Ongoing political debates. Looming ecological threats. It’s hard to escape the uneasiness of some news.
As a reporter I often see things at the ground level whether at a house fire or in local politics. It’s not always pretty or easy. It can make me angry or sad or a mix of emotions. But when I read a newspaper, I often go for the “feel good” first.
When I get a Peninsula Daily News, I often turn to the funny pages first and start with the “The Family Circus.”
I grew up with collections of Bil Keane’s comic strip, carried on by his son Jeff, and continued to read it in various papers growing up. The strip is cute and cheesy at times, but it resonates because of those small, familiar moments in life that make you smile.
As I’ve become a father, the comic takes on a new meaning. The cute moments for Billy, Dolly and company echo my sons’ one-liners, and silly situations for the parents feel all too familiar.
Life isn’t always filled with peaches and cream, but I find the “The Family Circus” is a perfect daily dose of escapism. It’s a snapshot of family, childhood, parenthood, life and death, and more.
Growing up, several “Family Circus” strips crafted my early idea of heaven: my late family members would sit on a cloud in robes watching my daily actions. In retrospect, I’m guessing it’d be boring watching me play Nintendo so much.
“The Family Circus” aside, the point of this column wasn’t intended to be a love letter to comics. It was more of a chance to share some moments of escapism and let you into a few of the little moments of my family.
So, let’s go to the Nash funnies.
5-year-old son: How do you spell “A?”
Son: How do you spell “W?”
Son: How do you spell “Z?”
Dad: You just did.
Son: *continues for several more minutes going through most of the alphabet.
Son: How do you spell “FBI?”
7-year-old son: I’ve encountered a lot of mysteries I’ve had to solve.
Son: Yeah, the case of the ripped book and the case of the missing lid off the crayon tub.
Mom: Have you solved them?
Son: No, but I narrowed the book ripping to one suspect. I heard the page rip, and when I looked over, I saw one person.
5-year-old son: Mom, how old are you?
Son: You’re older than me?!
5-year-old son: Who is Abe Lincoln?
Dad: *shows him picture.
Son: Oh, yeah. I saw him on a debate.
5-year-old son: Do skunks eat meat?
Dad: That’s a good question.
Son: I bet they eat toots.
7-year-old son: Grandma, let’s get the rest of your snow village taken down.
Grandma: How sweet of you to offer to help.
Son: Well, all the good toys and the Lego table are under that table!
5-year-old son: Michael Gordon is the best.
Mom and Dad: Who?
Son: Michael Gordon!
Mom and Dad: Never heard of him.
Son: The basketball player.
Mom and Dad: Oh, Michael Jordan!
Son: No, Gordon!
Mom and Dad: Pretty sure you mean Jordan.
Son: Nope, it’s Michael Gordon. Bob said so!
5-year-old son: Dad?
Dad: Uh huh?
Son: I love you!
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.