Clever! Cherry picked a middle course of action. Question: How did she just happen to have a set of walkie-talkies? I think Rusty will go with the “or so” option for communicating with Mom, right?
Cherry takes a “Dagwood” (or a George Burns ) pose to commiserate directly with us. I think a lot of readers are already there.
Rusty’s neck in panel 2 is improbably long and skinny (as has been observed and commented on with other characters). Perhaps, though, it could be there to emphasize Rusty’s surprise reaction to see the walkie-talkie. But then again, I’d expect to see some supporting accent lines, as with the walkie-talkie.