‘A little bird rolled me.’

Note Arlo’s hands in the last two panels of the 2011 comic above. It is very easy, when drawing hands, to get it all backwards, especially when the hands are in dynamic positions. Because of this, I often sit at my drawing board and flail my arms about my head and back, envisioning where my fingers end up. It’s a very good thing cartooning is a solitary art. Well, spring as arrived, although it might come as a surprise to our friends in the Midwest and the Northeast. Spring arrived in parts of the South in typical fashion: accompanied by hail and tornadoes. I apologize for not posting much lately, but I hope you’ll take my word for it that it was an exceptionally busy winter around here. I’ve been pulled in many directions the past couple of months, and I don’t take that well. I’m a tunnel-vision kind of guy who focuses on one task to the detriment of others. And don’t we all have more than one task? Anyway, we’re not going out of business here, evidence to the contrary.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

177 responses to “‘A little bird rolled me.’”

  1. Jimmy, you were just following tradition that goes back to at least the Middle Ages. People were often drawn with two right hands or feet in medieval manuscripts.

  2. Spring has certainly arrived in SE Texas! We’ve had a relatively hard winter here, with snow twice! Once in December and again in early January. I hear you Northeners sneering, but the last snow here in Conroe (just north of Houston) was in 2008. We jest ain’t used to the cold we’ve had this year, and I know I’ve lost a few tender plants. But now the flowering trees are dropping their flowers and leafing out, the azaleas are in full bloom and the bluebonnets are in beautiful display. Sad to say, the tree pollen is also rampant, but the cool temperatures are a joy. In no time at all it will be hot, so I’m going outside to enjoy it while I can.

  3. Hands! Thanks for the little lesson, Jimmy! It’s so nice you dare so often to step out of a usual box and draw other poses—and all for the sake of the story. Too, it can be so hard to draw them just the right size, I’ve learned.

  4. I love today’s strip, too, Steve. Ingredients for comic strip: one part click-bait idea, one part india ink, plus brush or pen, two parts (or more) good characters, word balloons, punch line—

  5. “A Little Bird Rolled Me” reminded of the time a turtle got rolled by a gang of street snails. When the beat cop arrived and asked the turtle what had happened, he said, “I’m not sure, Officer. It all happened so fast .”

  6. The scoop on Mercury’s association w/ Wed. I’m not sure they’re right re the equivalence of Norse Odin w/ Mercury/Hermes. They may be. Probably lots of ancients didn’t realize that Mercury one planet, not two. Likewise Venus [Abendstern und Morgenstern, ja?].


  7. Ghost, it is not just Facebook but everthing on the internet. My IT manager showed me all of the extranous sh…stuff that you can pick up just going to a newspaper website. He has banned all company computors from accessing Facebook and Twitter and denies access to a lot of links on Fox, CNN, etc. It is important to have a good antivirus program and to rewiew it periodically as the hackers get more sophisticated.

    Of course my phone notifies me every morning when I wake up how long my commute will be. Even on weekends it tells me how long it takes to go to church and if I want directions to the local greasy spoon. OF COURSE I DON’T, I GO THERE EVERY WEEK AND YOU KNOW IT! When my wife realized this, I told her that she should be relieved that is gives directions to church and not the local adult book store.

  8. There is a free program called Ghostery that blocks the tracking cookies and also shows you what is trying to track you on the sites you visit. One news link I look at regularly shows up as over 20 trackers that would be collecting my reading data without it.

  9. True that, Steve. But FB and Zuck are suddenly taking the heat now for doing what everyone should have already known they (and others) were doing for years.

  10. Ghost and others

    You have radio time.

    A pet peeve – on TV or in print – the character says “Over & Out” on a 2 way radio.

    You are one or the other – not both.

  11. Ghost, I’ve never had an account at FB, because I never saw any use for it. It’s now abundantly clear that their business model consists of getting large numbers of strangers to tell them their personal data, then selling it for profit. If they have any of mine, they didn’t get it from me!

