The Christmas Caller



This little December series from 1993 appeared in Beaucoup Arlo & Janis, but I thought I’d show it to you again over the weekend. This was only the second appearance of Mary Lou, the little girl from the beach. Did I know when I drew these cartoons that she and Gene would get married some day? Get real! Of course not! I’m going to repost the “Team Cul de Sac” information below, for those of you who might not have made it yesterday.

Did you draw a cartoon lover’s name this year? Are you chafing because your plan to give everyone on your list an Arlo & Janis t-shirt fell through? Well, I have a suggestion for you. Check out “Team Cul de Sac.” Cul de Sac is the engaging comic strip drawn by Richard Thompson, the talented artist and illustrator whose blossoming career as a comic strip creator was cut off by the progression of Parkinson’s disease in 2012. The TCDS web site has for sale two books, and a portion of the money goes to The Michael J. Fox Foundation and to TCDS, both of which are dedicated to publicizing and funding the fight against Parkinson’s disease. One of the volumes is a collection of the work of various cartoonists—giants in the trade—assembled especially to benefit Thompson and the TCDS effort. Another is a beautiful collection of the work of Richard Thompson himself. Either would make a great gift for anyone who loves cartoons. It would make me feel better if you took some of that money you had set aside for A&J t-shirts and spent it one of these great books.

32 thoughts on “The Christmas Caller”

  1. Every guy can relate to Gene’s attempt at making conversation. When I reflect on my first conversations with my wife, I find it incredible that she married me…A fact that reminds me every day of! lol

    Just had a couple of close friends announce that they are separating. It has been widely reported that January is usually the most “popular” month for couples to separate but in both cases the couples have been struggling. We struggle from time to time too, but we are fiercely loyal and always find a way to stay true.

    But it reminds me that many are hurting this month and the holidays often make it worse. Think about those who may be hurting and be a presence to them. Let them know that they are loved,

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  2. Amen! Holidays are often when people choose to end their lives as well. I was a florist for many years and florists learn everything unfortunately, good and bad. I was reminded of that on my grocery run when my “van loader” shared with me the relative’s failure as a husband to support his wife and children whose mother/grandmother had committed suicide for Thanksgiving.

    My youngest daughter did suicide prevention for years and years, along with rape crisis counseling. She surely knows.

    This is not to bring anyone down here and depress you. But if you ARE depressed or sad or need someone to talk to, make a call to a hotline or come here and post and talk to one of us. People here are caring and thoughtful and loving.

    I know that this blog has been my own personal crisis line for some time now and you all get through to me in a positive way that gives me hope.

    Love, Jackie Monies

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  3. Buttermilk, cornbread, and a slice of raw onion: I could try that, but would be using plain kefir instead of the buttermilk. Most kefir is flavored, and is generally 2% b’fat. All 3 brands available here come also unflavored. Plain’s flavor is much like cultured b’milk or yogurt, and one brand, available at the co-op, is 0%.

    Whole milk? Since Bastille Day ’07, when I started my low fat diet / MD’s orders, a qt. of whole milk would allow little or no fat in any other form. I’ve simply learned to drink skim and like it; whole is now way too creamy. Put a dash of 1/2-1/2 in my decaf or coffee, then a slosh of skim. A pt. of 1/2-1/2 lasts me 12 days. With certified OCD, doggy-boxing 1/2 of most restaurant entrees, reading labels, etc., I generally manage to stay within limits. For example, this will allow me breakfasts 2x a week of sardines [water-packed] on toast [Ezekiel 4:9], 2 slices. You’ve seen some of this before. Also pass on the low fat sour cream at Qdoba, bring the burrito home, and eat half of it at home with plain 0% yogurt instead. That was last evening with a decent pale ale; the other half tomorrow evening with a Taddy Porter. Freezer soup and no beer this evening.

    Yeah, friends who know the history of wife’s passing are wonderful this time of year. Actually, all year.

    Peace, emb.

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  4. EMB-

    Did you know that there is totally fat free half and half? And I can’t tell any difference, I cook with it. I believe it is Land of Lakes and that comes from up your way too.

