(Original Publication Date, 11 July 1991)
Panel 1: Since Mike is just now half way to realizing that John lied when he said there was a chance he could avoid being packed off to the farm, he tells John that it's absolutely NO FAIR that this is happening because he said that if he'd found a good summer job, he could stay in town. John says that he made that (lying) promise and Mike asks him for one good reason why he can't take Fiona up on her job offer.
Panel 2: Instead of leading with one good reason, John buries it within four bad ones: the billiard parlour is three blocks away from a bus stop in a 'bad' neighbourhood, they serve liquor, Fiona has a 'bad' reputation and he doesn't like Mike's chances of getting paid.
The 'serving liquor' is the good reason. The rest is snobbery and lies because all Mike gets from Danny is room, board and a big hat while Fiona would actually be required by law to pay him.
Panel 3: When he asks if this means that they won't let him take the job, John tells Mike that no, they're not going to let him take the job.
Panel 4: Lynn panders to the base by having Mike angst about how the problem is that his parents just don't CARE about him. What Mike doesn't get is that the problem is actually that his parents are never honest with him.
Summmary: He's kind of half-right. Parents who did care about him would, you know, talk to him more. Also, they care about their reputation a lot more and it ain't like Danny is going to pay him much either.