. Then there’s the comic strip where the long-time readers remember that Martha broke up with Michael to date Lawrence (April last year) and then broke up with Lawrence to date Michael again (February this year). This second comic strip is a little different from the first one.
Comic strip #1: Martha appears to be asking Michael to do something after he gets off work.
Comic strip #2: Martha sees Lawrence approaching the hot dog stand and Martha has an idea for a way to tease Lawrence.
Comic strip #1: Martha extends an invitation for Michael to meet her family on a boat trip. Michael says, “Sure!!” and clearly does not think of the ramifications of such an invitation. In my family when my kids were 14 years old, the answer would have been, “I would like to come, but I need to ask my parents first.” With the Pattersons as parents, such a question is unnecessary.
Comic strip #2: Martha wants to make sure Lawrence hears her asking Michael to meet her family and spend time with them on the boat.
Comic strip #1: Martha leaves and Lawrence is so impressed by how much Martha likes Michael, he encourages him to be romantic on their boat trip under the stars.
Comic strip #2: Lawrence describes Michael’s situation as a “night for action.” Michael says, “Yeah!” not even wondering if Lawrence had a similar experience with Martha when they were dating. Did Lawrence meet Martha’s parents and go on a boat trip too? We will never know.
Comic strip #1: Michael is more interested in the boat engine than in spending a romantic evening with Martha. This causes Lawrence to shake or squeeze the can of soda until some of it spills out. Yes, Lawrence. Back in 1990, Michael was the gay one.
Comic strip #2: Michael talks about horse power and Lawrence, in a moment of heavy-handed symbolism, spews liquid out of the drink he is holding as he thinks of his night with Martha.
Comic strip #1: This is the beginning of the other side of Michael – where he is more excited by motors and automobiles than he is about girls.
Comic strip #2: Lawrence realizes that his relationship with Martha will always be better than Michael's relationship with Martha.