Okay, fair question…

Cidu Bill on Aug 31st 2017


Personally, I almost always say “And we’re off to see the Wizard” — though sometimes I break things up with “Allons-y!”

I can’t tell because I have to watch the mirror when I’m backing out of our driveway, but I’m sure my wife’s usually rolling her eyes.

Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, Jimmy Johnson, comic strips, comics, humor | 68 responses so far

68 Responses to “Okay, fair question…”

  1. Bill A Aug 31st 2017 at 08:31 am 1

    When it’s a long road trip (more than 50 miles), I always say as I back out of the driveway, “And we’re rolling,” drawing out the ‘and’ for 2 or 3 seconds. I think I read somewhere that’s what commercial say to the tower as they start they’re take-off roll down the runway. Don’t know if it’s true, but it is what I’ve been saying for decades.

  2. Powers Aug 31st 2017 at 08:46 am 2

    I’m not sure I have a go-to phrase. Except “I feel like I forgot something.”

  3. James Pollock Aug 31st 2017 at 08:52 am 3

    “Punch it, Chewie…”

  4. Its Justme Aug 31st 2017 at 09:00 am 4

    “Off we go…into the wild, blue yonder.”

  5. Andréa Aug 31st 2017 at 09:00 am 5

    We usually have to go back to the house at least once for something we forgot. It’s become tradition. But no vocalizations . . .

  6. Chip Aug 31st 2017 at 09:06 am 6

    It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.

  7. Chip Aug 31st 2017 at 09:07 am 7

    Either that or straight to “We’re on a mission from God”

  8. narmitaj Aug 31st 2017 at 09:07 am 8

    I’d like to say I say something profound, culturally broad and historically show-offy like “Poyekhali!”, as Yuri Gagarin did on blast-off* (meaning “Let’s go!” or “Off we go!”) but I never do.

    In our family we usually say “Tickets, passport, health, money” as a mantric reminder of all essentials we might have forgotten. It nowadays virtually encompasses phones and chargers and everything else inessential etc etc, and is said even if not an international trip or anything involving tickets. It’s a ritual prayer, almost.

    The “Health” element is (or was) a document, not a reminder to bring along pills or to confirm we felt a general sense of inner well-being. We (a UK family living in the Middle East in the 60s and 70s) used to carry small yellow (probably WHO) health booklets along with our passports, which listed vaccinations and their currency. One time coming into Uganda in the 1980s the entry health official looked at my booklet and counted off on his fingers that my yellow fever jab had had the requisite week or ten days to take effect after it was administered to me.

    *One other thing Gagarin did, which I also do not do on leaving home - pee on the back right tyre of the car. On his way to the pad in 1961 he asked the crew transport to stop on the road as he needed a slash. That became an instant tradition and now all (male) cosmonauts stop and take a leak on the bus wheel (and women can bring a vial of urine and pour it on).

  9. narmitaj Aug 31st 2017 at 09:09 am 9

    I haven’t actually carried a health document for over 20 years I don’t think.

  10. James Schend Aug 31st 2017 at 09:37 am 10

    This isn’t a thing I realize people did? I guess my answer is nothing.

  11. Patrick Monagin Aug 31st 2017 at 09:45 am 11

    “les went, Cisco!”

  12. James Pollock Aug 31st 2017 at 11:23 am 12

    “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

    I was going to put this, then deleted it, because I couldn’t remember how far it is to Chicago.

    Also, it overlaps the one I DID put down.

  13. John Small Berries Aug 31st 2017 at 11:35 am 13

    I usually go with “Okay, Google… navigate to <destination>.”

  14. Winter Wallaby Aug 31st 2017 at 11:53 am 14

    “OK, the stove is off, the windows are closed, the doors are locked, and we have everything we need. We’re not going to need to come back in 2 minutes to check on something, right? Good.”

    2 minutes later : “What? Oh, fine.” [turns car around]

  15. Mona Aug 31st 2017 at 12:06 pm 15

    Often when we are leaving where we have been to head home we will say that it’s time to get outta Dodge.

    When we are driving and find ourselves in certain situations (traffic jams, etc.) we’ll say “You want out of this parking lot?”

  16. Bookworm Aug 31st 2017 at 12:36 pm 16

    Thanks, Chip #5. We try to say that, but can never remember it all verbatim. Definitely a favorite movie!

  17. Bookworm Aug 31st 2017 at 12:38 pm 17

    Here’s the clip if anyone wants to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ3zZ-aWi6U

  18. furrykef Aug 31st 2017 at 01:17 pm 18

    I dunno about other states, but here in Oklahoma you’re not allowed to use the rear-view mirror while backing up. You’re required to turn your head and look directly out the rear window, as Arlo seems to be doing.

