IN LATER YEARS, HE BRIBED THEM WITH HIS ALLOWANCE
On the surface, today's strip makes NO FRIGGIN' SENSE and I'll tell you why. Mikey laments that he's bored because - pay attention here - There's NO ONE to PLAY WITH. But when Elly suggests setting up a lemonade stand, suddenly the local munchkins emerge from every corner of the neighborhood. Well, obviously they were there all along, and this brings me to this conclusion - either Lynn was really stretching for the end panel joke even back then, or ELLY HAD TO BRIBE KIDS TO GET THEM TO PLAY WITH MIKE!
This makes the most sense, being as how the little self-absorbed prick couldn't get Farley to play with him unless there was a PORK CHOP tied around the boy's neck! And since Farley isn't even in the picture that I see, Mike had no choice but to coax the kids out of hiding by plying them with drink. Later it will be booze at his Par-TAYs. Booze they will have to supply themselves, I might add. >:-)
The joke is NOT that Elly is now saddled with playing hostess at the lemonade stand; it is that she'll be doing the same thing in the winter time with hot cocoa. And once the kids are tired of the same old flavors all the time, she'll have to come up with another version of a pork chop.