This page was probably more autobiographical than I’d intended. My last set of romantic aspirations, prior to this, had been focused on a woman who preferred the bad boys, and while I’d had other girlfriends with other tastes prior to that, she was still somewhat on my mind. I’m not a bad boy and never will be, and thankfully, I would later find and marry someone whose preferences matched me better.

So I can laugh at Penk in panel 2, his teeth practically creaking as he forces the sort of “evil grin” he thinks might impress Strulk. But there’s a little cringe with the laughter, now.

I think in one sense, Penk’s chances are better than he realizes, because panel 3 means that Strulk is paying attention to his actual actions, not just dismissing him with a single glance at his, er, drumstick. But in another sense, it really is hopeless. To do what he’d need to do to appeal to her, he’d have to be someone else.