1. I think this is a case of the underwear is a size or two larger these days and strictly utilitarian.

  2. My first thought was that it’s a menstrual blood spot, and she’d been HOPING she was done with menopause, but she’s annoyed that she’s still in perimenopause. But… that seems like something of a stretch, and, on further reflection, I think my idea is dumb.

  3. @ ianosmond – That may be a dumb idea, but I was thinking along exactly the same lines, figuring that simple incontinence (or a skidmark) would be too crude for Arlo & Janice. However, it’s just a short step from worrying about menopause issues to “jump the shark” all the way into “funky” territory (meaning “cancer”).

  4. I don’t have a definitive answer, but I do have a couple of observations.

    Janis’ expression appears angry in panels 1, 2, and 4, but soft and neutral in panel 3.

    Also, the word “and” in the final panel is italicized, implying emphasis.

    The combination of these two things leads me to believe there’s an implied thought-bubble in panel 3: “Well, here’s good news: my brassiere shows I still got it up there.”

  5. I’m very curious about her facial expressions. In panels one, two and four she looks really angry. In panel three, she looks surprised.

    As for the joke, the emphasis on “And” in panel four makes me think she was thinking in panel three, “There’s good news, breasts are bigger; and bad news, so is rear end.”


  6. I’m with beckoningchasm, on the good news/bad news take, but A& J being what it is, we may have more explanation tomorrow.

  7. The explanation given by Powers and beckoningchasm may be correct, but would Janis really think “bigger breasts” equals good news? Certainly Arlo would but I don’t know about Janis.

  8. I don’t see anything significant about the clothing in the first three panels, though presumably there’s a positive aspect to it leading up to the “AND there’s bad news.”

    If the “bad news” is that she now has a middle-aged ass, you’d think she’s have noticed this sooner.

    Wasn’t there another A&J a few years back in which Janis was depressed over the dowdiness of her underwear? And somebody pointed out that she chooses and buys her own clothing?

  9. I think we go the answer from Powers and beckoningchasm. Addressing menopause, Janis is, based on the timeline presented in the comic, in her 60s, if not her 70s. Well preserved, admittedly. And Arlo, well, I don’t think he can deny that he likes big butts.

  10. I don’t get it.

    But… I think the clothes in the first two panels are Arlo’s and the still fold nicely and Janis’ aging just leads to depressing realizations of folding dowdy and middle age clothes. Although… folding middle age man underwear and the inability to pull off a well-cut formal *anything* is not all that joyous either. Not as bad as middle age women either but not “good news”. An acceptable truce with reality at best.

    (Going to a wedding this saturday and I don’t quite get how blazers sitting in a closet for 20 years can somehow manage to look so dowdy and worn when… nothing has happened to them. No-one is *expecting* me to look nice and what ever I schlubb out good or bad will be viewed as “well, that’s middle-aged woozy” but still… this is not “good news” and I’m not feeling particularly joyous right now.)

  11. Could be that the bad news is that Arlo’s tidy whities are now pink because of the red sweater in the first frame?

  12. Good memory and detective work, B.A. & Kilby.

    And this strip seems to reprise the older one, but less comprehendible.

  13. Thanks to B.A. and Kirby, I think this is a reprisal of the previous strip. I am also beginning to think she has named this particular pair of grannie panties “Bad News” and is addressing them directly.

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