    Some how I never learned to drink milk on the farm, which may be why? When I got bleeding ulcers back in late 60’s they put you on skim milk and I learned to drink it then, so that is all I like.

    Love, Jackie

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  5. I was about to say something about people who choose to end their lives on a family-centric holiday and the effect that will have on the survivors for the remainder of their lives, but I was afraid it would sound snarky, which was definitely not my intention. So, I will simply say that I pray that anyone who ever considers suicide, at any time of the year, will seek help. There are people who will be happy to help you, but they can’t do anything for you after you are gone.

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  6. Jackie: I tried fat-free stuff and don’t like it. Just as soon used powdered creamer. The mix of half & half + skim that I use is much like 2% milk. Peace, emb

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  7. EMB, I never learned to nor tried to drink coffee. Go figure, I am from a family that drinks thick black coffee nonstop. I keep saying it was that alien pod I came out of as it traveled down the Mississippi.

    I may have mentioned a famous “aliens stopping cars and lifting drivers aboard the space craft” story that circulated about a particular Texas road just west of Corpus Christi. So when all the distress began about aliens crossing the Texas border, my older daughter was being paranoid.

    I misunderstood her paranoia and said, “Honey, that is just a silly urban legend, there aren’t any aliens out on that highway transporting you aboard space ships for testing!”

    Frankly, my entire family and Mike’s as well are descended from a bunch of illegal aliens who crossed our borders. It’s just that mine mainly came in the 1600-1700 period and they solved that by overthrowing the government to form the United States of America.

    On one side Mike’s ancestor jumped ship in the swamps below New Orleans long ago while another crossed from Canada and never returned. Others were Jewish and came over in 1800’s, some were from Bavaria and who knows what they were escaping?

    Merry Christmas! Mike is listening to Fox news, that is a downer in itself.

    Love, Jackie

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  8. Jackie, that reminds me of the time that…ah…er…uh…

    Well, I guess it had to happen someday. I’ve flat run out of stories. Flat as a flitter. Dry as a dinosaur bone. Move along; nothing more to see here. Sorry.

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  9. GR6, Jimmy Buffett wrote:

    With his head out the sunroof,
    and his heart in the right place
    plan B was foolproof,
    he drove off to her place.
    Yelled out his feelings,
    among other stuff
    it was too much tequila
    or not quite enough
    it was too much tequila
    or not quite enough.

    It’s a semi-true story,
    believe it or not;
    I made up a few things,
    and there’s some I forgot.
    But the life and the telling
    are both real to me.
    and they all run together,
    and turn out to be
    a semi-true story

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  10. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but here in the Deep South an annual feature of Americana is appearing…fireworks stands and tents are beginning to pop up like mushrooms.

    Because nothing says Happy Birthday to The Prince of Peace like explosives.

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  11. I’ve seen fat free half and half and fat free sour cream, but I’ll never try either. My cholesterol is just barely high enough for me to need a statin for it, but not high enough for me to stop using real butter and real half and half. Besides, I consider the labeling of both of those products to be a contradiction in terms. Use them if you want or need to, but don’t expect me to join you.

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  12. What? Don’t thoughts like that enter anyone else’s mind while listening to the Fox foxes squealing endlessly on the screen?

    Mike says he wouldn’t live in my mind for 5 minutes!

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  13. side:

    “My cholesterol is just barely high enough for me to need a statin for it, but not high enough for me to stop using real butter and real half and half.”

    As I’ve noted before, in ’07 my annual lab said I’d exceeded 200 units of total cholesterol. So primary MD said total fat 40 g/day. I argued him up to 43 since I take 3g omega-3 fish oil daily. Fine. My cholesterol now is typically 170, and I weigh 10-15 # less. I happened to switch to skim, omitted butter, steamed veggies instead of stir-fried, switched to low fat ice cream, diluted my half and half with skim, doggie-boxed, read labels carefully, and kept track as best I could. I still have fat in my diet, just keep the total down. If it’s “barely high enough for me to need a statin for it,” you may not “need” a statin if you lower your fat intake a bit. MD said nothing / kind of fat.

    OTOH, extrapolating back, I’d been putting away 60-80 fat gpd, much of that per larger portions than I now eat, and / constant nibbling.