  12. Yes, as a MN vertebrate zoologist, I do. No nor’easters here, just blizzards and bitter cold. Herd of deer shelter in the woods NE of The Meadows. Part of it was cut down to make a desirable public sports area for local residents. There are likely fewer deer, though nobody’s ever done a census to my knowledge. No idea how may don’t make it most winters.

    His eye may be on the sparrow [Mt.10:29-31], but He[?] watches lots of them freeze. That’s one of the readings I’ve selected for BUMC’s 0900 service, 1/2 hr discussion/sermon style. Isaiah 65 also has something re a lion eating straw, like an ox, in “my holy mountain.” Fun.


  13. Really unusual sky color this morning during sunrise. Don’t know how to describe it. Not red, more of a pale violet maybe. Quite overcast now.

  14. I’m not really a believer in reincarnation, but if I do come back I hope I live on a farm with a sign out front on which is my name followed by the phrase “Standing at Stud”.

  15. Current ‘Pibgorn’ is pretty explicit; one ‘panel’ leads nicely to another.


    Turns out Drusilla, who is immortal [as is Pib], was Scheherazade. Wonder who else in history [or ‘history’] she was. Was she always Caucasian? Delilah? Jezebel? Both of them died, so we’re told. Lilith? Helen? Dragon Lady? Lucretia?


  16. No, as Elaine often said, all men are prancing, leering, billygoats. What hetero male, whatever his age, cannot take notice of that garment dropped behind Dru’s knees?

    Comedian Bobby Clark cultivated a mannerism, repeatedly scraping one foot on the floor, accompanied by a rooster-like chortle. Lovely. Maybe I can find him in action.


  17. Mark: Thanks. They were ghastly, but Clark did do the chicken thing. Then I left. Think I saw him live, ’40s, in a B’way play Mom took me to. No idea which one. OTOH, read that he was in some Abbot & Costello movies, which I saw some of. Real quality stuff.


  18. I had a 1970’s paperback which listed movie comedy teams of the early years. Clark and McCulloch were in it. Clark had a tragic end, following some sort of mental breakdown. After being released from an institution he was being driven somewhere when he asked the driver to stop so he could get a haircut. While in the barber’s chair, Clark grabbed a straight razor and fatally cut his own throat.

  19. Been too long since I read that book. I got the story backwards. It was the other team member, McCullough that committed suicide.

  20. We already have about 1600 followers on our Facebook page. Over 20000 hits. We are opening a second bigger space around corner called Deals.

    Have lease, manager hired. Buying merchandise and getting ready to rip out horrible displays end of week.

    Do not be surprised if you don’t hear from us much.

  21. They any relation to Edda’s “Superlative Girl”? “Rose is Rose” has an alter ego, too, but cannot recall her name, or Rose’s surname. It’s Italian.


  22. Just curious if there’s been any word on the Kickstarter book? Last message I got was in September 2017. I’m not in a rush for it, just curious.

  23. Susan, Jimmy;s comment on Facebook on 3/4: Jimmy Johnson I’ve quit stalling and promising, because it just gets me in trouble, but I hope there will be further news soon, and it will be very good. At any rate, the book will be released if I live long enough.

  24. A gentleman of my church recently died after having been wed more than 77 years. That is something. Peace be with hs family.

  25. Susan in NC, you’re welcome. Someone in the Arlo and Janis fan group on Facebook had asked about the book, and that was Jimmy’s answer to them. Since a lot of the folks here don’t do FB, I thought I would go ahead and post it for them to see what Jimmy had to say. So far that is the latest word.

  26. My daughters work at local movie theaters. Last night one worked until 12:15; I had to be here at work by 8:00, so I’ve just checked in now that there’s only 2 students taking tests now.

    It is a Tuesday, so I’m still hoping that JJ will drop in…

  27. Rain rain rain
    Guess it is spring 🙂

    Have seen some new birds at the feeders, none for long enough to get enough features to ID. I hadn’t thought the quince leafed out enough yet to hide well but I am wrong. So, ‘little birds’ it is!

  28. I wish the kids in my congregation were more willing to share their talents. Each year we can go to school concerts and see them playing a variety of string and wind instruments–but let us ask for any of them to accompany the choir or play a solo and they disappear faster than the cream-filled donuts at a church committee meeting.