  19. Irene Aug 31st 2017 at 01:24 pm 19

    my hubby will announce the range we have on the full tank of gas as a reminder he doesn’t plan to stop for ANYTHING until we are in the pit window.

  20. Brian in STL Aug 31st 2017 at 01:29 pm 20

    99% of the time, I back into the driveway and (usually) into the garage. I find that to be easier and safer.

  21. Ted from Ft. Laud Aug 31st 2017 at 01:42 pm 21

    If we’re going “away” (for the weekend or whatever), my usual line is “See - we’re not running that late.” The normal response (after an eye roll) is “Put away your phone.” Neither is quite as anthemic as some of those suggested here…

  22. Larry Luntsford Aug 31st 2017 at 01:51 pm 22

    “We’re off like a herd of turtles!”

  23. BBBB Aug 31st 2017 at 04:02 pm 23

    Please, Mrs. Custer, I don’t wanna go!

  24. James Pollock Aug 31st 2017 at 04:24 pm 24

    “here in Oklahoma you’re not allowed to use the rear-view mirror while backing up. ”

    What’s the enforcement method? Getting kids to turn in their parents?

  25. Another BR Aug 31st 2017 at 04:26 pm 25

    “Are you ready, eager young space cadet?”


    “(atomic) Batteries to power! Turbines to Speed!”

  26. chakolate Aug 31st 2017 at 04:35 pm 26

    Brian in STL @ 18 said,

    “99% of the time, I back into the driveway and (usually) into the garage. I find that to be easier and safer.”

    I park on the street, and I always park so that my car is facing out of my dead-end street. A neighbor finally asked me why, when it meant I parked on the opposite side from my house and several doors down.

    I told him that I’m almost never in a hurry when I come home, and I’m almost always in a hurry when I leave.

    Ever since then, more and more people are parking on that side. It’s getting harder and harder to find a place to park over there.

  27. Minor Annoyance Aug 31st 2017 at 06:11 pm 27

    When I’m driving, it’s generally something prosaic like “Am I clear on your side?” When it’s somebody else, it’s usually some question or comment about the dashboard (my brother just got a truck with such things as rear-view video).

    Things I’d like to say but the people who drive are rarely amused:
    “Doors locked?” (an old bit of anal-retentivity my brother used to think was funny)
    “Atomic turbines to power!”
    “Home, James.”
    “Ahead full, Mr. Sulu.”
    “We’re going for a ride! We’re going for a ride!” (Mortimer Snerd voice)
    “Let’s roll, Kato!”
    “Are we there yet?”
    “I brought a comedy CD …”
    “Let’s stop at the Nut Tree!”

  28. billybob Aug 31st 2017 at 07:12 pm 28

    Best answer for here would be:
    It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy.
    Let’s go exploring!

  29. Onnie Aug 31st 2017 at 08:16 pm 29

    I like Chip’s response; me, I usually either say “Let’s roll” or “Bye!” if I’m leaving somebody behind. Otherwise I mostly just stay shtum.

    Side note that just occurred to me about A&J that I never thought about before but now it’s bugging me: What do they do with their cat when they go on holiday? There were several panels with the cat and then they’re leaving to visit their son, and only then did I think, “I can’t go anywhere for longer than 24 hours without having a cat sitter, who’s watching their cat whilst they’re away?”

  30. Onnie Aug 31st 2017 at 08:18 pm 30

    Oh, just remembered what my dad always used to say when he called after returning home from a trip or a long bicycle ride (to check in so we knew he wasn’t dead after being hit by a car or like that): “The Eagle has landed.”

  31. Kilby Aug 31st 2017 at 08:40 pm 31

    Even after reading all the excellent suggestions for other signature phrases, the detail that stlll nags me about the one in the comic is that it’s from the sequel, and not from the original movie. On the other hand, it would be difficult to distill Eddie Murphy mis-singing “On the road again” into two comic panels.

  32. Susan Crites Aug 31st 2017 at 09:09 pm 32

    “Nothing like a good early start!”

    “And this is nothing like a good early start!”

  33. Carl Aug 31st 2017 at 09:42 pm 33

    Irene, what is a “pit window”?

  34. Winter Wallaby Aug 31st 2017 at 10:29 pm 34

    Kilby #27: Why can’t a quote come from a sequel?

  35. Kilby Aug 31st 2017 at 10:33 pm 35

    @ Carl (29) - In racing strategy, it is better to avoid making any kind of pit stop until the car needs a new tank of gas. Refilling too early increases the chances that the car will need more stops than the competition, making it much harder to win. The trick is to wait until the tank is nearly empty, but still not so empty as to risk running out of fuel on the track.

  36. Kilby Aug 31st 2017 at 10:50 pm 36

    @ WW (30) - I guess there’s no real reason why it can’t, but when selecting from a series of sequels that tend to blend together (compounded by titles that differ only by a digit), I tend to think of the first movie as being more “iconic”. On the other hand, since the vacation in this strip is also sort of a “sequel”, perhaps the source chosen was right on the money.

