The comic strip "Agnes", which I read daily in the Chicago Tribune, makes me laugh regularly. It has been killing me this week, though. If you don't read it, Agnes is a schoolgirl with enormous feet who lives in a trailer home with her grandmother. She doesn't have a lot, but her mind is always working and she comes up with some strange ideas. Anyway, for the past few days Agnes has been concerned about spontaneous human combustion and is convinced that she is seconds away from bursting into flames. In today's strip she has rigged a portable shower system that connects to her body and will activate should it detect any sparks.
I realize that it is always hard to accurately describe in words what something looks like in pictures, and I'm sure it doesn't seem as funny as I think it is. What makes me laugh about it is the memory of having a discussion about SHC with a friend sometime in the early 80's who doubted the existence of this phenomenon and came up with several hilarious scenarios where it might occur. I believe coming home from the grocery store with a bag of marshamellows was deemed the absolute best time for one to spontaneously combust.
I love the fact that a comic I read in 2004 takes me back to an obscure occurence on my life from over twenty years ago. I sometimes wonder if I remember way too much for my own good, though anything that makes me laugh is a welcome distraction.
And I've noticed lately that whenever I talk about comics with someone, that the person tells me that they don't read them. When I was a kid I thought all adults read the comics based on the way my father hoarded the Sunday comics as soon as he walked into the house with the paper. It was always a challenge to see if someone could abscond with them before he noticed.
And today, as I near the age of 37, the first thing I read on Sunday is the comics.