In Days of Old

This old strip indirectly echoes events in the current strip, if something from seven years ago can “echo” something today. All the recent discussion in the current story line about a drastic change in the situation of Arlo and Janis inevitably leads to the question: are they retired? Well, I could make up something, but really all that exists in the world of A&J is what appears in the strip, and that question never has been directly addressed. You know what I know. However, I am the author, and therefore I am entitled to make something up. So, watch this space in the coming days, where I will make something up!

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65 responses to “In Days of Old”

  1. According to the photos we’ve had taken, I quit aging at 50. In person, the only part of me that looks anywhere near my calendar age is the back of my left hand which caught the sun more than its mate while trucking.

  2. “So, watch this space in the coming days, where I will make something up! ”

    Oh, Like the current occupant of the White House?


  3. Looking at Arlo’s hat, it appears that we are echoing “We are Devo”.

    I love people that look for and find inconsistencies or errors in movies. After all, it IS a movie. One of the great movies of all time, Casablanca, “made up” the Letters of Transit. It was simply a plot device to move the film forward. So Jimmy can make up anything that he pleases.

  4. The work status of Arlo and Janis is occasionally the source of comment, both here and on The Dark Side. My take is, “What does it matter?” Other than, I suppose, it having caused a recent lack of “office based” humor which, as I recall, was never a major thing in A&J. Besides, if one wants office based humor, go read “Dilbert”.

    I would wonder, however, if they are indeed retired, how they managed that feat at such a relatively young age.

  5. Steve: Re “inconsistencies”, who caught several years ago that two different spellings for Gus’s last name were used over a period of time?

    Of course, movies are supposed to have people whose only job is to ensure continuity from one shot to another. (Rather than a single over-worked artist often scrambling to meet deadline. 🙂 )
    And there are still often glaring inconsistencies in movies, despite that.

  6. Counter to how Scott Adams turned more to office humor when he discovered people liked that, Arlo and Janis has never done much regarding the workplace. I’ve always just presumed that Arlo has a job somewhere, and Janis might (especially once Gene got older). Depending on how old they were when Gene was born, how well they’ve done for themselves in their jobs and their savings, my guess is they are in a position to consider early retirement in a few years, which is about how long it would take to get the building permits and the contractors lined up, actually build the new house, and sell the current one.

  7. Just finished my preoperative tests again as Forest Gump would say AGAIN. Long drawn out.

    Found doctors haven’t sent in letters. AGAIN.

    I want a Diet Coke. I will have an iced tea.

  8. Maybe Arlo and JAnis could put up a manufactured housing kind of place? Had some relatives do that in VA and NC…both families seemed very happy.

    Whatever happens it will be fun.

  9. Buy a houseboat and dock it alongside the other boat. No building permit, no construction, no clearing the lot. And Arlo gets his tiny house living space.

  10. I recently saw a punished claim that living in a “tiny house” was “cultural appropriation” from “poor people”. (I’m not making that up)

    Along those lines…”Invented in Asia and subsequently spreading worldwide, the oldest known trousers are found at the Yanghai cemetery in Turpan, Xinjiang, western China, dated to the period between the 13th and the 10th century BC. Made of wool, the trousers had straight legs and wide crotches, and were likely made for horseback riding.” – Wikipedia

    I wear trousers, and I’m not Asian, so am I guilty of cultural appropriation?

    As I’ve said before, it’s just so hard to keep with the PC Rules these days.

  11. Bad headline combinations from today’s Herald-Citizen of Cookeville, TN.
    Half of Montery’s board of aldermen absent for meeting

    Several arrested in unrelated crimes

    These two headlines ran in that order on the newspaper’s website today.

  12. So, when I drive my car (with some parts made in Japan) to a Japanese restaurant (Benihana’s in SLC) and order a Filet Mignon Yakitori in my once-fluent Nihongo (it’s been almost 40 years since I learned Japanese), am I guilty of cultural appropriation?

  13. If growing old gracefully means fighting it tooth and nail, yes, I am growing old gracefully.
    Still going strong at 70 and so’s my dear wife who’s 78. Well, maybe not strong, but still going!

  14. At 87, before last Easter dinner at the home of a most beloved couple, stepped from one room [with vinyl flooring] into a carpeted room, not realizing it was a step down. I did not age gracefully, but am better, although a bit worse for wear.

    ‘…only job is to ensure continuity from one shot to another’: Re movies, other shows, books, paintings, etc. that have anachronisms or geographic inconsistencies or such, they have a special problem with specialist audiences. Anyone can spot costume or architectural booboos in sacred paintings of David and Goliath [the world’s biggest Philistine] with Roman arches in the background, but only biologists, specifically herpetologists, will notice that our current heroes, slogging through the Everglades or the East Anglian fens, have a chorus of West Coast frogs in the background.

