Another balloon-free classic featuring teenage angst from 1999. Sometimes, when you’re a cartoonist, you just have to laugh. Laugh ruefully, I mean. This cartoon reminds me of another I drew a few years back. Arlo is working a crossword puzzle and is groping for a four-letter word that means Hawaiian folk dance. Through four panels, he’s stumped, and oblivious to Janis gyrating in the background, similar to Arlo in the second panel above. After the cartoon appears in newspapers, I get a snippy email from someone who writes, “I don’t know what that woman in the background is supposed to be doing, but it sure isn’t the hula.” As Steve Martin might have said at one time, “Well, excuuuuse me!” What is about comic strips that make some people so serious?