Stretching a Point

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This is an old Sunday from 1995. I can’t be sure, because I don’t exactly keep records, but I don’t think it’s ever been seen here on the Web before. That means, no one but you has seen it in 20 years. We were discussing last week regionalism in the comics, specifically could A&J be regarded as a “southern” strip. I voted no, and I have evidence to back me up. Guess to which state I have shipped more copies of Beaucoup Arlo & Janis than any other, and by a significant margin. Give up? Massachusetts. Behind the Bay State would be the upper Midwest. I am strong in the south, in terms of newspaper clients and book sales, but Dixie follows the aforementioned regions. For whatever reason, I have never been big out west. Maybe that’s why there has never been an Arlo & Janis movie. Yeah, that’s got to be it.

50 responses to “Stretching a Point”

  1. I don’t know if there’s any way you could know the answer to this, but do you think there’s any connection between your popularity in Massachusetts and Robert B. Parker’s appreciation of (and references to) your work? It’s one of those odd linkages holding a place in my mind.

    For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think of your work as Southern at all, other than the specific Savannah/Charleston/wherever feel to Gene these days. It’s certainly not in the way that Kudzu and That’s Jake were when I was growing up.

    Not really much of a mystery about the New England connection. I’ve been in “The Boston Globe” for years. — JJ

  2. Per EMB’s most interesting article here we sit in Okrahoma at #44 while my home state of Louseyana is #50 out of 50 states, while Ghost’s Miserysippi managed to be #51 out of 50 states which I didn’t figure out for awhile.

    No, I agree, poverty, illness, and death and crime do not make for a happy state of affairs. Yet I know that Louisiana has one of the highest rates of people who refuse to leave and live elsewhere. And not just among the poverty stricken with fewer choices. In fact, those are often the ones to bail out if given the chance.

    Many Katrina refuges did not go back once out of New Orleans, one reason the population dropped so dramatically and workers became harder to hire I have been told.

    Love, Jackie

  3. I never said that A&J was a “Southern” strip. This Sunday’s strip about the used kitty litter is proof. I just said that I thought Jimmy had said at one time that the syndicates would rather not pigeon-hole a strip so that it expand it’s scope.

    Speaking of kitty litter, we plan to put out a Lumiere tonight in honor of Life as the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is the 22nd. The instructions are to put sand in the white paper bag and then place the candle inside so that it does not blow away. Fortunately, we have clean litter in the house, but if we didn’t….

  4. Mike always said he planned to mix my ashes with the kitty litter so it would serve multifunction.

    I woke up this morning with Mike’s cat Ashes sitting on on my chest and gently touching my face with his paw. He misses Mike so much. The 10# dog is so lonely he is sitting inside my purse daily so as to not be left behind and has befriended all my workers for love and petting.

    Love, Jackie

  5. JJ,
    Thanks for mentioning The Boston Globe. A few years ago, they printed a letter I wrote about my teenage idol, Rocky Marciano. Rocky was the son of an Italian immigrant just like I am and also the only undefeated heavy weight boxing champion of the world. Being from Baton Rouge, LA, I was really pleased that The Globe saw fit to publish my letter. I wrote it at the urging of my good friend, Dick Thompson(RIP), who was a native of that area. The Globe has good taste in cartoons, as do all of the people in this village. God bless us everyone.

  6. I always thought of Arlo somewhere in the NE close enough to the “Redneck Riviera” (Myrtle Beach) to make it in a days drive. Certainly not west of there in WV or KY.

  7. Boyd Nation, Gene et al are living in the Gulf Coast area – could be Florida, Alabama, or Mississippi – no way it’s Texas. That’s a whole other ambiance – not to be confused with The Gulf Coast.

  8. Ginger,
    Anyone who is lucky enough to live in The Loveliest Village, has my admiration. I was there in the ’60’s for vet school and if not for the fact that my three grown children, their spouses and their six beautiful children live within fifteen minutes of my house in Baton Rouge, I would live there also. I always say, win or lose, IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!
    God bless us everyone.

  9. This one made me smile:


    If you can start the day without caffeine,
    If you can always be cheerful,
    ignoring aches and pains,
    If you can resist complaining and
    boring people with your troubles,
    If you can eat the same food every
    day and be grateful for it,
    If you can understand when your loved
    ones are too busy to give you any time,
    If you can take criticism and blame
    without resentment,
    If you can conquer tension without
    medical help,
    If you can relax without alcohol,
    If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

    Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!

