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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pumpkin Seasoning

Jan Hunt at The Natural Child Project has a recurring theme: that toddlers are scientists. I like this analogy quite a bit — though ours is definitely of the mad variety...

So this is the first holiday in his life where he's really getting into the spirit of things. We've had good fun, for example, perusing Flickr's euphonically named fall, orange, halloween cluster. It's the next best thing to a visit to a real live pumpkin patch — something else I highly recommend.

Also a big deal to my son at the moment is Charles Schulz's Halloween mainstay, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Thirty-nine years old and still going strong, that one. I wish I could consult with a Schulz scholar on whether the author was embroiled in some nasty breach of contract dispute at the time of its creation. In addition to Sally's "I'll sue!" and "You owe me restitution!" when she realizes the Great Pumpkin just ain't gonna show and she's missed out on "tricks or treats," there's this priceless dialogue between Lucy and Charlie Brown over the annual football-pulling ritual:

CB: I guess if you have a signed document in your possession you can't go wrong. This year I'm really gonna kick that football... (Whummpp!)

L: Peculiar thing about that document — it was never notarized.

The other exchange that leapt out at me had less to do with my profession than my gender, and also, of all things, with The Long Now. It's the part where Linus is sitting in the pumpkin patch with Sally, waxing eloquent about The Great Pumpkin's imminent arrival. Sally's skeptical:

S: That's a good story.

L: You don't believe the story of The Great Pumpkin? I thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. I thought little girls were innocent and trusting.

S: Welcome to the 20th century.

A sentiment that holds up just as well in 2005 as in 1966, even though we've jumped millennia. As for which: I bet it would really blow Charles S. away that, thanks to the fidelity of digital copies (and the opportune nature of certain business models), the children of the children who grew up on his holiday specials are doing the same thing. And there's no reason to think the same won't be true of their children. And so on.

So Happy Halloween, all, and mind the low flying beagles.

You Must Be Daddy's Little Pumpkin I Can Tell by the Way You Roll
Photo by Thomas Hawk

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