Principle

Cidu Bill on Jan 15th 2013

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What exactly is the “principle” here other than “Arlo wants to act like an ass”?

Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, CIDU, Jimmy Johnson, comic strips, comics, humor | 24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Principle”

  1. The Bad Seed Jan 15th 2013 at 09:39 pm 1

    A lot of people have a crazy knee-jerk reaction against following rules or doing as they’re told, no matter how smart or logical or easy it is.

  2. Kamino Neko Jan 15th 2013 at 10:24 pm 2

    ‘Don’t tell me what to do with my garbage!’

  3. Arthur Jan 15th 2013 at 10:24 pm 3

    Especially if it’s a new rule or law.

  4. Kelex Jan 15th 2013 at 10:45 pm 4

    Especially especially if it’s a new rule or law telling them to do something they’ve always done anyway.

  5. Arthur Jan 16th 2013 at 12:16 am 5

    Re Keles@4, someone said something along the lines of, “There is nothing
    so odious as being forced to do what you were going to do anyway.”

  6. Kilby Jan 16th 2013 at 03:46 am 6

    The trash service in our town changed the requested direction several years ago, but the request appeared in the fine print of the annual pickup calendar. We didn’t know about it at all until last year, when one of the garbagemen just happened to mention it to me. On pickup days, it is obvious that nobody else on our street has heard about the change (but there are lots of other streets in the neighborhood that have switched over to the “new” direction).

  7. Taigan Jan 16th 2013 at 06:23 am 7

    The next day’s comic clarifies this. The principle is that the city is trying to make trash pickups easier so that they can hire fewer collectors.

  8. Dan W Jan 16th 2013 at 08:14 am 8

    Is this a real thing? The garbage pickup company tells you which way to orient your can? I can’t say I can relate to this, but then again in my area I wouldn’t know where to buy a trash can with a hinged lid. All the ones I’ve seen just come off.

  9. Lost in A**2 Jan 16th 2013 at 08:22 am 9

    Yes, it is a thing. The garbage men no longer pick up the cans. The city provides the hinge-lidded containers. The truck has a lift with a couple of prongs (a “fork”) that close to grasp the container. The lift raises the container up and over the truck. At the top of the arc, the container’s top is pointed down towards the cargo bed. The lid comes open (gravity, y’know), and the trash falls out. If the container’s hinges are towards the street, the lid does not fully open and catches some of the trash. The lid may also re-direct the trash onto the street beyond the truck.

    Arlo’s principle? “I’ve been doing it that way for years. Why are you hassling me about it now?”

  10. Jeff M Jan 16th 2013 at 10:05 am 10

    Read today’s strip for the principle at issue. This is an elegant attack on how the American service industry has been sacrificed at the altar of profit, and how it affects all of us in dozens of minor, annoying ways every day. Deeper than I usually expect Arlo to be.

  11. Carolyn Jan 16th 2013 at 10:09 am 11

    Anyone else have to take their own trash to the dump? None of the three towns I’ve lived in over my lifetime (burbs outside Boston) have town-wide trash pickup. You can pay a private service but most people just head to the dump a couple of times a week.

    Of course today is dump day and it snowed last night. Ugh.

  12. fj Jan 16th 2013 at 10:24 am 12

    The principle is personal freedom, and given that Arlo is a supposed child of the 60’s, there seems to me nothing strange that he might bristle at the thought of being told how he **must** place the garbage at the curb. What about freedom? What about personal expression? Why must we listen to the man’s oppressive restrictions about what we do with OUR garbage?

    Besides, guys named Arlo ALWAYS seem to have trouble with authority when it comes to dealing with garbage…

  13. Judge Mental Jan 16th 2013 at 10:29 am 13

    @Lost #8
    Based on the conversation in panel 4, I got the impression that Arlo has *not* been doing one way for years and is now being hassled about it; it sounds like he “always’ (Janis’ word) places it the right way, but he did it wrong this one time and they declined to take his trash. I think the quote cited by Arthur#5 best describes Arlo’s principle: ““There is nothing so odious as being forced to do what you were going to do anyway.”

    In my area, while there is a requested direction, the sanitation workers don’t decline to pick up the garbage if it is done incorrectly.

    I had the same thing experience as Kilby. The preferred direction was one way, and then with little fanfare they requested it the opposite way. The old way had been beaten into residents so much over time, it seems that my neighborhood is 50/50 on how the cans are oriented, even though I am convinced most people are trying to do it “the right way”. I have neighbors insist that I am doing it “wrong” even when we have stood side-by-side as we witnessed workers having get out of the truck to twist their cans into the right orientation, while the mechanical lift arm picks up my can with no human intervention.

