The Boy Who Loved Christmas

I guess that’s not a very creative title. Lots of people love Christmas. I’m one of them, but I’m not a boy anymore. I’m 52 years old. I still love Christmas.

At the risk of drawing the ire of my Christian friends, I’ll confess that it has little to do with the Christian aspects of the holiday. It’s not that I discount that. That’s just not the hook for me. (Feel free to post your scathing comments below. I also don’t think there is a War on Christmas. Even if there is, Christmas won.

So, here’s what I like:


I have to be honest: I like getting gifts. Admit it–you do, too. I won’t even return bad gifts. I just keep them. Really, I don’t think there are any bad gifts, just unsuitable ones. They way I look at it, no one has to give me anything. I should appreciate the effort.

Okay, sometimes I’ll give one of my gifts to someone else, but I never “re-gift.” I’ll just say: “Hey, someone gave me this, and I can’t use it. Do you want it?” Bourbon chocolates are a good example. Those are big here in Kentucky, and I don’t like them. I never have. Every year at Christmas, I’ll get boxes of them from various sources. If you’re not familiar with this confection, just imagine fudge drenched in bourbon. It’s an alcoholic’s idea of candy. (“Chocolate’s great, but you know what would make it better? BOOZE!!“). I just give them away. Fruit cake works the same way, except I can’t find anyone who wants that crap.

While I certainly appreciate the effort, despite no gift being bad, they’re not all good, either. Clothes are rarely good presents for me.  At I’m 5’ 8” and 160 pounds, I’m the wrong size for a typical American. I am, however, the perfect size for a middle weight boxer. Think about that: MIDDLE weight. This connotes a person of medium size, does it not? Why, then, do people insist upon buying me clothes designed for men twice my size? If a “large” size fits me, what size do actual LARGE men wear? I get sweaters that hang to my knees, shirt with sleeves falling below my hands and pants in which two of me can be stuffed. Even these grotesquely ill-fitting items are greatly appreciated, though. I try my best to wear them. I’ll hang on to them for a while, hedging my bets against being stricken with gigantism or morbid obesity. At some point, I’ll donate them to charities devoted to clothing behemoths.

With these limited exceptions, I like all gifts, especially if they are gift-wrapped. Socks, neck ties, cologne, fruit, books–you name it–I like them all. No one is obligated to give me anything, so it’s a nice gesture. Sometimes, I get great gifts. One year, my brother and I got like 10 G.I. Joes. I’ll never forget that. I got a baseball glove when I was 10. I still have it, too.

I also like giving gifts to people. In fact, I might like that more than receiving them. I don’t even care if you like the gift. My wife never likes my gifts, unless it’s something she has specifically identified, and I mean specifically. I need photos, serial numbers, model numbers, sizes, colors, etc. In fact, it’s most helpful if she just buys the gift herself. One year, I used a personal shopper to pick out maternity clothes. My wife hated all of them. The fact that she wasn’t pregnant may have contributed to that, but you get my point.

Christmas also makes me want to give money to worthy causes. Well, the tax deduction also motivates me, but it’s great that Christmas comes at the end of the calendar year when a giving spirit and greed combine so nicely.

It’s said that it is better to give than receive. I’m not sure about that, but they’re both fun.


Christmas music is great, too. Deck The Halls sounds good whether sung by Pat Boone or Twisted Sister. White Christmas? Bing Crosby, Elvis, Jewel, Leon Redbone—they all can nail it. All of us sing along when we hear these. We sing along to Good King Wenceslas, even though we don’t the words. We don’t know whether there are bells on Bob’s tail or Bobtail. Regardless, we cheerily sing along.

Naturally, not all the songs are great. During three or four Christmas seasons, my youngest son played Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer over and over (and over). I’ll admit that I found it humorous the first couple of dozen times. After that, it became tedious. It’s Cold Outside is a fairly new classic, but its tacit endorsement of date rape doesn’t put me in the holiday mood.

