Anyone who doesn't know the first two panels are awkwardly framed to make sure we can't see the table deserves to be surprised by the dead fern reveal. The rest of us deserve to laugh anyway: no other strip is laid out so monotonously that a few millimeters tilted up from the normal angle is thoroughly disorienting.
The only way for Jon to have this information about a his date's odor preferences are for her to have shared it with him before their first date. This can only mean Jon's date is a total weirdo, and if she's a lady who uses "I like my men to smell masculine" as small talk, well, she deserves what she gets.
P1: Motion lines: really necessary?
P2: Jon's pose indicates: he is telling his cat a secret.
P3: Jon also hasn't changed his clothes for at least two days.