A chloral? A bromide? A Mickey Finn? A bone in her teeth? A switch of a swatch?

Our first A&J is from Mark M, who asks “Why does she feel that way at 3 o’clock?  Is this an example of an overreaction as CIDU Bill used to talk about?”

Possibly the discussion of overreaction Mark is thinking of included this thread.

(For a quick factual overview of “sleeping pills”, here is a web excerpt from a book by Wallace B. Mendelson, MD.)

And Jack Applin sent in another puzzling A&J. He says: “I do not understand this Arlo & Janis. Arlo speaks of the expression bone in her teeth, explaining how it comes from the bow wave of a fast-moving boat. OK, sure. However, the way the he says it implies that this is a standard expression, used in other contexts. “

“I might say Do you know where the expression ‘read the riot act’ came from?, because people use that without reference to the 1714 act of the Parliament of Great Britain, e.g., when their mother caught them coming home late.. Who says bone in her teeth without referring to a bow wave?”


  1. For the second A&J, is this Arlo’s passive-aggressive way of trying to hurry Janis up? He brings up an archaic expression (I assume…I’ve never heard of it) which allows him to explain that it’s related to speed. However, Janis doesn’t take the bait.

    “What brought that up?”

    Instead of saying, “Will you just hurry the $*%# up!!” he restrains himself and replies “Never mind…”

  2. She’s worrying at the swatches like a dog with a bone in her teeth, bur Arlo is a sailing nut so he immediately leaps to the maritime explanation without first commenting that Janis has a bone in her teeth.

  3. Yeah, I was getting suspicious that the phrase “like a dog with a bone” was lurking in the shadows of the thinking in that second one. But Arlo knows better than to compare one’s partner to a dog, even indirectly / implicitly.

  4. I wonder if he’s thinking of the expression ” bit between one’s teeth” or “bit in one’s teeth” which does mean to ‘start doing something in a very enthusiastic and determined way.’ It’s a horse expression, not a boat one, but Janice’s enthusiasm over the renovation does look as if she’s got the bit between her teeth.

  5. I’ve seen the expression “bone in [his|her] teeth” used metaphorically to mean that someone is coming in hard, perhaps attacking.

  6. I agree that the bone in her teeth one is Arlo saying Janis is pursuing the reno very enthusiastically. As for the first, Janis feels like she need to justify herself because in her overly tired state, she feels like the world is judging her. Yes, an over-reaction, but it’s explained in the last panel, and perhaps understandable.

  7. I was always taught to take the least OTC medication possible. There were no sleeping in the house growing up. Do have them in the house now – but I am guessing they are no good as they predate the pandemic by a lot.

    My method of dealing with not being to sleep is to recite in my head – U.S. Presidents in order, wives (which is NOT the same as First Ladies) of U.S. Presidents in order, monarchs of England (GB/UK) in order, US states and capitals in alphabetical order, then state order NE to Hawaii, then reverse the entire thing – US Presidents in reverse order, their wives in reverse order, monarchs in reverse order, states from Hawaii to Maine, states from Wyoming to Alabama.

    If I am still not asleep – I just give up and stare at the ceiling until I fall asleep or Robert gets up and turns on the TV for the day.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.