Short Story Month: Food, sports, and sexual tension

Cathy (Short Story Month #21)

There’s much bravery to be found on the comics page — the criticism of the military industrial complex that is Beetle Bailey, the tribute to bed-wetters that is Marvin, the acceptance of psychological counselling that is Peanuts. But no strip has ever reached the heights of courage as Cathy in its prime. Unlike those other cartoons that only paid lip service to the subtext, Cathy alone was unafraid to put its theme up front: women are, to a one, crazed weight fetishists who are slaves to that baffling hormone known as estrogen.

Men, meanwhile, like sports.

Thus we find Cathy and Irving, the original odd couple, once again trading barbs about each other’s nonsensical gender traditions. This battle of the sexes can only end one way: in a Nine 1/2 Weeks-style kitchen sex party. Cathy will get her food, Irving will “win” the sexual Olympics, and détente is achieved for another evening.