Cidu Bill on Jul 26th 2008

Okay, so what exactly did Arlo expect was going to happen if he sprayed himself in the face?

Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, CIDU, Jimmy Johnson, barbecue, comic strips, comics, humor | 32 responses so far

32 Responses to “Spray”

  1. Brian Leahy Jul 26th 2008 at 12:06 pm 1

    I think he intended to spray water on the GRILL to douse the flames, but grabbed the bottle backward.

  2. Frosted Donut Jul 26th 2008 at 12:27 pm 2

    He thought he would experience a refreshing cooling sensation. But living in one of those places with lots of humidity, all it did was make him wet and hot.

  3. Cindi Jul 26th 2008 at 12:30 pm 3

    I mostly agree with Brian’s assessment of the situation, except that I partially think that Arlo didn’t really understand what the spray bottle was there for. In the 1st frame he is seen to be sweating! If it were simply a matter of holding the spray bottle the wrong way - he would have just turned the darned thing around after hi doused himself. We can see that the flames are still raging in the final frame so that makes me think that Arlo thinks the spray bottle was thoughtfully provided by Janis to keep him cool while he incinerates their evening meal.

    Arlo doesn’t have a clue (as usual).

  4. Fett101 Jul 26th 2008 at 12:32 pm 4

    I think you were supposed to expect him to spray the grill to keep it under control.

  5. Zambia Jul 26th 2008 at 12:32 pm 5

    No, I don’t think that’s it. I have a few friends who keep a bottle of water in spritzers near their grills. They use them to tidy up the grill after they are done (spray and then scrub as they go) I had never seen this before, but apparently lots of folks do it. Maybe Arlo does this and then decides to spritz himself to cool off.

  6. Cidu Bill Jul 26th 2008 at 12:48 pm 6

    Brian, I can’t see how anybody could accidentally turn a spray bottle around and (awkwardly) spray yourself. If Arlo were capable of doing that, I sure hope they don’t keep a gun in their house.

  7. Lola Jul 26th 2008 at 01:25 pm 7

    I regularly use a spray bottle filled with water like this to cool myself down. One time I picked up a windex bottle by mistake. Right in the face. Not pleasant. So, naturally, my first thought was that the bottle was filled with a oil/vinegar/salt concoction to be sprayed on grilling foods.

    But I think he meant it to be that he accidently sprayed himself because the flames are sporting copious amounts of black smoke in the last panel. And yeah, that’s awkward to do unintentionally.

    Maybe it’s like the calcium one from a few days ago. The artist has no idea how this works.

  8. Arthur Jul 26th 2008 at 01:33 pm 8

    Bill, you can clearly see that the trigger is facing him, so that the
    nozzle is, too. Arlo doesn’t notice that. The flare-up comes and he
    just grabs the bottle and squeezes. Without getting myself wet, I
    play-acted this with an actual bottle, and it is something I could
    believe someone could do, especially in a panic.

    Of course none of this explains the continuity problem of the spatula.

  9. Suzii Jul 26th 2008 at 01:46 pm 9

    The sweat droplets in panels 1 and 2 plus the closed eyes in panel 3 said to me that he planned to give himself a refreshing spritz. I’ve seen lots of moms use this technique with kids at the park on a hot day. Although they don’t come out of it dripping.

    But the progression of the flare-up, combined with the expression in panel 2, made me think no, Brian’s right, Arlo wanted to douse the flames. In which case, Bill’s right, and Jimmy just blew it.

    But wouldn’t water be a stupid way to cool the flames? I’m not an expert griller, but in my experience, a drop lands on the charcoal, mixes with the ash and gets spit back up as hot ashy mud to splatter the burgers. Is that less of a problem with a fine mist? I guess there are some smoking techniques that require the addition of water (the other thing that confused me is that the escalation of smoke looked like some water did get on the coals).

    Or — Arlo thinks it’s a water bottle, for one of those grilling purposes I don’t understand, but it turns out it’s a super-garlicky marinade that he’s supposed to use for extra basting.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s a stretch.

  10. Cidu Bill Jul 26th 2008 at 01:53 pm 10

    Arthur, in the third panel, it looks to me as if the trigger has been turned around to the other side. That’s also where his “trigger finger” is.

  11. Cidu Bill Jul 26th 2008 at 02:07 pm 11

    Okay, you know, I’m looking at this very carefully now, and I see I was wrong: The “business end” of the sprayer was facing Arlo all along, which means he was intending to shoot at the flame. How anybody can manage not to realize which way he’s spraying, though, is a mystery — and I repeat my caution that he should never go near a gun.

  12. Kevin Andresen Jul 26th 2008 at 02:18 pm 12

    With the bottle close to his face, his eyes closed, his demeaner calm, Arlo seems to me to be using the water to cool himself.
    At the increased heat, Arlo’s first thought is to cool off.
    I think he enjoys it for too long and finds his food gone up in smoke.
    He has put the water down exactly where he picked it up and then stares (I believe) at the grill, indicating the displeasure is between him and the smoking food, not the water.

