It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown


By Joshie Jaxon 

Trick or treat again, geek fans! Halloween is one of my favorites times of the year. As such, despite watching a bunch of cool shows, I neglected to write posts on them as I did. I won’t do that with the Peanuts’ special. It’s a holiday staple, and been around for nearly 50 years. Some of us have been watching it since ’66, while others it started during our respective childhoods. Whenever you started, or if this is your first time, prepare to enjoy my take on the treasured piece of nostalgia. Let the geeks begin! 

We open on October 30th, before sunset. Linus and Lucy leave their house to go pick out a pumpkin to carve. Linus picks up an apple off the ground. Takes a bite. Then throws it away. Ah, the sixties. They arrive at the pumpkin patch, and Linus holds one up. Being the size queen that she is, Lucy rejects it. Linus tries again, and is shot down. Lucy points at one, and Linus struggles to hold it up. I’d say he couldn’t get it up, but this is Peanuts, they don’t set up a lot for my brand of dirty humor, but I’ll still try. Linus carries it back, but can’t get his big load through the opening in the fence. Wow! I’m pleased with myself, a glory hole joke during a Peanuts post. That’s a new high. Or low. Humor is subjective. Moving on. Linus opts to roll the pumpkin around the fence and to his front door. He loses control of it, and nearly crashes on the front step. Lucy, being the caring sister she is, does nothing to help Linus get it up the stairs and seems rather annoyed. Once it’s in the house, Lucy puts paper down, and centers the pumpkin on it. Linus watches in horror as she stabs the pumpkin and begins to gut it. She didn’t tell him she was going to kill it! 


The next morning, Charlie Brown is raking leaves. Snoopy sees one falling, and poofs it over to the pile. Linus is busy licking a sucker. Glory holes, and an oral fixation, Linus has a great money making future ahead of him. His lollipop and mouth are covered in leaves. As Charlie Brown glares at him, Linus says never to jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. Thanks for the free advice. Lucy approaches and says she has a football. She wants Charlie Brown to do a few place kicks. Not being a complete moron, he tells her no. She tries again, and good old Charlie Brown sticks to his guns. He says he knows she’s gonna pull it away to watch him fall on his ass. Lucy says she can be trusted. She has a signed document testifying that she promises not to pull it away. Accepting that a document could hold Lucy to her word, he goes for it. Charlie Brown runs full speed, she jerks it away, and he slams to the ground. Peculiar thing about her document, it was never notarized. He’s learning more than she probably intended. 


Linus is sitting at the table, writing his letter to the Great Pumpkin. Charlie Brown approaches and asks what he’s doing. Linus smiles and says it’s the time of year to write to the Great Pumpkin, who rises out of the pumpkin patch with his sack of toys for all the good children. Ok, what I want to know is who told Linus about the Great Pumpkin to begin with? Was it a joke by Lucy that got out of control? Was it from some adult that thought it would be a way to make him behave in October before Santa mania took over in November? Did Linus do the Christian thing and take the parts of an existing holiday, that he liked, and call it something new? Sadly, Schultz is dead, and we’ll never know the backstory. Charlie Brown asks Linus when he’s going to stop believing in something that isn’t real. Linus says about the same time Charlie Brown stops believing in the guy with the red suit and white beard, that goes “ho ho ho”. Snap! Linus continues his letter. This time snoopy walks in. Now, we can hear the words Linus is writing, and they’re on screen, but he’s not speaking out loud. Therefore, Snoopy must be able to read, because he starts laughing his ass off at Linus’ letter. He laughs all the way to the living room, and points at the kitchen while clinging to Lucy. She promptly throws Snoopy out of the room, the goes to confront her brother. Oh, not this again! She can’t believe he’s wasting his time writing to a pumpkin. Um, you write to Santa, don’t you? Or are the VanPelt’s Jewish? Either way, what does she care? So the neighborhood thinks Linus is weird. They think she’s a bitch, but she doesn’t care about that. Lucy tells Linus to stop or she’ll pound him. Then some girl who doesn’t even live there comes in and tells Linus that the Great Pumpkin is a fake. Why are all these kids in their house? Cue Sally, asking what Linus is doing. He covers his letter, and says he’d rather not say. She’s too in love with him to think it’s stupid. He begins to tell her the story of the Great Pumpkin. He asks her if she’d like to sit with him. She says yes. Charlie Brown comes back in and takes Sally away. With his letter finished, Linus walks it out to the mailbox. Lucy says she’s not going to help him. He doesn’t need her. He uses his blanket to open the slot, then flicks the letter inside. Linus walks off as Charlie Brown approaches. He got invited to a Halloween party! Lucy, in continuing true bitch fashion, says it must have been a mistake. He must have been on the wrong list. Linus walks to the pumpkin patch with his “Welcome Great Pumpkin” sign. 


