Red-Carpet Treatment


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You probably won’t believe me, but I could not find any more prototypical strips featuring Skeeter and Nat. That project, by the way, went under the working title of “Perdido.” I’ll keep looking, but don’t get your hopes up. Today I am going to show you a strip from 1995, featuring Gene and his first “real” girlfriend, Susan, on a movie date. My favorite thing about Susan was her feisty little sister Emma. I’ll try to post some material featuring her when we’re done at the movies. Speaking of the strip in the previous post, there was a mention of “Tallahassee,” which obviously would be the city in northern Florida. This led to a discussion of whether Arlo & Janis is a “southern” strip. I think I’m qualified to opine on this one. While there might be occasional geographical or meteorological references owed to my own long life in the southeastern U.S., I have never regarded A&J as a “southern” strip. In fact, I strive to make it universal. I do not believe by doing so I am erasing potential color and charm. On the contrary, I don’t think throwing around words like “cornpone” and “pot likker” would add much. Personally, I don’t know what cornpone is, but I do know pot likker is delicious!

63 thoughts on “Red-Carpet Treatment”

  1. Jimmy, I think A and J is where ever the reader wants it to be.

    You know what corn pone is! It’s that slab of cold cornbread you break off the part left in the pan and eat with whatever you have, be it milk, buttermilk or some of the pot likker.

    Good morning!

    Love, Jackie

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  2. All signs point to the strip’s location is being within driving distance of the Red Neck Riviera. Nothing wrong with that though, some of the friendliest most hospitable folks in the world make that area their home.

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  3. I like “Perdido”, lost place. Isn’t there actually such a place on coast?

    During the Everglades Challenge you have to hang out a lot at Placido waiting for your boat and crew to arrive and get through whatever challenges nature has thrown in their way. I know that a lot of the guys seem to end up in Perdido.

    Like the still lost back places of the Panhandle and plan to head that way in March hopefully.
    Closer to that date I would like some recommendations on places to eat, especially the ones you would not take your mama to because they are too ramshackle!

    Love, Jackie

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  4. I never said that A&J was a Southern strip, but I thought that Jimmy had been advised not to pin the characters in a certain geographic location as to not limit the story line. Many strips have snow/winter strips during the winter which many here in the Midwest can identify with. I especially enjoy Crankshaft, who of course is in Cleveland. I am sure that there are a few others that specify a location too.
    The TV shows in the 50’s and 60’s were usually pretty generic as to where they were located, like the Bumsteads Peanuts other popular strips. However TV and movies tend to put their stories in a specific town or city. As much as I love Christmas vacation, I always laugh at the scene where they get their Christmas tree (Colorado in real life) I mean you would need to drive 18-24 hours to see mountains like that from Chicago!

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  5. Thank you for the Alabama quotes, Mark, some of my favorite writers were there. Rick Bragg I adore, someone I wish I could meet. I love everything he writes and one of his essays on his family plot being lit by the bright yellow light of the Dollar General sign and him telling his wife that he didn’t think it would shine in her eyes in the afterlife has become one of my favorites.
    Think of Rick every time I see a Dollar General.

    And his essay on boat building and “Alabama time” has moved into my files of timeless writing.

    So many wonderful writers in your state.

    Love, Jackie

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  6. *applause*

    This strip is among those in August 1995 that are not available online. Have not seen it since it was on newsprint.

    Embarrassing children by dropping them off and picking them up appears to be a universal constant. The family car is always an embarrassment, too. (I read where Dave Barry persuaded Oscar Mayer to allow him to take their Weinermobile to his son’s school to pick him up. The horn played the “Oscar Mayer” notes, and Barry sounded the horn over and over. How that man was not murdered by his son then and there is a mystery.)

    Susan was a piece of work. Just when Gene thought he had an actual boyfriend/girlfriend thing going, he got thrown overboard but good. Our Bard’s depictions of Gene getting hit with a ton of bricks and having the scales fall off his eyes are classic. Emma was a hoot, using Mr. Fuzz to put the Evil Eye on folks, but Susan was a heartbreaker.

    Hey, what if Susan showed up in the present? That would result in an epic cat-fight if she still acted like a Mean Girl to Gene. Mary Lou would take no prisoners!

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  7. There are occasions when it seems A & J are in a southern location, but for the most part I (as a Pennsylvanian) consider them to be living just down the street. I’m sure most readers feel the same, no matter where they call home.

