Jumping Back to 2004

Cidu Bill on Apr 25th 2008

jumper.jpg
I just came across this comic, which was on the CIDU page four years ago and was one of the rare comics that never really got explained (”Arlo jumped a lot of broads” was the most frequent guess, but I think we all hoped the explanation would be something better than that).

Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, CIDU, Jimmy Johnson, comic strips, comics, humor | 12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Jumping Back to 2004”

  1. Terry Apr 25th 2008 at 12:39 pm 1

    In track and field competition, a broad jumper takes a running start before the leap, and then lands on his rump in a sand pit, exactly as Arlo is doing, except without the pit. The humor presumably comes from the pain of his landing along with how it reveals he wasn’t really a high jumper.

  2. Lola Apr 25th 2008 at 12:39 pm 2

    Well, the first thing I noticed is that, despite the assumption that his son is making, he isn’t trying to do a high jump, but is in fact attempting a broad jump, at which he failed to execute the landing properly, much to his butt’s dismay. There’s a reason they land in sand pits. I guess the joke is in the “used to be” qualifier.

  3. Rasheed Apr 25th 2008 at 12:46 pm 3

    Ok, the standard Arlonian answer stands.

    As to actual explanation, I’m assuming he was going for height in panel two, but when his son asks in panel four, he points out he was actually going for distance.

  4. dd Apr 25th 2008 at 01:23 pm 4

    Nah, I’m going with Lola. The two styles (high and broad) are different enough that he’s definitely attempting a broad jump.

    Now, whether the cartoonist knows the difference could be up for debate, but he generally seems pretty sharp. So - either Johnson doesn’t know what a high jump looks like, or Gene doesn’t.

    That doesn’t make it funny, however :)

  5. Kevin Andresen Apr 25th 2008 at 01:50 pm 5

    I’m with Lola, but the joke seems to be the having to correct Gene on top of Arlo’s feelings about his all-out attempt to do an impressive broad jump without the sand pit; hardly any Olympian would fully go for it without one.
    (It’s all the more rich because, while this landing is in the wrong direction (a high jump is sideways), it more resembles a proper high jump landing than a broad jump one.)

    The distance from the toe line at the launching point to the closest impression in the sand is what’s recorded (preferably a heel, often a butt, sometimes a hand, …rarely a head.)
    A triple jump, by the way, is like a broad jump only with a leap onto each foot before the final leap.

  6. Bah humbug Apr 25th 2008 at 02:38 pm 6

    I think the humor is supposed to be that - because of Arlo’s lousy result - Gene can’t even tell which type of jump Arlo was trying to do. It wasn’t high, it wasn’t broad, so Gene just takes a wild guess (and gets it wrong).

    I’m sure we’ve all had those times when someone was showing off to us and they royally stunk, and we’re faced with the choice of either faking it or just laughing in their face… Actually, it’s usually ME doing the trying and stinking…

  7. Bah humbug Apr 25th 2008 at 02:45 pm 7

    By the way… Arlo might have been attempting an old-style high jump, which were of various types but generally had straight-on approaches. The “Fosbury Flop” was first used in the 1968 Olympics, and was not uncommon at the middle-school and high-school levels even waaaaaay back when I was in school (I graduated High School in 1981). So if Arlo was actually on a track tean and never learned The Flop, he’s a lot older than I thought.

  8. Frank Apr 25th 2008 at 06:13 pm 8

    My guess is that at some point Arlo had told Gene that he had been a high jumper in school and it’s come back to haunt him. He probably had just tried to hop over something and landed on his ass. Gene’s making fun of him by brining it up the high jumping and Arlo is trying to save face by excusing his failure by saying he was a broad jumper. The doulble entendre is just cklsic ARLO. Very poignant strip to those of us who aren’t as good as we used to be (and no where near as good as we’d like everyone to think we are/were.)

  9. dd Apr 26th 2008 at 01:15 am 9

    bah humbug - good point about it being so bad Gene couldn’t tell the difference. That helps a bit.

  10. Andrew Apr 26th 2008 at 03:07 pm 10

    I’m with Frank, although I hadn’t heard the term “Broad Jump” before. I think I know the event you describe as a “long jump” - although there may be some subtlety I’m missing. So I initially thought Arlo was making up an event to excuse his failure, with shades of the “jumped broads” idea.

  11. Cidu Bill Apr 26th 2008 at 03:49 pm 11

    Terry, my recollection was that there’s both a running broad jump and a standing broad jump.

    Back when I was in 7th or 8th grade, though I lacked any other athletic skills, I seemed to have had a knack for the standing broad jump. The gym teacher mentioned it to the school’s track coach, who asked me to try out for the track team. I jumped 6 1/2 feet despite a total lack of technique, and the old redneck said “Damn, that’s great for a white kid!”

    At which point I told him thanks but no thanks.

  12. Judge Mental Apr 26th 2008 at 07:33 pm 12

    Its been nearly 100 years since the standing broad jump was an Olympic event. However, it has long remained a staple of grade school physical fitness. My speculation is that it is used in lieu of a high jump or regular (running) broad jump because it is much safer for a novice to attempt and because it requires no equipment (read no expense).

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