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  14. Gah! Chalk up another for new post closes old comments!

    Longest twelve-hour work day I’ve had in a long time. Get to back in at 5am. Will be hating that alarm clock at 4am.

    Decided to aggravate my annoyingly unhelpful, pregnant, assistant by giving her pending baby girl an “inspired” name. The father has already promised my assistant’a mom the baby would have her middle name – Joelle. (Which my assistant hates, btw.) I came up with Rutabaga Harlequin Joelle P*****. The joke was on me, as it turns out, my assistant had no idea what either a rutabaga or a harlequin was – she thought a rutabaga was a car (Studebaker) and harlequin a made-up word. She actually was more annoyed with harlequin than rutabaga – which would be even funnier to you all if you ever saw my assistant – she wears heavy, bright, glittery, makeup, and looks like a harlequin most of the time herself. If I hadn’t explained either one, I might have almost convinced her on Rutabaga. Ha!

    Early wake-up, off to bed. Night all.

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  15. This is Friday, so JJ probably won’t post a new comic tomorrow, and if you’re really going nightie bunch now, you will see this reminder tomorrow. Sleep tight. emb

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  16. Got my new replacement Christmas “Beaucoup Arlo and Janis” this afternoon and was totally excited to come home and find it.

    I love the inscription JJ and Mike agreed with it. He has always hoped they broke the mold when the little green men dropped me from the Mother Ship!

    Had gone out to town to haul back about 20# or more of Chinese food which I have stashed in fridge for the weekend. Also to take my loving Chinese friends a jar of wild honey for their allergies from a local farm. I love them and I must find out how to pronounce their names?

    Only the 8 year old child and I can communicate!

    I ate all the egg rolls and have enough boxed meals for the weekend for all.

    Mindy, one can only hope for mutations from the DNA furnished the poor child of your clerk. It is possible although not probable.

    Love, Jackie

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  17. Jackie: “Mindy, one can only hope for mutations from the DNA furnished the poor child of your clerk. It is possible although not probable.”

    I’m presuming you mean the clerk supplied the kid with mediocre mental DNA. No real way to tell that. Could be the clerk was socially/mentally deprived as a child, undernourished while her brain was still developing [= first 3-5 years], subjected to developmental stresses before birth [esp. fetal alcohol syndrome, which I’ve observed evidence of in a few young people], or that dad supplied some pretty good mental DNA [I think we still know very little / genes that affect brain power]. So maybe, in a decent environment, kid will be at least average.

    I grew up in economically stressed Depression years, but with adequate nutrition in an apartment full of books, and, despite somewhat dysfunctional parenting, with lots of stimulus to ask questions, and to experience cultural stuff, and was generally near the top of my classes [not always the most comfortable place to be]. Smart as a whip but socially inept. Fortunately married a brilliant and socially mature young woman, whom I credit with making me more grown up. [We’ve been here before.] Peace, emb.

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  18. Ten years ago, if anyone in this area had even heard of sushi (which was unlikely), if you’d said futomaki or uramaki, they’d have still thought you were swearing at them in Japanese. Now you can buy good sushi in supermarkets, fer cryin’ out loud.

    And some of the best locally is at a Chinese buffet place that has a small sushi bar that offers it both freshly prepared and made to order. (When you order like you know what you are doing, the chef obviously goes to extra lengths to make sure you are pleased with his work.) I bypass the steam tables and head straight to the sushi bar, where I’ll enjoy about $30 worth of maki and nigiri for the $10 price of the meal.

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  19. Probably mentioned Mike managed only one restaurant before becoming a high priced wine vendor, the restaurant at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. The Food and Beverage office had huge window onto the big aquarium tank. Joke was that Mike would eat anything, a good one to have about you, if it didn’t eat him first.

    When we left to return to the mainland (probably BIG mistake) the staff went out and killed a maki shark that was a little sick and made fresh sushi and grilled shark, other tidbits. They told him he was eating something that would eat him if it had chance.

    I made sushi under directions of Mike’s staff but I sure wouldn’t attempt it alone. And definitely not shark.