  29. Ghost said he’d post if he could wade through the animal’s. Don’t see it. Elephant must haave gotten a a him..

    Hot aand heavy on secnd new shop. First huge hit.

    If you do FACEBOOK go to Steals A Women’s Boutique in Eufaula, Oklahoma. Wwe open new shoo by Maay 1.

  30. I am big fan of A&J and check out this blog whenever he posts a new entry. I have come to realize you faithful posters (for lack of a better term) would continue to talk to each other even if JJ didn’t. I can’t believe what a close, caring group you have become. Do any of you remember how this came about? If I can think of anything worthwhile to add I would like to join your group. Are there any entry requirements?

  31. Jon: Some us just like to talk a lot….. Sometimes I got a little miffed when some people would hijack the conversation, but then that is what the scroll feature on my mouse is for.

    Now some of us have become a bit more caring than others….Ghost Rider 6? lol

  32. Welcome, Jon.
    For the most part we try to be civil and stay away from politics and respect different religions. And there are a few who just like to peek in through the window from time to time.

  33. Some of you (you know who you are) may recall that I recently mentioned I had acquired (in my capacity as “Miniskirt Buyer”) a specimen that appeared short, even by my standards. When it arrived at Steals, I measured it and found it to be 8.5 inches from top of waistband to bottom of hem. I left instructions with Manager to, if possible, obtain a photo of the buyer should I be out when it was purchased. Last Saturday, while traveling, I got a text from our manager; “That miniskirt sold…to a sixty-year-old woman.” Fudge! Oh, well. I consoled myself with the thought that perhaps she had bought it for a granddaughter.

    Then, yesterday it occurred to me that Manager might have been pulling my leg, as she is wont to do. So I asked her if what she had told me was true. “Yes,” she said, “but in fairness to her, she had a rockin’ body.” It developed that the lady had come in with her younger gentleman friend, looking for something to wear during their stay in Cozumel. The mini-mini-skirt had caught her eye, but then she decided it was too short. “Au contraire,” her gentleman friend said, in effect. He pointed out it would look great if she wore it over her red-and-white string bikini and suggested she model it for him. She tried it on over her thong underwear, and they both agreed she looked good in it. So the mini-mini-skirt found a good home, after all.
    I may have to modify my motto to, “Making tropical beaches beautiful, one hot-bodied sexagenarian at a time.”

    And also quit leaving the boutique during business hours.

  34. Headline: “Intoxicated Ohio woman arrested after making lewd comments to Easter Bunny, police say”

    Perhaps “Florida Man” and “Tulsa Woman” are both getting some competition.

  35. Quote of the day:

    If anyone is having a bad day, remember that today in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800.

    Now it is worth $58,065,210,000

  36. Trucker: Thanks, Let’s pray that Tess achieves its intended orbit, and that everything works as planned. Tess will not be accessible for tinkering, as Hubble was.

    Still grateful that so much has been learned in my lifetime. Decades back, never dreamed that we’d know diddly re exoplanets. Nor, of course, that we’d know as much re cosmology as Steve Hawking has shown, and that Carl, the other Steve, Sarah, and oodles of paleontologists, cosmologists, microbiologists, primatologists, and others have learned about the world into which Darwin and Wallace led us a century and a half ago. I think Elohim approves. Best stop there.


  37. Just busy at work… NOT! I had a group of 20 dental assistant students come in for a quiz, and 3 others come in for other tests. Just another hour to go before I’m off for the weekend.

  38. Re 03/30
    It is almost impossible to get Lamb around here despite
    a dozen(?) sheep farms within 30 miles. The best I can do is
    1 lb pk of frozen ground.

    28 for high tomorrow = might get an inch of snow we are on the edge.
    emb 3-5 or 5-8.

  39. We are scheduled for lamb shanks, VERY cooked, on Sunday. Have no idea of the cost, but I suspect a few merchants/employees can now retire.

  40. Lions and tigers, oh my. Perhaps the Village hears the rumble of the drums and fled?

    Ghost and I are frockin’ busy with the boutique.

