This strip utilizes the main Sexy Losers Rule of Comedy discussed in #004, which is you can do the same joke again if you just push it a little further than you did the first time.
Now for that story I promised in the last commentary. It’s best not to know. And it’s best not to tell either. I mean, Jon’s handling this like I would have, and that’s not a good thing. I would have believed my friends over the GF any day, that’s how much importance I placed on their acceptance at the time. Not terribly healthy. But the opposite reaction is not exactly the healthiest either.
The group I hung out with at that time discovered that the girlfriend of one of our members had more .. ahem… current male contacts than she was admitting. So we talked about it amongst ourselves. What should we do? All of us decided it was best to tell him, because we cared about the guy. We all figured (naively) that it would be better that his friends tell him than he find out on his own.
So one night, we decided to tell him. He took it incredibly badly, storming out of the place and calling her immediately to see if it was true. She denied it, and they came to the conclusion that we hated her and just wanted to see the two of them broken up for no other reason than that. He stopped hanging out with us. When we saw them together they had that smug look on them like we had failed in our dastardly plan to destroy their True Love.
The moral: Some people are happier in their ignorance. Weigh it VERY carefully before you try to tell them something they may not want to hear — the stakes may be not what you think they are.
Jon’s denial is trying to illustrate this — that he’s nursing a romantic fantasy despite what he’s hearing. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to burst the bubble.
I have a second story to explain the final panel. I was dating this girl when I was in my late teens, and we had been dating for a couple of years. You know how it is … you think it’s true love, but in reality you’re too young and too selfish to know what true love is. Anyways, we were in bed, just after having sex, when she feels it’s the time for a confession. On a camping trip a couple of nights before, one of her “male friends” slipped into her sleeping bag, and, well, you get the idea from there. I was so angry, so outraged, that I weaned every little detail from her, which only served me to get more angry. Knowing that she was having sex with other guy(s) ignited something in me… and in my anger and in her need for my forgiveness, we had sex again. But this time, it wasn’t about being in love, or equals, it was about being angry, it was about her having other sexual partners and me having some image to compete with. Like I had to be a better lover than he was. Even though she supposedly never had anything to do with him again, the relationship changed irrevocably, and there was an element of anger and jealousy whenever we had sex again.
This was not healthy, folks.
So that’s me in the last panel… feeling like I gotta compete with the lovers in her past, acting in anger and jealousy.
Some technical notes. The second panel is more real screentone, scanned in. Gotta love it. I also like the fact you never see Jon’s eyes in this one. And the little “DENIAL” sign, like it isn’t obvious that he’s in denial. And the vertical lines showing his pain.
As the last aside — that’s my jacket. I love hiking, and doing comics based on hiking was a thrill. I always wanted to do a comic with hiking in it.