February 12th, 2020


Friday, 14 February 2020

In the days before cell phones, you had to make your calls on the pay phone in school.  Also, kids could not have fun unless they had money. 

(Original Publication Date, 15 February 1991)

Panel 1: Putting on their coats to head outside because they have stayed at the dance so long they are closing the gym, Gordon reminds Michael to call for the ride home.   This is what comes from not participating in the dance.  There is a fair amount of cleaning up that happens after a dance, so this means the dance was over and all the cleaning was done and it has taken this long for Michael and his crew of non-dancers to realize the event is over. 

Panel 2: Gordon suggests they do something and the whole crew agrees.  Lawrence says, “Let’s party!” which is somewhat ironic since this crew has spent most of the evening avoiding the party.   Considering that, it is a wonder it took until the dance was over for someone to suggest that they go some other place to party.  They could have left after Michael finished his chips.

Panel 3: Gordon throws his hands up in the air and yells, “EEOWW Freedom”.  Look at the wide eyes on Michael’s shocked face when he hears that.  The immediate reaction of the rest of the crew is to find a reason not to go out.  Oh, Gordon.   No one wants to spend an evening with your howling and screeching.   Michael suggests, “…Anybody got any money?”  Martha and Lawrence are immediately poor.   This is the only way I can make this work because Lynn Johnston has already established last fall that Michael and Martha went out every night.  Money is not an issue with them, even though this ends up being the punchline for this comic strip.

Panel 4: Somehow moneyless Michael has managed to find the money to use the pay phone to call John to pick them up.  Notice that the one person in the crew who is not volunteering to have no money is Gordon.  This is because we are still in the days where Lynn Johnston has established Gordon has money and has not yet gotten to the point of painting him as poor and beaten.   Remember these moments from the past?”

Gordon has the roller skates that he can rent to Michael.

Gordon giving money to Mike to go out on a date just this last year:

Summary:   The joke is supposed to be about how teenagers that have no money are teenagers who don’t stay out late and party and get into trouble.  I say, “joke”, but what I really mean is “The message to Aaron Johnston in 1991” warning him that he is going to be cut off if he doesn’t stop partying so much.