The Finish Line

(Might as well see this Gene thing through. I’m guessing the Summer Olympics were going on when these posts appeared in 2012.)
The closing ceremony is upon us; our Gene Olympiad is coming to an end with today’s 10 classic cartoons from 1992. You don’t have to suffer withdrawal, though. Come back regularly to for an
Arlo & Janis cartoon from the past and other activities. Extinquish the torch! Furl the flags! The official proceedings are concluded, but stick around: the Rolling Stones and Elton John will be along any minute now.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

101 responses to “The Finish Line”

  1. There seems to be a total lack of final periods in the word balloons. JJ omits them, albeit using exclamation points and question marks. The others end all dialogue snippets with exclamation points or question marks – apparently a simple statement does not exist. I prefer JJ’s method of allowing simple statements, even minus a final period.

    BTW, “extinquish”?

  2. I had read an interview with Carl Barks years ago where he explained why he used exclamation points almost exclusively. It seems someone had told him that periods could become invisible in the comic printing process, but that the exclamation points would always stand out. That way the end of a sentence was always visible to the reader.

  3. Did you click any of the links from the text of the PSP photo? I laughed out loud at the one for “room temperature” – cat stretched out on his back in front of a box fan! Someone has sense of humor 🙂

    Were the wheels of the Flintstones’ car ribs? I always thought they were rock. But then, I’ve been wrong a LOT of times!

    Any more suggested books? I’ve a nice little list thanks to you, just waiting for me to finish The Name of the Wind. 🙂

  4. Llee, I think the Flintstones reference is to the opening scenes, where they go to a drive-in and the rack of ribs turns the car over when they hook the tray on the window.

  5. 2 old classics:

    “I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June,
    the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father’s

    “Are we rising again?”
    “No. On the contrary.”
    “Are we descending?”
    “Worse than that, captain; we are falling!”

    An oldie (Read to us by our 6th grade teacher.) dedicated to Debbe.

    “Along with teaching us that lamb must be cooked with garlic and a lady never scratches
    her head or spits, my mother taught my sisters and me that it is a wife’s bounden duty to
    see that her husband is happy in his work.”

  6. Old Bear:

    The first one reminds me of Grand Funk Railroad’s “I’m Your Captain” and Railroad Earth’s “Lone Croft Farewell.”

  7. Mark:
    Right author.

    Rick think 1886.

    The last one is 1945, there is a note that it is “…in full compliance with all government
    regulations for the conservation of paper, metal, and other essential materials.”

  8. Congratulations David and family! The page is fine – I think we may be experiencing the summer doldrums.

    And… here comes our afternoon thunderstorm so it’s time to get off the computer 🙂

  9. Still here, but not a fount of news. I get to attend a genealogy meeting in an hour or so and we will eat out with friends tomorrow evening.

    Last week, I managed to get a small box of old [mostly] correspondence from the late 1860s to the 1920s era. Some envelopes were empty, but the letters found did say something of the life style of, mainly, the late 1870s and late 1880s (separate batches). Using my genealogical sites, I wondered if I could find the people listed anywhere. I had a difficult time locating “Hattie” in eastern Pa. until I found a few notes on which she had written her full name. She wrote several times a week to her beloved “Harry”. I do think they wed, but haven’t seen written evidence except for a note from Hattie’s mom to Harry in which the mom expresses her approval of the match. From her letters, I gather that it was commonly expected to write that often.

    More to the west but still in Pa., there was “John”, a married man of some substance; apparently a bigwig in coal mining. His wife seems to have been vacationing in Ballston Spa, NY, perhaps with relatives. I have not been able to figure out the characters yet, but they all seem to have escaped the federal census people. Haven’t found them in other lists, either. John was engaged in a major redoing of their home while she was gone, to the extent of tearing out fireplaces and grates in several rooms and rebricking…and replastering several rooms, too.

    Both families mentioned were prosperous enough to have hired help. In the first case, to help with farm chores and, in the latter case, for housework. In addition, Hattie and her kin were very frequent church-goers – a number of times per week. I think Harry was away at college although such has not yet been mentioned. He did turn up later as a teacher and then, if I found the right guy, as a lawyer.

    That passes for news from here!

  10. As some of you may know, due to the imminent opening of a larger clothing boutique we are re-purposing one of our smaller clothing boutiques as a faith-based boutique and gift shop selling religious clothing and other such items. So Jackie and I have been visiting gift shops in our travels to steal, ah, garner some ideas regarding merchandise. In one a couple of days ago, a refrigerator magnet, of all things, caught my eye.

    It read, “Always love a woman for her personality. They have like 10, so you can choose.”

  11. An even funnier thing happened about a week ago, while we were investigating a rather large store in Tulsa that trends very heavily toward faith-based merchandise, along with some other types. I’d already noted a couple of what I’d pegged as thirty-something school teachers shopping for some wall decorations and such for their classes, which were about to begin in Oklahoma. Jackie and I were shopping a similar aisle when I felt the very distinct feel of someone letting their hand drift languidly and sensually over my denim-covered right buttock.

    Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have thought anything of that, as Jackie is always doing that to me, even in public. But Jackie was in *front* of me. I glanced over my shoulder and found that the pair of putative teachers had moved up the aisle toward us, and the younger one was standing very closely behind me. She looked oh-so innocent, as though butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I assumed her purse had brushed against me…then noticed she wasn’t carrying one.

    Holy relics, Batman! I just got groped in a religious store!

    Talk about your religious experiences…

  12. Re: the above cool comments on punctuation:

    Charles Schulz virtually never used periods in word balloons for ordinary dialogue. But he did use lots of ellipses (especially two-pointers) and exclamation points.

    But I never noticed that about Jimmy’s work before! Thanks for pointing that out!

  13. Rick it referred to your comment above. 1886 year of publication.

    “I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June,
    the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father’s
    — “Kidnapped” Robert Louis Stevenson — 1886 —

  14. “Are we rising again?”
    “No. On the contrary.”
    “Are we descending?”
    “Worse than that, captain; we are falling!”

    — “The Mysterious Island” Jules Verne — 1874 —

    Spoiler BTW Captain Nemo has a part at the end.

  15. Dedicated to Debbe – Happy Birthday

    “Along with teaching us that lamb must be cooked with garlic and a lady never scratches
    her head or spits, my mother taught my sisters and me that it is a wife’s bounden duty to
    see that her husband is happy in his work.”

    — “The Egg And I” Betty MacDonald” — 1945

    A movie was made staring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray

    Ma & Pa Kettle was a spinoff of the movie.

  16. But they HAD to add a female. Even the 1929 version had one.

    The 1961 version wasn’t too bad.
    About that time every movie had to have a female to complicate things.
    Some were so loosely based on the book only the title was the same.
    It is one reason Ann McCaffrey did not want any of her books made into
    movies. And the reason JKRowling insisted on such tight control.

    Rant over.

  17. My son and his wife took my wife and I to see ELO last night. We had tickets in the 17th row. I had been watching YouTube videos of some of their prior performances over the last two weeks (although Facebook muted the video that I took due to potential copyright infringement), so I knew what to expect. I had waited roughly 45 years so it was definitely something that I had long anticipated.

    Today I feel like the day after a High School reunion. Although there were plenty of concert-goers that were younger than me like my son, some of the people looked like they had been transported directly from the 70’s, but with a special aging affect administered to them. The music did transport me back to my youth, which brings both a joy and a sadness. I had half expected to tear up, but never quite got that emotional.

    Before the concert, after the warm up band, they piped in George Harrison and Tom Petty music that Jeff Lynne (ELO) had produced. The execution of the concert was absolutely perfect, just like anything that Jeff produces.

  18. Healthy baby girl, Kathryn, after my mother. She is 8 lbs 11 oz, 21.5 inches. As are all babys (when they belong to you), she is beautiful.

  19. One of the sign of the times is that to go into an arena or stadium, one has to pass through a metal detector. As we were in line, I commented that this might take a while as quite a few of us have bionic joints. I got a few smiles and nods from other concert goers.

  20. The story line leading here is odd [suffice: While going “bleah” at each other, they touched tongues but nothing else, then each had a “not bad” bubble, one of which he now holds], but this strip will mean more to some of us geezers than some of you youngsters.

    Notary sojack! [Stupid speelczech.]

    P.S. That “I” somewhere above: “me”?

  21. They left out the speech bubble that read “Unsanitary!”.

    By my lights, if some things are not unsanitary, you’re not doing them right.

  22. Yeah, Mark. Something like that.

    Come on, Arlo! That *was* an “Oh” moment, at least compared to a myocardial infarction. Or are you miffed that Janis didn’t show more relief that you weren’t having one?

  23. Does anyone but me flash to Stargate SG1 when the Ancients are mentioned? (and thanks for reminding me about 9CL!) When the news started talking about someone called “Omarosa” I kept thinking of the episode where Daniel is swiped by the merman alien guy who keeps asking “What Fate Omarosa?!?!?!?” And then Daniel connects it to …Mesopotamia? And a legend of an ancient being….

    And then last night I rewatched a couple episodes, one being where ONeill (Richard Dean Anderson, btw) gets the knowledge of the Ancients downloaded into his brain which leads to all KINDS of problems.

    no? just me, then….. but that’s ok.


  24. Ghost, you’re really right. (Two entries above.) There’s a lot that goes through our heads in a moment, and that’s what we we all admire about Jimmy: He notices those complications and includes them.

  25. And in other news, today we finally get to the banquet in Gasoline Alley on the GoComics site! Little Orphan Annie is there, Sandy is there—all of those old characters at the Old Comics Home, which I presume Arlo and Janis may not even visit yet. I do believe that A&J gets more traffic, so may I suggest heading on over to Jim Scancarelli’s wonderful art? It is all building up to Gasoline Alley’s 100th anniversary in November.

  26. Ghost:

    Surprised that was not everyone’s response. Geezer here, of course, one often among clinically oriented staff at SHB, where Reception/Emergency Desk in West Lobby has a big sign CHEST PAINS? TELL US NOW.

