As you will recall, dear readers…


Through the magic of the comic strip, I cut a few corners in today’s newspaper. This was in the interest of moving our story along. In case you don’t know or remember, our story is this: late last summer, Arlo and Janis were blindsided by their son Gene’s desire to skip a semester of college and accept a menial job in an oceanside restaurant belonging to the family of a friend, Mary Lou Benito. They dissuaded Gene from interrupting his education but promised to consider allowing Gene to accept the job over his up-coming summer break if it were still available. Summer has arrived, and the job offer stands.

Gene will be a junior in college when he returns, and he will be 21 on his next birthday. Arlo and Janis must accept that their direct influence on the actions of their son is waning, but they see their job as parents as far from finished. As agreed, they are considering approval of Gene’s summer plans, but they feel they can’t without some unfiltered intelligence. So, it’s off to the beach, and that’s where we join our story in progress.

All this is complicated by the fact Gene and Mary Lou are, as the old folks say, sweet on each other. Mary Lou and her foibles, through no planning of my own, have taken on importance in the comic strip second only to the three central characters–and Ludwig the cat, of course. She and her family are, in fact, about the only recurring characters in the strip outside the immediate family. A little more about that tomorrow, but that’s enough for now.

I hope you are looking forward to seeing where this goes as much as I am!