  10. That is so true, TruckerRon! We were just talking about dogs having to eat the same thing at every meal, day after day this morning. I said Snoopy and Garfield seemed to complain some.

  11. Could be why there has never been an A&J TV series, too. However, more and more TV series are being filmed in Louisiana and TX…so why not one about a not your average family? Besides Duck Dynasty and Swamp People being filmed in La., there is also Red Neck Family, and as strange as it seems, ‘Salem’, which is about witches in Mass.

  12. Time does fly. This strip appeared 20 years ago? THIRTY years ago Our Humble Author presented a strip depicting Arlo dancing furiously to a song on the radio. In panel three, the DJ says, “That was the Beatles with ‘Eight Days A Week,’…” Panel four concludes the DJ’s message: “…Number One on the charts TWENTY YEARS AGO!” Arlo looks CRUSHED.

    So now we are further removed in time from that strip than that strip was from “Eight Days A Week” being at Number One. And it is now FIFTY years since it was at Number One. Don’t tell Arlo; he took it badly enough Back In The Day!

  13. Thanks TR,

    I will admit after the first line I was starting to become a worried man. The final line set my mind at ease; I now know I am just more lowly than the noble dog. 🙂 <emoto

  14. The Boston Globe came to our house for MANY long years, and we are/were devoted comic strip fans. We saw ’em come, and we saw ’em go; Arlo and Janis survives! Not sure when A&J first appeared, and we liked it a lot. After some years, the Web site .com was written in the comic. We didn’t have a computer back then, but when we did get one (astonishing our children who were sure we’d never join the 21st Century) I came to the site after a while and have been enjoying it ever since. I don’t think Chris got into it at all — it wasn’t his kind of thing. So I am pleased to see a nice pat on the back to The Globe from Jimmy. I certainly was surprised when he said that Massachusetts had ordered more books than any other State!

    The Globe print edition doesn’t come to the house any more; I read it online, and I do subscribe so they are making some money from me.

  15. Hmmm… Arlo & Janis Movie! We’d finally get to hear what they sound like.

    Hopefully it won’t be as disappointing as was the case with Garfield. Good grief, I couldn’t turn it off quick enough.

  16. Jerry, Sir (!!) Paul will be 73 this year on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in June.

    When he turned 64, alas, Heather Mills answered the rhetorical questions “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” with an emphatic “No!” 🙁

    As for outliving the Beatles, Their Satanic Majesties have looked like walking dead for the last 30 years. Paul and Ringo look FAR better than those guys. The Beatles disbanded while still at the top of their game, and the sum of the parts has never proven equal to the whole.

    Sir Paul recently decided it would be a good idea to record with Kanye West. My wife called me in to watch a news segment in which the on-the-street reporter asked young people what they thought of the guy that had recorded with Kanye, this “Paul McCartney” guy. Most had no idea who he was. One young fellow said it was kind of Kanye to give an unknown guy a boost to his career by recording with him.

  17. I wonder what the USA would be like if its citizens cared as much about their elected officials failing to enforce the law and violating the constitution as they do about pro football teams failing to properly inflate the footballs?

  18. How about the fact that Nat King Cole died in 1965, the same day as Winston Churchill? Churchill was 90, Cole was 45! Cole was my all time favorite male vocalist. My other favorite “singer” and band leader was Spike Jones, who also died in 1965! I think I have every record that Nat and Spike ever recorded and released. Someday, my kids and grand kids will really be puzzled by my taste in recordings.

    Jackie, I sent my condolences to the funeral home website but let me add my own personal ones to you. May God hold you in the palm of His hand. Same to all the other villagers who have lost loved ones or have problems that a million dollars won’t solve. I had a friend who always said that if you have problems that a million dollars will solve, you have no problems at all. God has really blessed me. May he bless us everyone.

  19. Doumacan, I did read your sweet message on the funeral home page and appreciated your kindness. Do you really live in Baton Rouge and are a veterinarian? Retired? I couldn’t even begin to get into vet school back then, only had a 3.5 average. The 4 pointers were being turned away and no one wanted women back then, so no way.

    I bet you knew a friend of mine that was a BR vet for many years before he came back home to north Louisiana.

    And we have Bill in Bossier, too, but I don’t think he is a vet/animals.