    G&S: ‘… a tiger, from the Congo or the Niger …’. ‘The Mikado’, Act 2.


  15. Don’t go to sailing or nautical movies with a sailor.

    Nor fire fighting movies with a fireman.

    Or cops movies with a cop.

    The list goes on and on because anyone who really does it is going to spot it and bitch.

  16. Jackie, you’re right. As a young adult attending college and full of plans that didn’t involve trucking, I loved Smokey and the Bandit… you’d probably not want to watch it with me today.

  17. Perhaps growing old gracefully means that one has accepted the inevitable.

    Or does it actually mean that one does not talk about physical ailments as so many of us do?

  18. (An item I wrote about 14 years ago.)

    Ode to Old Age

    To those who have gone before

    I do not want to climb mountains
    I no longer want to soar in the clouds
    I do not need to be a king
    Or even control myself

    I long to be part of the earth

    I now feel its call
    and anticipate its embrace
    I desire to spread throughout the land
    and enter the realm of blissful oblivion

    I long to be in the earth

    I have tired of the struggle
    I do not yearn to right wrongs
    I cannot question any more
    I shall not find answers

    I long to be part of the earth

  19. JJ has specifically portrayed A&J in different office jobs. Once, A phoned J. Not sure if his words were shown, but, later panel, she rebuffs him for calling her at work, and, last panel, answers his question, ‘Pink’ [if I remember rightly]. Gene was still a kid when she worked in an office. There was also a short run re some woman in Arlo’s office who was after his bod.

    About PC, and related matters. PC is mostly nonsense on the left, and I grant that it gets silly, and often stifles free expression. For perspective, aside from the need to remedy various social wrongs, go back to when I learned to read in the ’30s, and devoured the comics as well as newspapers and magazines, and also watched newsreels in theaters. Blacks, Jews, other non-Christians, Chinese, American Indians, women, hillbillies, homeless, the poor, etc. were all fair game, often blatantly and falsely so. Scientists, sometimes, still are: e.g., atheistic evolutionists. I forgive them.

    Yesterday [I’ve not gone back] someone posted re talkative women. It’s been statistically shown that, on average, men gossip more, dominate conversations more, interrupt more, and such. I’ve watched it at university, church, other organizations, and caught myself at it [when Elaine didn’t do so first].

    As to stretching to make a political or other point, at a House Un-American Committee hearing in the ’50s, Rep. Bullhorn was unsuccessfully trying to prove some victim a pro-Soviet, and finally asked him if he liked Russian music. Don’t know what followed, but I’d have been in deep trouble. Hard to surpass Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures’ or Borodin’s 2nd String Quartet.

    PETA [I think] once objected to two zoos arranging a tryst btw their respective M and F gorillas, protesting that using him at stud violated his dignity, or whatever. Their concern over artificial insemination is mostly for the poor raped cow. Cannot find their view of the bull’s role in semen collection. My guess is, he likes it. What their response might be to the natural mating behavior of sea otters and other mustelids I don’t know. It’s basically rape.


  20. OF course Arlo is retired! He is the alter ego of Jimmy Johnson, right? A cartoon artist is the same thing as being retired isn’t it?

  21. Don’t you all remember Janis getting involved with the man at her office and contemplating having an affair with him? We all commented on that, it wasn’t long ago.

    We talked about people having office wives and being emotionally deep with secretaries, people who fill your needs there.

    There were many strips involving offices for both Arlo and Janis. Arlo would day dream about boats and sailing mostly.

    Frankly unless Jimmy wants them to work to get more characters to interact with, what difference does it make.

    For God’s sake people, it’s a comic strip! They aren’t real!

    Sorry Ghost, there is no naked Janis in that bath tub. There isn’t even a tub.

    Go see Jessica Rabbit if you want live comics with bosoms that heave and bounce.

  22. Good morning Villagers….

    Old Bear, that was a good one 🙂 If I had a printer, it would be on Dad’s ‘fridge.

    Rick, I love your “Ode to Old Age”! May I borrow it? I’ll just need it the one time 🙂

    Today’s real time strip brought back memories of clearing out the homestead…a lot of memories in each picture hanging, lots of owl statues and pictures too. What the family didn’t want as a memory went to an auction. My younger sisters and BIL’s have already started clearing out Dad’s house….lots more to go though.

    later guys….

  23. All quiet in central Kenya, but river is highest I’ve seen it. Yesterday’s downpour may have covered a wide area upstream.

    Janis, the BSU Museum of Vert. Biol. would be happy to have that set of shark jaws. Jackie: Some comics characters are realer than others. E.g., Luann and Bernice [Luann’s brainy RA.] Knew a brain like that once, not alike in all ways, but enough.


