Well, we're changing the subject by leading into a flashback. Oh, dear. Cue the tumbleweed.
Panel 1: We start off with Elly and Connie walking around the mall. Elly thanks her friend for coming out with her as John is away and she didn't feeling like spending the evening alone. Connie says "Anytime" in response.
Panel 2: She then asks why, if John is semi-retired and getting semi-retireder, he still attends dental conventions. Elly responds that he likes to keep current.
Panel 3: Connie then tells us we're about to see the series of strips wherein Elly was John's dental assistant by reminding her of that fact. Elly responds by stating they didn't have the money to hire one.
Panel 4: She then makes a groaner pun about living from hand to mouth as they sit down to have the inevitable conversation over coffee. Connie does the sticky-out tongue laugh as if she's just heard the funniest thing EVAH!!
Hypothesis: We're in for another bunch of nasty strips. If I recall correctly, Elly wasn't that competent and John wasn't all that patient with her. This might have been where he developed his antagonism to the idea of her working outside the home, as a matter of fact.