(Strip Number 1442, Original Publication Date, 14 April 1989)
Panel 1: Michael obediently follows Martha’s suggest to engage the help of his mother, now making her first post-perm appearance as “perm in a pony”. The tail part of the pony stays just off panel as if Lynn Johnston could not quite decide how the pony part should look.
Panel 2: Such is the degree of Elly’s complete and utter focus on the idea that boys and girls must become couples at the earliest possible opportunity, she assumes that “boy-girl party” means that Michael associates with only the Grade 7 kids that are established couples. When I was in 7th Grade, that number would have been exactly zero (0) kids. Michael seems as surprised by the suggestion as I am and says,” Couples? No! Get real!” I would say the same thing to Elly too; but if I had raised a son who had been thinking about marrying Deanna Sobinski when he was 6 years old, I can sort of understand why she might jump to this conclusion.
Panel 3: Michael explains to Elly that her logic is flawed because none of the kids LOVE each other. I guess this means that:
- If they did LOVE each other, then they would be couples.
- The kids are just in it for the gratuitous sex, not the LOVE.
- Michael has confused the splayed hands gesture with a sign of LOVE.
- The kids are still at the LIKE or really LIKE or double dog dare LIKE levels.
- Michael is confused because Elly’s hair is still curly but he is not getting tacos.
- "LOVE means never having to say you're a couple.”
Panel 4: Michael then says something which any boy of any intelligence would not say to his mother after asking her to host a boy-girl party. (b) appears to be the answer to the Panel 3 list. More amazing than Michael’s question is Elly’s completely unperturbed response instead of her usual goggle-eyed shock. She appears to be staring out into space imagining what it would be like to host a party with coupling Grade 7 kids in the dimly-lit rec room. I would say it would get very exciting about 9 months after the party.
Summary: And so we see the beginning of Elly’s part in the birthday party, where she attempts to be the cool parent, even though she is probably still wondering why Michael’s friends are not already couples.