A For Better or For Worse strip that recently appeared in the paper, originally published in the early 1980s.
This is a common trope I saw in media when I was a kid. The protagonist (often, but not always, a child) does something mildly wacky (in this case, running through some guy's sprinkler) and the bystanders - nearly always adults - would be baffled and bemused. This seemed like the natural order of things to me at the time.
But now I'm looking at it from an adult perspective, and I realize that, as adults, we understand why people would run through sprinklers. We did it when we were kids, it's hot out for us too, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who runs through the sprinklers I pass on hot days when my schedule and my outfit allow me to get wet. I've even seen an elderly lady in a walker deliberately walk closer to the grass so that the sprinkler would sprinkle her.
But in this comic strip, the homeowner is scratching his head as though he's utterly baffled that someone would run through his sprinkler. Why doesn't he get it? Were adults in the 80s more boring than adults now?
On one hand, the author of the comic strip was an adult when she wrote it, so she must understand why people would run through sprinklers. On the other hand, she also wrote the idea that the homeowner would be baffled, which means that it seemed like a plausible reaction to her. FBoFW was far from the only medium of my childhood that portrayed adults baffled by childish whimsy that my adult self (and the creator's adult self) would totally understand. What was going on there?