Friday, September 25, 2009

Every day's a holiday...

Having rejected every idea I have in my idea file, last night around 10 I decided that, if I could find that September 25th was a holiday anywhere in the world, I would take it off as a floater.

Naturally, I went to the google, and found a tremendously fun and silly site, Holiday Insights, that seems to have come up with a list that declares every day a holiday.

Would that I had stumbled on this trove o' goofiness earlier in the month. If I had, I'd have been able to celebrate National Beheading Day, National Make a Hat Day, and Dogs in Politics Day (think Checkers Speech).

Today - hold on to your hats, heads, and dogs - is National Comic Book Day.

When I was a kid in the 50's and 60's, TV kids were always reading comic books.

From my point of view, this was one more way in which most kids on TV were as phoney as three dollar bills.

Sure, sometime Bud Anderson on Father Knows Best gave us a tiny little glimmer of near reality. And Eddie on Beaver was sufficiently real that we nicknamed the kid next door - who was always fake polite and smarmy to adults - Eddie Haskell. (I think my father gave him the nickname, something Ward Cleaver would never have done, even if he'd wanted to. June wouldn't have let him.)

But most of the kids on TV were so bogus.

Of course, since they had such fake and inauthentic parents, it would be hard for the kids to be other. Nature, nurture, who knows? Those scripted kids were chips off the wooden parental blocks.

Think about those families. First off, the kids never fought with their sibs. Sure, there was an occasional minor tiff - "scram, kid" to the younger brother; oh, boo-hoo. But nary a raised voice, let alone a raised fist. I'd love to have seen the look on the face of Kitten or Princess if Bud had, say, poured a can of Hershey's Syrup on one of them. (It has been known to happen in real families, I assure you.)

The parents never yelled either.

But I digress a bit.

The point - since this is, after all, National Comic Book Day - is that I didn't know anyone who was really into comic books.

Sure, we occasionally picked one up - Archie or Little Lulu. But they were always an unfunny disappointment. A dime spent on a comic book would have been better spent on 10 cents worth of penny candy at Carrera's. The only interesting part was the weird little ads in the back.

We were TV kids - watchers, that is, not bogus, unreal, too polite, too nice-y-nice kid actors on TV. No comic books for us.

Why buy an unfunny comic book when you could read the unfunny funnies - did anyone ever even smile at the "Little King" or "Henry" - in the papers, or watch surreal, boring but nonetheless captivating kids on TV, for free.

I'm guessing that those TV writers who always managed to put a comic book in the hands of those bogus kids were just recalling their own childhoods in the golden age of comic books - the 1930's and 1940's. (Other than Manga, do they even exist any more?)

I'm happy that comic books have their own day and all that. I don't begrudge them in the least.

It's just that I don't have all that much to celebrate. No comic books in my past, present, or future.

With one childhood exception.

Once we discovered Mad Magazine in 5th or 6th grade, you could always count on the one of the wise-guy boys to have a copy for us to pore over. Forget Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. Forget Nancy and Sluggo and Rollo the Rich Boy.

Alfred E. Newman. Now there was a funny man. Sly, subversive, balloon-busting, probably had a dirty laugh.

What a bracing antidote to the TV kid frauds.

But at least National Comic Book Day gave me something to blog about. Not that I wouldn't have come up with something. (What, me worry?)

1 comment:

Marguerite said...

Maybe National Comic Day was started in Belgium, the home of the TinTin comic books popular in Europe in the 50's and 60's. Next to Belgium beer & chocolates, probably one of their biggest imports--translated into dozen of languages, including Dutch. Since they were an easy and cheap (going book rate) gift to send, we received dozens from relatives when we were growing up on Aruba even though we couldn't read them. So like you, I didn't read many comics as a kid.