What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?
Well, this isn’t really in regards to me, but many of my writing amigos are participating in the 2012 Coffin Hop. It started on the 24th and runs through the 31st. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to participate this year, but in my opinion, this is one of the best blog hops. All sorts of fun contests and great prizes (including a copy of my novel, The Imaginings as part of the prize offerings from my TESSpecFic groupmates. Marie Loughin had the idea of putting together this package). So if you’re looking for some good blogs and horror writers, you should really check this out.
For more info on the Coffin Hop, click here.
And you can find links to all my TESSpecFic mates in the right hand column a little ways down.
What does the future hold?
This week I was tagged by Mari Biella regarding my current WIP, so next week I’ll be answering some questions about said project. I’m a little paranoid about these types of things, but I’ll let a few of the proverbial cats out of the bag.
“We’re obviously separated by demoninational differences.”
- Charlie Brown (that’s right. Charlie Brown)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
And we were supposed to understand this stuff when we were kids?
This quote from the movie It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is from a scene where Charlie Brown asks Linus when he’s going to stop believing in the Great Pumpkin, some apparent spectre (or so it seemed) that would rise out of one chosen pumpkin patch somewhere in the world.
[Footnote: Ever since starting our own 4800 square foot garden, I think I’ve secretly hoped it would be my pumpkin patch.]
Linus responds that he’ll stop believing in the Great Pumpkin when Charlie Brown stops believing in some fat, jolly guy who squeezes down chimneys every year with presents (or some wording to that effect). Charlie Brown then fires off the aforementioned one-liner.
Think about that for a moment. Could it be a masked discussion of the differences between Pagans and Christians? After all, these are the two mainstream holidays that most closely symbolize those two differing spiritual mindsets.
But I’m not going that deep today. We were just kids, for hell’s sake. And personally, I always liked this Charlie Brown cartoon as a child. It was a little spooky at parts, right? And moments of discomfort. Kinda like the movie where they all go to France, and the chateau where Charlie Brown is staying catches on fire. Meanwhile, of course, Snoopy is drinking in the pub dressed as a fighter pilot.
Hey, if he’s got the money…
But even as a child, I always remembered the tension in that one. I think it was Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!). And there was something else spooky about that chateau if I recall correctly.
Or maybe it was just the French.
But anyway, one thing we understood as kids from the Peanuts cartoons was that we didn’t want to be Charlie Brown. In case any of you had forgotten (or have never seen in the first place), in Great Pumpkin, while trick-or-treating with the gang, after each door, the children compare their loot. Candy bars, caramel apples, a quarter, etc…
First off, when I was a kid, I never got money when I trick-or-treated, but even more than this, apparently it was customary in 1966 (date of release) to give the children infortunado a rock in their bags. Seriously? Can you imagine the backlash in this day and age if a kid came home with a rock in his bag? And poor Charlie Brown must’ve got five of ‘em. Every house they stopped at dropped a stone the size of my fist instead of a treat into Charlie Brown’s bag. Can you imagine how heavy his bag would start getting?
And let’s be honest. You know that the Charlie Brown we never saw in the cartoon was probably throwing those rocks through the windows of the houses at two a.m. And why not? As far as I can tell, he didn’t have any real parental supervision.
“I’ll show you a treat,” he’d be grumbling as he scraped the rough edge of one of the stones along some new Camaro’s paint job just before hucking the rock through the owner’s bedroom window. He’d probably be cursing, as well.
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
- C.S. Lewis, and to stick with the movie motif, also heard in The Usual Suspects.
The other thing we learn from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is that right up until the end, we want to be Linus seducing the little blonde into the pumpkin patch on Halloween. And he’s good, man. He’s the sensitive, honest guy, right?
“It’s the most sincere pumpkin patch anywhere…not a sign of hypocrisy.” – Linus van Pelt
And Sally starts off playing it coy, tells him if he tries to hold her hand, she’d slug ‘im. Ahh, a challenge. Did we really care if the Great Pumpkin showed up or not?
But here’s the clincher. His romantic ideals were enough to reel her in, but in the end they weren’t enough to keep her around. When Linus couldn’t produce the Great Pumpkin, Sally walked out on him. Did this disprove the existence of the Great Pumpkin? Of course not. Only that his efforts had been insufficient. Somewhere lay a more sincere pumpkin patch. He had tried his best, and they called him a liar.
Even worse… a blockhead.
I bet next year Linus figures out how to rig up a mechanical Great Pumpkin rising out of that patch. A patch which, during his efforts to develop the illusion, will have wilted… the once great green leaves having crisped in the sun, pumpkins brown and rotting. But they would believe him, damn it! And he’d get the girl. And maybe, just maybe, he’d jimmy a flamethrower in his Great Pumpkin. And at the moment she admitted that she was wrong for having left him there alone last year…
You can almost see him working in the dusty shed late at night under a bare light bulb, welding the mechanical beast’s head together.
“I’ll show you a blockhead,” he’d be grumbling.
Probably cursing, as well.
What do I want from you?
Hmm. Any variety of comments would be welcome. Did you like this particular Charlie Brown? Any other cartoons that you think hold deeper (if unintentional) meaning? Do you think I’m way off base on this one? Did you ever get a rock (or even worse, a toothbrush) in your Halloween bag? Did you ever pull a Halloween trick yourself (that you can legally admit to here)? What was your favorite Halloween costume? Anything else?
Don’t forget to check out the Coffin Hop over the next handful of days.
Have a Happy Halloween.
Check back next week for the answers to a few questions about my current WIP (is that redundant?)
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