The Devilment is in the Details


We might as well stick with young Gene and his ever-changing haircut, since he is, sadly, gone from the strip. These strips are from 1986 and 1988, respectively. They both trade on the same idea: you have to tell children of a certain age exactly what you intend to tell them, for their cognitive abilities are catching and surpassing their verbal abilities. And they’re sneaky little rats!


23 thoughts on “The Devilment is in the Details”

  1. Two points:

    1. I agree with Jerry, and I hope that you change your mind about Gene and Mary Lou.

    2. When I was teaching, I used to tell my kids not to play schoolhouse lawyer with me. I thought that I was paraphrasing “jailhouse lawyer.” Little did I know that I had forgotten reading that strip and was thereby plagiarizing you.

  2. And, now, in defense of children being schoolhouse lawyers.

    I well remember getting in trouble either with my parents or teachers because I did what I thought they told me to do or because I thought it was something that they would want me to do.

    After a couple of times like that, I decided that I would always wait for absolutely clear, explicit instructions.

    Unfortunately and unbelievably, I had the same situation with a principal and later with one of the presidents of the company for which I worked after teaching.

  3. I say don’t panic– young Gene is gone from the strip, taken by the ravages of time. Now he is older Gene. To do otherwise (without launching a separate new strip) would be comic catastrophe.

  4. Yes I have looked at pictures and videos of my kids when they were young and say “Those little kids are gone” When my grandson was born I pulled the videos out and realized at least for a short while, my little boy was back!

    I have a somewhat morbid curiosity of watching old movies or TV shows and realize that the young people in them are either very old or gone. But I love looking at some shows where a future star has a small part in the show. I saw Dennis Hopper on Petticoat Junction and Jack Nicholson on Andy Griffith play small parts.

  5. I used to enjoy watching family home movies… but now that I’m several decades older and at least 90% of those relatives have passed on with unresolved issues and regrets left behind, it hurts too much. I’ve migrated to looking only at recent videos of my grandkids that my daughters post on FB.

  6. I learned to give my young daughters detailed instructions AFTER dealing with Army privates as a platoon leader. 🙂 The daughters were easier!

  7. Oh but Jimmy you have grown so as an artist! Just like Gene matured. I like Gene as an adult. Hated little Gene especially his hair!

    Although I must admit I can hear my grandson saying either reply.

  8. WTH? Gene is “gone from the strip”??
    Sometimes I think that Jimmy (occasionally) throws out things like that just to see if he has our attention. Then I think, “Nah. He’s already got our attention every time he posts, doesn’t he?” 😀

  9. Re the 10-20-20 real-time cartoon: Many late-fall and early-winter days are similar to that in my neck of the Deep South woods. What one dons for comfort in the early morning will likely give one a heatstroke by mid-afternoon. Like Janis, I learned the utility of layering clothing early on.

  10. 6 inches of wet snow on our deck – 10″ not far away.

    It may be gone by Friday? Not supposed to be here till Spring like some years.

    Store Help kids have to be told EXACTLY what they are to do or not do —-repeatedly.

  11. Re the 10-21-20 real-time cartoon: The plant to which Janis gave the thumbs-down…is Arlo expected to kill it, or just leave it outside to fend for itself?

  12. Have no idea why but I have started cycles of 36 hour sleeping. Literally without eating, drinking or taking medications. I get good days and then hibernation. I hope tomorrow is good and I stay awake.

    So much for my 5 Point Daily Plan I tried to implement this past Sunday! Accomplished it one single day (sort of) yesterday. Totally failed all other days.

    Good morning all!

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