Time to prepare some costumes. Sally cuts some eye holes in a sheet, holds it up, and scares herself. Did she see the tag about it being a poly-cotton blend? Lucy, Violet, and Charlie Brown also have sheets. Lucy says a person’s costume should be in direct contrast to their personality. She then puts on a witch hat and mask, and we hold on her for a second. We get the irony. Sally asks Lucy if Linus is taking her to the party. No, her blockhead brother is already in the pumpkin patch, making his yearly fool of himself. Sally says maybe there is a Great Pumpkin. Violet says Linus misses tricks or treats ever year, and the Halloween party. Charlie Brown says he’ll never learn. Sally asks if she gets to trick or treat this year. He says yes. She gets excited, then asks if it’s legal. Sally then gets her arms stuck in her eye holes. She’s a special kind of special. Then again, Charlie Brown’s sheet is covered in holes. It must be genetic. What was the sheet budget on this show? Two other kids show up in sheets, and so does Pigpen. Snoopy arrives in a bomber’s cap and scarf. Lucy asks what he’s supposed to be. Charlie Brown explains that he’s a World War One flying ace. Snoopy leaves on his own, as the group leaves to go trick or treat. They stop to see Linus and give him one more chance to join the group and be normal. He asks if they’ve come to sing pumpkin carols. I’ve always liked Linus, he’s weird and doesn’t apologize for it. That’s the real lesson here, kids. Once again Linus says that the Great Pumpkin will rise from the most sincere pumpkin patch. Sally scoffs at him. Linus says he thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. Sally welcomes him to the 20th century. The group walks away, but Sally, a slave to her not even double digit aged desires, runs back to sit with Linus. Then she tells him if he tries to hold her hand, she’ll slug him. So glad I’m gay. Women are nuts. 


The group goes trick or treating, and we see Lucy get a handful of candy tossed in her sack. I paused it, and counted at least 15 items. Why is this relevant? Cause she has the big brass shiny ones to ask for a piece for her brother. To paraphrase Latrice Royal, see, she’s not a complete bitch. Then she says it’s so embarrassing to have to ask for something extra for that blockhead, Linus. Heaven forbid she just share her own. The kids compare their take, a popcorn ball, gum, a quarter. Charlie Brown got a rock. Next house, a candy bar, three cookies, gum. Charlie Brown got a rock. You get the gag, so we’ll move on. Whatever happened to the WW1 flying ace? Charlie Brown says he’s probably prepping his Sopwith Camel. His mission is to find the Red Baron and shoot him down. Not only is Snoopy delusional, with a rich interior life, he’s pulled his owner into the fantasy as his narrator. Minute long sequence of Snoopy “flying” his dog house, shooting at invisible enemies, and getting shot down. He then believes he’s been downed behind enemy lines, and has to make his way through the French countryside. The dog needs a shrink. If only he could do more than woof. We rejoin the kids as they say it’s party time. First, they stop by the pumpkin patch to remind Linus of what he’s missing, and to taunt his beliefs, like the mean-spirited brats they are. The only two for sure that say nothing are Pigpen and Charlie Brown. Sally defends her sweet baboo, as the others walk away. She then turns to Linus and demands to know where the Great Pumpkin is. Linus says he’ll be there. Good. Sally has her reputation to think about, as well as all the fun they’re missing. 


