Arl O’Lantern

Cidu Bill on Oct 25th 2017


Filed in Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, CIDU, Halloween, Jimmy Johnson, comics strips, humor | 31 responses so far

31 Responses to “Arl O’Lantern”

  1. James Pollock Oct 25th 2017 at 12:17 am 1

    There are two pumpkins.

    Janis leaves, noticing that there’s only one pumpkin on the porch. When she returns, she notices that there’s STILL only one pumpkin on the porch, but now it’s the other one. She comes inside to ask Arlo why he’s switching the pumpkins outside, and notices that he seems to be cozy with the one that is inside, and decides that she doesn’t want to know why. She’s probably better off not knowing.

  2. Kevin A Oct 25th 2017 at 12:32 am 2

    When I just now saw Bill’s title for this in the RECENT COMMENTS list, I was hoping it was referring to the previous nightgown and lamp strip.

  3. Brent Oct 25th 2017 at 12:36 am 3

    I’m pretty sure that she was going to ask Arlo why their happy Jack O’Lantern is now unhappy. Then in the middle of commenting she either noticed the hidden one or just decided that it must be Arlo’s doing and moved on.

  4. Brent Oct 25th 2017 at 12:40 am 4

    Or maybe she just decided that she was better off not knowing.

  5. James Pollock Oct 25th 2017 at 01:47 am 5

    I suspect that the cheery, smiling pumpkin was carved by Janis, and the scowly, angry pumpkin was carved by Arlo. Janis saw hers on the porch when she left, and found his there when she came back. She wasn’t there, so Arlo sat with her pumpkin, watching TV.

  6. Drodro Oct 25th 2017 at 01:52 am 6

    She is weirded out by Arlo trying to do the “let the light shine through the nightie” scene, but with a pumpkin and his normal clothes. But then decides to just not get into it and leaves instead.

  7. Pete Oct 25th 2017 at 02:21 am 7

    When she leaves the house, the pumpkin is grinning. When she returns the pumpkin is scowling.

    She goes to tell Arlo about her spooooky experience. Then she decides not to tell him, and says “never mind.”

    The final panel shows Arlo hiding the grinning pumpkin. He’# played a little joke on her.

  8. Stan Oct 25th 2017 at 03:00 am 8

    Man, I’m having a really hard time with this one.

    “She wasn’t there, so Arlo sat with her pumpkin, watching TV.” This could be it, but why is he covering its head with a…pillow? And if this is what he’s done, using Janis’ pumpkin as a surrogate seems like kind of a sweet move, so why is she scowling and walking off? Just ‘cus he’s a dork? Seems mean.

    “Then in the middle of commenting she either noticed the hidden one or just decided that it must be Arlo’s doing and moved on.” Maybe, but why is he hiding it in the first place? And if there is a reason, there must be a better place to hide a pumpkin then next to him on the couch.

    “Then she decides not to tell him, and says “never mind.”” But why not tell him? I’d mention it to my spouse if our pumpkin suddenly started frowning. It’s not a taboo subject. Also, why is she scowling so hard in panel 3? It doesn’t look like she’s confused, she looks mad. It seems like something like this may have happened before.

    “She’s probably better off not knowing.” Could this the answer? Is it some sort of disgusting pumpkin fetish that Janis has to put up with every 12 months? This is Arlo and Janis after all. But then again, you’d think she would join right in given past evidence regarding their proclivities.

    I’m still stumped.

  9. Minor Annoyance Oct 25th 2017 at 03:10 am 9

    Arlo developed feelings for the smiling pumpkin and brought it inside for some quality time, clumsily replacing it.

    Soon to be a motion picture: “American Pumpkin Pie”

  10. Seth Oct 25th 2017 at 04:40 am 10

    I believe just before the last panel, Janis is thinking “I am about to say a straight line for some crazy antic involving a pumpkin, and I don’t feel like doing it.”. Arlo has the bottom half of the pumpkin covered for some reason involving a gag, and Janis doesn’t want to find out what he’s going to do to play that gag.

  11. Olivier Oct 25th 2017 at 05:59 am 11

    The first four panels probably involve the replacement of the smiley face pumpkin with the frowny face one: Janis doesn’t like the alteration in the decoration arrangement (which reflected Arlo’s mood?). Then, as she is about to ask, she finds out that Arlo needed a surrogate Janis while she was away: a smile and warmth; the explanation is obvious to her, so no need to ask, hence “never mind”. The cushion is probably because the top of the pumpkin is very hot because of the candle inside, or, since it looks dark, to make it more comfy (again: like Janis)?

  12. Terrence Feenstra Oct 25th 2017 at 06:12 am 12

    This is simply Arlo being Arlo and Janis understanding.

  13. Alan W. Jones Oct 25th 2017 at 10:11 am 13

    Many years ago, when he was seven years old, my son wrote a poem for his second grade class. The teacher thought it was so good, she printed it up for the entire school to see. They still post it on the main bulletin board every Halloween.

    Jack’s Smile
    Ghosts are white, cats are black
    Mom carved a pumpkin. We named it Jack
    Jack had a smile when we put him out there
    We didn’t think a smile would scare

    Ring went the bell, “Trick or treat” they cried
    Dad opened the door. We looked outside
    Ghosts and goblins and witches galore
    Such costumes as I’d never seen before

    They danced on the lawn, though they had no feet
    Then they floated away down the darkened street
    We went to see if they could be found
    Then we saw it…….. Jack’s smile, upside-down!

  14. Brian Oct 25th 2017 at 10:36 am 14

    Her expression in panel 3 shows that she is puzzled by the smiling pumpkin changing into a scowling one, and she was going to mention it to Arlo, but then decides that she must be imagining things.