Then there are the Christmas Carolers. I don’t see them as much as in the past, but they still roam about. Maybe they focus more on hospitals and shut-ins. That’s for the best. Honestly, carolers make me a tad uncomfortable. I just stand there and watch them. Singing along seems unnecessary, inappropriate even. Just when I think they’re done, they sing another song. When they finally do finish, there’s an awkward moment of silence. I’m never sure if I should applaud, hand them money or just shut the door. The whole scene makes me uneasy.

Otherwise, Christmas music is always good. It puts me in the Christmas spirit, even if our radio stations start playing them in October. Once Christmas is over, I don’t want to hear them. It just makes think about how far we are from next Christmas.


If we’re honest, most of us will admit that we don’t remember a lot of details about childhood. Mostly, it’s just a highlight reel. I remember Christmas. The nerves and excitement bordered on terror. I had a friend who would stay awake all night, practically mad from excitement. He still talks about it. That’s Christmas to me. Christmas made me totally mental.

Even after I passed the Santa phase, I was still excited—maybe even more so. Without the North Pole bureaucracy, my chances of getting cool presents increased. I was a pretty good kid. Besides, I knew my parents didn’t have Santa’s unrealistic expectations regarding behavior.

I was fascinated when I realized that my parents got me all those presents. Certainly, it explained a lot. Now I knew how “Santa” figured out what I wanted. It answered my questions about the seemingly impossible logistics of covering the entire planet. Plus, I had come to realize that reindeer really could not fly. Elves, of courses, were just creepy.

But in those days of Santa, I was full-on believer for years. Sure, there was the Santa at the Sears catalog store whose red hair showed under his cheap wig. I dismissed him as one of Santa’s many “helpers.” That our chimney led straight to coal-burning furnace was no issue for me. I just assumed that Santa had the good sense to come through a window at our house.

I’ll admit that Santa also stressed me out. I worried about my behavior. Like most kids, I only focused on this as Christmas neared. I fretted that my transgressions from earlier in the year might cost me a G.I. Joe. What needless worry!

One year, I was so overcome with joy that I had to remove myself from the living room where Santa left our substantial take. I went the kitchen and promptly downed six glasses of milk to calm my nerves. Then, I vomited. Now, THAT’S excitement! I don’t puke on Christmas Day anymore. I miss that.

I’m glad to say that my own three sons picked up some of this from me. My middle son, in particular, was always so excited that he would cry when saw his gifts. Even now, as a young adult, I still see that he’s thrilled on Christmas Day. Nothing wrong with that.

I’m older now, even old some would say. I’ve passed from believing in Santa to being Santa to retiring as Santa. Regardless, I still get a thrill thinking about Christmas.


I’m one of the few who will admit that he likes the garish commercialization of Christmas–the advertising, the lights, the sparkle–all of it. Here’s what my house looks like:

We like to think we strike a delicate balance between festive and obnoxious.

We like to think we strike a delicate balance between festive and obnoxious.

We love it.

I like Christmas movies. I’ve seen Christmas Vacation a dozen times, at least. Elf is a new favorite. I even like Black Christmas, Bob Clark’s classic about a murderous lunatic. I am, however, one of the rare few who does not care for It’s A Wonderful Life. I find the whole thing depressing. Oh, sure, there’s the upbeat ending where George realizes everything is great. Up until that point, it’s like a barium enema–painful, uncomfortable and you just wish it would end. Just when you think it can get no worse, it does. That you ultimately get relief does little to erase the memories. I come away questioning whether George’s life is all that wonderful. Everyone else seems to love it. So, maybe it’s just me.

I know there are folks who don’t like Christmas. They tend to be vocal about it, too. I don’t care. I think I’m still the boy who loved Christmas, just older. In fact, I’ve spent most of my adult life feeling like a kid pretending to be an adult. That’s problematic in many areas of my life. In the case of Christmas, I’m okay with it.