Violet’s party. She and Lucy are staring at a pumpkin. They stop Charlie Brown as he runs by, and says they need him to model. The same twerp that mocked Linus earlier says he’ll make a great model. Charlie Brown looks so proud of himself. They set him on a stool, turn him around, and proceed to use the back of his head as a diagram for how they’re gonna design their pumpkin. Haven’t they ever heard of paper? Did their non-existent parents blow their paper budget on sheets? What the hell? Do they wear pink on Wednesdays? Did they ask Charlie Brown why he’s white not brown? For that matter, where’s Franklin? Just gotta remember, it’s 1966. Wait, MLK Jr had his dream in ’63. There’s nothing but white people in this entire special. Sorry, moving on. Snoopy drops in on the party, but is still in his flying ace delusion. Lucy says it’s time to bob for apples. Someone says she’ll be great, she’s got the perfect mouth for it. That’s not all a big mouth can be good for. She’ll he the Rizzo of their group when they get to high school. Lucy goes down for an apple, Giggity, and comes up with one attached to Snoopy. Ick! Her lips touched dog lips! Snoopy walks over to Schroeder and listens to him play on his piano. As the music changes from happy to more dramatic, so does Snoopy’s mood. He gets so upset he cries, and howls. Again, dog needs a shrink. At least he’s aware enough to be embarrassed by his public display. 


Back in the pumpkin patch, Sally is talking to Linus. He hears something moving, and gets excited. Is that? Is that? I hear the Great Pumpkin! We see a shadow moving through the patch. There he is! Linus points, as the Snoopy-shaped shadow rises. Linus gets so excited that he faints. He comes to, and asks Sally what he left them. She’s mad. She was robbed! She spent the whole night waiting instead of getting treats! She’ll sue! She could’ve had cookies and candy, and gum! Halloween is once a year! Sally grabs Linus by the shirt and screams, “You owe me restitution!”. The gang approached as Sally was on her tirade. They all leave, as Linus comments on the fury of a scorned woman. He has a slight waiver in his faith, but stays in the pumpkin patch. Back at home, Lucy is in bed as her clock strikes 4am. She gets up, looks in Linus’ room, and sees he’s not there. Since Mr. & Mrs. VanPelt must be passed out from their Halloween bender, Lucy gets her coat on, and goes to retrieve her brother. She gets him home to bed, and gets his shoes off before pulling the blankets over him. Ok, NOW she’s not a complete bitch. 


November 1st, Linus and Charlie Brown are behind a wall. No, not like that! Charlie Brown says all he got for his night was a bag of rocks. He asks Linus if the Great Pumpkin ever came. Nope. It’s ok, he did a lot of stupid stuff when he was younger too. What do you mean, stupid? Just wait until next year! You’ll see! Linus rants his way through the closing credits, as Charlie Brown rolls his eyes and has a “good grief” look on his face. 

There you have it, one of the most classic Halloween specials ever. I hope my commentary didn’t ruin it for you, but even if it did, that’s what I’m here for. Until next tomb, slay geeky, and keep stabbing! 


Garfield’s Halloween Adventure


By Joshie Jaxon 

Trick or treat, geek fans! This is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s not so damn hot, and candy is readily available everywhere. Ok, it’s available year-round, but Halloween specials aren’t. Neither is the chance to dress up and have fun as an adult. Granted, I have fun all year, but I’m one if those weird people your parents warned you about as a kid. Anyhow, today’s post, if you couldn’t tell from the title, will be on Garfield’s Halloween special, which is now 30 years old. Normally I’d lament about feeling old, but I’m high on Garfield and candy, candy, candy, candy! Let the geeks begin! 

We open on casa de kitty, where our titular feline, Garfield, is sleeping. There’s a test pattern on the tv. Kids, a test pattern is what they would put up when the station ended broadcasting for the day. Yes, television didn’t used to be the 24/7 500+ channel event it is today. The station begins it’s programming, and Binky the Clown wakes Garfield with his signature, Heeeeeey, kids! Time for jumping jacks with Binky! If you don’t exercise, you’ll grow up to be worthless! I hate you Binky! Then Binky calls us all losers. How did this clown get a show? Garfield shuts him off, but realizes that Binky had just said something about candy, and struggles through all five channels to find him again. Yes, five whole channels. The horror! Cue the opening song as Garfield dances around the house to the credits, before returning to bed. He loves Halloween. No pine needles in his paws. No dumb bunnies. No fireworks. No relatives. Just candy. 