    If I got the wrong end of the stick, tell me!

    Love, Jackie

  20. Many decades ago, I was a huge fan of “Peanuts”, following the comic and buying all the book compilations as they were published. (Collection has since been given to SIL.) I found the strip to be quite insightful, more often than not.
    Then came those various holiday specials featuring the “Peanuts” characters. Horrible. The situations usually seemed disjoint & insipid, and the voices used simply did not match what I had in mind from the strips and books. I did watch some, especially while the kids were kids, but never liked any. These days, I stay away from those listings.
    Consequently, PLEASE don’t follow that path, JJ. Avoid any tv or movie stuff; you risk some of your audience.

  21. Sorry for the date mixups. Nat and Winston died a couple of weeks apart.
    Who was the BR vet? I’ve known all of them since the 60’s. We have the LVMA meeting in Lafayette this weekend. Still go even though I’m retired. I was one of five people accepted from LA at Auburn in 1963. I had a B.S and half a M.S. before I was accepted on my third try! We had about 5 females in the entire school back then. Now it’s about 85% females as is medical and dental schools.
    Trucker Ron,
    I love that little writeup about the family dog. Dogs are God’s second greatest creation. I had three labs that all died within five months and I just can’t stand to watch another one die, so, I have no dogs, but i really don’t have room for a lab, my favorite breed.
    Gee, this is more than I have written in several years of reading A&J! I started reading A&J in the Auburn/Opelika News back when it started. JJ and I are fellow alumni, though years apart.

  22. Johnny Robinson from Newellton, LA Went back to Tensas from a large practice in BR and became a country vet, died as one, great guy.

    I was one of first five females allowed into USL School of Agriculture who were not in home ec. You must have missed my meat and livestock team judging stories! In dresses and heels, per dean of women! As you know, Louisiana didn’t get many into vet school under the ratio plan, so Auburn impressed me! I was class of 1966 and I imagine I may know a lot of the older vets around Lafayette and south Louisiana.

    Couldn’t miss my dog rescue stories, I had ten simultaneously who weighed between 50-150 pounds and all were “house” dogs, I called them my anti-theft alarm and bite system. It is too hard to watch them die, I agree.

    Write more, this is a great group who I KNOW are interesting people.

    Love, Jackie

  23. Sand, it gets even worse. I did not mention that when told Paul was a member of the Beatles, almost no one knew who THEY were. I mean, come on, that was like fifty years ago! Ancient history.

  24. domaucan1, how about Groucho Marx and Elvis dying the same week in 1977. Terrible for Groucho fans as the press paid all their attention to Elvis. So an 86-year-old comedian who performed in vaudeville, radio, movies and tv takes bottom billing over a 42-year old rock and roll singer who performed in tv and movies. Wonder what Groucho would have said about that timing.

  25. Apros of nothing, I have been watching assorted versions of “Walking the Dog” by the originator, Rufus Thomas, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughn and others. And some Muddy Waters, some more Rolling Stones, some Good Rockin’ Dopsie, both original and Junrior, Wilson Pickett and Chuck Berry.

    All that talk of no one knowing who the Beatles were, did they know the Stones or anyone else not currently singing? Would they know any of these? I know these were regional groups or singers but they seemed to do well on world tours if the youtube clips are coming from all over.
    I can understand why the South African engineer from Belgium was so excited to know I’d actually known Dopsie Sr. Europeans seemed to love them.

    Good night all, I don’t think the music cheered me up as much as I’d hoped. Although those television clips of the Stones from the 1960’s all dressed pretty normally and standing around playing instruments in one place were pretty strange. While Mick Jagger could not restrain himself and did this strange little tight spaced sideways dance about one foot one way and another foot the other way, so it looked like he was standing still but wasn’t.

    Love, Jackie

  26. Trucker: Almost no causation can be proven hard and fast, but I doubt the similarities in those curves is random. We cannot prove that the relaxed controls on banks led to the major recession that occurred under the last administration, but I expect they did.

    About popular songs and such. One summer several profs at the university were accompanying a bunch of students on a one week trip in the canoe country of NE MN. Some of us were singing [a cappella] songs we knew around a campfire: “On top of old Smoky” and that vintage. Some students complained, “What about our music?” We invited them to sing some. Silence. This was in the ’70s, and they were used to being audiences at “concerts” and dancing or something when bands played and singers screamed, but they didn’t know any songs. We asked. They didn’t know the words to most of “their music.”

