Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Peanuts Revised

We watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown last weekend.  Yeah, I realize I don't have any small children at my house anymore, but you're never too old for a Peanuts holiday special.  Am I right? 

I don't know what it is about those short TV specials with the simple graphics from back in the 60's.....two years before I was even born.  They're timeless.  Never lose their appeal.  They bring out the nostalgia in everyone.  No matter how old you are, they remind us of being a kid.....whether we watched it on a black and white Zenith while sitting on gold shag carpet or waited for Mom to rewind it in the VCR while we read a Barney book or if it's watched in the backseat of the family SUV like they do now.

Things were a lot different back in 1966 when the Peanuts kids did Halloween.  The 2015 version would have to have some revisions, I'm afraid.  It would be knee deep on the cutting room floor after it was trimmed and tailored to suit today's standards. 

2015.....Charlie Brown receives an invitation to Violet's Halloween party all right.....except the invitation isn't the fill in the blank kind. I mean, what kind of mother would send those?  No, each invitation is fashioned from a sturdy, orange corrugated craft paper from Michael's, adorned with a friendly faced skeleton which was carefully handcut from a heavyweight ecru cardstock using an X-Acto knife, outlined and accented with a black fine point marker, complete with hinged, moveable joints using small brass brads painted ecru, all covered with a swath of stretchable faux spider webbing and carefully stuffed in a coordinating envelope adorned with special order Halloween ink stamps and packed with ghoulishly themed confetti....all sure to wow each recipient upon opening and taking Violet's mother only 3 short days to complete each one. 
Charlie Brown, Sally, and Pig Pen aren't allowed to wear sheets with cut out eye holes for costumes.....well, for obvious reasons.  Everyone knows that sheets are not flame retardant and, most likely, not organic and could very well be a tripping hazard and not to mention the field of vision is certainly not in the safe range.  Lucy is prohibited from wearing that stringed mask now because, without a breakaway Velcro closure, it could become a strangulation hazard or pop back and hit her in the eye causing permanent, irreparable damage.  Let's not even talk about Sally and the pointed end scissors without adult supervision or safety goggles.   

No, now the Peanuts gang would be in costumes made from the safest, most natural, biodegradable materials and worthy of a Broadway stage after their Moms get on Pinterest and create the masterpieces by hand.  These mothers have their crafty reputations to keep up, you know. Peppermint Patty's mother transforms her into a bubble gum machine made from a clear cellophane bodice filled with 752 slightly inflated multi-colored balloons and completed with red leggings and a glittery "25 Cents" sign affixed upon her head. Lucy's mother fashions a jaw dropping mermaid costume with a long, flowing red wig carefully woven from red organic cotton yarn and a felt tail completely covered with beautiful, iridescent sequin scales, each attached with a tiny dot of homemade, all natural, non-toxic adhesive.  Charlie Brown's mother is the talk of the street when she uses a clear umbrella, 5 rolls of curly gift ribbon, crimped crepe paper, 3 strings of LED lights, and a roll of Velcro to make Charlie Brown into a glowing jellyfish.   And Pig Pen's mother is not a believer in limiting children's choices to only those which fit within traditional gender stereotypes and orders him the princess costume of his choice from Zulily.   
The parents are, of course, in tow in the 2015 version standing right behind the children, telling them to turn around and pose for a picture at each and every doorstep so that they can fill Facebook and Instagram with the same amount of coverage one would expect to come from a United States Presidential Inauguration.  Postings are done each half hour as Mr. and Mrs. Brown are sure that there are people out there who are waiting anxiously to be updated on the status of their family's trick or treat.  Parental supervision is also needed to ensure that no candy is eaten after 8 pm as sugar always makes the children so hyper.         
The candy that flies in the trick or treat bags is adjusted to suit today's standards, too.  Before purchasing Halloween candy, labels are carefully scanned for ingredients which are known to be common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, and soy so to avoid the possibility of a lawsuit.  Organic lollipops are a good option as they are sweetened only with natural fruit juices and, of course, bags of organic pretzels made with gluten free whole wheat flour because what child doesn't love those?  Those distributing candy containing red dye 40, suspected to be a carcinogen and contributor to ADHD, or high fructose corn syrup, blamed for our growing obesity epidemic, are frowned upon by the hovering, hand-wringing parents and will likely never be elected for office in the neighborhood homeowner's association because of their obvious lack of judgment.     
Linus is given a cut of everyone's Halloween candy as it's seen as unfair that he has no candy even though he had the same opportunity that everyone else had to go trick or treating.  It is only fair that those who did go trick or treating give some of their hard earned candy to those who slept in the pumpkin patch all night.
At the Halloween party, there are games, but there will be no winners or losers as that only serves to make the other children feel inferior, incapable, and oppressed.  Labels are avoided and each child is made to feel like they are all equal in every single way.  Bobbing for apples presents a drowning hazard, so less dangerous games are found on designed to develop camaraderie not trust games and team building exercises.  The new game,"Let's work together to remove the apples from the water with this net while wearing our life preservers" is always a crowd favorite.  The costume contest is cancelled this year, well, for obvious reasons. Everyone is a winner and receives a golden, plastic trophy to celebrate their own, unique, one of a kind, very special costume.  A picture of everyone holding their "winner" trophies is immediately posted to social media with all of the parents tagged. 
The children boo hiss when Schroeder begins to play the piano at the party and demand that they whip and nae nae instead.
The playing in the leaves scene is cut as that is seen as wasted time in which the leaves could have been decomposing in the compost bin which is located between the solar panels and the rain basin in Charlie Brown's backyard. 