© 2014

World War X-MAS

None of us will ever forget where we were and what we were doing when we heard that war had broken out against Christmas. Once the War on Christmas began, our lives were never the same.  Sorry to be a smart ass.  I can’t help it.

Are you a soldier in the War on Christmas?  If so, which army?  How’s it going?  Looks like Christmas is winning, but it depends on whom you ask.

As a matter of full disclosure, I must tell you that I like Christmas.  Check that.  I love Christmas.  I always have.  I’m tempted to lie and say that it’s because of some religious fervor that possesses me.  That’s not it.  I just love it.  The presents, music, decorations–all of it.  My house is a garish display of lights.  We buy our kids too much stuff and don’t care.


My home is a prime target for a drone strike in the War on Christmas

Once when I was about 6 years old, I got so fired up one Christmas morning that I sat down and drank like 6 glasses of milk.  Why?  I don’t know.  I just went mental.  I puked, too. I was totally unhinged with excitement. But, that was before the War.

Unlike most wars, this one creates debate about whether it even exists. The War even has its own website.  Not surprisingly, Fox News has its own web page devoted to the War.  If it’s on the Internet, it has to be real.  Even the Pope was accused of attacking Christmas by quite correctly pointing out that December 25 isn’t really Jesus’s birthday.  Others are just as adamant that there is no war. So, whether you are a far left atheist still mourning the untimely murder of Madeline Murray O’Hare or a hard right evangelical longing to feel the lash of religious persecution, there is a camp for you.

It is said that Christmas is a time for giving.  For many, it is a holy time to celebrate the savior of their religion. These folks, of course, are Christians.  Generally speaking, they’re good folks.  Like any religion, the loudest and most profane are typically front and center, giving a black eye to the larger flock.  Many Christians believe that there is a war being waged against Christmas.  I suppose it would be inappropriate to call it a Holy War, but they are convinced nonetheless that they are in the midst of a struggle to preserve Christmas.  I don’t doubt that they believe there is a war and that it must be fought tooth and nail.

Of all religious holidays, Christmas certainly has spawned its own secular division, with Santa Claus and the elves leading the way.  Evidently, we are so unlikely to freely give gifts to children that someone conceived that a fat man and a bunch of elf/slaves was more believable.  Flying reindeer, too.  For the most part, though, Santa and Jesus have peacefully coexisted.  Despite appearing to be the logical choice to lead this war, Santa seems to be sitting it out.  As a result, I’m not sure who leads this gang of misfit toys assailing Christmas.  I’ll just attribute it to the Liberal Elite.

If the War on Christmas has Commander in Chief for the defense, it may be Bill O’Reilly.  You know Bill.  He’s Fox News’s agent provocateur.  He developed the modern TV interview format where you ask a guest a question and then shout until he or she gives up trying to answer.  Bill sums up his view of the War as follows:

See, I think it’s all part of the secular progressive agenda — to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square. Because if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious- based, usually.

Wow.  Judaism?  Uh, Bill, Jews don’t think Jesus was the messiah.  Not sure what the point is on that one.  Of course, Bill’s larger point is that it’s part of a conspiracy to destroy society.  I’ll admit that Bill sees a lot of things in the world that I don’t, but he’s bound to be right sometimes.  Let’s take a closer look at the bloody front lines of the War.

Christmas greetings are controversial.  I don’t know anyone who is grossly offended by a greeting of “Merry Christmas!”  Now, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of home body and live an insular lifestyle.  Maybe there are people who curse and stomp and throw things when they hear this common holiday greeting.  If you’re one of those people, lighten up.  It’s no big deal.

What I DO hear a lot of is people offended by “Happy Holidays!”  It’s Christmas, damn you!  I know people SO offended by this they vow not to patronize businesses that dare to offend with this greeting.  Why?  I guess it’s because they’re afraid they’ll be euthanized after having a narcotics-induced abortion.  I don’t really know.

