What, Me Wsrry?
Google 0, RIKL 1
If you're my age, lived in New York City as a youth, and were nerdish, then Mad Magazine was your companion during those trying times. Delete any of those conditions and there's still a good chance that the visage of Alfred E. Neuman haunts you to this very day. <confession> I never really "got" Alfred E. Neuman. Sure, he has a goofy expression and is very half-witty, but Mad, I felt, transcended this plebian mascot. Never mind; I'm sure I'm wrong. </confession>
As usual, this isn't the subject of this blog item, which is, depending on your orientation, Morse Code, or the all-knowing Google. For whatever misguided reason, I was thinking of the first, when I suddenly remembered a short, ancient bit in Mad. I don't think it was an article, but rather a side piece, sort of on the order of Arthur the Avocado Tree. It had the quotation, in Morse Code, thus:
"It was Samuel F. B. Morse who said: .-- .... .- - -- . .-- ... .-. .-. -.-- "
You needn't decode it yourself. The text (with additional punctuation) is the title of this blogitem. Needless to say, some wise-guy reader offered a correction in a subsequent letter.* His correction was, paraphrased, "You fools, it was Samuel F.B. Morse who said "What Me Worry," not "What Me Wsrry." Of course the Mad rejoinder was, phrased with even more para, "No, it was Alfred E. Neuman who said "What Me Worry. Morse said "Wsrry." Although I have a mind like a steel sieve, this tidbit somehow got lodged in one of its metal seams, since I seem to have remembered it for roughly half a century. After some long decayed neuron got a shot of GABA, it popped into my alleged mind and I decided to look it up on the all-knowing Google.
Nothing. Bing? Nothing! Wikipedia? Plenty of Mad, but nothing to wsrry about. I suppose that as long as there is PVC tubing and nitrogen in the air, someone somewhere will have a pristine issue of Mad and be able to find the issues that contained this dialog. But until this blog is picked up by the search engines, it will exist in my warped mind (and now yours) in rhythmic solitude.
Dave Barry Reprints
One of my favorite humorists, sadly eschewing writing his weekly column in favor of more lucrative books, had a Q and A about airlines in a recent reprint of an old column. One concern I have always had was cleared up.
Q: What is that thumping noise you sometimes hear
*Although I have had two letters published in the Wall Street Journal, I have never had the privilege of seeing one in Mad Magazine. I need to question my priorities more.