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December 18, 2007

Shopping Days

Filed under: Arlo and Janis, Bill Bickel, Christmas, comic strips, comics, humor, shopping — Cidu Bill @ 1:08 am


I have to admit, I feel as old as Arlo (as indeed I guess I am) whenever he comes up with one of these trivial “I remember when” comments and I remember when as well.


  1. I wonder how many won’t get it because they are too young

    Comment by Nicole — December 18, 2007 @ 9:32 am

  2. I just to chime in here with “Yeah, I feel old too.”

    How old is Arlo, anyway? Any opinions? My guess is he’s not quite 50.

    Comment by Morris Keesan — December 18, 2007 @ 10:50 am

  3. I’m 35, and I get it. But Arlo has a kid way older than mine, so he’s gotta be over 50.

    Comment by Janice — December 18, 2007 @ 11:01 am

  4. If one of Arlo’s most cherished Christmas gifts was a toy Mercury rocket, he had to have been born in 1955 or shortly thereafter.

    Now, figuring out when Aunt Fritzi was born is another matter, since she was brought up (according to some strips)listening to Big Band music (and the Beatles in others).

    Comment by Cidu Bill — December 18, 2007 @ 11:29 am

  5. I’m not sure if I get this. Is this a reference to blue laws? I remember when growing up that everything was (compulsorily) closed on Sunday, but I’m not sure if that was national, or the product of living in the South.

    Comment by Autumnal Harvest — December 18, 2007 @ 10:49 pm

  6. Usually (as in not always) in comics when someone says “Remember when …”, it is not meant to be all that long ago. I know I have seen it in various forms and not only comics, but the best example I can recall is “Remember way back when Pluto was a planet?”

    Comment by bAT L. — December 18, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

  7. Autumnal, yes, it used to be that Sunday didn’t count as a shopping day because everyone was in church and no stores would be open anyway.

    Oddly, I remember when Sunday didn’t count as a shopping day, but I *don’t* remember when all the stores were closed on Sunday.

    Comment by Powers — December 19, 2007 @ 7:13 am

  8. I’m not sure it was because everyone was in church so much as it was because the government forced the stores to close.

    Comment by Autumnal Harvest — December 19, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  9. I’m Arlo’s age, and I remember the “Shopping Days Till Christmas” block in my small town newspaper not counting Sundays. It’s not that there was a local law forbidding stores to be open on Sunday, but just what the small town shop owners observed – sort of a custom. Once the bigger chain stores started opening in the area, they didn’t close on Sundays, and the smaller stores felt they needed to stay open to compete on an even basis.

    Comment by Bob — December 19, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

  10. Yes, Autumnal, but why do you think the government forced the stores to close?

    Comment by Powers — December 19, 2007 @ 8:07 pm

  11. Powers, I’m not sure I get what you’re driving at. I guess my answer is that they forced the stores to close because they thought that everyone should be going to church and honoring the (Christian) Sabbath. They didn’t force the stores to close because everyone was going to church and honoring the Sabbath—in that event, there would be no need for a law.

    Actually, I’m sure that Bob is right that the change is from a mixture of cultural, economic, and legal changes. But where I grew up there was actually a law. Now that I think about it, I also remember a weird transitional period where grocery stores could open on Sunday, but they had to rope off the alcohol. Oh, and as long as we’re reminiscing, remember Alf? God, that was a dumb show.

    Comment by Autumnal Harvest — December 19, 2007 @ 10:34 pm

  12. As recently as ten years ago, in Paramus, NJ, the Garden State Plaza, a major mall, as well as all the other stores in the area, were closed on Sundays… by law. Might still be, but I haven’t been there for about that long. So why DID they call them blue laws?

    Comment by Lola — December 20, 2007 @ 1:25 am

  13. OK, answered my own question.

    Comment by Lola — December 20, 2007 @ 1:32 am

  14. I believe the Blue Laws are still in effect in Bergen County (home of Paramus Park Mall, Garden State Plaza, et al). These restrictions are, hypocritically enough, suspended between Thnaksgiving and Christmas so the malls can rake in the big bucks.

    Arlo would probably remember this: At any given time on a Sunday afternoon, every mall parking lot would have half a dozen getting driving lessons from their fathers. Where better to have a large, fairly empty space to safely practice?

    I hadn’t thought about this in decades, until last year when I was giving my son his first driving lesson one Sunday in the large, empty parking lot of a local community college — along with two other kids, in opposite corners of the lot, hesitantly taking their own first drives with their own fathers sitting alongside them.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — December 20, 2007 @ 1:38 am

  15. Okay, Lola, this is strange: The article suggests that Bergen County’s blue laws are in effect in the weeks leading up to Christmas, while it’s my recollection — having lived in the area for a number of years — that this simply is not true.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — December 20, 2007 @ 1:42 am

  16. Autumnal: I was being somewhat sarcastic in my original reply; I elaborated because I thought you were confused as to the source of blue laws.

    Comment by Powers — December 20, 2007 @ 6:50 am

  17. Oh, and I *liked* ALF.

    Comment by Powers — December 20, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  18. Bill,

    I seen now that the article is dated December 1992. Maybe it was part of a campaign to get the law repealed or relaxed. If so, it evidently worked.

    Comment by Lola — December 20, 2007 @ 9:45 am

  19. I remember shopping days also. I grew up in New York City, without blue laws, but still most stores were closed on Sunday because who would want to shop then? Shopping wasn’t the number one sport that it is now.

    Stores weren’t open Thanksgiving day either, or at 4 am the day after. I’m a few years older than Arlo.

    Comment by Scott — December 20, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

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