  13. Carole in Hawaii Jul 26th 2008 at 04:06 pm 13

    Or maybe he was expecting a nice refreshing spray to cool himself and, instead, got a spritz (note the size of the drops from the bottle?) which just left him both wet and hot.

  14. tuney Jul 26th 2008 at 04:29 pm 14

    1. If he sprayed himself by accident, he would have then sprayed the fire before he put the bottle back down.
    2. How many jokes have been made about a griller’s tendency to think bigger fire=better food?
    3. Arlo sprayed himself because he was getting hot. His expression is one of “wet,” not frustration.

  15. Norm Jul 26th 2008 at 04:31 pm 15

    Not a CIDU (for any of the reasons above); just not funny.

  16. Chris Jul 26th 2008 at 05:05 pm 16

    I totally agree with Kevin in #12 — he’s so into spraying himself with the water meant for the grill that he doesn’t notice the flare-up, and ends up with a soaking wet face and burnt burgers.

  17. Kaitlyn Jul 26th 2008 at 06:28 pm 17

    I saw it and assumed he wanted to cool himself off, only it didn’t work the way he planned.

    I walked by a sprinkler a couple weeks ago, expecting to be cooled off for the rest of my walk. Only it was really strong and wet clothes and humidity equal wet and hot and tired.

  18. Dave Jul 27th 2008 at 07:19 pm 18

    Or is it possible that he expected COOL water and instead got HOT water - the bottle being so near the fire?

  19. Hunt Jul 28th 2008 at 09:03 am 19

    I think he’s deliberately spraying himself, due to the closed eyes and the little “shakey” marks next to the spray bottle.

  20. Katie Jul 28th 2008 at 10:49 am 20

    I’m thinking Arlo meant to spray the flames and got the bottle turned the wrong way.

  21. DPWally Jul 28th 2008 at 04:54 pm 21

    If Arlo thought he was spraying the fire, the back end of the sprayer would be aimed at the base of the flames. The back end is pointed well above the flames and the nozzle is pointed directly at his face, so it seems likely he intended to spray himself.

    I don’t have a alternate explanation for the comic, though.

  22. Hunt Jul 29th 2008 at 08:54 am 22

    “I’m hysterical!”
    “I’m wet! I’m hysterical and I’m wet!”
    That’s what this made me think of.

  23. Dan Jul 29th 2008 at 11:13 am 23

    See, A&J has never been very well drawn (part of its appeal). I don’t think he’s sweating in the first panel; I think those are his usual lines. In the second panel, he’s getting anxious - the flames are getting a bit too high. So he grabs the bottle, not noticing it’s facing the wrong way, and sprays himself instead. Then he’s all crestfallen and such.

  24. DPWally Jul 29th 2008 at 11:51 am 24

    Oh, and his eyes are closed in panel 3, which only makes sense if he knows he’s spraying himself.

  25. Bob Jul 29th 2008 at 12:15 pm 25

    DPWally - it takes only a split second to close your eyes. As some of the spray has already passed Arlo’s head, he could have had them wide open when he started to spray, but now they’re closed.

  26. Suzii Jul 30th 2008 at 04:00 am 26

    I’m still not getting why the flames and the smoke are so suddenly so huge. Any ideas interpreting from that direction, instead of starting with the spray?

  27. Bob Jul 30th 2008 at 12:42 pm 27

    Suzii - my guess is there’s lots of fat in the hamburger, and it’s dripping/burning.

  28. spiritcatcher Jul 30th 2008 at 12:42 pm 28

    i have to second Dave. if that bottle has been standing beside the grill, the water is at least warm. but the real joke is the meat going up in flames while he closed his eyes …

  29. BF Jul 30th 2008 at 04:13 pm 29

    #12 & 16 got it in my opinion. What I saw when I looked closely is he’s meticulously watching the grill, water close at hand in case of flare up. He decides to cool himself off, but is distracted just long enough for the food to go up in huge flames. Last panel: he’s frustrated that after watching so closely, all it took was a couple seconds to ruin it all. (Not to mention what J will say about the burnt dinner!)

  30. Keera Aug 1st 2008 at 05:53 am 30

    I think Arlo meant to cool himself down all along, because he wants his food flame-broiled, which would be a hot thing to do (geddit? OK, I’m done).

  31. ljdarten Sep 10th 2008 at 10:59 am 31

    I think that he meant to spray the fire. It is definitely out of control by the end.

    I think it is supposed to be funny because he went from being miserable about the heat to being miserable about the wet.

  32. BoT Feb 8th 2009 at 01:59 am 32

    I wouldn’t comment at such a late date, but I don’t think anyone actually got it. Here’s what I think the strip’s about:

    In panel 1, we’re to assume Arlo is getting a little worried about the rising flames. In panel 2, we’re to assume that Arlo is so concerned about the increasing flames that he reaches for the water. In panel 3, we’re left to wonder: did he just spray himself by accident while the burgers go up in flames? In panel 4, we find out that, no, Arlo wasn’t at all concerned about the status of his burning burgers; he has resumed his overwatch of the grill, and now that he’s wet, he can patiently burn the burgers to whatever crispness he normally likes them to be.

    It’s the old switcheroo, people!

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