Next Page: Mary, quite the contrary

And now, a completely different perspective

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ome people love "Mary Worth." Some people hate it. And some people love to hate Mary Worth, the comic and the character. Shaler resident BOB BRAUGHLER, a 44-year-old father of two, has been detailing his near-obsession with Mary Worth (among other topics) on his blog -- "Subdivided We Stand" -- since 2003. Here, he summarizes what it is about Mary that makes him hate himself for loving her:

To truly appreciate "Mary Worth," you have to embrace the fact that the title character is not -- in spite of her frequently stated self-opinion -- a nice person.

Oh, sure, she LOOKS like a kindly, dignified older woman -- just the sort who'd be a perfect sounding board for your problems. And don't get me wrong -- she'll listen. Oh, by God, she'll listen, absorbing every minute detail of your sad, pathetic life:

"What's that? You recently lost a loved one? Here, child, have a nice, stiff drink with a vacuous platitude for a chaser. There, there. Have another. You deserve it, poor thing.

"All boozed up and depressed now? OK, then. I'm off to bed. I'll just leave you alone with your booze and your misery. Oh, and my precious, precious ceramic swans that my late husband made on his deathbed. I'll just leave them teetering here on the edge of the table -- they'll keep you company. 'Night!"

And that's when it happens. In your boozy state, you break the swans -- and that's when you realize that you're just another victim of Mary Worth, Misery Vampire. She has you, and there's no escape. The woman has a gravitational pull equal, at least, to that of Jupiter.

Human despair is to Mary Worth what giant artery-busting sandwiches are to Dagwood Bumstead, or beating the snot out of a bad guy is to Spider-man. It's what gives meaning to their pathetic little lives.

Take that nice young Tommy Beedle for example. Sure, he was just out of the joint, but he had two things going for him -- a giant bucket of fried chicken, and a dream! (His very own meth lab!)

But sadly, Tommy's remained a dream unfulfilled. The lad was busted before he could even complete his first sale. Now some might say that Tommy's fatal mistake was just marching up to the first person he saw and asking him if he wanted some drugs -- but c'mon now. The lad was showing some initiative, and all it gets him is a trip back into the pokey.

And then there's last summer's hero, Aldo Kelrast. Picture a drunken, lustful Captain Kangaroo with a serious thing for our Mary. But you weren't content with just breaking his heart, were you Mare?

Nope. You had to rip the poor man's heart right out of his chest, and show it to him, still beating. After that, it was all downhill for poor Aldo. Or down-cliff, more accurately, right to a smoldering death in a 1988 Chrysler K-Car.

But at least he managed to escape Mary's clutches, though. Unlike me. I'm still here, still turning to the next-to-last page of the paper, first thing every morning, for my daily dose of gettin' my Mary's Worth.

RETURN TO MAIN STORY

Bob Braughler's blog is www.braughler.net . Go to the " Mary Worth " category for his collected work.


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