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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Earl and Opal make me laugh

Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2011, at 1:29 PM

I am shocked at the high percentage of people who never read the comics section in the newspaper or even subscribe to or read papers. My day would not be complete without reading the paper and the comics section.

The comics tickle my funny bone and provide deep insights into life today. Let me give you some examples. In a recent Sunday edition, the comic Zits made me laugh. It is about a dentist, his wife and a hapless, self-absorbed, hopeless, inconsiderate, clueless, solipsistic, maddening teenage son. This particular strip shows the dad finding his son's electric rock 'n roll guitar. Looking about, he picks it up and begins to imitate the rock 'n rollers of his day and today. He does the Chuck Berry goosestep and Cossack walk, pretends to windmill the strings and then jumps in the air to end the song.

Next his wife is giving him a massage and saying, "Not even Pete Townshend does Pete Townshend anymore." "Just rub." Funny? Yes! Why? He fustigates against his son for imitating rock 'n roll stars yet he tries to regain his youth by doing some of the same with dastardly results. He is old enough to know better. I have been there.

One of my favorites is Pickles which is about Earl and Opal Pickles, a couple of geezers, codgers, curmudgeons, old folks who live out many of the same things that an old couple with whom I am acquainted experience. OK it is BW and me.

One segment had them responding to the current craze of texting by teens and 20 somethings and wannabes. It resonated with me. Opal asked Earl if he had heard from their daughter Sylvia recently. He said, "No, but she has been busy with work and things." She said, "I try calling her but she never answers her phone. She says I should send her text messages instead and that she always answers them. What is it with young people today and their text messages?" He said, "I think they like them because that way they can communicate with us without actually having to see or hear us."

I had to laugh out loud then I thought, that is the way it is today. It is sad how many people, mostly younger, who isolate themselves from actual face-to-face interaction with others. They are losing the art of good conversation and the exchange of ideas on a personal level.

Another Pickles comic shows Sylvia, the daughter, leaning over Earl's chair looking at his bald head. She says, "You smell good, dad, kind of like lemons. A new aftershave?" Earl says, "Nope." "Have you been squeezing lemons?" "No, Opal thinks of me as part of the furniture. If I sit in one spot too long she gives me the lemon Pledge treatment." Sylvia says, "Ooh, I can see myself."

Now hold it right there. That is not funny.

Read the paper. Read the comics. They are good for you.

Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.

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