  24. One good thing about moving frequently is that it helps keep possessions to a reasonable level. For awhile, we moved every three or so years. We have been in our current home a loooong time…next winter, I think we’ll spend some of those long evenings going through accumulated items as if we were moving. Although the one-a-day idea is great, I’m more of a drag it all out, sort it into keep-toss-donate, then tidy like heck type.

  25. Funny about Luann strip, I find it neither real nor funny. Each to our own reality.

    How about disposing of or fitting in three deceased people’s belongings simultaneously and acquiring a s#$t load more of your own in last couple years? And then trying to make room to squeeze in another person? But you don’t want to actually squeeze that person in that sense?

    And your house is already small scale? For short small people? I am only five foot one inch.

    So, packing up and paring down and trying to work it out. Arlo and Janis will too.

  26. Yes Jackie, but remember what Jessica Rabbit said-she’s not really bad, she’s just drawn that way.

    My mom and grandmother were as close to hoarders as you can get without actually scraping garbage off the floors, and it’s a fight I go through daily. “Stuff” I can get rid of okay most of the time. Clothes, not so much.

    And speaking of getting rid of stuff, I know several people who are at the forefront of the Tiny House movement, and they would be surprised and possibly amused at the thought that they are “culturally appropriating” anything. The whole idea there is to scale down, live with less fuss, and leave a smaller carbon footprint.

  27. TIP BlogSpot: No idea who the man and woman are. Artist buys into Greek short big toe fetish. Could be Jesus and some woman, who seems to be listening to him skeptically. Doesn’t look like Samaria to me, nor neighborhood of a well. Was the Magdalene ever that skeptical? Cannot find it online. Peace,

  28. Mark: Searched ‘N und O’ to find out where N fit into the Odyssey and found yet another excuse for pulchritude for those who can afford ‘art’. Should please several Villagers. Presume N is the woman in the center of the group; that’s Odysseus coming into view. She provides him clothes. No hanky-panky, and he eventually gets home to his wife in Ithaca. Never made it to Ithaca, NY. Peace,

  29. emb: Why do you refer to the “Greek short big toe fetish” as such? In my family many of us including me have feet so shaped. Other than making it harder to buy shoes, what’s wrong with it?

  30. What difference do toes make except for shoes? I have short feet and toes, like a Hobbit?

    Maybe the Greeks loved a particular shape of foot and just put it on statues and art.

  31. A long period has passed, so I’ll contribute. Caution, discussing satire is fraught with danger of being misunderstood. Is the point using satire or sincerity? But well known satire can be illustrative.

    Jonathon Swift had his character Gulliver land amongst kingdoms that pitched war over how to begin the act of eating a soft boiled egg, as a part of your complete breakfast, each day. I can only imagine the way that was received at the time, among classes separated by so wide a margin; though I suspect the ‘betters’ may have had trouble seeing themselves in it. What I do know is my personal experience when I read it, around 2½ centuries later.

    At the time, I was aware of the First World gulf that existed, but ‘First World Problems’ had not yet become a meme. Heck, meme had not yet become a meme. But I was aware enough to know that a very large portion of humanity may struggle to get an egg for every day, let alone have the facilities or leisure to prepare one so daintily as soft-boiled and served ‘up’ in a cup designed to present one end or the other for first break.

    In short, I believe that I ‘got the point’ of Swift’s satire: some people will have opinions about things that most of us are just too busy to notice, or care enough about to form so rigid an opinion. And even if we have found such comfort in life as to have an opinion, we would never think to talk down someone ‘different’ than ourselves. Recognizing, celebrating, and best of all, experiencing diversity across the bounty of creation is so much more fulfilling than separating it out for ridicule, or even worse treatment.

    Lindsay Lohan had troubles maturing properly, but that should not discount the message behind her movie _Mean_Girls_, written by Tina Fey, based on other works, but really just a reenactment of the same morality play that has taken thousands of forms in the history of entertainment. For a long time, in English at least, it has been encapsulated in the two words paired as GOLDEN RULE. The trick is, how do you point out a person could improve in their adherence to the rule, without them crying out that you are not being fair? Or that there is some condition present that permits an exception? Tricky business that.

    TruckerRon, Jackie, I like the use of questions that allow for inclusion. IF the response is inclusive, things can move forward. If it diverts, distracts, moves the goalposts, or changes topics, bad feelings develop. Sometimes you are even told you no longer have the right of address. People who view themselves above others like that tactic. I hope your efforts fair better than mine. I also regret this message may distract from your effort, but I was moved to support.

  32. Thanks. You get it. Not everyone does.

    I used to write satire, a favorite form, often getting in serious trouble. One I did was on a parable I made up, “Hungry dogs will eat dirty pudding.”

