(Strip Number 187, Original Publication Date, 27 October 1981)
Panel 1: We find ourselves at John's clinic; as Jean looks on in amusement, he's recording the following message for his new machine by saying "*AHEM* This is Doctor Patterson's office; I'm not here right now...."
Panel 2: "...at the sound of the tone, please leave your name and number."
Panel 3: He then hits the STOP button.
Panel 4: Jean tells a bemused John that she's amused by the part where he says he isn't there.
Summary: I'm not; it's like being asked to laugh at him for ordering a small coffee at Tim Horton's, Or, for that matter, reading the sort of "OMG!! John is the suxxors as a dentist LOL!!!" strip I thought this was at first blush. Since Lynn loves to present John as being a callous blunderer, I originally thought he was trying to duck answering a call.