    To me the strange obsession with sushi out in West Texas where the big signature United Supermarkets kept two master sushi makers busy around the clock was STRANGE as most Texans would have gagged in past if you waved raw fish under their nose.

    Love to all and good night, Jackie

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  20. Before I forget, Mark, thanks to you I am in contact with the grandson of the Mississippi doctor who owned our Louisiana plantation and the one that backed onto it, sold to my grandfather’s best friend.

    This is the fascination with the internet for me and I think you, the ability to solve mysteries, such as the dead overseer in our front living room. Sounds like a British murder mystery? Not that it is solved yet, he probably thinks he has heard from some goofy woman and is afraid to write back again, since I told him the murder story I had been told my entire life by the African American residents who were alive and employed there when it happened. And who found the body.

    And told me about the ghost, long before I saw him. And the lost money from the cotton crops.

    Thanks, Mark.

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  21. Yep, used to be down South raw fish was the bait for catching bigger fish! I still have never tried sushi, but I’ve had cuttlefish on pizza while eating at a Shakey’s lunch buffet in Yokosuka. Wasn’t bad, but chewy.

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  22. You’re welcome, Jackie. Maybe one of the Villagers could use that story as the basis for a mystery novel for real. And you are right, that solving the mysteries is what makes it fun and interesting for me. I enjoy looking at old photos and old buildings too, and wondering at the stories behind them.

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  23. “Billy Joe Bob’s Sushi Bar and Fishing Supply House: Today’s Plate is Tomorrow’s Bait!”

    Indy Mindy, tell your annoyingly unhelpful, pregnant, assistant that the name you meant is Harley Quinn. If she’s a Batman fan she will understand. 🙂

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  24. Good morning Villagers…

    Good morning Indy Mindy….I always go back to the previous retro comments if JJ posts a new retro…..ya never know what ya might miss. And yes, I’ve had some of those same young women work for me as housekeepers….I blamed it on the cleaning liquids 🙂 And I could tell you stories about the ones who came into my Mom’s bridal shop…as moms to be and brides to be, as one person.

    “Because nothing says Happy Birthday to the Prince of Peace like explosives.” Only you could come up with that GR 😉 , I’m still laughing. And the Emily Lou Harris “Noel” was beautiful. Saw her in concert too, she opened up for the Eagles some 30 years ago. And Joe Walsh was with them then too.

    Mark, you may want to check out the link that GR posted to U tube, on the side was an album with Emily Lou Harris with Mark Knoepfler, this old Dell couldn’t download 58 minutes of music….I’d be sitting for an hour or so.

    It’s Caterday, and I’ve got the teens today. Got much needed work out of the two last week, I’m hoping for the same today.

    Jackie, I’m so glad you got your autographed copy……

    today’s grin: http://cheezburger.com/8400175616

    ya’ll have a blessed day

    Oh…..we got a Christmas bonus on our checks yesterday……and it was very much appreciated and I will tell The Boss that today.

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  25. Ya know, I learned something from today’s real time strip and one commentor’s comment on the solar sun. Sure enough, I went to check out the sunrise and sunset times over the next week, and Arlo is right.

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  26. Debbe 😉

    Jean dear, next time you’re in Houma LA, you must try the Blackened Cajun Sushi. You’d been so quiet lately I were afeared you’d gotten aholt of some bad eggnog. Since you seem to like “non-traditional” Christmas carols, here’s one I believe I posted for you a Christmas or two ago.

    Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
    Walla Walla, Wash., an’ Kalamazoo!
    Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,
    Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

    Don’t we know archaic barrel
    Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
    Trolley Molly don’t love Harold,
    Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

    Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
    Polly wolly cracker ‘n’ too-da-loo!
    Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
    Antelope Cantaloupe, ‘lope with you!

    Hunky Dory’s pop is lolly gaggin’ on the wagon,
    Willy, folly go through!
    Chollie’s collie barks at Barrow,
    Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo!

    Dunk us all in bowls of barley,
    Hinky dinky dink an’ polly voo!
    Chilly Filly’s name is Chollie,
    Chollie Filly’s jolly chilly view halloo!

    Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
    Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, woof, woof!
    Tizzy seas on melon collie!
    Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, goof, goof!

    Reply

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