Pogo and friends speak words of wisdom

Burt's Eye View

“We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities.”

So commented Walt Kelly, the genius behind “Pogo,” one of the all-time great newspaper comic strips featuring both satire and wordplay.

Pogo Possum, Churchy LaFemme, Porky Pine and the rest of the Okefenokee Swamp gang butchered common phrases and skewered current events in the strip nationally syndicated from 1949 to 1975. I read it as a kid with my Grandpa Art.

Comic strips serve as a major source of the research I put into these weekly epistles. As I studied for this week’s pontifications, I realized there wasn’t much I could offer that Albert Alligator, Dr. Howland Owl or Congressman Frog hadn’t already observed, only wittier.

Here, then, I present some classic Walt Kelly “Pogo” quotes from through the years:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” — Pogo Possum

“Don’t take life so serious, son. It ain’t no how permanent.” — Porky Pine

“The best break anybody ever gets is in bein’ alive in the first place. An’ you don’t unnerstan’ what a perfect deal it is until you realizes that you ain’t gone be stuck with it forever, either.” — Porky Pine

• I been readin’ ’bout how maybe they is planets peopled by folks with ad-vanced brains. On the other hand, maybe we got the most brains. Maybe our intellects is the universe’s most ad-vanced. Either way, it’s a mighty soberin’ thought.” — Porky Pine

“Having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts.”

“If you can’t win, don’t join them; learn how to lose.”

“Looking back on things, the view always improves.”

“I’ll tell you, son, the minority got us out-numbered!” — Congressman Frog

“The natural born reason we didn’t git no yew-ranium when we crosses the li’l yew tree and the gee-ranium is on account of cause we didn’t have no geiger counter.” — Dr. Howland Owl

“Halp! My powerful brain is blowed itself up!” — Albert Alligator in a thinking contest after Howland fires the starting gun

“Y’see, when you start to lick a national problem you have to go after the fundamentables. You want to cut down air pollution? Cut down the original source — breathin!” — Churchy

• Albert: “I’d give them a piece of my mind if I could find it! I mean, them!”

Porky Pine: “Y’know, ol’ Albert leads a life of noisy desperation.”

“What’s good about March? Well, for one thing, it keeps February and April apart.”

“A lump in the throat is worth two on the head.”

• Pogo: “Eventual Porky, I figger ev’ry critter’s heart’s in the right place.”

Porky: “If you gotta be wrong ’bout somthin’, that’s ’bout the best thing they is to be wrong ’bout.”

• And, because it’s that time of year, here’s one of the many versions of “Deck the Halls” the gang caroled over the years:

“Deck us all with Boston Charlie

“Walla Walla, Wash, and Kalamazoo!

“Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,

“Swaller dollar cauliflower Alleygaroo!

“Don’t we know archaic barrel,

“Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou.

“Trolley Molly don’t love Harold,

“Boola Boola Pensacoola Hullabaloo!”

Pogo, we salute you.

— Quote Cole at burtseye view@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonW Cole on Twitter.


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