Garfield wakes later to properly greet the day. He’s excited for all the candy, candy, candy, candy! Steady yourself, Garfield. First, you need a costume. Then you’ve gotta get a sack for all that candy, candy, candy, candy! Easy, boy. Garfield walks to the kitchen with his blanket over him. Jon is busy scooping seeds, after having carved a pumpkin. Garfield scares the bejesus out of him, and the pumpkin winds up on his head. Jon asks why he can’t stay mad at him. The answer is, “cause I’m a cat”. Truer words were never spoken. Jon says the pumpkin is ruined, and pulls it off his head. It promptly lands on Odie’s. Garfield mistakes pumpkin glop for lasagna and has a bite. Jon tells him what he ate, and he spits it out, and drops the bowl on the floor. Cats really are jerks. Jon offers him a proper breakfast. Garfield leaves. Then comes back for the sweet roll. Then the bacon and croissant. Then he just takes the whole damn tray. Good kitty. Cut to pumpkin Odie drinking from his dish. Blanket Garfield tries to scare him too, but instead he gets scared by the pumpkin-headed dog. He tells Odie that it’s not nice to scare people. Then he breaks into his stand up routine. Odie is so dumb, he’d have to stand on a chair to raise his IQ. He’s ugly too, it would take two of him to get any uglier. He’s so ugly, he wouldn’t need a mask to go trick of treating. Wait! If he takes Odie with him, then he can have two sacks of candy, candy, candy! Garfield, you’re a genius. He tells Odie that Halloween is a night where dogs help cats get candy, and if they do a good job, they get a piece of candy for themselves. He gets Odie worked up like he’s about to throw a tennis ball, while on a car ride. First things first, costumes. To the attic! Garfield breaks the fourth wall to tell us there are times he actually loves that dog. 


Attic of Jon’s future Hoarder’s episode. Garfield opens a box to find Jon’s bow tie, sunglasses, cousin Wanda’s wig, aunt Orpha’s false teeth, Roy Ogle’s root, string, sealing wax, all being tossed at Odie. Garfield turns to see him covered in everything, and jumps. Odie doesn’t look half bad. Garfield makes him take it off, and they continue their search. He finds the mother load in a trunk. Time for a musical number. What’ll I be? There’s so many sides to me. I know the feeling, kitty. So many sides of ourselves that we want to express, so few opportunities to do so. At the end of the song, Garfield says he has the perfect costumes for them. Cut to Garfield walking to the kitchen dressed as a pirate, complete with peg leg. Garfield stabs Jon’s lasagna, and claims it for himself. Odie appears with four peg legs, and Garfield removes them. Jon says they look ridiculous. Garfield says he’s killed for less than that, but let’s Jon live, as he’s the only one who changes the kitty litter. You’d think with as anthropomorphized as he is, Garfield could use and flush a toilet. Jon gives Garfield & Odie each a sack, and tells them not to be out late. Jim Davis has a very blurred line on their reality. 


Without “parental” escort, Garfield and Odie venture out into the night. Garfield sings a piratey song as they travel. Odie invades his personal space, cause he’s scared. Garfield tells him that it’s just kids like them that are out trick or treating, and that there’s nothing to be afraid of. He pulls the mask off of one to prove it. Garfield starts in on a song about not being a scaredy cat. To punctuate that line, he lifts a mask or costume, sees something scary, screams, and runs around it a few times before taking off. It’s worth pointing out that all of these kids are his size. Even on hind legs, Garfield can’t be more than two feet tall. Kids that size shouldn’t be out on Halloween alone, even if it is the 80’s. Anyhow, they reach the first house, and knock. Garfield says, gimme. The lady says you kids look great, and gives them each one piece of candy. How stupid are people in this universe? Clearly they’re a cat and dog in costume. Garfield points his wooden sword at her, and says if she’s not generous, he’ll go after her drapes. Several more pieces of candy fly at them. Again, cat and dog. No speaky English out loud. In print, Garfield speaks in thought bubbles we can read. No person in-universe should be able to understand him. Yes, that’s where I draw the line for my suspension of disbelief. Thank you for listening. Where was I? Oh yes, montage of Garfield and Odie getting lots of candy. 


