The strip is littered with gags - the floor says “Wet Paint Kee Poff.” A dollar bill with a “Sold” sign. “Striped Paint” is for sale. And so on. Hardy, har, har. Panel three has a 20s term for spats & socks: “Puppy blankets.” I like that.

 



But it’s panel number four that really alarms: the Thurberesque woman’s Violently Ordinary Rejoinder – which comes to her in the form of a thought-balloon that shoots her hat off - knocks Pete back and blows the rover-quilts and shoes off his feet. It also causes stars to appear in the air. Who is seeing these stars? Are they generated by Pete’s pain? Can they be captured with a fine net?