As always, children are also casualties of war.  On Facebook, this meme is making the rounds:

This is the world that many people inhabit. Anti-Christian thugs coming after our children

This hasn’t happened to my children–yet.  I realize that this cartoon is a bit a hyperbole used to illustrate some point.  My kids have always had parties at school around Christmas time.  Okay, they don’t officially call them Christmas parties, but that’s what the kids call them.  I’ll admit that they don’t re-enact the Nativity.  They also don’t participate in pagan rituals, unless eating a bunch of sweets is pagan.

When I was kid, we had Christmas parties at school.  We even had a Christmas play.  I was a shepherd.  Is this horrible?  I doubt it.  Is it a questionable use of school time?  Maybe.  It probably didn’t harm anyone, with the possible exception of my one classmate who had to sit in the hall in a chair.  She was a Jehovah’s Witness.  Actually, it may have harmed me.  No six year old kid wants to be paraded out in front of the entire school in a bathrobe.  Oh well.


1968. Your author (L) gives his mother an unforgiving stare. At least she didn’t make me wear a towel on my head like the poor lad next to me.

Much of the War is a matter of semantics.  Of course, people may be too politically correct these days.  With Christmas everywhere, it’s a little odd to say “Happy Holidays.”  A “Merry Christmas” here and there shouldn’t offend.  Generally speaking, it doesn’t seem to have that effect.  The same should be true of “Happy Holidays.”  After all, it is the holiday season.  Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Day are all holidays to some extent.  Even pagans can celebrate the Winter Solstice which must be some kind of holiday, too.

I may be part of the problem, if there is one.  I tend to say Merry Christmas to people, without giving a thought to their religious views.  I’ve never gotten a response of “THERE IS NO GOD!” or “I AM JEWISH, YOU BASTARD!”  Maybe I’ve been lucky.  I’m much more concerned about saying “Happy Holidays” to the wrong person.

Some people don’t like “Xmas.”  Put Christ back in Christmas, they say.  They take it as a secular attempt to remove Jesus from his own holiday.  This isn’t true, of course.  The “X” is the Greek letter Chi which is used as a shorthand for “Christ.”  Oh well, never let the facts get in the way of righteous outrage.

Retailers seem to be the prime combatants in this war.  Rage is directed toward them for the use of “holidays” instead of “Christmas.”  In some cases, it was the result of such silliness as Lowe’s calling its Christmas trees “Family Trees.”  I don’t know if this justifies religious outrage, as much as it does treating them like marketing dolts.  Who ever bought a Family Tree?  Not me, that’s for sure.  We already have Family Trees, otherwise we wouldn’t know any of our relatives.

Even Santa Claus isn’t spared.  Some folks don’t like the emphasis on Santa.  After all, he isn’t Jesus, now, is he?  Of course, he isn’t.  In the 1960’s, a particularly vile anti-Semitic preacher named George L.K. Smith claimed that Santa was the product of “World Jewry” (whatever the hell that is) designed to supplant Christ.  After all, “Santa” almost spells “Satan.”  That can’t be a coincidence.  See how easy it is to join in?

You want to know who the real anti-Christmas warriors were?  The Puritans.  Those tight-asses hated Christmas.  Hated it. They hated it so much that they outlawed all the traditional celebrations.  Now, that’s a war.

As with most wars, the government plays a big role.  People like Christmas trees, and the government wastes a lot of resources trying to decide what to call them. At the end of the day, few people care that they are, in fact, Christmas trees. Naturally, there is litigation over Nativity displays and the like. Even though they don’t offend me, I can understand that one might think the government shouldn’t be in the practice of endorsing any particular religion. I’m not sure I could get fired up enough about it to spend any time in court.

