Like certain strips before this one, I always felt as I was working on this that the premise was solid. What do you do when your date goes off the deep end and starts talking about stuff that’s so far outside your normal frame of reference that you do not know what to say? Given that as a point of tension, would it be possible to still give it a 180 degree turn and reverse the reader’s assumptions? These are good principles to work from when I am not sure what the actual punchline is going to be.
As usual when I try this, the turnaround may be surprising and clever, but I think it’s the throwaway punch at the end that will probably get the laugh. Cracking a good joke is probably this guy’s only hope of getting out of the trap. I like being able to give him a line that in real life would more likely fall into the “if only I had thought to say that at the time” category.