  37. Cidu Bill Aug 31st 2017 at 11:51 pm 37

    I happen to think Shrek 2 was one of those cases where the sequel was much better than the original film.

  38. Mark in Boston Sep 1st 2017 at 12:07 am 38

    “We’re off like a turd of hurtles.”

  39. James Pollock Sep 1st 2017 at 12:49 am 39

    “I happen to think Shrek 2 was one of those cases where the sequel was much better than the original film.”

    I honestly can’t remember ANYTHING about Shrek 2.

  40. Winter Wallaby Sep 1st 2017 at 01:14 am 40

    Bill #33: Wow, our perceptions of those two movies could not be more opposite.

  41. Minor Annoyance Sep 1st 2017 at 02:37 am 41

    First two Shreks, good stuff and witty. Third occasionally rose to Eh — an episode in a sitcom. Fourth, I caught on TV. Shrek fan fiction.

    “Puss in Boots” was fun when it was a cat version of a spaghetti western. But the fairy tale characters and angles felt like the wastebasket from the Shrek films.

  42. Olivier Sep 1st 2017 at 02:39 am 42

    C’est parti mon kiki !

  43. Andréa Sep 1st 2017 at 08:43 am 43

    . . . and when we come home, it’s ‘home again, home again, jiggidi jog’, altho this began when we had a child (stepdaughter) in the car and I can’t remember where it came from.

  44. Irene Sep 1st 2017 at 09:35 am 44

    Thank you, Kilby (#31) ! Yep. He’s also the guy who considers the ETA on the GPA a suggestion. So I guess his line would be “Challenge accepted.”

  45. Irene Sep 1st 2017 at 09:39 am 45


  46. ShadZ Sep 1st 2017 at 10:54 am 46

    “We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. “

  47. turquoisecow Sep 1st 2017 at 12:18 pm 47

    We’ve been saying “Allons-y!” lately. Or rather, my husband has been saying it. I’m not sure why, because he isn’t a Doctor Who fan. He might have picked it up from me.

  48. Swimming Man Burning Sep 1st 2017 at 01:09 pm 48

    Chip #5 for the win, followed by “Hit it.”
    Then when we get to the freeway: “Roger, Challenger. Go with throttle-up.”

  49. Cidu Bill Sep 1st 2017 at 05:06 pm 49

    I think the best reason for backing into the parking space is that you don’t know what the traffic situation will be when you’re leaving.

    And Mona (13), I refer to getting out of Dodge so frequently, I think I’ve lost awareness that it even is a pop culture reference.

    (A geezer pop culture reference, of course)

  50. Mona Sep 1st 2017 at 06:56 pm 50

    I used to back into my parking spot in my driveway so my car would be ready to leave. If there was an emergency and I had to drive Hubby to hospital, or meet family members there. If it snowed during the night it would be easier to pull out forward instead of backward. Also easier to get groceries out of trunk.
    Hubby made me stop doing this after someone broke into my car and stole the battery (also causing much damage to car in the process). He thinks they would not have done it if the car had been facing the other way. (Whatever.)

  51. Cidu Bill Sep 1st 2017 at 10:01 pm 51

    Turning the cars around in the driveway is part of my night-before-possible-snow ritual: SO much easier to power a car out of the driveway forwards.

  52. Carl Sep 2nd 2017 at 08:59 am 52

    “Jiggety-Jig” is from the Mother Goose nursery rhyme “To Market, To Market.” Interestingly, that’s a rhyme about a young pig going to market … to be slaughtered, butchered, and return home (to various homes) as pork.

    I’m an Ashkenazi Jew and I had never encountered shtum until this thread. My parents both learned Yiddish as children, but by the time I was born neither could speak it. I got the meaning from context and the language from the phonology, though.

  53. Carl Sep 2nd 2017 at 09:03 am 53

    (… to clarify, the narrative of the rhyme is not about the pig, I’m just saying that for modern small children, the idea of buying the “fat hog” in order to kill and eat it would be horrifying.)

  54. zookeeper Sep 2nd 2017 at 12:36 pm 54

    From the days of serious intoxication I taught myself the mnemonic “Got my wallet, got my glasses, got my knife, got my keys” before heading out the door. Nowadays the “got my phone” has been added (and “got my lunch” if headed to work. And yes, pulling into driveway tail first, heading into traffic head first.

  55. Mark in Boston Sep 2nd 2017 at 07:46 pm 55

    I knew a guy who would go “Testicles, spectacles, wallet and watch” before heading out the door.

  56. larK Sep 2nd 2017 at 08:57 pm 56

    The four stations of the cross

  57. Kilby Sep 2nd 2017 at 09:50 pm 57

    @ MiB (55) - Those four items (but reversing the order of the first two) form the punchline of a joke in which a rabbi is asked to explain why he makes the (catholic) “sign of the cross” every time he leaves his house.

