Who reads "Rex Morgan, MD"?

So one of my duties as the Xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx at Xxxx Xxxxxx Feature Animation is to pin up the comics in the 3rd floor men's room above the urinal each morning.

Yup. I kid you not. The comics. Who could make this stuff up?

You know what I mean, you've all been to one of those TGI Fridays-type restaurants that pins up the box scores from the Sports page in the bathroom. Gives you something to read while you go. It's kind of plussing the guest experience, if you will.

It's just that instead of reading the Dodger stats, our Xxxxxxxxx likes to read "Baby Blues".

Apparently it's been this way for years. Recently I found a document titled "Xxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Duties" that was written by the guy who was promoted out of this job in the summer of 1997, back when I was a lowly intern. The first duty, in lovely bold, is Comics. Yup. Right off the bat this is, and has always been, my most important task.

And I went to college for this.

But I digress. My real point is, who the hell reads "Rex Morgan, MD"?

I remember in the summers when I was little I would always read the comics. Back when "Calvin and Hobbs" was at the top of its game. "Garfield" was still funny. "Mother Goose and Grimm" competed with "Frank and Ernest" and "The Far Side" and "Robotman" for my attention. You know, I don't want to sound like an old man, but comics were better back in the day. You kids today, with your "Jeff MacNelly's Shoe by Chris Cassatt & Gary Brookins" and your "Over the Hedge" and your "9 Chickweeed Lane" ...

Comics today suck.

Again I digress.

Who reads "Rex Morgan, MD"?

I used to think the comics were for the kids. Like, 99.9% of the paper is for adults, and the two pages of comics is kids only. Sure, they put some stuff for adults - the Bridge section, the Horoscopes and like, "Mary Worth" and "Sally Forth" (who're related like Dear Abby and Ann Landers ... right?). "Doonsbury" was for the hippies. "Dilbert" was for the pathetic office workers droning on in their horrible, sad lives like so many cattle waiting for the inevitable slaughter. the rest was kids only.

But now as an adult (don't you snicker ... I heard snickering!), I realize that most of the comics are just filler. You read your favorite one or two strips and move on. So our President can read his "Baby Blues" and be done. or I can read Aaron McGruder's "Boondocks" while I tinkle. And that's it.

Sure, I'd like to have Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" or "Red Meat" in my local paper and not in the weekly hippy news, but what can I do?

Again - digressing.

"Rex Morgan, MD". Created by an Arizona psychiatrist in 1948. You know, that's never a good idea when a psychiatrist creates a comic strip. Especially one that's been running since 1948. Already I sense bad here.

King Features Syndicate justifies the strip as "not only as an exciting and entertaining comic strip, but also as an educational tool: a comic strip that would heighten the awareness of readers about the importance of modern medicine."

Yeah. They're pretty clueless - they also think that 30 million people read "Rex Morgan, MD" each day.

I'm not one of those 30 million readers. I've never read it - before last Thursday, that is. Check this out:

Bam, the words "breakfast" and "beer" (enboldened and italicized, no less!) caught my eye. I ended up enlarging the middle panel 400% and put it on my wall at work. It's just so seedy, so odd and random that I love it. Just look at the dude's tongue!

And now I read "Red Morgan, MD".

Okay, I don't really. I just thought that'd be a good end to this bit. You know, like how on "GI Joe" you learned something new at the end of the episode, since knowing is half the battle. Or like on "DuckTales" when they ended each show with a little joke so every character laughed. I wanted something neat to end with.

"Who the hell reads 'Red Morgan, MD'?" "Why, I the hell read 'Red Morgan, MD'!"

Yeah, it's lame, but kinda funny, too. Right? I mean, I am right, right?

I just wanted you to learn something new. Since knowing is half the battle.

Okay, okay, that was lame too. And very tacked on. Heck, I didn't even mention "GI Joe" until a few paragraphs before. It's like amateur night at the zoo. Why even try at this point?


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