Reading funnies isn’t a gormless activity |

Reading funnies isn’t a gormless activity

Nancy O. Hayden

I’ve read the comic page of the newspaper since I was able to sound out the words. However, as an adult I was slightly embarrassed to be caught immersed in the “funnies” and would read them in privacy. I felt that somehow it would be perceived as a waste of time – that I should be spending my time reading something with more “value” and expanding my mind.

No more! Laughing is good for a person both physically and mentally and I have discovered that in addition to being entertaining comics can be educational.

Two recent strips of One Big Happy by Rick Detorie included words that sent me to the dictionary. In one, 6-year-old Ruthie was attending Story Hour at the library and the “library lady” asked if anyone knew what comfits are. Ruthie, in her usual know-it-all manner, piped up with her explanation that they are baggy britches for people with big bottoms. She was incorrect, but I sure didn’t know what they are. So, the first trip to the dictionary added to my vocabulary as I discovered that a comfit is a candy or sweetmeat, especially a candied fruit or nut. Betcha not many of you knew that, either!

The second strip had Ruthie observing, while her grandpa visited with Avis, an obnoxious, busy-body neighbor lady. The woman was telling Gramps that someone had said she was “gormless” and she loudly insisted that she had never been lacking gorm. “When I was younger I had a lot more of it. But, that’s when gorm was gorm,” she spouted. When Grampa asked Avis to explain what gorm is she replied, “I don’t know but I’ve got plenty of it!”

My second trip to the dictionary, thanks to One Big Happy, helped me learn that someone who is gormless is slow-witted or stupid.

I haven’t used these words in conversation, yet, but I’m waiting for an opportunity to say thank you for the delicious comfit or call someone gormless – if, indeed, they are.

My favorite comics are about animals like Garfield, Carlyle or Marmaduke or cute, precocious children, but I enjoy anything I find humorous.

So, I plan to continue having my chuckle every monrning and if I increase my vocabulary at the same time, that’s even better. You may even catch me perusing the comic page in plain sight!

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.