(Original Publication Date, 31 January 1991)
Panel 1: We're at the Nichols house watching Anne tell Mike that she and Steve are glad he could sit for them this evening.
Panel 2: She assures him that Leah and the boys are sound asleep so he doesn't have a thing to worry about. Since this is Anne, we know that she's too stoooooopid to check or know when a child is faking sleep so of course, the little demons are wide awake and ready to cause mischief.
Panel 3: She then says that she and Steve only just decided to go out so is sorry that she gave him such short notice. He says it's okay.
Panel 4: He thought-bubbles his real opinion after they leave and thought-bubbles that it's easier to come there if he doesn't have time to think about it.
Summary: While the "Annie is a smiling and stupid pushover mother" theme is dying away, the "Mike wants to duck out of unpleasant anything" theme is just getting started. In twenty-six years, he'll run home to Mama after the mean man makes him fire people.