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  8. “I think Ghost might be interested in them, don’t you?” Since I am as interested as the next horny male, I shouldn’t point fingers. Interest, of course is one thing, capability another. I’m not as young as I once was, and wasn’t very young then. Also, tastes vary. As far as I am concerned, all of the women our UK Pre-Raphaelite portrayed were more than ample. As I’ve often repeated here, “More than a handful . . ..” [Also, what will she look like at 60? Wife looked and #### fine.]

    Jackie: It was fluffed feathers. Birds are good at that, and feathers better built for it than hair. Sometime at the county fair, dig your hand down into the wool on an unshorn ewe. It’s impressive. The next will be more difficult, since swans are protected everywhere. I once did the same with the body feathers of a confiscated swan at the Museum of Zoology at the U. Mich. in Ann Arbor. Incredible insulation.

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  9. Gosh, just when I was beginning to think that there was a possibility that full bodied voluptuous women were once more in vogue with big breasted and big butted women like the K women!
    And the preRaphaelites!

    EMB, among my many life experiences, I used to have to help my grandmother pluck down from geese and ducks to make feather pillows and feather beds. How many modern women can say that? That and owned two Keishounds and a enormous Newfoundland that produced bales of undercoat when you used shedders on them. And I honestly had to learn to clip sheep in college but that poor sheep looked really terrible with the job I did and not nicked up a good deal.

    But I have never touched a swan, although I love them and always wanted some.

    The birds are magnificent out in yard. I keep feeders out in yard and some up under porch overhangs to protect from rain and snow. One cardinal flew into windows and died yesterday and “staff” wouldn’t tell me but I have large expanses of windows on house and they dive too fast under porches. Although sitting on porches and having birds whiz past you is a great experience. If you are quiet, they will fly all around you and feed.

    Nothing wrong with older men either, by the way. Don’t know what I’d do with one half my age although I have had a chance to find out in past!

    Love, Jackie

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  10. Ahh, Perdido, as in Perdido Key in Pensacola Florida! Spent two of some of the best years in my life down there during Flight School- living on the beach, bar-hopping by boat along Perdido Bay and Old River. You definitely are from the part of the South I love.

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  11. I certainly never considered A&J to be local to my area, too many deciduous trees, too much grass, etc to take place in a desert environment. But that never detracted from my enjoyment. I always figured them to live somewhere near the Gulf.
    Except for Roadrunner and Coyote I can’t recall any ‘toons that took place in these parts, and those were animated, not “real life”.

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  12. Tuna, don’t know how far back that was. Were you at NAS Mainside or at Corry Field before it became the Naval Technical Training Center?

    Jackie, that type never went out of vogue for me, nor did most others. Besides, when you are 6’5″ and around 250, most anyone else looks small next to you. Never cared for those who were excessively thin, though.

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  13. Yes, Perdido is definitely a part of the Redneck Riviera. Something else over that way is Pensacola NAS which was also the name of a brief tv series with James Brolin. It was great watching them take off from Pensacola, fly over the Florida desert and then the Florida mountains. I’m surprised that no one mentioned Jerry Vandyke and “My Mother the Car” featuring the voice of Ann Southern. Today we were treated to a comment by a Repub congressman who said “Even Hitler got to Paris”. I don’t believe I need to comment when none of his own party will.

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  14. Well, Mark you gave me yet another reason to want to visit Alabama besides the sea food and barbque!

    My Texas coastal friends used to laugh about the John Wayne movie where he gets off the train and the railroad station is for this south Texas town, maybe Liberty, I forget? Anyway looming in the back ground are all these south Texas mountains.

    Discussing this, one of my customers/friends said the town was so low it was almost below sea level and if an ant built a nest the towns people would all stand on top for a view.

    I feel the same way when I see the old John Wayne movie “True Grit” because my street ends in the road that used to cross the Canadian River during the time the movie is set in, before the lake was built. I can tell you we didn’t have rapids, high cliffs and all that alpine greenery even in the Indian Territory days!

    Don’t Hollywood beat all? As my relatives used to say.

    Love, Jackie

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  15. While you’re listing mistakes in John Wayne movies, don’t forget the final scene in Green Berets where he’s walking on a beach in Vietnam and the sunset is setting over the ocean.

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  16. Drat. Everything moved! Anyhow. I need cabana boys. And warm weather.