    Panel 1: seated middle-ager outdoors is clutching his chest. 2.Frightened, wide-eyed female companion clearly thinks “his heart”, asks if he’s all right. But it’s just a bug in his shirt. 3. Relieved, smiling, she says “Oh.” 4. Not realizing her initial fear, he thinks she doesn’t care that he’s been attacked by an intruding bug. Splendid, insightful strip. JJ doing what he does best.


  27. Yep, one of the things that got me hooked on JJ and A&J was when I realized how often my snap and superficial evaluation of a cartoon was replaced by a more nuanced one on my second take.


  28. Had a co-worker who’s father died because they HAD to do paperwork first. Chest pains.

    Friends MIL survived because he insisted – screw the paperwork – into the ER NOW. Stroke.

  29. I read an article some years ago that tried to trace the origin of the term “little green men” as used to describe “aliens from outer space”. As I recall, the author didn’t reach any persuasive conclusions.

    Ever wonder why the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” didn’t feature green tomatoes? Because as soon as they invaded the Deep South they’d have been sliced; dusted in corn meal; fried; served up with rémoulade sauce; and devoured.

  30. To the southern contingent: Do y’all ever fry, etc., the ripe red tomatoes? I am not a fan of tomatoes in general, with exceptions for pasta & pizza sauces and ketchup, so don’t make it my business to know more about them.

  31. Jackie, Mark, c x-p:

    Likewise, use only the hard, totally green tomatoes to make green tomato pie. May have sampled someone else’s decades ago, but only Elaine’s ’60s-2008 or so since. Still have some mix in the freezer. Worked well w/ her signature oil crust and, of course, w/ apple-pie spices. Totally un-tomato-like; c x-p might like it. Goes well w/ sharp cheddar.

    Mom didn’t like tomatoes, but Dad and I did. Helen Lane’s restaurant on Waverly Place in the Village used to feature green apple pie.


  32. If your tomatoes are too ripe to fry, a good use is to slice firm ones in half horizontally; spread a generous portion of Heinz 57 sauce* over the cut sides; cover with breadcrumbs, with perhaps a bit a finely-grated parmesan cheese added; and place cut-side up in a baking pan with a cookie rack in the bottom. Place on your heated outdoor grill with the lid closed and bake them until tender but not mushy. That also works in a 350 degree F oven.

    Per Jackie, if you are not fond of tomatoes, substitute yellow squash or zucchini sliced long ways.

    *Actually, my only use of that concoction or any other commercial “steak sauce”. If a steak is worth eating, it is favorable enough that it needs nothing but a bit of salt and coarse ground black pepper. (Yeah, I’m a steak snob, even though my consumption of them is much more limited than it once was.)

  33. Mark: “I like “the people” of Zenna Henderson’s books, myself.”

    You are one of the few people I know who are familiar with Zenna Henderson. Awesome!

  34. Galliglo, discovered them in high school and read the rest in the Navy. I don’t know why they are so unnoticed, as they are both great stories and well-developed characters. I guess the publishers and critics didn’t know how to characterize the books. Plus science fiction and fantasy didn’t get much promotion in the early 1970’s.

  35. Sorry, I had them nicely spaced.

    Where?………………………………….. How Not to Get There
    Hills of Minnesota…………………. Wabash Cannonball

  36. Zenna Henderson — I heard some of her stories, decades ago, on a Reading Aloud FM Radio program, and wanted more but they were hard to find back then — where would I have looked? She wrote the short story Aunt Dade, didn’t she? Probably I’m not spelling it right, it was pronounced Ain’t. That one story has haunted me, now and then, for … fifty years or nearly so. Maybe forty.

    For Galliglo and for Mark (any others?)

  37. I thought I remembered a movie or tv show about one of her stories. From Wikipedia: Henderson’s story “Pottage” was made into the 1972 ABC-TV Movie, The People, featuring William Shatner, Kim Darby, and Diane Varsi, and concerning the story of a group of humanoid extraterrestrials who live in an isolated rural community on Earth.[17] It was the directorial debut for John Korty and was produced by his sometime partner Francis Ford Coppola.[18] It has been released on VHS format by Prism Entertainment and DVD format by American Zoetrope.

  38. ? I remember an earlier “secular humanism” strip, from the 1980s. Arlo explains that word problems in math are there to make you think for yourself, and Gene is aghast, because that’s secular humanism!

  39. Thanks for the link, Mark. I may order it. It has been a very long time since I read “The People” stories. I think I would like to re-visit them.

  40. Mark:

    That’s borderline religious, or just good theology. I love lots of people, but sometimes Annie [beagle/basset cross] helped remind me of that. Also loved our dogs & cats, and a certain orangutan.

    The notion that critters have no souls seems deficient. Cows like a brass combo. Has anyone tried them w/ a string quartet, trio, or whatever. Joe, a bad tempered Bronx Zoo hated me, and everyone else. Wonder how he sees things now?


  41. Today’s [8/21] cartoon:

    Another nasty kind of garbage, especially in the hot sun, is chicken remains. The shrimp need not be boiled for their odor; raw ones are also tragic to the nose.

    Doesn’t Janis deserve a little curve in her caboose? That horizontal flat line is so unbecoming….

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