Sunday, September 20, 2009
The cover is a bit beat up, and the internal content is all a re-hash of previously published items, but I had to pick this up. The entire title is America The Beautiful: A Collection of the Nation's Trashiest Humor, but there's very little even remotely adult about the comedy therein. This is publication number 2048 of The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, originally published in 1970. The book consists of thirty comics, from the funny pages like B.C., and some from the editorial pages of publications from the New Yorker to Cleveland Plain Dealer, all focusing on the problem of waste disposal. Amusingly, about half have something to do with outer space, especially with moon-men discouraging us from mucking up their home. I won't be able to read my copy in its entirety, though — several pages are torn out, and a few others are stained. Much to the enjoyment of the people who prepared this book, it has not ended up in the trash: I bought it for seventy-five cents at a local thrift shop, one of the best mechanisms to avoid throwing out trash that doesn't need to be trash. I can, amazingly, read the publication in its entirety online at the EPA's website.