(Strip Number 286, Original Publication Date, 17 July 1982)
Panel 1: As John is forced to march his frightened son and friend inside, he grumbles and snarls about the lousy kids who want to deprive him of sleep.
Panel 2: As Poor, Put-Upon, Sleep-Deprived, Only-Wants-To-Deal-With-Kids-When-It's-F
Panel 3: Gordon says that they can pretend that they're in the deep woods; Mike agrees because except for one thing, they have everything that they need.
Panel 4: Mike's asking John when he's going to put the tent up gives us a look at a rarity: an angered gobsmack.
Summary: I'd originally written this angry screed because I was still sore about the "you owe us" bullshit:
A better-on-our-terms parent would either explain that he's very tired and could they pretend that they have a tent or leave out the part about being tired. JFTF's reaction to Mike's simple, age-appropriate and harmless request is doubtless going to be an angry snarl that accuses a dumb-ass of being an eeeeeeeeeeeevil monster that wants to overthrow adult authority, destroy civilization and bruise fruit. The worst of it is that Lynn thinks that an angry, gutless, dickless, paranoid mess like this is a great father because he's a source of money; affection, attention and the ability to empathize with children is not only not required, it's to be avoided at all costs because dealing with emotions is women's work. Long story short, Mike's screwed.
That's because I'd forgotten that Lynn completely dropped the ball by not making John Mike's step-dad; he makes a lot more sense as an instant father screwing up at every turning than a man who was there all along. We're probably looking at Rod dealing with the discovery that the boy he agreed to take on is, as Doctor Venture would put it, 'sensitive' and what The Mighty Monarch would call 'effeminate'.