    Our Easter egg hunt and sale has been huge success. Today is second day.

    Ghost appeared in full color full face on front page of the Eufaula Indian Journal newspaper this week. They did a two page article on us. Very positive.

    We begin remodelling the second shop today ripping out hideous shelves and displays put in by only prior tenant. No goid thoughts for her. She deserved to fail!

    Ghost joined the Girls Night Out group last night for wine and dine. First male to attend. They may let him join.

  41. OB: We got just a trace, noted on the bare patches of lawn. Probably more to the W and S. We’ve had a cold week, no highs above 0 C. Thaw due Mon, it says.

    c x-p: Well done lamb: we learned to cook lamb rare, pace’ Betty Crocker. Will do a search for an excerpt from my earliest [sort of] Bemidji Pioneer column.


  42. Here ’tis, publ. Sept. ’98, slightly editied.

    … Also (didn’t realize this then), trying new foods became an acceptable form of youthful rebellion. Mom wanted me to be less finicky, but at the same time would often caution that I might not like something that was strange to her. So I tried stuff to bug Mom.
    Dad was more laid back in this regard, and so was Dr. G. I think he liked to get me to try stuff that Mom would have doubts about. He was the one who taught me about cheddar and raw onion pumpernickel sandwiches, in his kitchen while Mom and Aunt Edna were within earshot. I decided on my own to have Liederkranz and crackers for dessert, at Helen Lane’s [’30s-’40s restaurant, on Wavery Pl., Greenwich Village]. (Liederkranz was a soft-ripened cheese, something like Brie or Camembert, that Borden’s used to make.) “emb, that’s pretty strong; are you sure you will like it?” That made me sure; after all, if it was Borden’s, it had to be good.
    At Keen’s English Chop House, also in Manhattan, I once ordered mutton chops. “Evan, mutton is a good deal stronger than lamb, you know.” The waiter asked, “How do you want them done?” Well, I didn’t know one had a choice with mutton or lamb, but I knew I liked beef rare. “Rare!” Revelation, at age 15 or so! In the ’50s and ’60s, Betty Crocker (Ann Page’s sister) allowed only medium and well-done lamb; mutton is not indexed in “her” cookbooks. Now, Elaine and I always do lamb or mutton rare or medium rare. …


  43. Certainly would not be the first previously all-female organization of which I have become the first male member.

    Sitting on the bench in front of Steals watching the Saturday morning traffic pass by. There are apparently many helmet-less motorcyclists in Oklahoma. My EMS ambulance crewmember friends back in the Deep South refer to them as “organ donars”.

  44. The caption didn’t come with the picture. Here it is: “I don’t know where the eggs come from, and I have no idea why I feel a compulsion to hide them.”

  45. I grew up in Oklahoma, where my father was a physician and assistant county coroner. He was against any of us kids riding on motorcycles, much less owning any. He didn’t give us a big lecture – he just brought home photos of the scenes, making remarks like “We couldn’t finish the report on this kid – they wanted the color of his eyes and they popped out on impact and we couldn’t find them.” It made an impact. I won’t say I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, but I can say I can count the number of times on one hand and have fingers left over.

  46. Dear emb, your memories are most interesting. Lamb chops have always been a favorite of mine. Before I even started school, my grandfather would bring some home from the market now and then, for a treat, and my grandmother would pan-fry them, seasoning them first with garlic and curry powder. I loved them, and still do altho I don’t get them very often. Chris disliked the flavor AND the cooking aroma, so we never had them. Now I get them occasionally though they are high priced as you probably know!

    Now, why is mutton never eaten, or even mentioned, in this country? Cookbooks don’t list them, and the food writers who are so numerous on the ‘Net ignore it completely. Reading British novels, mysteries etc. on the other hand, are full characters ordering mutton chops and gnawing the bones. If they enjoy them, why don’t we? Any ideas from you or the other foodies in the Village?

  47. Charlotte: Trouble is, mutton has more flavor. Duck, especially wild, has flavor. Goat, about as flavorful as lamb. Goose is more flavorful than turkey. Wild game mammals vary widely, partly depending on their major food sources. Beef is relatively boring, bison is better. I like rare roast beef or steak, but there is so much more.