  15. Winter Wallaby Oct 25th 2017 at 10:45 am 15

    Pete and Brian have it. The cushion on top of the pumpkin in the final panel is to “make clear” to us, the reader, that Janis hasn’t seen what Arlo has done, while letting us know how Arlo did his trick.

  16. Greybeard Oct 25th 2017 at 11:25 am 16

    Agree with WW (15). Janis is behind the couch when she says “never mind”, and won’t be able to see the smiler hiding under the pillow. Odd and a grin not a thigh-slapper, but at least (after some thought) I (think I) get it.

  17. Brian in STL Oct 25th 2017 at 02:43 pm 17

    I have to say that she doesn’t look puzzled, but annoyed.

  18. Boise Ed Oct 25th 2017 at 06:00 pm 18

    Arlo swapped pumpkins and tried (ineffectively) to hide the smiley one. (It had to be ineffective so we would get it.)

  19. Seth Oct 25th 2017 at 06:05 pm 19

    If Arlo is holding part of the old pumpkin on the couch, under some sort of covering, he has a reason to be doing that. It doesn’t make sense that he’s merely trying to hide that he changed pumpkins that way. Otherwise he could just put the old pumpkin in an obscure part of their yard. In the next-to-last panel Arlo’s “MMM?” is “Say the straight line, c’mon, say the straight line.”. Janis may not be able to see what’s under the covering, but it’s obvious that Arlo is positioned awkwardly and has something hidden.

  20. Bob in Nashville Oct 25th 2017 at 07:08 pm 20

    No need to choose between happy and scary. Once I was later than expected home from work on trick-or-treat night and with less carving time than desired I whipped out a ’70s “happy face.” Both bases covered in one.

  21. James Pollock Oct 25th 2017 at 07:16 pm 21

    “‘She’s probably better off not knowing.’ Could this the answer? Is it some sort of disgusting pumpkin fetish that Janis has to put up with every 12 months?”

    You’ve inserted a meaning there that wasn’t in the original.
    “She’s better off not knowing” that Arlo is trying out replacements for her, and may have already found one that works for him.
    Arlo is whimsical; he holds conversations with the cat. He’s probably been having a conversation with “Janis” while she was out. Pumpkin Janis agreed with all his points, and never stopped smiling.

  22. Mark in Boston Oct 25th 2017 at 08:44 pm 22

    Another “happy and scary”: a smiling clown face.

  23. Berber Oct 25th 2017 at 09:55 pm 23

    Scary pumpkin *could* mean less kids, more candy for Arlo.

  24. Kamino Neko Oct 25th 2017 at 09:59 pm 24

    Seems like it went this way to me…

    Janis came home, saw the pumpkin was swapped. Assumed one of the local kids did it. Came to tell Arlo what had happened. Spotted him with his arm around the pumpkin. Decided to walk off without giving him the satisfaction of falling for his prank.

  25. Stan Oct 26th 2017 at 12:37 am 25

    “You’ve inserted a meaning there that wasn’t in the original.”

    I’m not sure I’d go that far. I think it was there.

    “and notices that he seems to be cozy with the one that is inside, and decides that she doesn’t want to know why.”

    If you tell me someone ’seems to be cozy’ with someone else in the other room, I think it’s fair to assume that you mean romantically inclined. If you told me a couple were being cozy on the couch in the living room, either people or a person with a pumpkin, I’d head to the kitchen or out the front door…especially in the latter case, like Janis has. Of course, YMMV.

    However, now that you’ve spelled out your actual intention, it’s a bit more clear what you meant. Thanks.

    For what it’s worth, I think Kamino Neko #24 has the best handle on what’s going on in this comic.

  26. Ted from Ft. Laud Oct 26th 2017 at 04:53 am 26

    Not directly related to the gag of the strip, but - was this strip a little ahead of time (I believe this was from Oct 14 of 2012)? That’s over 2 weeks before Halloween - seems (way?) too early for Jack-o’-lanterns, even making allowances for it being a Sunday strip.

  27. Cidu Bill Oct 26th 2017 at 11:25 am 27

    Maybe Jimmy had ideas for more than one Sunday Halloween gag that year.

  28. DemetriosX Oct 26th 2017 at 12:07 pm 28

    Is it some sort of disgusting pumpkin fetish that Janis has to put up with every 12 months?

    “Una zuccha!”

    The handful of people who’ve seen Night on Earth will get that.

  29. DanV Oct 26th 2017 at 03:45 pm 29

    Arlo, being whimsical, wants Janis to think their pumpkin has changed its expression. So while she’s out, he swaps pumpkins and (kind of) hides the smiley one. (Have to agree with Boise Ed on this one - Jimmy wanted the reader to know what was going on). I think Janis’ question was, “What happened to my pumpkin?” And I think she saw the one he’s trying to hide and responded with, “Never mind”. After all these years of marriage, she knows Arlo is a goofball and loves him anyway.

  30. Ted from Ft. Laud Oct 26th 2017 at 05:19 pm 30

    Bill - perhaps, but if that was the case, he didn’t use them. The following Sunday was about “International Nacho Day”, and the one after that (immediately preceding Halloween) was about leaf blowers. I thought perhaps his counting of when each strip would appear might have been off, but he hit International Nacho Day (yes, there seemingly really is such a thing) dead on.

  31. Kilby Oct 28th 2017 at 02:31 am 31

    Thanks to Ted @26 for confirming that this strip is old. I can’t escape the feeling that I have seen it before (to repeat a joke from another thread: “deja boo!”), but since I don’t follow the comic, that would mean that I must have seen it at CIDU, and I can’t find it here at all.

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