Of course, some folks believe that the U.S. was founded as a Christian Nation™, despite strong historical proof to the contrary.  It’s not my job to disabuse them of that notion, although I would note that our government didn’t even bother making Christmas (or anything else, for that matter) a holiday until 1870.  (Surprisingly, our founding fathers weren’t all eaten up with the Christmas spirit.  In fact, the first session of Congress was held on Christmas Day.  Talk about a bunch of Scrooges.)

Truth be told, in our country, no religious holiday is given the same deference as Christmas, with the closing of businesses and government services and a non-stop marketing onslaught which starts just after Labor Day.  Employers are not only expected to give their employees time off work but also to give them extra money–a Christmas Bonus, no less.  We don’t do that for Easter,  the holiest of times for Christians.  We don’t do anything at all for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.  Try starting a holiday for Laylat al-Qadr.  You might end up in Gitmo for your next evening of prayer.  Even our entertainment is Christmas themed.  Turn on the radio and scan the stations.  Bet you’ll hear a Christmas song or two.  What about TV and movies?  Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.

John Lennon wrote a song called Merry Christmas (War is Over).  I don’t care for it, just as I don’t particularly care for many of his post-Beatles songs.  But I do think that this war, whenever it started, is over.  Christmas won.  So, when you hear “Happy Holidays” or get a card saying that, take heart.  Merry Christmas is implied.  We know that’s what they really mean don’t we?

As lawyer, I’m quite fond of quotations.  The Kentucky Court of Appeals penned my favorite legal quote, which is particularly applicable here:

In the celebrated case of Prewitt v. Clayton, 21 Ky. (5 T.B. Mon.) 4, this court, through Chief Justice Bibb, observed:

            ‘“A bear well painted and drawn to the life is yet the picture of a bear, although the painter may omit to write over it, ‘this is the bear.’”

             By parity of reasoning, the bear does not lose its basic characteristics if the artist dubs it a horse. 

The First National Bank of Mayfield v. Gardner, Ky., 376 S.W. 2d 311, 314-315 (1964).  The same applies to Christmas.  A bear is a bear, and Christmas is Christmas.  Neither one is a horse.

Ultimately, this is a battle among the secular (Santa and the elves); the religious (Baby Jesus and the Wise Men); the anti-religious (Atheists); and the religious non-Christians (everyone else).  In other words, the Americans.  Nothing is more American than disagreeing with each other.  We’ll fight amongst ourselves about anything.  It’s the American Way.  So, choose a side and weigh in.  It’s fun.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Now, what are you going to do?

© 2012

The Sad Case of Charlie Brown

What can I say about Charlie Brown?  Plenty, as it turns out.  Poor Charlie Brown.  Blockhead.  Lovable loser.  Hard luck follows him.  This passes for entertainment for kids.  I’ve had enough.

Everyone of a certain age knows Charlie Brown, the prematurely bald, eight year old protagonist of the late Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip.  Charlie Brown also starred in numerous television specials.  Many of these specials center around a holiday–A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, etc.  Others follow a similar theme of the dour circumstances of young Charlie, such as You’re in Love, Charlie Brown, You’re Not Elected Charlie Brown, What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown, ad nauseum. Each of these hour-long specials involve some sort of maudlin circumstances  where our put-upon hero is bullied, terrorized and berated until the inevitable “upbeat” ending where some kind of lesson is delivered.

He is always called “Charlie Brown,” not Charlie.  The only exceptions to this are the androgynous pair of Peppermint Patty and Marcie who call him “Chuck” and “Charles.”  He even called his grandmother once and said “Hello, this is Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown is tormented by insecurity and self-doubt, hardly a healthy role model.  He constantly battles the vacuous children of his school.  They, of course, reinforce his insecurities by consistently reminding him of his various inadequacies.  He’s bald, too.  Charles Schulz said that he isn’t bald, that he has close-cropped, light-colored hair.  Sure.

He’s bald. There’s not even stubble. Note, too, how the little hair he does have almost spells the word “Sex.” What’s that about?

