Friday, March 14, 2008

On The Lighter Side

I'm rerunning these Prozac Palace posts with the hope that anyone who needs to read this sort of thing will find it.
The material will also form part of my memoir. Offering it out is difficult, but necessary. Responses are probably also difficult, and not required, but they are appreciated.
From June 2007:

Can good things come out of mental illness?

Certainly they can. It varies from person to person of course, and it depends on what you do with what life hands you.

For me, my sister’s illness led to reading. I bought my first science fiction paperback at one of her sessions and was later introduced to Mad Magazine.

If memory serves my sister’s first visits to a psychiatrists began in the spring of 1968. I went along and waited in building lobby with an aunt. I can’t recall if there was drugstore or what, but there was a rack with paperbacks. I went over to it a few times. Eventually I decided on E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Masters of the Vortex. I never did finish reading it. It was the final installment of a series that I’d never heard of and wasn’t invested in. That doesn’t matter. I loved science fiction from that moment forward.

It seems to me that Dawn saw this psychiatrist for about a year. Her problems were eventually written off as growing pains (or so I was told) and she didn’t get any further help for several years.

Back to the good point. One fine day in the winter following the sessions my mom came home with Mad Magazine. Both parents had read it and both were smiling. They thought it was hilarious. It was and I was hooked.

From that day until sometime in my 20s I faithfully bought every issue. Its satire has stuck with me. Every so often I’ll recall a movie song or TV show title they skewered and smile.

Yes, it reminds me of life with Dawn. But it’s a good memory. Without her insanity I wouldn’t have been exposed to Mad.
Notes on the republishing of this post.
It didn’t literally lead to reading. I was already an avid reader. It affirmed my love of the written word and books gave me somewhere to go.
My use of “One fine day” and the post title “One The Lighter Side” are made with a very deep, reverential bow to Mad Magazine.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I have such fond memories of Mad Magazine! I think it was my first subscription.

I read somewhere it's readership was overwhelmingly male--maybe we were the only two girls out there who were addicted.

Leah J.Utas said...

Maybe so, Crabby. And I consider myself in stellar company.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Not quite the only two.

Me! Me! I loved Mad Magazine.


Leah J.Utas said...

dfTerrie - Glad to have you aboard.
Good to see more of us mad about Mad.

Reb said...

I only ever saw a few Mad Mags around and I'm pretty sure they were not in our house. Those I did chance to see I did enjoy though.

Leah J.Utas said...

They were awfully funny, Reb. Glad you've seen at least a few of them.

the Bag Lady said...

The Bag Lady only read a few Mad magazines, too, and she thinks they were at Leah's house!!

Leah J.Utas said...

You're probably right, df Bag Lady.

Michael said...

I remember Mad Magazine's parody of Star Wars (A New Hope). Hilarious.

Fantasy and sci-fi have always been my refuge.

Leah J.Utas said...

Ah, yeah. Princess Laidup, if memory serves.
Science fiction and fantasy were mine, too, Michael.

Michael said...

Oh, Leah, I hope you don't mind, but I've tagged you. Feel free to ignore it if you want.

Dawn said...

I always feel a compulsive need to cry out "I'm not the Dawn in your post."

Am not familiar with Mad Magazine. But I'm mad! I can hear hubbie outside chainsawing a branch off the fig tree! I told him to wait until it has fruited.

Tsk! Men! (You have to imagine the toss of the head!)

Leah J.Utas said...

Certainly you are by no stretch that Dawn.
As for your hubby, well, a man who needs to do some chainsawing will not put it off.