    Don’t think there was an English author in 19th
    Century who said that.

  33. You’re right, I’ve never come across that form in my reading. But good ‘gackie’ Miss Jackie, it sure paints a picture in only six words. Vividly.

  34. Darn it, guess I have to apologize. I must have heard Li’l Richard in the last few days, and pushed a pun too far; gackie is just a fail in too many ways. Sorry ’bout that.

  35. Debbe:

    That is an extremely compliment – thanks!

    And it was incredibly considerate of you to ask before copying. Such ethics are rare, especially in the Internet world.

    Yes, please feel free to use it as you like, and attribution will not be necessary.

    Please don’t feel as if you must answer this, but I am compelled to ask. You stated “…the one time.” May I ask what is the one time? Do you mean a eulogy?

  36. Nothing is ‘wrong’ with having the ‘index’ toe longer than the big toe, it’s just relatively rare. No idea, for instance, whether it’s more or less common than left handedness, but look at what cultures world-wide have done with that.

    Ages ago, I read that, in ancient Greece, a long index toe was considered more beautiful, and perhaps more noble or such, and that seems born out in their sculpture. Personally, don’t care, and am not as hooked as some on some other standards of personal physical attractiveness. But I do ogle, discreetly. It’s pretty that is skin deep, not beauty.

    At a Cornell birdcam nr Savannah, a former GH owl nest has been taken over by ospreys, who are now incubating. The M is the one w/o ‘eyebrows’ I think, the F with. Nest in top of a dead tree whose days I’m guessing are numbered. Main cam, maneuverable, is nearby, so you can tell when nest tree is swaying in the wind. A second, fixed cam, mounted to a limb of the dead tree itself, does not move with the wind. In that camera’s view, there is a distant shiny object, lower R in view field, that must be tethered, but turns about in the wind. Anybody recognize it? I don’t.


  37. emb: Not sure, but I think the shiny object may be a Mylar balloon that escaped its human but got caught in a tree – better than landing in the ocean where it could harm wildlife.

  38. Ruth Anne, also better than landing across power lines and causing a major outage by shorting the circuits! Big problem with metalized balloons.

  39. If McEldowney is still getting paid good money for “Pibgorn”, he should have to pay it back. Of course, a case could probably be made for giving back what he gets paid for 9CL, so…

  40. ….and thank you, Rick…

    I had more posted, hit submit and I got this ‘stinking’ display about this “stinking” URL…any way,

    say good night debbe

  41. Debbe:

    That’s the greatest compliment you could possibly give me. Thank you from the depths of my soul.

    And I hope that it won’t be read aloud on your behalf for many, many years.

  42. Everyone:

    Last week, I mentioned that my high school best friend had passed away.

    Two days after that, another classmate’s obituary appeared in the local paper.

    This evening, I found out that three other classmates have passed in the last three weeks.

    I know that the class of ’71 is entering that age, but I would never have expected this.

  43. Everyone grows older. There is nothing you can do about that. Growing old is a(n unfortunate) choice people make. Then there are those like me who refuse to grow up.

  44. Rick: I feel your pain. Sometimes it seems to all hit at once. It can make it hard to properly grieve when it is someone particularly close. In my case, my sister and her husband were very close to us while I had only seen my brother’s wife once in 41 years. (which I constitute as a long time).

    My brother is doing remarkedly well. His wife has had serious health issues over the past 3 years and for the last week was under a DNR. She went for a cat scan and when she came back to the room went into arrest at 12:40. My brother was at home and arrived at the hospital at 1:55 when they finally called him. He was mad but not as upset as maybe most of us might have been. I think he was mentally prepared.

  45. I should have proof read the above. Multitasking. She passed away at 12:40 last Thursday and the hospital did not call him for over an hour. Said he just talked with her for a half hour or so (with a Navy Chaplain by his side) just like he had for the last few months. He is hoping that she could hear him, wherever she is.

  46. Steve: I work on the assumption that Elaine can if she chooses. Don’t know, but that seems a good approach.

    Ghost: ‘If McEldowney is still getting paid good money for “Pibgorn”, he should have to pay it back.’ My guess is he doesn’t get paid at all, or if he does, it’s ‘piece-work.’ Expect any money from Pibgorn is from book sales and such. Does get annoying when Pibgorn doesn’t change for weeks. Of course, I enjoy 9CL, except when the cat plays w/ the margins and such. De gustibus … That suggests another way to flaunt my non-existent flair for foreign languages. May be back.


  47. Ghost:

    Let’s see: Flaunt: chacun à son goût. It works. Go to my documents, steal accented letters [this time a whole phrase] from the store below one of my working files, then print it here.


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