Let’s be clear.  I’ve got no beef with Charlie Brown. In fact, I identify with him to a certain extent.  Insecurity, self-doubt and downright neurosis hover about me.   This is how I looked when I was eight years old:

I wasn’t bald, but I was certainly disturbed.

I may sympathize with Charlie Brown, but the same can’t be said for the maladjusted gang of misanthropes with whom he surrounds himself.  I loathe his so-called friends.  He’d be better off among the Children of the Corn.

As a kid, no Christmas show may have disturbed me more than A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Poor Charlie Brown tries to teach that pack of troglodytes the true meaning of Christmas while they turn it into a Bacchanal of consumerism.  Even his own dog, Snoopy, fails to understand.  Okay, in the end, everyone “gets it” and all is well–except of course for the severe psychological wounds inflicted upon Charlie Brown.

The perfect ending to A Charlie Brown Christmas

(Actually, a piece of TV tripe called The House Without a Christmas Tree is worse.  Jason Robards plays an emotionally abusive father of a 10-year-old girl.  The bitter old bastard hates Christmas and won’t allow a Christmas tree in his house.  By the time he sees the light, you’ll already have wished him dead for so long, you won’t care.)

As far as I know, my children have never seen even one Charlie Brown special.  There’s a simple reason for that.  I love my children, and I don’t encourage them to warp their minds with cartoon child abuse.  If they are to be bullies themselves, I would prefer it just develop naturally rather than be learned on TV.

But, what of Charlie Brown’s “friends?”  That alternate between contemptible and pathetic.

Lucy Van Pelt

Lucy was likely the prototype for Rhoda in The Bad Seed–a hateful, conniving little witch whose singular purpose in life is to make Charlie Brown miserable.  Her running gag is to hold a football for Charlie Brown to kick and then pull it away at the last second, thus humiliating him once again.  Perhaps one can rightfully question Charlie Brown’s intelligence or self-esteem to fall prey to this prank dozens–if not hundreds–of times.  Nevertheless, it is Lucy ultimately who bears the responsibility for this abusive behavior.


Once again, Charlie Brown falls prey to Lucy’s dangerous pranks.

Once–just once–I’d like to see Charlie Brown trot toward that ball, stop abruptly and kick Lucy square in the teeth.  Hard.  Blood spurting freely from her mangled mouth, she’d roll on her back.  Just when you think she’s dead, she coughs, spewing blood and a mouthful of broken teeth.  Charlie Brown, grinning slightly, mutters “I guess that one split the uprights, bitch.”



Pig-Pen doesn’t pick on Charlie Brown like the rest of those miniature Blutos in whatever the hell town they live in.  No, his “humor” derives from his horrific hygiene.  He is always surrounded by a cloud of dust or dirt and is perpetually filthy.  He is largely shunned by the other third graders.  Only Charlie Brown, of course, unconditionally accepts him, leading to Charlie Brown’s further ostracization.  Pig-Pen last appeared in Peanuts in 1999, shortly before Charles Schulz’s death.  Evidently, the humor to be found in a filthy child died with him.


Pig-Pen, the hilariously filthy child of Charlie Brown’s world.

Growing up in Eastern Kentucky, I knew filthy-looking kids.  They weren’t funny.  My parents always said that one sign of trashy people was a baby with a dirty face.  Pig-Pen, alas, may have been trash or just drawn that way.


Lucy’s younger brother, Linus is as close as Charlie Brown gets to a real friend.  Of course, Linus is an odd, possibly mentally ill child who fantasizes about The Great Pumpkin, a holiday myth in which he is the only child who believes.  He is also emotionally attached to his blanket, no doubt as a result of the absence of his parents, a disturbing living condition of all these children.

Linus appears to have well-above average intelligence.  Of course, this may just be damning him with faint praising by comparing him to the sadistic children who degrade Charlie Brown.  Lucy, of course, also attacks Linus trying innumerable times to hide or destroy his blanket, hoping no doubt to force a final break from reality for her younger sibling.


