Panel 1: Whaaaaat? We just saw in the retcons that Mike had to be carried out like a doll (and you know he was lovin' every second of it...Mmm, firefighters!*) and taken away in an ambulance! And good job on the towel over the face, but why is he not crawling when the smoke is so thick? And why can't we get the pleasure of a cliffhanger, so we can at least have the weekend to pretend he's dead**?
Panel 2: Yes, Deanna, back off and let them do their work. The most that's acceptable is, "Look out -- I left some stuff on the fire escape," so they don't trip on it. Otherwise, they're not in the business of saving your blanket and photo albums. Or anyone's manuscript.
Panel 3: Okay, so they are taking him to hospital. But there's Mike's priorities. Not, "Deanna, are the kids okay?" Not, "Deanna, thank god you're safe!" Just "Deanna, take my laptop!"
Panel 4: Gee, I wonder what Deanna's answer is going to be. Anyway, why isn't Merrie continuing her Santa thread? Like, "How will Santa find us now?" or "Was Santa in there?" I have a hard time believing that a four-year-old has any concept of "losing everything". Or perhaps even that fire consumes and destroys.
Panel 5: I have to say, that makes me want to cry. Just the look on her face, I guess. And the fact that "each other" is her and the kids, not her and the kids and Mike.
*I have epilepsy. Haven't had a seizure in years, but a long time ago, I had one bad enough that Cookie Monster had to call 911. About a week later, a crew of EMTs came into the restaurant where I worked, and one of them said, "Hey, remember me?" Well, truth to be told, I didn't! Because a seizure leaves a big gap in your memory. But looking at him, I had to say I regretted not remembering! FTR, I just said, "Oh yeah...Thank you!"
**Earlier today, I was telling Cookie Monster about Howard's prediction that the last panel today would have Mike unconscious on the floor. And he said, "But you know what'll happen -- the Sunday strip will have the WHOLE family celebrating Christmas together, including Mike! They'll all be standing around with those big open mouths of joy, and Elly will be lifting the grandkids in the air -- "Awwwwww!" with her big open mouth, and the dogs will be panting, and Grampa will be all full of life, and then Elly or John will have some corny summation at the end."
Said I, "You're snarking! I can't believe you're snarking! Why won't you come to the dark side with me?"