Pete’s heading out for a night on the town! That’s the town in the background, a classic 20s cityscape. His hat has favored him tonight; it stays on. He is gripping his cane upside down, but that’s just his way. He rather looks like Dagwood Bumstead after he fell in a vat of acid and became The Joker, but that’s a decade or so away. He uses a phone at a shop that sells - get ready for the gag of all gags - used cigars.

 



To Swan’s credit, he doesn’t push the used-cigar gag that hard; like many other items in this curious strip, they’re just there. Unexplained. (You’ll see in the next strip how he does something truly bizarre with the cigar.) If nothing else, the used cigars cushion Pete’s ass when it’s flung into the hard, tiled floor.

Pete must have presumed that he was talking to the undertakers, since he obviously began his descent before the punchline was revealed. Unless it was very humid, that is, and word balloons tended to stick around for a few seconds.