19 Comments

  1. And “going to bed with the chickens” means going to be early, because chickens roost at sundown. Janis is implying that Arlo currently (as of the summer solstice) is going to bed before sundown, but as the days get shorter his bedtime soon will be at sundown.

    Arlo seems displeased with this observation, which may not jibe with his presumed self-image as a young man who can stay up all night, or at least late.

  2. What just went through my mind was Yakov Smirnoff saying “In America, you wake up with the chickens; in Soviet Russia, chickens wake up with you”.

    I have no idea what this means, but it’s the end of the week and I’ve been waiting forever for the subway.

  3. He’s giving her information from the almanac, so she phrased her answer such that it sounds like it came out of the almanac, as well. Their kid’s a farmer, but they aren’t.

  4. Usual John interpretted it the way I did.

    Shorter days => sun sets earlier each day => chickens will go to bed earlier each day.

    Soon the chickens will go to bed with Arlo & chickens will go to bed earlier each day => one day the chickens which go to bed earlier each day will go to bed at the same Time as Arlo => Currently Arlo goes to bed before the chickens => Arlo is an old fart.

  5. B.A. — In Soviet Russia, the farmers were too poor to afford houses, so they lived in chicken coops? (Or some other variation of that theme…)

  6. The use of “soon” is the confusing part for me. I get that for the next 6 months, the days will continually get shorter. But that still means that for the next 3 months, the days will be longer than average.

  7. Al Capp was doing “In Soviet Russia” jokes in his Li’l Abner strip way back in the 1950’s.
    “In America, you have Red Skelton. In Russia, we have red skeletons — living in Siberia!”

  8. I read this as follows: going to bed with the chickens – going to bed the same time as the chickens. The chickens going to bed with you – the chickens hopping into bed with you. Janis just reversed the saying.

  9. “If he’s selling tickets, it’s a career.”

    job vs. career.

    He followed the old path… he built up his fame as a comic enough to start getting guest roles on established shows, then launched his own show which crashed and burned. Then he stopped doing guest roles on established shows, prompting questions about whether or not he still exists.

    The essential problem, as is common, is that he couldn’t carry a show on his own, and his guest roles effectively amounted to playing himself. There’s a limited market for that, and eventually, it petered out. He was funny, but the shtick that made him famous also had a limited shelf life… a comedic one-hit wonder.

    Similar to the musicians who had hits, but whose new music doesn’t chart, and now they make a living playing county fairs. It’s a living, but is it a career?

    Of course, nobody’s coming to the fair to hear ME sing MY hits, so maybe these grapes are bit sour.

  10. I suppose “career” is like “attorney”. An “attorney” is a lawyer who actually has a client or two. If you’re getting more and better gigs, or fewer and worse gigs, that’s a “career”. Careers go down as well as up, but they go somewhere. If your career is a parabola, like y = -x2 + n, the point of change between rising and falling is infinitely small. But I don’t think a career exactly has to be described by a quadratic equation. That middle part can stretch out for quite a while.

    By the way, I’ve heard people described as having a “meteoric career” implying a rising star, but don’t meteors only fall?

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