    Ghost – Yes. It feels like Hoth here. Supposed to be -10 tonight. In fact, Sunday, I was driving home in nasty freezing rain, and passed a poor little, older, lady walking – with her walker, in a light hooded sweatshirt, no gloves, and soaked sneakers – in the road (sidewalks are buried under snow), on her way to CVS. I didn’t get too far before my guilt forced me to turn back. She was almost there by the time I caught back up with her. I told her I would wait for her to shop and then take her home. She only lives the next block over it turns out. She said it was the first time anyone had ever stopped to offer a ride. There was no way I could pass this poor shivering lady and not see her home safe. The roads were awful and it was getting dark and if she fell or got hit … I’d be ashamed for life. I guess I was supposed to see her and pick her up – my job and most of my errands are north of my house. By dumb luck, I had been further south and was coming home from the opposite direction. I would not have seen her in the normal course of my day.

    For Jackie – or anyone who needs a good laugh. (This lady is quite funny.)
    Jeanne Robertson “Men don’t know the style in N…: http://youtu.be/QNfzKiS-eTU

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  17. South Texas has three mountain ranges that surround Marfa, the largest are the Davis Mountains. Marfa is just north of the US Mexican border in the Chihuahuan Desert. All roads in the region skirt around the mountains.

    As to the location of the South China Sea. The Communist government had a five year plan that relocated the sea in the late seventies. The Yankee Imperialist has never recognized the change.

    One is true fact, the other is open for debate. 😉

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  18. Yes, Sand I have been to Marfa many times, local of the National Movie of Texas, right behind the Alamo, the movie Giant with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. I know we have mountains there and I have even hiked them. But this John Wayne movie was supposed to be set in southeast Texas in the Beaumont area and there are surely no mountains anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico!

    Love, Jackie

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  19. Mindy, thank you for helping that poor lady. About Jeanne Robertson, I love her, have a friend who sends me her “Don’t Leave Home Without A Baptist” speeches, as he is Southern Baptist.
    Funniest woman comedian I have ever heard and totally clean.

    I cannot link anything correctly, so dear Mark or someone, please link the “Don’t Give Auburn A Second Chance” routine by Jeanne Robertson. I did not know she was an Auburn grad. Another great thing from Alabama.

    Her don’t go to Vegas without a Baptist, hilarious. Instant conversion at the slots to becoming an Episcopalian.

    Love, Jackie

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  20. Never had to learn to shear sheep, but did learn how to grade cattle for FFA competitions when we lived in Hale County, AL. Don’t remember any of it now as we moved away in 1971. My favorite part of a real fair is still the livestock display. We no longer have any real fairs in this area. Now all we get are carnivals calling themselves fairs. For the real thing, go to Lebanon, TN.

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  21. Mark, I had to help teach FFA boys meat judging and live stock judging when I was on our collegiate judging team. The FFA teachers would spit tobacco juice toward my feet. Since the university dean of women would not let us wear jeans or pants, this was a doubly entertaining event for the FFA kids, maybe counting the tobacco spitting a tri fecta.

    In those days, no FFA girls allowed in cattle judging nor any other form of livestock or butchering. It was a great embarrassment to my inlaws when I was seen splattered in blood and out in public looking like a walking police report of mayhew. We are talking mid 60’s and early 60’s. Never took any poultry classes as I just hated all the horror stories or any dairy cattle courses.

    I was still a legend in South Louisiana butcher shops when I was in my 50’s as that cute little girl who taught the FFA meat judging courses. Still comes in handy at the meat cases to pick out meat but honestly, the quality of meat in grocery stores is indeed a crime and shame.

    I can shampoo and brush and polish show cattle and horses I imagine yet.

    Love, Jackie

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  22. Have been laughing at Jeanne Robertson and could sit here all night laughing with her. Not only did I not know she went to Auburn, I did not know she had been Miss North Carolina. Wow!

    Over six feet tall, still beautiful and elegant and so funny and so clean with the jokes. What a gift! Don’t Line Dance in the Ladies Room is another laugh out loud routine, I swear I was in a ladies room the other day with one of those automatic paper towel dispensers and I was seeing if it really worked. If there were cameras watching, who knows what they thought?

    How did you know I really needed to laugh? I was afraid to say we had another tragedy today in my immediate family, since we are such a small family to begin with. I told my daughter that what did not kill us made us stronger and she said thank you but I think I am strong as I want to be already. Were this a soap opera and not real life, I would be going, go on, that is a lousey plot.

