This flashback tells the story of something that the characters have alluded to in the comic at various times. I’ve always called this kind of thing Implied Past. Colloquially they are called Noodle Incidents. Implied past allows characters to seem like they’ve lived complete lives without having to stop and explain every exploit in the middle of the current story.
I don’t typically write backstory off handedly. If a character mentions something I’ve worked out enough of the story so that if it ever became important said character could relate the tale. I always intended to tell this story eventually. I wanted someone else to actually draw it, but I was going to tell it from the moment it was mentioned because it’s important for the relationship between Jolene and Reggie. That said, in the original version Reggie was the one who carried around a lighter. In spite of the fact that it makes no sense at all. For whatever reason that’s how I wrote it. When I dug out the files so I could start this flashback I finally noticed this glaring error. Clearly Jo would have a lighter on her. I’m not sure that I would have noticed this if I’d handed it off to someone else, but I’m glad I did because it makes much more sense. In fact, I think someone suggested it in the comments. It was hidden in plain sight, I guess.
The Teen has a play tonight. This being so I’m making sure that everything is ready in advance. I’ve been helping her rehearse for a while. Her part is small, but she’s very nervous about it. I can hardly blame her. I hate being in front of an audience. I can do it when called upon, but I avoid it whenever possible. It’s ironic that my job is basically spending all day in front of a virtual audience.