    Some people don’t like fish because it tastes “fishy”! Well? The canned salmon in my mixed veggies + curried chickpea sauce tasted fishy. That, and its low fat content, is why I used it. Four scant pints now in the freezer, along w/ several other concoctions. No beer this time.

    Mark: Where can one buy hoodies / sweatshirts like that? Secret of [part of the] success of many academics.


  48. Charlotte: I think emb is right about things with “too much” flavor. The quest for lean or healthy (or easier and cheaper to raise) has bred the taste out of a lot of what we eat. Western Kentucky, Owensboro in particular, is known for barbecued mutton. A friend brought some back from a visit there and shared it with us. It was good, interesting but not that exciting.

  49. IMO, one would have to be rather hard-headed to decide to ride a motorcycle without head protection, since car bumpers and curbs are considerably harder than anyone’s head.

  50. Ghost and I are at a Cotten Patch cafe. Being from Texas I love them, old chain. Ghost never heard of them.

    He had CFS With two sides. I had 5 VEG plate with rolls cornbread and split fried green tomatoes with him.

    Now it’s lea h cobbler with Blue Bell.

  51. Sorry; all 4 Kenya cams are on “highlights” just now. It’s 1445 there, but I’ve no idea what time of day that video was. No, I do: likely early-mid morning.

    Just now, while steeping my EB tea, thought of a woman I knew before I retired, whom I and others found difficult. Not evil or incompetent; in fact, quite competent in her particular role, but definitely not a day-brightener. Thought to myself that she was a pill. Immediately realized that was Mom’s expression, and wondered if it was a Gulfism, or more broadly Southern. Don’t remember hearing it widely, just at home. Anyone?

    Looks like no insomniacs last night. Happy Easter!


  52. LOL I’d forgotten it was April Fools! And to have the prank pulled by LUDWIG. Super, JJ!

    emb, I’ve seen that as shirt, hoodie, and many other ways in multiple catalogues. If you don’t want to search/buy online, check a shopping mall. There is often a store that sells cool tshirts, etc.

    Had lamb once, while visiting a friend on Isle of Mann. I enjoyed it. Maybe it is one of those items sold at a ‘real’ butcher shop?

  53. Happy Easter to all in the Village!

    Ghost – I thought Chicken Fried Steak was a Texas specialty. There’s something of a rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma (back when I grew up in northern OK, I heard TX referred to a Baja Oklahoma). Who knows where the luscious dish originated, but it is certainly popular in both states!

    As for lamb – I only ate lamb once when I was young, at a meal at a friend’s house, and while it was nice, I never tried to cook it at my own home when I grew up. (I’ve enjoyed ethnic dishes such as Gyros, which feature lamb, when eating out, but never made it myself.) Maybe that has something to do with Oklahoma history, with the range wars between the cattlemen and the sheep farmers. The flocks and herds could not use the same range, as the grazing habits of the sheep left the grasses too short to support cattle. Ultimately the sheep were forced out.

    Sheep farming in England became more prevalent, because much of the Scottish terrain especially, could not support the grasses that cattle need, and I think that is one reason that lamb and mutton dishes are served much more often there.

  54. emb – My mother used to use that term – “a pill” – to describe someone who was hard to get along with, so you can add Oklahoma to the areas that used that expression. She also frequently used the term “getting nitty” to describe a person who was not tracking well, such as someone displaying symptoms of dementia. She told us girls her older sister (10 years older) was “getting nitty” and to be sure to stop her (my mother) if she started saying things that sounded “nitty”. Of course, by the time she had that problem in the last years of her life, she no longer remembered giving us that instruction or what it was all about. I miss her, even the silly things she said when her mind was no longer working well.

  55. My ex was a big fan of lamb, while I could not remember ever having any. We got both chops and roast in some of the stores around Nashville. Until we got an electric rotisserie we cooked it in the oven. But that rotisserie did the best job on the roast, brown and crispy outside and tender and a little pink on the inside. Served with mint jelly when we could find it.

