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August 12, 2007

Thoreauly Confused

Filed under: Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor, Thoreau — Cidu Bill @ 12:02 am




  1. OK, it seems clear that she’s mad about something, and Arlo is using a quote from Thoreau to convince her to let it go and forget about it. But…”don’t tempt me?” The only way I see this working is that Thoreau went off to live by himself, and she’s saying, “Don’t tempt me to go off and live by myself”… other than that, I’m lost.

    Comment by Jim — August 15, 2007 @ 4:02 am

  2. I’m interpreting it as “Thoreau” is being heard as “throw” either “throwing up”, an expression here which means to vomit, or “throwing” him, an expressioni here which means Arlo is going to experience a significant bit of physical pain (apologies to Lemony Snicket)

    Comment by Rasheed — August 15, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  3. I agree — Janis is clearly angry about something and it must have happened a while ago. That explains Arlo’s Thoreau quotes.

    It is the last three panels that have me baffled. I am thinking that when Arlo says ‘Thoreau’ and Janis replies ‘Don’t tempt me’ that there is some sort of pun on Thoreau’s name going on. That would explain Arlo laughing in the fourth panel.

    I just can’t think of what that pun might be — the only english words I can think of that sound remotely like Thoreau are THOROUGH and THROW. Thorough makes no sense.

    I suppose that it could be throw. Janis interpreting Thoreau as throw, is telling Arlo not to tempt her to throw something at him. Arlo laughs at her ‘joke’ making her angrier still. In the final panels she has walked of in a huff and Arlo realizes that perhaps he went a little to far laughing at her.

    If that IS the joke it would be pretty high on the lame scale.

    Perhaps I deconstruct too much.

    Comment by Nicole — August 15, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  4. Basically Janis is clearly upset with something that Arlo has done. Instead of just saying “forgive and forget”, he goes off into the Thoreau quotes. She’s clearly not amused and doesn’t want to be tempted to get even more upset.

    Comment by Cedric — August 15, 2007 @ 11:06 am

  5. Thoreau = throw. Arlo says what Janis hears as “throw” and she then says he had better not tempt her to throw something because she certainly will. Then he nervously laughs, and she walks off.

    Comment by Its justme — August 15, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  6. Janis probably said, “Quit living in the past!” just before the first panel. He probably brought up something from the past and threw it in her face. Then to rebuff her comment he quoted Thoreau. And you’re right, she hears “throw”.

    Comment by Matt — August 16, 2007 @ 1:38 am

  7. I think my interpretation is *close* to what a lot of you are saying, but I think my take on the last panel is just a tad different. Janis was indeed making a little pun in saying “Don’t tempt me” in response to Arlo saying “Throw/Thoreau”. In the last panel, Arlo is lamenting that, in attempt to smooth things over, he laughed “too hard” (Oh Janis, you are so clever!), and therefore did not seem sincere.

    Comment by Marshall — August 16, 2007 @ 11:11 am

  8. Reminds me of a greeting card I saw once. The front said “Henry David Thoreau” and the inside said “Henry David Catch”.

    Now that I think about it, that was a whole series of cards, including a Christmas card with in impressionist print on the front that said “‘Tis the Cezanne” and the inside said “And Manet more!”

    Comment by Michele — August 16, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

  9. I remember hearing a pun on Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine” that went “Thoreau is like Ralph Emerson, Ralph Emerson is what I need.”

    Comment by eeyore19 — August 16, 2007 @ 7:21 pm

  10. I simply don’t accept that the two-syllable “Thoreau” sounds enough like the one syllable “throw” to make this joke. Perhaps if she had held something in her hand to show that she COULD have been tempted to “thoreau” something…

    Comment by Jim — August 18, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

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