24 Comments

  1. And what is he giving in to? I guess a disgust / despair with Winter. But does it also suggest a trigger from the end of football season, which was helping make it bearable?

  2. Huh. I’ve heard (or read) of “cry rope”, never heard of “calf rope” – but I did wonder if they were related. Apparently yes (by that link).

  3. “And what is he giving in to? I guess a disgust / despair with Winter.”

    This is a mystery to me too. But the way it’s phrased it seems like he’s dreading the onset of summer. Does Arlo like the winter, and has come to terms with the fact that it’s almost over? I dunno’. That’s what it sounds like to me.

  4. Based on the date in the corner, I bet this is a reference to a New Years’ resolution.

    Not sure what it was, though.

    Perhaps he resolved to embrace winter?

  5. If Arlo had cried “Uncle!“, I think most readers would have had a better chance of understanding the intended meaning, even if that phrase is getting a little antiquated.

  6. Although the timing and wording would suggest “had enough of winter,” sitting around in a T-shirt cuts in a different direction.

  7. I agree that if it is being sick of winter, him sitting there in a t-shirt undermines it. We do have to remember that they are in the US South, probably Alabama, so “winter” might have a different tolerances there, but I’m not sure if that mitigates it, or makes it worse: your so-called winter, where you can sit around in a t-shirt, is “so bad” you can’t stand it and would rather have the flies and oppressive heat of summer?? Cry me a river….

  8. Wow, what the heck is up with that map at the end of the article cited by Usual John in the first reply? I get it is the United States and is showing where we can expect the phrase to be used, but what the heck is up with the representation of the states?? New England is huge, NY is ridiculous, Nevada, New Mexico are thin slivers… If it’s supposed to be proportional to population, it must be like a hundred years out of date….

  9. There are these two attitudes about seasons, that regularly replace each other, in a cyclic alternation.

    At first, summer is great. You can enjoy outdoor activities without getting bundled up, enjoy longer days, enjoy overheating then getting the relief of going for a swim or just stepping indoors. BUT THEN, as August stretches on, you begin to hate the sweat, heat, and flies, and declare you’ve had enough and will switch loyalty to winter, just accepting the short days, the need to bundle up to go outside, and the long periods of just sitting indoors. (Even if that’s in your t-shirt.)

    At first, winter is great. You can enjoy snow and ice games, enjoy cuddling for warmth, enjoy sitting by a fire. BUT THEN, as February stretches on, you begin to hate the bundling up, the confinement indoors, the short days, and declare you’ve had enough and will switch loyalty to summer, just accepting the flies and oppressive heat.

    This strip catches Arlo at the moment of that second transition. And Janis’s remark tells us that he knows it is cyclic and he will trade back in a few months.

  10. Also https://www.daredictionary.com/dare/page/anatomy/anatomy-of-an-entry

    “map
    The computer-generated map is deliberately adjusted so that the area of each state is roughly proportional to its population. If every informant who was asked question H35 had answered dropped egg, the map would show 1,002 evenly spaced dots, each representing one of the communities selected for the DARE survey. This uniform spacing makes it much easier to interpret the map, since any “bunching” of dots is potentially significant, though it does take a little practice to recognize the states in their adjusted forms.”

  11. “The computer-generated map is deliberately adjusted so that the area of each state is roughly proportional to its population.”

    And yet Massachusetts is as big horizontally as California is vertically, New York is huger still, and Rhode Island is way huge considering how small it really is, and Texas is as small as California. And what is that nodule on the end of California? And the other off Washington? Hawaii and Alaska?

  12. Sorry to go on about this; last comment:
    Arizona and Massachusetts have roughly the same population (7,151,502 and 7,029,917 respectively in 2020, 6,392,017 and 6,547,629 in 2010), so they should be roughly the same size, yet Arizona is a thin sliver, and Mass is huge. Seems like they came up with this map a long time ago, and haven’t updated it….

  13. It would have been confusing and unhelpful if the maps were changed in the middle of preparing DARE. That said, which census was used to format these maps? The first volume of DARE was published in 1985, but this clearly was not based on the 1980 census. Does the 1960 census work? The interviews used for data started in 1965.

  14. I’m not sure the tee-shirt is all that relevant. They are at the breakfast table. Janis is in her robe. Arlo is unshaven and still in his “sleep attire”. And I agree he is fed up with winter, this is just your typical Februrary-is-miserable-when-will-it-ever-end joke.

    As for “calf rope”, most of the examples given seemed to be southern or rural in nature. Growing up in the South, I have never heard the term before now. Not that that means anything.

    My understanding is that the South has had a particularly harsh winter so far. Maybe that is what inspired the comic. I wouldn’t know about such things. Every window in the house is wide open, and I’m sitting here enjoying the trade winds. I haven’t worn shoes or socks, (or long pants) in about four years. YMMV

  15. Did someone say Cloonbounty? Say it one more time and I’ll appear, bringing you on supernatural adventures.

  16. He’s sick of winter, and trying to ‘Think summer’ by wearing a T-shirt. And he acknowledged it 11 days later than he did last year.
    Never heard of ‘calf rope’ as an expression. But then, an ‘A & J’ strip several years ago was the first time I’d seen the expression ‘might could’ in print.
    Sometimes, it seems like Jimmy Johnson just does this strip to laugh at his own jokes.

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