    Love, Jackie

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  23. “when you used shedders on them.” Is a shedder a chemical depilatory that causes them to shed? Never heard the term. I’ve seen shearing once or twice, with electric shears, back in the ’40s and ’50s.

    Bedtime; I woke up at 0415, an hr. and 15 min. earlier than alarm was set for, for weekly hospital volunteer stint. Good day there. Napped 75 min. or so this afternoon, but have to get up earlier than I’d like Wed., to pick up a bit more before my wonderful fortnightly cleaning lady comes. Nighty bunch. emb

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  24. Not sure that is correct term but when combing dogs with undercoats like Newfoundlands and Keishounds you use this grooming instrument that is same as the metal combs we used to use on show animals when I groomed them back in college. It is a single piece with a handle on each end, the metal part is stainless steel that looks not unlike a saw. You bend the two ends together and there are holes and latches that lock it together.

    When grooming horses and cows it removes dead or unattractive hair. I have heard them called slickers too. Anyway, on dogs with deep hair coats it miraculously pulls all the thick under coat out leaving the top hair. On big Newfies you can pull out amounts that look like hay bales or large hairy tumbleweeds. Can be used on long haired cats and other dogs but if their hair isn’t thick you have to watch the too heavy brushing.

    It works wonders on Blue Heelers and Red Heeler who if left ungroomed begin to look like shedding camels.

    Since I never had to groom a show sheep or goat I am not certain would work on them but after FINALLY getting a groomer to show me what they used on matted and thick haired dog I went to the feed store and bought some from the horse and cow department!

    Once my mom was visiting when I had groomed the Newfie and she looked across yard and asked what the strange thing was rolling around in yard? It was his hair which the wind had made into a perfect round orb.

    Love, Jackie

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  25. Indeed, that is the exact instrument of torture for dogs and cats. And look at that price! I would tell you all how much I paid but you might still own some property out in the swamp you’d like to sell me or a bridge of my own!

    In the case of Big Dog, we had him neutered before we found out what kind of dog I had stolen. He turned out to be a white and black European Landseer, as in paintings by Sir Edwin Landseer but we didn’t know that, although we knew he looked like Big Dog on the Big Dog shirt, hence his name. It took my daughter’s friend from Russia who was attending agricultural vet school at Texas A and M to identify what he was, which was much later and very round about way.

    She was looking at photos and said, “How did you get a European Landseer in Oklahoma as they are not bred in America and very few are brought over from Europe?”

    Michele said, “Well, my mother stole him from a drug dealers trailer in the middle of a thunder and lightening ice storm and cut him off the chains with my dad’s bolt cutters.” Which was true and we never gave him back. He had almost drowned in the same river that runs through my front and side yard and had three inches of ice on him which melted into the twelve Boston ferns he chewed up to make a bed in my breezeway.

    He lived another fourteen years with us and I wished I had him cloned but it was too late by then. So, I love Newfies and would steal or rescue another given the opportunity.

    Newfies are loyal and loving and will defend their owners to the death but make lousy dogs to attach to drug distribution centers. And yes, I have drug dealers in more than one location in my neighborhood.

    Love, Jackie

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  26. Lady Mindy: Good move, helping that lady. Of course, that was no surprise to me; I’d expect nothing less from you. You’re a good kid. (And yes, I am old enough to call you a kid.)

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  27. Stealing? I prefer “rescue”.

    Well, Martine is, after all, French. 😉

    Look on the bright side…if Bill ends up married to Eddy, it mostly likely means that either 1) Bert killed her, 2) the Germans killed her, or 3) Bill killed her. Good outcome, no matter what.

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  28. Good morning Villagers….

    Thank you Indy Mindy for helping that lady, sad that this was the first time anyone offered her assistance…..you’ve added another rung on that ladder to heaven. And yikes, it is cold up there in N IN….it’s 18 degrees here.

    Have to take Hampton the cat to vet today….Vet gave us some medicine to put inbetween her shoulder blades, but it’s not helping. She still is constantly licking this area clean off of hair. Bought one of those cones yesterday…..she did not like it. Unfortunately, my husband also has to babysit Kyler today….he’ll have to take him with him. I don’t think so, the other hen house where Andrew works is only about 7 mile drive from here, I am going to have him come here and sit with Ky while my husband takes Hampton to the vet.

