That’s Only 12 Dozen

(Cartoonist’s note: I feel I probably should emphasize what appears below. I looked it up again this morning, and the internet lists two meanings for “yard ape,” one being an unruly child. The other, it seems, is black people. Having spent my life in the deep south, I had never heard of the latter. I certainly meant the former.)

Several have asked about the term “yard ape.” To me, it always meant children, as in “rug rats.” Apparently, according to Google, it has connotations even more tasteless. To reiterate, I meant children. I think context will bear this out as the plot unfolds. I was not aware of other meanings until now.

41 responses to “That’s Only 12 Dozen”

  1. I made a rash agreement to sell some books when I was young. Luckily, my Mother took compassion on me after a few weeks and paid for them. God Bless Her!

  2. Most agreements a minor makes to sell/buy products are not enforceable. One friend of mine enjoyed ordering the “12 records for ONLY 1 cent” deals that required the buyer to purchase 6 (or some other number) more at the normal (way higher than retail) record club price. Once they found out he was a minor, they canceled the membership.

  3. The only time my grandpa used the term on me and my brothers and cousins was when we were being loud and rambunctious. I never knew it meant anything else.

  4. Quite a few terms used innocuously for generations are acquiring offensive meanings retroactively. I think too many people are looking for ways to prove past generations to have been craven, racist, whatever, so they can feel more “enlightened” today.

  5. Panel 3 of the top strip has an interesting, rarely viewed 3/4 angle (2/3 ?) of Arlo; I like the way it turned out. Very good at conveying the way kids have to look up (literally) to adults and the confusion the whole episode brings. Thanks for the flashback.

  6. When I was 9, I sold Burpee seeds. I think it was 25-cents a packet for a pre-selected variety of vegetable and flower seeds. I sold about 3/4ths of the initial order. My mama had mercy and bought the final dozen or so packets. We planted moss rose, marigolds, four o’clocks, and zinnias. The vegetables included beets, carrots, radishes, red leaf lettuce, and green onions. Luckily, Mama knew something about growing things so we had some success!

    I don’t remember what the premium I received was. The plants and gardening were WAY more memorable. By the time I was 12 I was running the garden tiller and raking out rocks. The tiller was much more satisfying to a 6th grader than raking…

  7. David from Austin. Yeah, outdoor work always suited me better than sweeping or mopping. It felt good, you were outside hearing the birds and smelling the plants and dirt when you cut grass or dug. Raking was too much like floor sweeping. Nothing to show for it and in a short time nobody could tell you did anything.

  8. “Yard ape” never meant anything but “children” in this town.

    I have never heard the term used as a racial slur anywhere, no matter where I traveled.

    I even went to college for a year at a southern university, and I never heard it there, either.

  9. I have been in Arlo’s shoes, just not for so many boxes. I don’t think that I managed to sell more than maybe 10 boxes total. It did not take me long to figure out the selling candy at Halloween for Cub Scouts, Christmas Tree tickets as a Boy Scout, or even Almondbark in Jr HS was much easier than selling boxes of greeting cards.

  10. When I was in 4th or 5th grade as a class project we had to sell seed packets
    (or entice our parents to buy). Were in NYC’s West Side they expected anyone
    to grow anything I don’t know. Any ONE seed pack would fill every sunny window
    in any apt. building.

  11. Grew up in the Cleveland area. Never heard the term ‘yard ape’ and it would not have been a racial slur then anyway. To my great embarrassment today, we used the “N” word back then. Thank God those days of feeling superior because of skin color are over.

  12. Rick:

    Sorry, but I must disagree that those days are over.

    It seems to be an innate condition of humankind and not restricted to one particular race.

    Right now, some of the voices are somewhat muted, but I don’t think they will be quiet much longer, especially in Europe.

    Then, I suspect that it will happen in most countries over the globe.

    I hope that I am wrong, but it’s hard to argue against nearly all of history.

  13. I sold a couple of boxes of the cards (must have been in the early 60’s), my mom bought a couple and I probably supplemented the payment with my allowance. I did learn that I would never become a door to door salesmen!

  14. Today’s strip is factually incorrect but I certainly got the humor. The latest sunset is actually next week as we have mentioned here at the old website.

    I too had never heard of yard ape. It reminded me of Howard Cosell calling Art Monk “a little monkey”. Howard was not a racist but he did have grandchildren that he called “little monkeys” That was in the early 80’s but I think most took Howard at his word that he did not mean anything derogatory.

  15. Rick in …, and Steve:

    Right. Skin color, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, education level, all continue to win and lose elections. Many people vote against perceived outgroups, especially those who feel insecure about their status in an ingroup that permits them to treat others as inferior, to have someone to despise.

    I thought I was the only Villager who kept track. The earliest sunrise was 14 June. It’s all Kepler’s fault. When we all revolved in perfect Copernican circles it was not a problem. Then there’s that meddlesome Fibonacci! What was wrong with I, II, III, IV, etc.?


  16. As an amateur astronomer I’m very aware of the times of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset. And my antipathy for DST has grown since my work schedule changed from working afternoons (I could stay up later and sleep in) to working mornings.

    I’m now limited to about an hour of viewing on clear nights providing I do it from home with city lights. Driving to decently dark spots takes at least 30 minutes each way. 🙁

    And the closest such area is inaccessible now because of a wildfire in that canyon. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  17. And here’s some bad news for those who buy from online sources that weren’t collecting sales tax:

    I side with the smaller sellers who can’t afford to track the 50,000+ taxing authorities (states, counties, cities) and issue quarterly checks to each one whenever someone living there buys something. There should be at most a single tax calculated and paid to each state.

  18. Trucker: One of the many reasons some of us chose not to go into retail businesses, but are grateful to many [not all] who do run shops. Peace,

  19. I’m on the other side, TR. I do pay the taxes on my purchases and have to determine whether or not sales tax was collected on each purchase. That can be a task, given the MBH’s affinity for Amazon. I would much rather pay as I go [to the seller] and not need to go through all the records each year for my state tax return. In IL, the form has a line for taxes on such purchases and they emphasize “Do not leave this line blank!”. Of course, IL also tells how to compute said tax.

  20. Some days I’m tempted to move to Montana or Oregon and be done with sales taxes altogether. Utah has only, a few years ago, reduced the sales tax collected on groceries, and so far doesn’t collect it on pharmaceuticals. The tax on virtually everything else has gone up, typically “only” 1/8% at a time.

  21. Also Utah has, for at least the last 20 years, demanded that we pay the difference between any lesser sales tax paid or not paid at all on items bought in other states for use in Utah. So, technically, if I buy my grandkids a present while traveling in another state, I should keep track of the receipt and be prepared to calculate and pay that.

    I guess that would be a “souvenir tax”?

  22. While shopping at Wally World, the sight of a mother and young son in the store led me to think of Li’l Arlo’s remark “Mom! You’re beautiful!” It also led me to wonder how, were I ten years old, I would regard my mom wearing short, tight cut-off jeans; a bare-midriff top; a belly-button ring; and displaying tattoos on both upper arms and ankles.

    When I was actually ten, I mean; not in present times. Today it doesn’t even seem to be remarkable.

  23. I wonder how some of these people would pass the metal detector at an airport or public building? And like a post sent on FB said, lip piercings make you look like a fish that got away!

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