Garfield says they should go across the river and try those houses. Then he wonders if he’s being too greedy, and missing the spirit of Halloween. Nah! Odie just shakes his head. The two take a rowboat, and try to cross the river. Not rowing at all, they’re at the mercy of the current. Garfield tells Odie to put out the oars, and Odie, being a literal dog, puts them in the river. Garfield says he’d walk the plank, if he had one. He laments being a pirate, and says when he gets back to land, he’s giving it up to just be a normal house cat. Odie interrupts his wallowing to point out an island. There’s a spooky looking mansion, and then the thunder claps. Another fourth wall break to say, nice touch. They leave their sacks in the boat, and go peek in the window. There’s a fire going, and Garfield suggests they investigate. He tries to kick the door open first. Um, he was just commenting someone probably lives there, now he’s kicking in their door? Bad kitty! Oh wait, he failed. The door creeks open, and without moving beyond the doorway, Garfield concludes the place is deserted. Then who lit the fire, eh, tough cat? The duo decide to warm themselves by said fire. Garfield turns, and there’s an old man in the chair! They’re so frightened, even the skull on the pirate hat screams. 


Garfield and Odie grab one another as the old man tells them to calm down, lest their carrying on stops his old heart. He tells them they picked a bad night to visit, and this could be the worst night of their lives. What he’s about to tell them has never been told to another living soul. Garfield says it’s a catchy beginning. The old man says the island holds a dark, 100 year old secret. That island is where a group of pirates buried their treasure. They had signed a contract, written in blood, vowing to return for the treasure 100 years later, Halloween night, at the stroke of midnight, even if it meant returning from the grave. Thunder claps. Garfield doesn’t believe it. The old man says to believe. The pirates had a ten year old cabin boy. HE was that cabin boy. He never took the treasure. They’d find him. They know who they are, and that they’re in the house. Garfield says he’s ready to leave. He turns to ask the old man if he wants to come too, but he’s gone. They go to the door to see him rowing away. Rats! There goes the boat! Rats! There goes the candy! My boat’s gone. My candy’s gone. Dead pirates are coming any minute. It’s past my bedtime. I wanna go home. I love that cat. 


Midnight tolls on the grandfather clock. Garfield and Odie run back to the front door, and see a ghostly ship approaching the island. Chalky ghost pirates rise from the water and head towards the house. Garfield says they need to hide, since “they know where we are”. Good plan. Odie tries to hide in flowers. Garfield makes them hide in a cupboard. The ghost pirates enter the house, and circle the floor, before going under it. The floor cracks, and the treasure appears. The floor is then magically restored. Odie sneezes, and they’re discovered by one of the ghosts. 


They flee, and reach the dock. With their boat gone, Garfield says they have to swim for it, and they both dive. Then he remembers that he can’t swim. Garfield goes down, and his hat stays afloat. Odie swims over to it, and looks inside for Garfield before tossing it away. Stupid dog. Then we see Garfield trying to grab a branch to stop himself, but it breaks. Maybe he should cut down in the lasagna. Odie dives down and retrieves the poor kitty from the water. They reach the shore, and Garfield takes Odie by the paw and says he owes him one. The old man was right. It was the worst night of his life. He’s had nightmares that look like birthday parties compared to it. They begin to walk off, and see the boat, complete with candy. Garfield comments that the pirates can have the treasure, he wants the candy, candy, candy, candy. 


Back at home, Garfield says he’s going to do something out of character. Since Odie saved his life 18 zillion times, Garfield is going to give him something of personal worth, and sacrifice on his part, his own half of the candy. Odie barks in appreciation. Yeah, yeah, I love you too, now go away. A cat after my own heart. Garfield says he’s wired, and turns on the tv. There the old man, in Garfield’s pirate hat, saying it’s time for a pirate movie festival. Garfield decides he’s actually tired, grabs his bear, Pookie, pulls the blanket over him, and goes to sleep. Credits. 

That’s just as good as I remember it from back in the day. That’s why I make it an annual viewing staple; even before the great pumpkin. Don’t worry, that one’s coming up. Until next tomb, slay geeky, and keep candy, candy, candy, candy! 


Monster Cereals 2015 – Boo Berry


By Joshie Jaxon

Greetings, geek fans! Time to tackle the last of the monster cereals, Boo Berry. Boo Berry is a ghost, who for some reason is able to wear a hat and bow tie. I can’t imagine why a ghost needs clothes, but as this is a cereal mascot, I don’t think I’ll devote too much time to solving the mystery. Let the geeks begin! 

