Totally Quotable Arlo: “Pulling on Ear Lobes and Listening to our Neighbors” edition


Arlo, as I was putting him to bed this evening, told me that, the harder he tugged on his ear lobes, the farther away he could hear. It was dark, and we’d been laying quietly in his bed for a few minutes, having finished James and the Giant Peach and our nightly ten minutes of Star Trek, when he let me in on his secret. He asked me if Linette was home, and, when I said that I didn’t know, he started pulling down on one of his ear lobes, telling me that, if he pulled hard enough, he could hear things happening as far away as our neighbor’s house… So, if you’re one of the new EMU students who just moved in next door, and you should happen to see Arlo in his window, pulling on his ear, be careful what you say. He’s listening. And he’s known to repeat things verbatim at inopportune moments.

And, no, that’s not Arlo in the photo above. That’s Carol Burnett, who, if I’m not mistaken, is the human being most commonly associated with ear pulling.

[If you’ve got a few extra minutes, check out our Totally Quotable Arlo archive.]

This entry was posted in Mark's Life, Special Projects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. XXX
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Now tell him that he can also taste what others are eating by pulling on his tongue.

  2. Gregory Hischak
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Carol’s ear lobe pull was a I Love You signal to her mother who was watching at home. So actually Arlo’s pulling his ear is a signal that he loves Carol Burnett’s mother — which is very nice.

  3. Mr. X
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I know Carol claimed that it was her way of communicating with her mother, Gregory, but what if she was really just listening to us in our homes?

  4. Meta
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Strange you should mention Star Trek. The franchise turns 50 today.

    On Sept. 8, one of the most enduring franchises in TV and movie history celebrates its 50th birthday. Star Trek debuted on NBC in 1966, developed by Roddenberry, a former Los Angeles cop who wanted to make a TV series that could sneak past the rampant escapism of most programs back then.

    At a time when scripted TV rarely dealt directly with the turbulence of the times, Star Trek set its social messages against a space opera backdrop. Swashbuckling Captain Kirk ran the Enterprise, backed by cerebral first officer Mr. Spock and emotional Southern medical officer Dr. Leonard McCoy.

    On the surface, the show’s plots dealt with exotic alien worlds in a future where space travel was commonplace. But Roddenberry and his writers slipped in subtle messages.

    One classic story pointed out the absurdity of racism by depicting a war among members of an alien race, where one faction was colored black on the left side of their face and body and white on the right. The other faction had the colors reversed.

    And as the end of state-sanctioned segregation rattled the U.S., Roddenberry featured American TV’s first interracial kiss: Aliens forced Captain Kirk to smooch his African-American communications officer Lt. Uhura, portrayed by Nichelle Nichols.

    Read more:

  5. Eel
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Every time Carol Burnette pulled her ear lobes, sleeper agents were activated. Remember, this was during the cold war.

  6. Larry L.
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    When I didn’t listen as a kid, my mother would drag me by my ear. All these years, I thought it was child abuse. Maybe, though, she was just helping me to hear better.

  7. grandma
    Posted September 8, 2016 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Can he hear Grandma telling him what a special boy he is and how much she loves him? Listen close, Arlo!!

  8. iRobert
    Posted September 21, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    They’re so cute at that age.

    …I mean 50 year old guys. It’s cute how they don’t pick up on the subtle threats their young children make toward them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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


BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative coal mining kids