  27. Twin Cities TV News did a segment “Small Changes To Eat Healthy”
    Mostly veggies and fruit But the ones of which I took notice –

    Fermented foods like Sauerkraut and

    Bone Soup- presenter mentioned that there are lunch wagons that feature it.
    The collagen is good for joints (how it knows to go just there escapes me). Just throw the
    boned in water and cook 24 hours. Must be why Grandma’s soup was so good for us.

    Artificial Joints depends on Funeral home – close friend worked for one in Winona.
    Their feeling was it was part of a person so they accumulate a few and then are given a
    respectful burial in a cemetery.


  28. Hearing no objection, Netanyahu gets the couch. Three of my favorite singers-Leon Redbone, Louie Prima, and Jimmy Durante. I have a long list but they are definitely there. Tv interview of teenagers: Elvis? Yeah, wasn’t he like the Justin Bieber of his time? We have a new electronic device for you. You just attach these wires to your arm and then press this button. You’ll get a buzz like you won’t believe.

  29. Good middle of the night to all. Either some hail or rain on that tin roof I sleep under woke me up and I am having snack of wasabi ranch sugar snap peas and a Diet Coke.

    Jerry, you have a cat named for the prime minister of Israel?

  30. New Hampshire has a new scratch off lottery ticket called “I Love Bacon” which does the obvious and smells like bacon when scratched. Oklahoma should do the same, We have a popular breakfast joint in town called “I Smell Bacon” and her gas station next door is called “I Smell Gas”.

    I kid you not.

    Those wasabi sugar snaps were addictive. One bag gave me 42% of my daily fiber and not much fat, salt or sugar. Amazing,

    Good night all again. Love, Jackie

  31. Good morning Villagers….

    It has been said that if (or when) a nuclear holocaust should occur, the only two living things left would be cockroaches and Keith Richards 🙂

    Simply…thanks for the article and yes, I’d love those pics…send them to my email address. We brought in George the Rooster yesterday into the packing room. Set him on top of a roll of cage wire….dang, can he cockle doodle doo…loudly.

    domaucan1….thank you for the well wishes, and do post more often…such spices of life here in this here Village. I look forward to coming here every morning…makes my day.

    And, yes, I do find myself thinking of ya’ll during the day. Yesterday I got curious, Ian and I weighed 6 trays of eggs (that’s 180 eggs)…there are 24 cases to a skid (12 trays) so that is 48 times I life 6 trays of eggs per skid. We did the math, and by the end of of the day, I have lifted almost 8,000 pounds of eggs….Ian is a sweetie, he monitors me and comes in from the hen house to pack to the top for me….thatsa a my boy….oh, and then this is me at the end of the day…

    Tombstone pizza, GR 😉 lol

    TR. yup, that was the name of the movie…

    gotta go……………

  32. I may have to post more than once.
    Johnny was a VERY good friend. I really miss his calls. I was director of the diagnostic lab for the Department of Ag. and helped all the vets and farmers. That’s why I know so many LA vets. We really do have a lot in common. My B.S. was from USL in ’61 when it changed from SLI! I was a part of the judging team in animal science but there were no females! My B.S. was in microbiology, since I didn’t get in vet school early.
    Groucho was great.I loved his humor. Elvis, not to my liking. He was more of my wife’s time. He did have a good voice for ballads.
    Thanks for mentioning some of my favorites. I play Jimmy’s, “You’ve Got To Start Off Each Day Wit A Song” frequently. Louie Prima is one of my favorites also.
    Can you imagine youngsters trying to sing some of the noise that calls itself “music” now?
    T Ron,
    Aldous & C.S were also great. On Nov 22,’63, the whole world stopped. I was on my weekend duty at Maxwell AFB in my first year of vet school and we watched the entire funeral. Sad day in the USA!
    I’ll be silent now until next time.

  33. Debbe,
    We also have something in common. I worked in the poultry department at Auburn while in vet school. Went to several large poultry operations in AL & in Louisiana afterwards with the Ag Dept. Louisiana had a rather large group of back yard poultry farms in the 60’s &70’s. I was exposed to a lot of poultry pathology then. They began to disappear in the 80’s.

  34. Ayn Rand, Russian born Jewish intellectual. Educated at Saint Petersburg University, as was Vladimir Putin. Best known as Russian-American novelist.

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