  14. Narmitaj Jan 16th 2013 at 02:41 pm 14

    Interestingly, for some small value of interesting, the design of my wheelie bin (aka garbage can) here in the UK is opposite of the one in the strip. The pronghole handles for the dustmen’s lorry to pick it up with are on the other side: mine are on the hinge side, the strip’s are on the open side.

  15. Cidu Bill Jan 16th 2013 at 03:59 pm 15

    fj, good point about Arlos and garbage. I wonder whether Jimmy thought of this.

    After everything that’s been said here, I still contend that Arlo is being an ass. And he’s not getting his garbage picked up.

    What I generally tell people in cases like this is “You’re not Rosa Parks.”

  16. Mark M Jan 16th 2013 at 04:37 pm 16

    I’m with Cidu Bill on this. The only one getting hurt by Arlo’s “principle” is himself.

  17. Mark in Boston Jan 16th 2013 at 06:42 pm 17

    That’s known as “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.”

  18. S.P. Charles Jan 16th 2013 at 06:50 pm 18

    I don’t know… between this little protest and last week’s memory glitch, Arlo might be just one incident away from turning into Crankshaft.

  19. S.P. Charles Jan 16th 2013 at 06:52 pm 19

    Presumably Arlo’s willing to bring out the garbage cans on the correct day(s) of the week.

  20. fj Jan 16th 2013 at 10:25 pm 20

    @Cidu Bill, #15

    I was assuming that Jimmy had to have thought of the Arlo/garbage connection, even if it wasn’t an intrinsic part of the joke. I mean, he named his character “Arlo.”

    But yes, Arlo is being unnecessarily surly here. He better be careful or he’s going to end up on the Group W bench.

    I wonder if Arlo Guthrie is aware he is indirectly namesake for an award for getting questionable material passed the censors. Somehow, I think he’d get a kick out of it…

  21. Ian Osmond Jan 17th 2013 at 03:47 pm 21

    You know, if I knew that there was a big population of people who are just dying to be garbagemen, but there just aren’t enough openings for all of them, I’d have more sympathy for being against the “our new trucks are more efficient, quicker, and use fewer people” thing.

  22. Lola Jan 17th 2013 at 05:34 pm 22

    Ian, about 12 years ago I was trying to get a civil service job and one of the ones I was most particularly interested in was garbageman, uh, person. I got all kinds of notices for openings in liquor stores but NEVER sanitation engineer, so I know from experience there are more seekers than openings.

  23. Bob in Nashville Jan 17th 2013 at 05:41 pm 23

    Despite the mechanization of garbage collection angle, the requirement to orient the container one specific way does at first blush sound like micromanagement of the most ridiculous extreme. Even if the requirement is the exact same way Arlo was already turning it out of common courtesy.

    Once it become the principle of the thing, all bets are off.

  24. Meryl A Jan 22nd 2013 at 01:23 am 24

    We have something unusual called Perimeter pickup. Our household garbage is picked up if it is on the perimeter of house if it can be seen from the street. It is just our neighborhood, not the general area that has it. We had a private company that did this and when township took over, they kept the service to be allowed to do it.

    But, to make up for this convenience we have to be careful or we have a mess and we have extra sorting. They come by with a huge garbage can, walking house to house and dump our can into theirs. If the garbage is not sealed in plastic bags (learned from experience, not a rule) then when they dump, er transfer it to their pail it goes all over the driveway. We have to sort out the household trash or rubbish, which cannot go in these pails, but has to placed at the street. Leftover pizza picked up at house, pizza box at street. If the trash/rubbish left in pail at house, it is left in the pail. Trash/Rubbish must be under 4 feet long and no appliances, items not meeting this rule must be called in for an appointment for pickup.

    Yard waste is picked up on non-winter Wednesdays and also has to be under 4 feet long and has to be bagged.

    Recycling is suppose to be left in the green box supplied by them. Original box was a usable size. Since we live on a 4 lane rd and they throw box in street when empty, it got pretty damaged. I had to go there to get a new one and they gave me one about twice the size, too big to use. Put it away and taped old one together. When mother in law’s house was sold I took her original box (never used) and left our huge one (also never used). Within 2 years they killed the new one and this time took it away. I now use empty cartons, which seems to be okay with them and I have nothing to bring back to the house as they take the carton.

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