What really irritates me about the current arc is that Michael is allowed to not only get away with thievery, he’s rewarded for being honest enough to return what he was goaded into stealing. This would not happen in the real world; what would happen is that Elly and Connie would have to retrieve their errant children at the store manager’s office and be told exactly why their offsprings are damned lucky to only be banned from the store for life when they could just as easily have pressed charges. Add in a strip wherein Lawrence tried very hard to avoid having to understand what an accessory after the fact is and you get what would happen in the real world.
The storekeeper in the strip, on the other hand, is what Lynn thinks a shopkeeper should be; in her mind, he’d be a fair-minded person who’d understand if someone made a mistake and wouldn’t let the mean old police take someone who was sorry to jail or sue them for damages or all the other things that she herself has probably been threatened with over the years of petty, mindless thievery. The Elly who bit into phone books when faced with the supposed menace of browsers and people who ask questions she doesn’t know the answer to stands revealed as the very best sort of shopkeeper there ever was because she bent over awkward to accommodate a thief who said that she was sorry; were it not for cruel, selfish, heartless picky-faced Martians and their unfair and evil truth about her being a gullible fathead who can’t think, she’d still be
making a ridiculous mess of things happily plugging away.