February 23rd, 2019


Monday, 25 February 2019

(Originally published Monday, February 26, 1990)

Gordon puts his foot in it.

Panel 1: We see the taxi in the background, so this means Lynn Johnston decided not to show the following things:

  1. Allyson struggling to get to the girls’ bathroom to clean up and the reaction of any girls there seeing her do it. 

  2. Gordon finding a phone in the school to call for the taxi (as this was the days before cell phones were commonplace for teenagers).

  3. The taxi arriving and then the awkward moment when Gordon tells Allyson that he is going to ride in the taxi with her.

  4. The conversation between Gordon and the taxi driver where he expresses concern about payment and driving two 14-year-olds away from a school without any adult around saying that it is OK to do that.

  5. The taxi ride over with Gordon and whatever conversation Gordon and Allyson have (if any). 

  6. The arrival at Allyson’s house where Gordon insists he has to walk her to the door.

  7. Plus because Allyson is still holding her stomach, there could have been a few perilous moments in the taxi where she might feel a little motion sickness and lose more of her lunch.

That’s a lot to leave out of a story.  As they walk to Allyson’s house, we see more of the odd, uncaring Gordon.  His hands are firmly embedded in his coat and there is no sense that he fears Allyson will need any support walking through the snow or up the stairs to her house.  Instead, Allyson has a conversation about how she feels stupid.  This is also an odd thing.  Allyson was forced to drink this junk by Pete and then abandoned by Pete and you would think she might be feeling a little angry about the way she was betrayed by Pete.  Also, she is about to enter her house with alcohol and vomit on her breath and you would think she might be feeling a little nervous about her parents’ reaction. 

Panel 2: Allyson explains she’s never had anything to drink like that before.  Notice she doesn’t say she has never drunk alcohol before.   Allyson drinks, but only the good stuff, as she tries to explain to Gordon Mayes, the Grade 8 boy who carries enough money on him to be able to hire a taxi.  Gordon says the nice thing about how “We all do dumb things once in a while.”  Gordon is an expert in doing dumb things, like when a girl cuts herself down, you are not supposed to agree with her. 

Panel 3: Allyson gives Gordon the over-the-shoulder, looking up into his eyes “Goodnight” with 5 hearts around it.  Now’s your chance, Gordon.  She just gave you the signal.  Why doesn’t Gordon go for the kiss?:

  1. Allyson just vomited a little while ago.  Who wants to put their mouth on those vomit lips?  Duh!

  2. Gordon is offended by the way she put together the words “good” and “night” in one word “goodnight.”

  3. Gordon’s hands are comfortable in his jacket and they don’t want to be bothered by having to reach for some girl.

  4. Gordon has spotted the 6870 on the door and is briefly distracted by the idea that those numbers might mean something to Lynn Johnston.

  5. Gordon’s desire to destroy potted plants has gotten in the way of his romantic desires once again.

Panel 4: Gordon’s foot is deeply embedded in the potted plant making a silent visual message that….oh, what is this saying?:

  1. Did he make a mistake climbing the stairs and make an assumption the potted plant was another stair? 

  2. Did Gordon shuffle his feet about so much it landed in the potted plant? 

  3. Is Gordon so angry at himself for failing to kiss Allyson that he takes his anger out on her potted plant?

  4. Are we seeing another demonstration that Gordon’s hands are so comfortable in his coat he can’t take them out to help Allyson, kiss Allyson, or remove Allyson’s potted plant from his foot?

Summary: Gordon and potted plants don’t mix.  That’s why Gordon works with cars.