Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Raise your hand if you've ever heard of Muggs. In case you can't read the fine print below his picture it says: "Nobody knew exactly what was the matter with him".
Actually, Muggs is kind of famous. I've seen t-shirts and mugs with his likeness on them. Muggs was an airedale that belonged to the family of James Thurber, who is one of my favorite authors. Muggs was known for biting people. In fact, Thurber says that every Christmas his mother gave a box of candy to every person who was bitten by Muggs that year.
Among other things, Thurber is known for his drawings of dogs. Here are two more:
I grew up with his stories and drawings. They were a fixture of my childhood. They were a genius of funny. "The Night The Bed Fell"; "The Night The Ghost Got In"; and "The Day The Dam Broke". They all featured his experiences growing up in Columbus, Ohio. If you have never read these stories and you like to laugh, you must look them up.
According to Wikipedia, he was best known for his stories and cartoons in The New Yorker magazine. But I know him best through two books: The Thurber Carnival and My Life and Hard Times.
His cartoons are priceless. This one is accompanied by the caption "Electricity was leaking all over the house". It goes with a story about his grandmother, who was convinced that any socket without a bulb in it was leaking dangerous electricity.
I think this one could have inspired Monty Python:
He really tickles my funny bone!