February 9th, 2020


Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The one where Gordon gives us a lot of exposition that leads to nothing, not even a decent joke.
(Original Publication Date, 12 February 1991)

Panel 1: Gordon approaches Michael and asks him if he is taking Martha to the Valentine’s Dance.   This is necessary exposition because the last major storyline involving Martha was back in August, 2019.  The readers need to be reminded that Michael has a girlfriend and her name is Martha.

Panel 2: Gordon continues on with exposition and then explains that he still has a crush on Allyson Creemore, but she thinks Gordon is a megadork.  If you think we have seen this all before, it is because we have.  We had the exact same setup for the Valentine’s Dance last year where Gordon got into the good graces of Allyson Creemore by taking her home after she got sick.  Please ignore that story and reset it back to “Gordon the megadork ignored by Allyson Creemore who doesn’t know he exists.”  Lynn Johnston does this sort of "forget what happened, we are going to repeat the story" story so often it makes me wonder if she genuinely forgot the story she did before OR if she just decided that she liked that story so much she wanted to do it again. 

Panel 3: Gordon does more exposition and explains that Allyson Creemore not only thinks he is a megadork, but that she would not notice if he died in front of her.  To be fair to Allyson, I am not sure there is much difference between Gordon and a corpse.   Michael suggests he ask someone else and who would that be?  Yes, folks Tracey Wells (future wife and mother of his children) is just a month away from making her first appearance, and the groundwork is already being laid.

Panel 4: After all this exposition Gordon explains that he can’t ask someone else because Allyson Creemore might change her mind.  Change her mind about what?  Gordon has not asked her out, so Allyson never had a chance to say, “No,” so there is no mind to change.  Also, there is no joke here.

Summary:   You would think after all this exposition we were going to see something with Allyson Creemore coming up tomorrow, but you may be thinking of a different author.  Chekhov's gun is the dramatic principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed. Elements should not appear to make "false promises" by never coming into play. As Anthon Chekhov would say, "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there."   Lynn Johnston does not play this.  We are not going to see Allyson Creemore in this story.