  56. My maternal grandmother, born in Texas and lived as an adult in Missouri and Arkansas, talked of people being pills. Her tone of voice made it clear that I didn’t want to become one!

  57. The sole eaglet at Berry College, GA, is now standing on its feet – first time, to my knowledge.

    Decorah had a hatch at 7:25 a.m. and someone got a video and posted it for viewing. It is a very low angle shot so that only the tops of the 3 eggs are showing. However, the middle egg moves about with no parent touching it, and then it cracks/breaks. The eaglet is not seen, but SOMETHING had to come out of that egg!

    Our lamb shanks were tasty enough, but not a dish for which I’d fork over $$ at a restaurant. We were 4 folks shy of a table load when one offspring & family could not make it.

    I heard “pill” and “real pill” used since childhood. That’s not surprising, given that eMb and I both spent our formative years in New York City.

  58. 35 degrees F in Baja Tulsa (aka Broken Arrow) now, wind from north at 13 mph, feels like 26 degrees. Freeze warning for tonight. Spring may have arrived on the calendar, but not necessarily in OK and, I suspect, many other areas.

    FWIW, it’s 80 degrees in my part of the Deep South.

  59. Lovely use of an anagram, from Anu Garg’s weekly AWAD mail

    “Some contend that those who spend their hard-earned money on Evian are naive.”


  60. Not merely an anagram, eMb, but also a palindrome.

    Anyone else having difficulty getting into hotmail? I am getting messages which state that I am signed in as [correct address] but that I need to sign out and re-sign in using the address for “my organization’s email”. I have no such organization and only one hotmail address.

  61. c x-p:

    Your Hotmail problem helps me worry less about intelligent machines taking over. They are, however, a royal pain in the butt.


  62. I googled the terms 2018, hotmail, problem – all three – and found that this is a widespread problem of which the company is aware. There are several thousand complaints listed in some of the google hits.

  63. emb:

    At least seven years ago, I switched from Yahoo mail to Microsoft’s free version of Outlook, the program they designed to replace Hotmail.

    I have never had one problem with it. Outlook might work well for you, too.

  64. Judy,

    What I’ve heard is that chicken-fried steak descends from the breaded and fried schnitzel of German immigrants in the 1800’s. The availability of beef rather than the more common (in Germany) pork yielded our current chicken-fried steak!

  65. emb
    Your link showed the bottom of page. I too had problem earlier –
    I just looked at Pib Skeches.

    Mom & Grandmother used “pill’ and they were NYCers
    2 inches Sat
    The Easter Bonnets around here are stocking hats.
    6 to 8 inches snow by Wed. Morning

    Ghost was that first line of 10:28 03/31 a deliberate PUN?

    Had a friend that was saved because back of helmet slid on road not his head.

  66. David – I ate some shnitzel in Fredricksburg, TX (an area of TX heavily settled with Germans) while my husband and I were visiting, and really loved it. Now that you mention it, I see the similarity to chicken-fried steak.

    Old Bear – headgear can be very helpful! When my son was 12, he had a bike accident in which he incurred a broken arm ( just one bone, near the wrist, not displaced). He healed quickly from that injury but it could have been a lot worse. He was wearing a baseball-style cap, which slid down over his face and ended up protecting most of his face from its sliding contact with the concrete. The bill of the cap was almost torn off, but he only got a few scrapes on his cheek and chin. I was very grateful!

    I see we only have one more day of comments before the 2 week limit is hit. I wonder if JJ has an alarm set on his phone to warn him of impending lock-up?

  67. My oldest girl lost control of her bike going through a concrete tunnel on the local bike path under a road about 28 years ago. Her helmet cracked, not her head.

    There is some legitimate debate regarding helmets’ effectiveness for adults given that drivers often steer closer to bicyclists wearing helmets… it’s supposed to be an unconscious response to perceived safety.


    The NIH disagrees, but what do they know?

  68. Chemo went well. Today is last inflation at plastic surgeons. About December or January 2018 they finish this breast and cut down and lift the second.

    Can’t wait. Ghost has been so patient. Likes results so far of smaller perky look.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.