    Took the boots back, bought some new insoles, and I’m going to use Gorillo glue on the sole…just not in the mood to break in new boots.

    ya’ll have a blessed day

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  29. Thanks for the ‘kudos’, Denise…..this is even better…..she showed up, again, later that night around 9ish….I was asleep in recliner, and BIL was sleeping in the chair. Ian saw lights coming down the driveway, and turned the porch lites on. When she got to the porch, Ian saw who it was, turned the lights off on her and locked the door. She left.

    And I love Kenny the dog…….

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  30. Crowded House strip of 01.14.15:

    Basement. Don’t forget the basement.

    By the way, has anyone else ever wondered what would happen to America’s landfill space if everyone threw away all the junk that is currently stored in houses, garages, and storage centers?

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  31. For smaller animals there’s a product called the Furminator that does an amazing job of getting rid of excess hair. I can picture Jackie’s rolling ball – I considered learning to spin yarn out of what I used to get from our late long-haired cat.

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  32. location of Arlo and family? – as a transplanted European now living in central NY, I’ve always had the feeling that Arlo ‘n Janis were somewhere near the Gulf of Mexico – but the kids and their restaurant were much further away – maybe San Diego? Not sure where I got that idea …
    If they were ‘up north’ there would be a lot more talk and drawings of snow! – It’s hard to draw cold – and this morning, it was a toasty minus 9 F here – but the sun will shine so all is good.

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  33. The TIP comic is not hilarious but it brings up a beef. With something simple as a rake, you’re apt to get warnings: NOT A TOY, DO NOT USE TO PICK YOUR TEETH, etc. With a new clock radio from Target, made in China, with only some buttons labeled, nothing.

    http://www.gocomics.com/that-is-priceless/

    Jackie, I am even older enough to call you a kid, and Ghost is right. An angel is a messenger from Y—h, and you are one.

    Peace, emb

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  34. I have never assumed A&J to be too southern because there have always been plenty of mentions of cold weather and snow during the winter, and there isn’t too much of that near the Gulf Coast.

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  35. Indy Mindy, you are indeed a good kid! {and that’s all I’m saying.;-)}

    Ruth Anne, I have a Furminator that I would love to use on my dog, but every time I start combing him he sits down. He doesn’t seem to mind my combing his upper back and shoulders, but for some reason doesn’t want his hind quarters combed.

    When I was in high school a friend of ours had several Newfies that she shaved in the summer. North Georgia is not the ideal place for such dogs in the summer, folks. Just sayin’. They were sweet, gentle giants, but in the winter when you drove up to the house if you didn’t know better it looked like several medium-sized bears running towards your car. 🙂

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  36. So here I am a few minutes ago over on Watertribe Forum reading about challenge and boats when Amazon offered me a shedding dog tool for $4.80! How do they know we need that lederhosen?

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  37. Newfies in hot places like Oklahoma have to have “hot spot” treatments, allergy shots and steroids and kept in A/C in hot months, shave the hot spot areas and keep them “thinned” of excess hair. High maintenance but he could have lived to be 100 and I would have done it all.

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  38. Mindy from Indy, her guardian angel must have poked your guardian angel and said, “Hey, need a little help here.”

    Ruth Anne, I read of a knitter who made a sweater from her dog’s combings. Beautiful sweater, all went well till she got caught in the rain while wearing it…then she discovered that wet dog yarn smells like wet dog. How does a wet cat smell?

    Rick in Shermantown, if everyone did that, the pickers would be over the moon! I tend to be a “recycle/give stuff away” person (but have saved way too many books and craft project supplies), while my husband is a “hang onto it/we’ve got room in the basement” person. But the last couple of years, he has started to give away rather than save, too, and seems kind of relieved by it. I think it may be due to experience with elderly relatives or just feeling overwhelmed by possessions. We reach a point at which we feel possessed by them.

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  39. Bill, my Dad (a child of Polish immigrants and a Michigander all 43 years of his life) used to call me “Pot Likker”. I’m curious; does your Dad use it to refer to the cooked substance or as a nickname for someone?

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  40. “Our Town” Village Great name Jackie!

    As opposed to North, East, South,West,Valley,Hill,Spucedale,Center and others that were in the
    town where I grew up.

    Sorry guys I’m leaving it to someone else to clean up. “Its mine! All mine”! 3 barns and 2
    cellars.

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  41. Denise, my dad, and consequently myself as well, use the phrase as an expletive instead of something worse, of course about someone we don’t think so highly of…

    Bill

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