CA called from the other room, “What are you laughing at?” “The funnies”, I answered. It’s been a while since I was a regular at the funnies. I don’t know, I just stopped reading them some time ago and for some mysterious reason, I picked up the habit again recently and haven’t missed a day since – specially the Sunday Funnies.

Remember that radio program where that guy read the funnies? You’d think, “Read the funnies on the radio? Crazy!” But it worked. I think it was Uncle Bob out of Lakeland Florida – I’m not sure. It’s been a while. Many of you are too young for such reflections. Count your blessings.

Then, remember in July 1945 – whoops! You probably don’t – when the newspaper deliverymen were on strike in New York, that Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia read Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie on the radio. I remember the MovieTone News at the the Istrouma Theater a block from my house, that showed the Mayor doing this. He was quite good. There were pictures of kids glued to the radio painting pictures in their minds as the Mayor described the scene in each frame.

Yeah, I know, most of you were not around in 1945. But I’ll bet you have tried to explain a comic strip to someone as you read the funnies, in effect, reading the funnies to them.

I went for years without even looking at the funnies with the exception of an occasional Doonesbury. I was drawn to it’s intellectual content, being the intellectual type myself. Then one day a friend of mine asked me if I had seen Stephan Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine that day. I said that I hardly ever read the funnies and had never read that one. He said that I should check it out. Well, to make a long story short, I did check it out and laughed out loud. It’s now one of my favorites. It’s very intellectual.

Sometimes I don’t get it, which is a good reality check for me. I always feel better when I check with some other intellectual friend of mine and he or she failed to “get” it as well. l figure Pastis is probably in therapy and can be forgiven for sailing one over our heads now and then. It does give me pause to think that there is a place where someone actually “gets” some of those weird strips. Know what I mean? Like maybe in Congress?

The Sunday funnies are a priority now. It must be that hormonal thing that happens in old men, or more likely the boredom while waiting for my next doctor’s visit, but I never miss the funnies anymore. They are printed on heavy coated stock that makes them show up better and also lends a more substantial “feel” to the experience. I have found that in my latter years, substantial has come to mean more to me than ever before. It’s that old guy hormonal thing, I’m sure.

Wait a minute: do old guys have hormones? I have to check that out  on Wikipedia.

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