13 Comments

  1. I think this is an old re-run, but on the surface the dialog kinda fits the protests in certain states where people are fighting for the presumed freedom of doing whatever they wanted to do, over being told to stay home and stay safe.

  2. Yes, I assumed it was a quick attempt to capitalize on people demanding the right to put themselves and others at risk so they can get a haircut or play golf.

  3. I idly wondered if there was some news story at the time (1990 ?) of some city banning beach volleyball for some reason, which would at least explain why guy on the right apparently brought the subject up (allowing Arlo to good-naturedly mock him for presumably getting upset about such). But I don’t remember hearing anything about any such ban, if so, and I can’t think of any likely reason for a city to actually do so.

  4. Copyright is 1996, so it’s not related to current events.

    I think you’re just supposed to fill in the blanks in the conversation yourself. The other guy has just said something about the importance of the freedom to play beach volleyball. They don’t give the context, but part of the fun is imagining the context, and realizing there’s no context in which it would make sense. (Probably not literally true, but eh.)

  5. 1996 was the first year that beach volleyball was an Olympic sport, perhaps this is related to that.

  6. It’s the “Lay off, they can’t all be gems” that puzzles me. And why it’s Nameless Co-Worker saying it.

  7. I think we’re to infer the were discussing what the consider important to them and the co-worker said something about Beach Volleyball and Arlo is teasing him for the stupid comment and the co-worker is being defensive and pointing out not every utterance any-one says has to be a gem.

    I get the idea… it’s just not that quintessential a conversation to ring true or familiar or to be humorous when reconstructed and … it’s actually quite hard to imagine what the conversation *could* be that the co-worker would talk about Beach Volleyball but in a context where doing so would be stupid and mock worthy. .. I’d say this is a miss though I get what it was trying to be… It just didn’t give me *any* humor.

  8. I take that the co-worker had made some comment about beach volleyball being a “right”. Possibly in relation to being included as an Olympic sport. And Arlo was mocking him by including it in the “Four Rights”

  9. Also, for further context, the 96 Olympics were held in Atlanta, and were marred by an attempted bombing.

  10. There’s a similar joke with the worthy butting up against the banal, which may be apocryphal but has been repeated several times.

    “We had an unfortunate Ambassador [in Washington] who got things wrong with the press… He was telephoned and asked what he wanted for Christmas and innocently enough replied. He tuned into the radio the next day to hear the following statement read out: ‘The Russian Ambassador says that for Christmas he wants peace on earth. The French Ambassador wants friendship between nations; but the British Ambassador wants a box of crystallized fruit.’
    “The British Ambassador was the only one of the three who got what he asked for.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    William Rees-Mogg, MA, Editor, The Times of London, in Pass the Port: The Best After-Dinner Stories of the Famous. Cirencester, UK: Christian Brann, 1976, p. 45.

    He’s the father of the current Member of Parliament for the 18th Century, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

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