#1 = Elly telling Anne about the upcoming camping trip in "just a couple of days" (we saw this Monday, 8/10/09)
#2: Elly is packing a suitcase. John says, "A weekend camping--just think about it! Then he grabs her upper arms and says, "Rushing rivers, fresh air, the autumn leaves..." He embraces her and she smiles as he says, "It's the sort of thing that makes two people fall in love again!" Finally, we see Michael looking on and asking, "Can I watch?" John looks nonplussed and Elly looks gobsmacked.
#3: The first two panels show the car tooling down the road, loaded with a camping pod on top (I think--it's a long shot of the car). In the first panel, the speech bubble pointing at the driver's side of the car says, "No, I'm fine, honey, I'm fine! .... Really, I'm not tired." Next one has the driver's-side speech bubble saying, "No, no... You don't have to drive!" Third and final frame shows a weary, bags-under-the-eyes Elly (in the passenger seat) looking at a smiling John (driving) who says, "Just relax and amuse the kids!" In the back seat, Michael and Liz are eating unidentifiable messy food, while Michael looks distressed and Liz looks happy. There are random moisture drops emanating from the food, Liz's mouth, and Liz's elbow. There's an open book between the two kids, a discarded teddy to one side of Michael, and Elly's right arm, bent at the elbow so her elbow is pointed straight up and her forearm dangles over the back of her seat, has a bunny puppet on it. (Edited for clarity)
#4: The Patterfamilias at the beach. Lizzie crawls on the sand, John takes a towel to his ear, and says, "Brrr-r.... Could you hand me my glasses, Elly?" (Elly, who is just a head and shoulders, appears to have gained about 60 pounds.) Second panel, he is headed towards the water wearing his glasses and a stupid grin. Elly has picked up Liz, who is trying to pull down one of Elly's swimsuit straps. Elly says, "Why do you need glasses if you're going back in the water?" Third and final panel has him saying, "So I can see!" He is standing in the water, looking over his shoulder back at Elly, and is surrounded by bikini-clad young women. John the letch has arrived! Edited for clarity
#5: Elly has the camping stove set up on a picnic table. John pops his head out of the tent (with Mike at his elbow) and says, "M-m-boy! I love the smell of bacon and eggs!!" Elly is smiling and is wearing her head kerchief. Next Panel, the family is at the table. Liz seems to be approximately on John's lap as he sits back with his arms folded behind his head as he says, "Camped by a lake with a crackling fire, a cool breeze--what a life!" Elly seems to be cleaning dishware as Mike watches, filthy-faced but smiling, and there's a large bowl full of uneaten mystery food on the table. Third and final panel has Elly sweeping out the tent as John asks, "Don't you just love getting away from it all?"
#6: [Panel one] Mike walks sullenly along the beach. [Panel two] Then he carries a stick as other kids play on the swings and in the sandbox. [Panel three]As other people fish, he does something I can't identify with a stick and some implement. Possibly pulling leaves off. Maybe he's trying to whittle. Last panel, Elly has a frying pan in one hand and a bucket full of water in the other. Mike folds his arms across his chest and mopes, "I hate camping, Mom. There's nothing to do." Edited based on cookie77's comment below
#7: A single-panel strip. It's pouring rain and John and Elly are loading up the car. Liz is sitting in the back seat and looking out the window with a worried expression on her face. Mike is holding a boat, standing in the foreground, and shouting, "Just when I'm havin' a good time, we've gotta leave!!
#8: The Patterslobs have stopped at a burger stand on their way home. They are sitting around a table outdoors, Pattersnarfing: [Panel one] burgers for John and Elly, and hotdog for Lizzie (she has the hotdog in one hand and the bun in the other) and something off-panel for Michael, who is a disembodied head at the left, bottom corner of the first panel. Elly is saying, "MMM" as she snarfs. Spittle flies from the Pattermouths. (Well, not from Lizzie's but her 'dog is apparently sweating.) Next panel, John looks disgusted and says, "Don't tell me you're enjoying this stuff!" Elly stares at him. Lizzie has ostensibly demolished her bun and is dropping its pieces from an elevated left hand as she seems to consider eating the hotdog. Michael has disappeared. Final panel: Liz has become just a pair of hands tossing the hotdog into the air as Elly responds to John: "John.. It's amazing what tastes good when you don't cook it yourself!" He looks stunned. Michael is still disappeared.
#9: [Panel one] Michael's face looking out his car window as he points and yells, "There it is! There's our house!" Next panel, he goes charging out of the car (probably climbed right over Liz in her booster seat) and yelling "YA-A-A-A-Y!" Next panel, Elly holds Liz while standing in front of the car. John is apparently removing the pod from the top of the car while saying, "What's with Michael? ...We were only gone a few days!" Last panel, Michael is actually embracing the house (hugging a corner) while thinking, "Hi, house! ...Did you miss us?"
For those of you playing along at home, these strips are on pages 117-119 of I've Got the One-More-Washload Blues.