Does the course of young love ever run smoothly? I sure hope not, because otherwise romance comics would be pretty dull! Here's one we like to call "The Tragic Truth."

Of course we like to call it "The Tragic Truth" because that is actually the name of the story, which opens with two college freshmen meeting each other at the beginning of their freshman year of college and immediately deciding that they are in total and forever love and need to immediately be committed to one another right away, and they'll never ever change their minds ever. I think we can all see some tragic headed their way.

Mary COULD be dating Chuck Conners, the football captain and future star of TV's "Rifleman", but no, she likes quiet, dull, slippers-and-pipe Frankie! None of those rough, tough he-men for Mary! Why, she's a freshman in college so she knows everything there is to know about men! Nothing can ever come between her and her Frankie whose love will be eternal and forever. OR WILL IT

Whoops! Looks like clouds of heartbreak and tragedy are looming over Frankie and Mary! He's taking back his frat pin! What does it mean? Why Frankie, why?

Oh, it was to replace it with an engagement ring. That's even better! And of course she cries because that's what all women do when they get engaged, according to the female type woman who no doubt wrote this comic. No doubt.

But wait, into her engaged life comes a big, blonde, brawny, male-type man, who with one careless shove sends her reeling with uncontrollable feelings of kissing and things! Closer... closer...

"Oh, that guy you just met, Mary? That's Ronald! His family is fabulously wealthy, and as you can see he's handsome and athletic as all get out! Yes, Ronald certainly is quite a wonderful guy. Certainly more appealing than anyone you may happen to be engaged to. Well, no matter."

Mary's mom warned her again and again about taking rides in cars with strange men, but there she is, taking a ride in a car with a strange man, who doesn't seem to be able to take "no" for an answer. I can't wait for the 1950s to be over.

One way to impress the ladies is to tell them about all the great "rubdowns" you get on your dad's yacht. That lets them know that your family is rich and that you're comfortable with expressing your desires in a straightforward manner.

Whoops, she tripped right into his face!

And now comes the hard part, breaking up with your fiance. Maybe if you had dated around BEFORE you got engaged in your freshman year, all this heartbreak could have been avoided, but no, you can't tell these kids anything. Frankie seems to be taking it well, though.

But in an even more tragic turn of events, Ronald ditches Mary just before graduation! Why, Ronald has his whole future to think about as junior partner of his father's business, the International Gun Company! He'll be selling arms to governments and rebel groups all over the world, he can't think about marriage right now! Yes Mary, that's the guy you turned down a sure thing for, a lying, cheating merchant of death. Satisfied now?

And in an even more amazing turn of events, it's revealed that Ronald is actually from a poor family and was pretending to be rich his entire four years of college. That's right Mary, he was lying to you this whole time. And how does Mary take this news? "Where is he? Take me to him!"

And in an EVEN MORE CONFUSING turn of events, we find out that MARY's father owns the International Gun Company!! So when Ronald was giving her the big speech earlier about how HIS father owns the International Gun Company, why wasn't Mary saying "Hey, wait a minute...?"

But it doesn't matter to Mary, who wastes not a minute getting married to the big handsome serial liar. Hey, just because he spent his college career perpetuating a giant hoax is no reason to think he won't be honest and truthful in the future! I predict a long and happy marriage for Ronald and Mary and the International Gun Company, no matter WHOSE father owns it.