Derogatory names such as "block head" and "stupid"and threatening language like "I oughta pound you" are not to be tolerated and are promptly removed so to not promote or sensationalize bullying behaviors in any way.  As an alternative, phrases like "Linus, you are special and I appreciate your uniqueness" are used by Lucy instead.  The football kicking scene is deleted as it could send the wrong message that it's ok to harm our friends.  The last thing we'd want is a copycat incident on our conscience. 

Other deleted scenes include but are not limited to those too frightening for the young.  Bats and ghosts are replaced with non-threatening happy owls and friendly scarecrows so to not scar the children's delicate sense of security and later manifest itself with significant, debilitating phobias which could require lifelong, extensive psychological therapies.

And it goes without saying that all pumpkin carving scenes are simply too graphic.  The showing of a weapon of any kind in any context to young children would certainly send them on a straight path toward violence, assault, and the total disregard for human life.  A downward spiral with no end in other words.  Scenes like this are most likely where the seeds of today's growing violence were sown.  As a precaution, a zero tolerance policy is implemented on the carving of pumpkins this year.        

The flying ace is grounded because his journey back in time to WW1 is too distressing for children with its uses of words like "war", "under fire", "enemy lines", and "shot down".  Historical events deemed too painful or egregious should never be spoken of especially around children.  No, instead, Snoopy flies for UPS now carrying happy packages to happy people all over the world.  

So, once all the scenes deemed too violent, dangerous, offensive, disturbing, threatening, outdated, unhealthy, destructive, simple, frightening, politically incorrect, exclusionary, degrading, or harmful to the environment are deleted, we're left with this, the 2015 Peanuts Halloween Special....... 


Night, y'all!



  1. You broke down every scenario, I've watched It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown since the 60s, when I was a little girl. Something about that butcher knife is just so disconcerting. Lucy is such a bully and using Charlie's head for a template to cut a pumpkin. And all honestly, it isn't Halloween without watching this iconic cartoon!
    Kathleen in Az
    I so wish The Great Pumpkin will make an appearance for poor Linus:(
    love, love this post!

    1. It's a must-see every year, Kathleen. Never gets old :)

  2. Love this post! Enjoyed reading this. Thanks!