howtheduck (howtheduck) wrote in binky_betsy,

Friday, 16 August 2019

(Originally published August 17, 1990)
And now for the first appearance of Martha’s brother, Stan.

Panel 1:
Harriet and Fred move a cooler to make room for Stan.  Michael, in a moment of unusual attentiveness for him, realized he doesn’t know who Stan is.

Panel 2:
Martha explains that Stan is her older brother and raises the question of why Michael does not know she has an older brother.  I believe this comic strip answers that question:

Panel 3:
Michael decides that what he needs to do is stand on the dock and face off with Stan old Western style.  Let’s look at the rules of engagement as defined by Michael Patterson.

Meeting Big Brother Rule
No. 1:  Look at big brother.  That’s not really a rule, but for a kid with Michael’s attention span that may be more difficult than you would think.  Perhaps Michael is thinking that if Stan just gets a look from a Patterson acknowledging his existence, that's all he needs to do.
No. 2:  Smile and say hi to big brother. A friendly greeting and a smile?  Michael doesn’t do that for anyone (and he won’t do it here either).  Sorry, Michael.  That is simply beyond your ability.
No. 3:  Assume an attitude of supreme self-confidence.  In other words, act like smug Patterson.  That’s has to be the easiest thing on this list for Mike.  Does he ever stop doing that?

Panel 4:
I looked for a slang word definition for “dustball” and the only thing I found was that it was literally "a ball of dust," like a dust mouse or a dust bunny.  Don’t be intimidated Michael.  Stan may be bigger and smarter than you are, but he still has the buck teeth of a loser. 

Unlike his parents, Stan seems to be unaware Martha has a boyfriend.  It’s either that or he expected Martha had better taste in boys and he doesn’t think Michael could possibly be the boyfriend.  It works either way. 

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