Sunday, March 21, 2010
Stuff I've Done--2
Health Consequences of Comics
It was 1959. I was ten years old, happy, and healthy. Especially happy, because I was clutching the latest issue of Cosmo, the Merry Martian. This offbeat comedy title had captured my young heart. I was sure it was the funniest comic I'd ever read. As soon as I got home from the drugstore, I fled to my favorite reading room (the bathroom) and while doing the ol' Number 2 I spread the comic on the floor in front of me so I could savor every panel.
Then it happened. I wish I remembered what the joke was that set me off. All I remember is letting out a huge explosion of laughter. And I barfed.
Like I said, I was healthy. There was no logical reason I should barf. But barf I did, and my mirth became heartbreak. There on the floor before me was my Cosmo comic under a big pile of vomit. I would never know how the story turned out. I left the comic lying there while I cleaned up, then I carefully rolled it up. Holding the book at arm's length I carried it outside and dropped it sadly into the trash can.
Of course Mom asked me what happened. "I threw up on my Cosmo, the Merry Martian comic," I replied truthfully.
Mom valiantly tried to find something wrong with me, but I was completely symptom-free. It was a one-time event. I never again laughed so hard that I barfed. It must have been something about that comic.
[Sidebar: Cosmo is one of those pleasures that was really great when I was ten years old. It didn't age well. At my advanced age I still chortle over Carl Barks' Scrooge McDuck adventures, but when I read a reprinted Cosmo story, I was disappointed at how lame it was. Oh, well, at least my health's safe.]
Image stolen from Don Markstein's Toonpedia.