Thursday, April 05, 2018


Comic Strip Yappy

Diane, I don’t remember all these cartoons.
We have novel-sized reams of mail sent to
each other from the nineties (in particular).
Was your intention to send me both Mary
Worth AND Apartment 3-G?  The latter,
whatever the case, seems hilarious,
looks like it would be a total scream 
to me (now - I certainly did not get
them at the time).  Also, The Far Side
never grows old, apparently.  I love the
one you sent of a young Captain Hook
who’s seeing a “job therapist” (I could
definitely use one of those, by the way)
because he’s torn between two potential
careers: pirating or massage therapy.  The
look on the therapist’s face is priceless.
Or did I make that part up?  Anyway,
one thing I didn’t make up were two
“Special Report” sidebars you must have
cut from something (From what, though?   
Was there a magazine called “Special Report” 
to which someone in your family – or, just as 
likely, you – subscribed?) that were titled
“Special Report 2” and “Special Report 3.” 
They remind me of the pamphlets that folks 
in and around Chinatown are always passing
out about the ... Falun Gong ... I think?
I’ve no recollection beyond that, at
the moment because I’m reminded
of the man (I actually really miss him) 
who stood on a dais made of a couple 
of milk crates, I believe, on the corner 
of Grant and Washington Streets (or 
Grant and one of the cross-streets 
nearby Washington Street) literally 
all day long sing-saying “Happy Happy
Happy” over and over and over again.  
Only it sounded more like “Appy Yappy
Yappy” to me.  So I’d be sing-saying
the same, all the rest of the day, 
when I had the joy of running into him.  
It gave me a very warm feeling, and I 
felt reassured and okay, as in I’m gonna
be okay because Appy Yappy Yappy.  
There really are a lot of these letters, 
Diane.  All in one envelope, for example, 
there’s an 8 1/2" x 11" handwritten letter, 
along with a Gil Thorpe stripan always 
seemingly worthless comic (to me) that 
I only now, as I read through your letters 
and their various surprise enclosures,
seem to be getting.  Like, I GET 
Gil ThorpeHow crazy is that?  
And then there’s Mary Worth
another soap opera strip with
only two or three frames a day,
like the soapy and oh-so-slow
moving Dick Tracy, a strip I 
actually read and read, but
never actually got, to be per-
fectly honest.  Who knows why,
though, because even back then 
I loved  soap operas (I’d watch 
Days of Our Lives and The Young 
& the Restless – which starred
David Hasselhoff, at the time – with 
my mom from before I went to school.
I remember this!)  I always felt in these 
drawn-out dramas that there was
some sort of humor that I must surely
have been totally missing.  And
there must have been.  Because 
you sent me strip after strip after
strip, along with your three- to seven-
paged incredibly engaging letters,
most all of which I took photographs of 
before everything in my storage unit
went to auction.  These are the things
that life is made of. Of which life is 
made.  Which make life.  For which
I am beyond grateful.