Peppermint Patty is a lesbian.  There, I said it.  Oh, I know others have made the same observation.  It doesn’t take a person perceptive about human relations to make this deduction.  She is.  No big deal, mind you.  The irony is that she also has a crush on Charlie Brown.  That’s how things go for Charlie Brown.  That’s right. One girl likes Charlie Brown, and she’s gay.

Patty regularly dominates Charlie Brown in sports, baseball especially.  This further adds to his degradation.  If Linus is a genius, Patty appears to be a nitwit, believing that Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, is a kid with the “long nose.”  Her long time companion, Marcie, consistently refers to Patty as “sir.”  This gender-bending can only warp young minds.


She is Charlie Brown’s unattainable true love. One time she wrote Charlie Brown a note and said she liked him.  Did we ever see her again?  Of course, not.  That’s how Charlie Brown’s world works.

I theorize that the Little Red Haired Girl doesn’t really exist.  She’s merely a figment of Charlie Brown’s imagination created to maintain some semblance of sanity.  No doubt his fragile young mind created her as an unapproachable ideal, yet something to make his life tolerable.

What I don’t like about the Little Red Haired Girl is that Charlie Brown still can’t catch a break.  He swoons and he carries on about her.  He obsesses like a bald, eight year old stalker.  But, does he ever really get to work his game with her?  Of course, not.  Even an imaginary child disses Charlie Brown.

I read that the Little Red Haired Girl was based on Charles Schulz’s unrequited love for a woman who left him to marry another man.  I don’t know if that’s true.  If it is, it’s unfortunate.  Perhaps some psychological counseling would have been appropriate, rather than tormenting Charlie Brown.


She doesn’t readily come to mind when one thinks of Peanuts, but she is the most despicable of them all.  It is she, I believe, who coined the term “block head” for Charlie Brown.  She both verbally and physically abuses him.  She’s also a haughty little harridan, constantly bragging about her father or other self-perceived superiority.  If these characters aged like real people, I’m confidant that Charlie Brown, after years being institutionalized, would return and decapitate her and bury her head in Snoopy’s doghouse.


Along with Linus, Schroeder may well be a real friend of Charlie Brown’s.  A piano prodigy modeled perhaps after Van Cliburn, Schroeder supports Charlie Brown in most of his endeavors.  Unfortunately, his obsession with the piano limits his availability.  He also thumbs his nose at Lucy, rejecting her at every turn.  For that alone, I like him.


What?!?! I have a problem with Snoopy?  Man’s best friend?  Yep, I do.  He’s arrogant and self-absorbed.  Unlike a faithful, loyal, real life dog, Snoopy smugly lolls about his doghouse expecting Charlie Brown to bring him food or address any other whim.  He doesn’t even know Charlie Brown’s name–referring to him as that “round-headed kid.”  This is a dog who can communicate with a bird.  The least one could expect would be that he knew his master’s name.  If Snoopy were any kind of dog, he would maul Lucy, tearing out her throat.  The day he does that, I’ll change my opinion.


The adults are never seen.  When they are heard, it is only as the mute drone of a trombone.  Having children myself, I realize that is the sound they hear when I talk.  Regardless, one would think an adult–any adult–would step in on occasion and protect Charlie Brown from the slings and arrows of his childhood.  Instead, they sit idly by while his torment continues.  To Hell with them, too, I say.

Many other characters have traveled in and out of the Peanuts world.  Franklin the black kid.  Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally.  Snoopy’s sidekick, Woodstock.  All of them have piled on Charlie Brown on occasion.  Is this entertainment?  Perhaps.  So is bear-baiting for some folks.

While everyone gathers around to watch the latest abuse heaped on Charlie Brown, remember this:  He might grow up one day.  If he does, there will be Hell to pay.

© 2012