For the final time, let’s start with the box. Unlike the other two, I somehow got a different version. There’s no, “we’re alive!”, which is good, since not a single one of them is a living thing. On the normal box, Boo Berry castle is basic. Strictly moonlight and nothing else. I like that minimalist look. Granted, it is still just a blue pallet swap of the others. I’ll take what I can get at this point. 

Now, on to the cereal. The cereal pieces are berry flavored ghosts. The marshmallows are bats and such. The cereal itself reminds me of Berry Kix. I used to love that cereal. Finally got used to a non-frosted cereal with marshmallows. Similar to Chocula, and Frankenberry, it was like a berry version of Lucky Charms. Can’t decide if this one, or Frankenberry was my favorite of the three. I just know that Chocula was the bottom. I asked Frankenberry. He confirmed it. 

My overall impression – It did get the milk nice and berry flavored, and turned it purple. Again, a fun trip down memory lane. Glad the season of this cereal is over. I think I’ll be good on this for a while. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 


Monster Cereals 2015 – Frankenberry


By Joshie Jaxon

Greetings, geek fans! Time to tackle the second of the monster cereals. Frankenberry always seemed gay to me, but maybe that’s the goggles to keep the “milk” out of his eyes, the overly pink attire and coloring, he’s like a cereal version of Snagglepuss. Let the geeks begin! 

Let’s start with the box, it says “we’re alive”. I know the main part of the Frankenstein story is, “it’s alive!”, but he’s still made from various corpses. Not exactly something you want to think of before eating. Luckily, he’s pink and looks cute. Frankenberry went and got his nails did; they look like strawberries, complete with seeds and stem. He went to the good salon in Transylvanian Korean town. His castle is in the background as is the full moon. Unlike Chocula’s, Frankenberry has lightning striking the castle. Gotta change it up. If it were just a pallet swap that wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

Now, on to the cereal. The cereal pieces are strawberry ghosts. The marshmallows are bats and such. Still not used to a non-frosted cereal to have marshmallows. The initial bite gave me a taste I can’t quite articulate, which is probably why I’m a retro blogger and not a food one. It was good. Can’t say if I equated it to strawberry cause that was the actual taste, or what my brain told me it should be. Similar to Chocula, it was like a strawberry version of Lucky Charms. 

My overall impression – It did get the milk strawberry-y, it was better than Chocula, which I find odd, cause I’m a chocoholic. I enjoyed the character of Frankenberry most as a kid. Again, a fun trip down memory lane. I’m looking forward to what the last monster, Boo Berry has to offer. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 


Monster Cereals 2015 – Count Chocula 


By Joshie Jaxon

Greetings, geek fans. October is here, as is pumpkin everything, but one of the seemingly overlooked items for this time of year is the temporary return of the monster cereals. I see them every year, but it’s been a good twenty since I’ve actually eaten them. Refusing to put myself into a diabetic coma by eating all three in one sitting, I’ll tackle these monsters one at a time. Let the geeks begin! 

Let’s start with the box, it says “we’re alive”. Last I checked, vampires, even cereal vampires, weren’t alive. If that weren’t bad enough, instead of fangs, Chocula has buck teeth. Brown hair, eyes, and outfit, girl is coordinated. His castle is in the background as are flying bats, and a full moon. As far as Halloween themes go, they’ve covered all the major points. 

Now, on to the cereal. The cereal pieces are chocolate ghosts. The marshmallows are bats and such. Aside from Lucky Charms, I’m not used to cereal with marshmallows in it. It seems odd to be eating a chocolate cereal with marshmallow bits, but I’m dedicated to entertaining you. The initial bite gave me Cocoa Crispies and Coco Puff flashbacks. Then I got a bite with marshmallow too. It was like a chocolaty version of Lucky Charms. 

My overall impression – It didn’t get the milk super chocolaty, it wasn’t the best tasting cereal I’ve ever had, and believe me, I’ve had a LOT of cereal in my life. It was a fun trip down memory lane, but I had a better flavor experience with the recent return of French Toast Crunch. I’m still excited, albeit a little hesitant to see what the other two monsters have to offer. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!