Cuz responded to my previous post about the book Blink with a book recommendation of his own, The Glass Castle. (Looks good, by the way.) What struck me about his recommendation, though, is how far we've come since those summers in the early 60's, when we spent many an hour laughing over Mad Magazines.
Spy vs. Spy, Alfred E. Newman, iconic wild-eyed-hinged-footed Don Martin cartoon people, and song lyric parodies (our particular favorite) kept us entertained for hours. We committed verses of those silly songs to memory and drove everybody in the house, well, mad spouting them over and over.
In those days, the magazine was full of Cold War humor (yes, the Cold War could be funny) and commentary on cultural mores of the times. I'm sure a whole lot of stuff went right over our 10-, 11-, 12-year-old little heads, but like Bugs Bunny cartoons, there was enough har-dee-har-har business to keep us highly amused.
It was funny but not crude. OK, just a little crude, but nothing in comparison to South Park. At any rate, Mad certainly wasn't banned - even in our Southern Baptist households. I do wonder if our parents ever secretly read the thing when we weren't around. Hmmmm.
And that Alfred E. Newman was such a rebel, eh? "What, me worry?" certainly ran counter to the bomb shelter, hiding under school desks mentality of the day. He gave us permission to forget about the USSR, homework, and ironing our button-down Gant shirts for just a little while. Thank you, Al.
It's heartening to know that both Cuz's and my reading tastes have matured over the years. Still, I wish I could get my hands on one or two of those Mads from my youth. I'll bet they would dredge up all kinds of memories. I suspect Cuz, Lil Sis, and I could launch right into one of those song parodies, if we only had the words . . .