Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Popeye: My Struggle With Illiteracy

Hey, everybody! Bet you never thought you’d see Popeye's name on a blog, hey? It was my grandson’s idea! Anyway...

The other night I was dining with Garfield and the dad from For Better or For Worse (whom I don’t care for), when the subject of regret came up. Garfield told us that his biggest regret was never getting to know his son, who now works as a gender-bending multimedia artist in Berlin. The father from For Better or For Worse told us that he’ll never forgive himself for accepting the role of the father in For Better or For Worse. We all laughed!

It was now my turn. I think it’s fair to say that neither of my dining companions was ready for what Popeye was about to unload on them. “My biggest regret,” I said, winking painfully, “is illiteracy.“

That’s right. I, Popeye, was 58-years-old before I learned to read. You see, back when I was making my name as a sailor man in the early 1930s, reading was the last thing on my mind. I was too busy learning about boats and trying to keep Bluto from assaulting my girlfriend to focus on education.

My dining companions, coming from a more educated generation of silly characters, were shocked. But I insisted that I was merely a product of my time. All the great comic strip characters were illiterate: Li’l Abner, Dick Tracy, Betty Boop. Why, even Charlie Brown died never knowing how to spell his name (God save his ignorant soul.)

Illiteracy almost killed me, too. One night, 25 years ago, I ate a can of spinach for supper—at least, I thought it was a can of spinach. Unable to read the label, I didn’t know that I was actually eating a can of green paint. God bless Olive Oyl. If she hadn’t been home to call the Coast Guard, I wouldn’t be alive today.

And that's when I decided to learn to read. I love doing it. These days, I hardly ever eat paint! I can even read my own comic strips now, with help from my tutor, Mr. Consaglio.

As I finished my tale, Garfield and the father from For Better or For Worse rose from their seats and we all hugged in the restaurant. I was touched... until that idiot from For Better or for Worse ruined the beautiful moment with one of his "hilarious" farts.

I hate the father from For Better or for Worse.


  1. Illiteracy means inability to read and write. It is the root cause of ignorance which frustrates all development efforts of the government and the community. Eradication of illiteracy in a country like Bangladesh with so vast a population is undoubtedly a gigantic task. It is the social responsibility of all the literate people. men and women.To make some concerted efforts to remove illiteracy from society. The government of Bangladesh has already undertaken some important Programs in this regard. To provide primary education for at least 70 percent of children of six to ten years of age by the end of 1990. The government has launched a pro gramme called the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Project. There is another education program in which each primary school in a community is to be regarded as a Community Learning Center (CLC). The objective is to involve increasingly the parents and the members of the community in the educational activities of the school. The adults and the out-of-school youths will come to the school in the afternoon or in the evening after their work. Here they will receive not only basic education but also practical training in their vocations. The mass media, especially radio TV and newspapers can play a vital role in marking the people more conscious of the importance of literacy in the life of a nation. They can broadcast and publish regular features on various aspects of basic education. adult education and mass literacy.

  2. It's always nice to hear from a fan!

  3. You are providn' a vallyuable soivoice, Popye! Our Hero!
    Ps. I can't find my other construction boot fer the lifa me. you seen my boot?
    - Olive