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Grumpy, old, crotchety Maxine cartoon wins hearts as John Wagner mocks every lady

Updated on June 8, 2012
Wisdom of the ages.
Wisdom of the ages. | Source

Don't you just love her?

You yank a greeting card from its envelope and her bespeckled eyes see straight into your soul. Who is this woman, this woman of pursed lips and bag lady dress? It's the ever popular Maxine, of course!

I perused the card stack at my local Safeway last week, searching for a card that might bring a smile to my twenty-something nephew's worn face and what made me laugh? Maxine talking about family values, i.e., "Anyone for family values doesn't know my family!"

I opened my email yesterday, rife with political emails. In the midst of the heap was a forward from my buddy in New Jersey. It was Maxine admonishing me, "Shh, that's the sound of nobody caring what you think!"

She even has personal check designs, i.e., "I tried paying my bills with a smile. They wanted money" and "Money talks to me. It says 'so long, sucker!'"

Maxine makes me laugh because there is no pretension in her aura. She is who she is and, like the best of comedians, she attacks me where I live. I can't help burst into chortles when her outrageous statements hit close to home.

The Maxine Code

Wisdom from Maxine

More Maxine Wisdom

It's not menopause... I'm just like this!

I was shopping for my mother's birthday card and came upon this gift book, copyrighted by Hallmark in 2003: It's Not Menopause... I'm just like this. Maxine's Guide to Aging Disgracefully. Inside this book, she claims, "Books (are) a nice change from reading prescription labels."

She made me feel much better about my recurring memory loss: "Forgetfulness means you can watch a movie over and over again as if you'd never seen it before."

And Maxine expresses a positive twist to the current economic crisis: "At my age, checks are the only things I've got that bounce."

I had to purchase this book, although I'm not sure it will make it into the hands of my 81 year old mother. I am not sure I can live without the dear laughs I get when I read, "Maybe being our age isn't so bad. And maybe cake doesn't have calories. Maybe gray hair is in. Maybe all size 5's are unhappy on the inside."

I figure I need someone with this perspective as I step onto the final pathway of my life. Isn't laughter the final frontier?

Maxine and other cartoons

John Wagner created her for Shoebox

John Wagner modeled the crabby old lady after his mom, grandmother and unmarried aunts.

Wouldn't you love to be the inspiration for such a crotchety creation?

Soon, Maxine took over the strip, making penetrating, yet hysterical remarks about pretty much everything.

And now, she is an irreverent legend.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men!

© 2008 Barbara


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    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Jaye, you are so kind! Wonder what she would say to a hail storm? I had my attempt at humor on my photo essay hub- Hail to the Chief, lol. Literal hail, of course!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I do love Maxine, the curmudgeon! She often says what I might think but not say aloud. And you are so right that she delves into the world of aging and makes us laugh about its indignities...especially those of us who are living what she describes in her pithy comments.

      Good hub....I look forward to working my way through your other writings as I find time to do so.

    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Phoenixritu, I will have to check out your blog- thanks!

      karen, what a fun idea! Good luck.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am a fan also, I am busy collecting Maxine items for my age 50+ life.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love Maxine too, she finds a special place in my blog

    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      RNSMN, you must have hit this hub when I was in the midst of preparing my youngest for college. Thanks for stopping by and reading my work.

      Giselle, thank you! Click on Title Ideas or whatever that new aide is called. It gives you all sorts of words to shape into something relevant, haha. It's like writing a line of poetry!

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 

      8 years ago

      I love your headline for this hub.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      8 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I love her too shes too honest, too real, too much...all the things that get mself in trouble!!!!

    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Thanks for stopping by, k@ri!  Maxine's cards provide hours of free entertainment for those looking to pass the time at your local grocery store during troubled times... today for example!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      I love Maxine! She hits me where I live, also...and manages to hit my funny-bone each time!

    • Storytellersrus profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Thanks, Jeff. I was researching my latest Hub- "You who are on the road communicate a code" and found this Maxine bumper sticker...


      Send me an email at

      She is abrasive, but that would make me laugh in traffic!

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Gotta love Maxine!


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