(Originally published Friday, August 21, 1992)
The one where Mike thinks feeling nothing is totally awesome
compared to feeling something and the readers think Michael has finally crossed the line to psychopath at least the part where they fail to form genuine emotional attachments and have relationships that are shallow and fakePanel 1:
Michael thinks back to two months ago when he stalked Martha in a mall. Remember that Michael did not understand why he stalked her just to say “Hello”. He wanted to understand himself and why he did that. Apparently that never happened.Panel 2:
Instead of figuring himself out, Michael is happy with his transformation into “feels nothing” boy. Then he thinks this strange thing, “She doesn’t even look the same.” Why would Michael think she looks differently? When you compare Martha to the last way she appeared, she was dressed fashionably. Her hair was flowing long. Now she is wearing a work uniform and her hair is pulled back into a ponytail. Other than that, she looks the same to me, but not to Michael.
I think this is the key element to this story. In the mall Martha looked wealthy and well-off. In the BURGERS place, Martha looks working class. The clothes make the woman and Michael can’t be with a girl wearing working class clothes. As I have said before, this comes up again with Rhetta Blum, who does not get a university education like Michael. Ultimately Michael ends up with Deanna, who does have a degree, and whose father, as the owner of a hardware store, has some amount of wealth.Panel 3:
We come back to what Martha is saying as Michael was in his usual trance when she talks and he ignores everything she said. So just what did Martha say? Let’s see if we can reconstruct that dialogue:Martha:
I tried calling you but you wouldn’t return my calls. I tried talking to you in school but you walked away from me. So, I asked Gordon if he could help me, because he has done it before and he’s about the only guy you talk to.Martha:
I thought I was majorly in love with Peter Finkbeiner, but he ended up being a fink. Yes, Finkbeiner being a fink. Ha ha! I know you would never do that, so it made me appreciate that you were not that bad a guy, even if you couldn’t remember my name, like even now, when you haven’t said my name, which is Martha, by the way.Martha:
So. Michael, now that I’m free again, I really want to get together, seriously. Like- just say what you want me to do.Panel 4:
"Double bacon an’ cheeseburger." Oh, Lynn. It’s a bacon double cheeseburger or a double bacon cheeseburger or a double bacon double cheeseburger. There is no “an’” in there.Summary:
We have only one more appearance of Martha around Wednesday, June 28, 2023, when Michael graduates from high school and that’s it. At that time, he will show that he has forgotten this moment in the BURGERS restaurant, but still carries a major grudge against Martha for being the only girl to ever break up with him first. Oh, Martha. You should be so happy that Michael ordered that burger instead of ordering you around.