  58. Mona Sep 2nd 2017 at 10:46 pm 58

    “Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch” makes sense to me now. I am not Catholic, and wondered which way one crosses oneself when making the sign of the cross - I know it is up, down, side, side, but did not know which side to do first. Since a watch is generally worn on the left side, I am guessing that the left side is last. And kids probably used this little verse to remember. The first time I heard it was in the movie “Gran Torino”.
    Thanks, Kilby!

  59. Bob Sep 2nd 2017 at 11:00 pm 59

    Mona - right hand touches left shoulder first, then the right shoulder.

  60. Kilby Sep 2nd 2017 at 11:41 pm 60

    @ Mona (58) - I just discovered that jokes are useless as a guide to controversial theological details. The fundamental problem is that while watches are normally worn on the left wrist, it is also customary to place a wallet in the left breast pocket of a suitcoat (where it is more accessible to the right hand).

    In any case, I remember being taught to touch the left shoulder first when saying “grace” at dinner (thus: up-down-left-right). The trick my mother used was to do it in reverse order from her side of the table (up-down-right-left), so that I automatically “copied” her motions in mirror image fron my side(*), producing the intended left to right motion for my crossing stroke.

    Unfortunately, when I looked for confirmation, Wikipedia wasn’t much help. The article on “sign of the cross” wastes an enormous amount of space on the “correct” position of the fingers (a detail that I don’t recall ever learning, neither at home nor in two years of Catholic school), and buries the shoulder order controversy in the middle of the otherwise unreadable nonsense: “Western Christians and the Oriental Orthodox touch the left shoulder before the right. Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Christians use the right-to-left movement“. If the various churches can’t agree on simple directions, no wonder they have so much trouble with complex theology.

    P.S. (*) This “mirror image” trick was a great help with my own kids: it taught me to always name directions (right or left) using the child’s point of view, to reinforce their confidence in the proper orientation.

  61. James Pollock Sep 3rd 2017 at 02:29 am 61

    “Wikipedia wasn’t much help. The article on ’sign of the cross’ wastes an enormous amount of space on the ‘correct’ position of the fingers”

    Can’t God just look into your heart, and see that you WANT to do it right, and that’s what matters?

  62. B.A. Sep 3rd 2017 at 05:00 am 62

    James, highly specific and complex rituals are very important for organized religions (as well as the Loyal Order of Raccoons).

  63. Keera Sep 3rd 2017 at 09:19 am 63

    Wow! So many people I’d love to take a road trip with just based on the trip-starting comment!

  64. Cidu Bill Sep 3rd 2017 at 03:47 pm 64

    Somewhat related: if I’m around when my wife’s leaving for work, I often call after her “Have fun storming the castle!”

  65. Brian in STL Sep 4th 2017 at 09:11 pm 65

    “I think the best reason for backing into the parking space is that you don’t know what the traffic situation will be when you’re leaving.”

    Right. You get a good look at what’s in and around the target and path. No surprise obstacles, especially the moving sort.

  66. Brian in STL Sep 4th 2017 at 09:12 pm 66

    It’s been over 40 years since I’ve been Catholic or any sort of believer in a deity, but I can still do the cross without hesitation. Early training and all that.

  67. Meryl A Sep 5th 2017 at 02:58 am 67

    Husband yells (over the walkie talkie) GET IN GET IN - THERE ARE CARS COMING!

    When we travel in our RV he has to back it out into the 4 lane street, which means that I am standing in the street avoiding being hit by cars and trucks with the walkie talkie so I can tell him if he is straight (he can’t go over the corner of driveway or it will take out something under the bottom of the RV when he drops down into the roadway) and when he can pull out.

    He then pulls up in front of the house so I can get in - which is when the above comment is made, especially when we will be away for a week or more we decide that the car should go where the RV where to make it less obvious that we are not home and I have to do this after he pulls out.

    When I do get in the RV he will ask “Did I lock the house door?”

    We actually have a small semicircular driveway and a straight part on one side of it as we cannot leave the cars in the street (second time we had to replace the driver’s side mirror on the Chevette we decided this). Prior to having the RV both the car and the van could be pulled out forward. First one home would come in the non-straight section and pull around and back up the straight section. Second person would come in the same entrance and park on the rounded section pointing out the same way. Now we have the van on the semicircle at the foot of the driveway, the RV at the top of the straight section and the car behind it. Only the RV has to be backed out - and I still say I could get it around the circle and out forward.

    We have tried backing it out the night before when traffic is lighter and then turning it around - still too much traffic.

  68. Lola Sep 8th 2017 at 07:52 pm 68

    If it’s a long drive “Ooooooookay, let’s get this show on the road!”

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