What? Me Worry?

Kelly Freas, who for years drew Alfred E. Neuman for Mad magazine, died yesterday. You remember Mad, it came before the TV show. Before the web site. Yes, it was even before Paul McCartney’s pre-Wings band. Hell, it was even before The Nation appropriated Alfred’s grin for George W. Bush. Just the other day the name Fester Carbuncle came to mind — please, don’t ask why — and I’m pretty sure it was a character out of Mad. Probably from Don Martin. Hey, it’s been a long time. But these things stick in our minds, cluttering it up and leaving little room for anything important like phone numbers, shopping lists, and our middle names. Some days I’m sure if one more thing sticks in my head my social security number’s going to fall out the other side. To this day when I walk into a bathroom with a paper towel dispenser that has a lever to unwind it off a roll I think of the Mad cartoon where the man walks into a bathroom and sees the sign that says, “Pull down. Tear up” so he does — he pulls down the dispenser and tears it up. You had to be there.

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