August 25th, 2019


Tuesday, 27 August 2019

(Originally published August 28, 1990)
Mike’s moment with Martha comes and then it goes.

Panel 1:
Again Martha seems to be the only intelligent person on the boat as she cues her family that cold is going to be the problem if they are out overnight.  Oh, Michael.  Martha wouldn’t be saying that if she had your arm around her.  Another missed opportunity for Michael.

Panel 2:
Harriet says the word “snuggle” and we see the towel she has passed to Martha does obscure whatever Michael is doing with his hands at that point.  Michael does a “stare straight at the reader with open eyes” look.  Yes, reader, Michael wants us to know that this is the moment he has been waiting for.  

Oh, Michael.  Your moment was when you were jumping off the boat with Martha while holding hands.  The moment you start hot-dogging it by showing off your diving style and ignoring Martha when her brother teased you, was when you lost your chance.   Michael and Martha have not talked since then.  Not one word.  Michael turned himself into just another person on the boat at that point.   He has been nothing but thought balloons since then.

If Michael had any boating experience from the time he spent with his Grandpa Jim or with his Uncle Phil, we don’t see it here.  That would have been a great way for Michael to show that he is not just an idiot kid.  In contrast, Martha appears to be the only smart one in the bunch.

Panel 3:
Of course Michael has something else in mind.  He was thinking back to Lawrence’s comment at the beginning of all this.  Why do I get the feeling that things didn’t go this way when Martha’s family wanted to meet Lawrence?

In case the women really wanted to stay warm, I expect Fred or Stan would carry the most physical heat.  The women are suffering together really for no other reason than to keep Michael from snuggling against Martha.  The message is, “We have met you Michael and we don’t trust you to behave with Martha, even while we are right here looking at you.”