February 10th, 2018


Monday, 12 February 2018

Back in 1989, for some reason Lynn Johnston decided to start Valentine’s Day a week earlier and 29 years later she appears to have learned the error of her ways as we see Michael pick out a Valentine’s Day card a few days before the actual day.

(Strip Number 1413, Original Publication Date, 6 February 1989)

Panel 1: Michael thinks, “Bleah” with his tongue out. This is, of course, another reference to the master, Charles Schulz, except that Schulz understood why “Bleah” goes along with the tongue out. As it is, Michael is sticking his tongue out to ridicule a card. If only Snoopy and Lucy were here to correct him:

Panel 2: “Cute. Sappy. Syrupy-cute. I don’t think I have seen the use of “syrupy” and “cute” as a hyphenated combination before. My internet search shows no evidence of anyone else doing this either. Nevertheless, Mike contends that he couldn’t give anyone a card like this.  That's just because he’s the type of guy who likes to combine his syrup with cuteness.  Me I prefer pancakes or waffles.

Panel 3: First of all, let me note that we see a sign of amazing maturity on the part of Michael Patterson here because he manages to think, “stupid”, instead of “stoopid.” I'm so happy to see him all grown up and not dropping his yod. As for his card choice, this is more like a Hallowe’en card than a Valentine’s Day card, because the head pictured looks a little like this:

Panel 4: Michael goes for the “I’ll take it” joke which Lynn only brings out to let us know that a Patterson has made a terrible shopping decision. Mike is no different.

Summary: We are about to enter a new era in the Michael / Martha relationship where she is upset with him and he actually tries to please her. In other words, Michael acts way out-of-character.