I'm doing a very small, very humble memorial
to Charles Schulz on my page and would love whatever tributes you
would like to make, especially those fics written in his memory. It's
nothing grand, but ... then his works, despite being completely brilliant,
were nothing grand either when dissected, but very simple and very
The Morning Paper
In fond memory of Charles Schulz, 1922-2000
As was customary in a singular mansion in Graymalkin Lane, the rising
of the sun and the newspaper delivery-boy was greeted by flying fur
and snowballs. Well, would have been, if he did not make it his policy
to see, hear and speak no evil regarding his customers in the mutant
school. After all, their generous tips were going to get him to college
in a few years, and comic books in a few hours. So, when he saw the
abominable snowman tackle a frozen yeti, he merely turned his bicycle
around, told himself it was an optical illusion and pedalled as fast
as he could in the other direction.
When he had gone, the door was flung open by what was probably someoneís
body hurled against it, and a triumphant, decidedly blue hand reached
out to claim the prize. Dr Henry McCoy, who collected degrees from
various institutions as others did trading cards, had control of the
"Let me read it first," Iceman begged from his supine position on
the floor, favoring Hank with a look that was decidedly puppy-eyed.
"My dearest Robert, charmingly winsome as your pleading is, my answer
is an unequivocal: nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!"
With that Parthian shot, Henry bounded over the bannister and sped
to the kitchen with Iceman in hot pursuit, if that particular expression
could be used to describe someone whose average temperature was less
than 273 Calvins. Ultimately, however, exhausted by a few laps around
the mansion gardens, the two friends settled down on the back steps
and spread the newspaper between them. As was their custom, they skipped
matters of pressing social import and the sports, and turned directly
to the pages that really mattered -- the cartoons.
"Dilbert, Hi and Lois..." Beast muttered as his eyes swept down
"Dr Katz, Rhymes with Orange..." Iceman continued, doing likewise.
"The Far Side, Bliss, Cathy..."
"Garfield, Shoe, Andy Capp..."
They exchanged looks of horror as they reached the end of the cartoons
and their favorite one, the whole reason for printing any paper in
their opinion, was missing. Peanuts was no longer there, taking with
it a town of characters everyone had loved so well. Sally, sweet and
young, would give up hope that Linus would requite her love while
he, still clinging to his security blanket, would never see the Great
Pumpkin for whom he waited every Halloween. Lucy, cynical philosopher
and psychiatrist, would no longer dispense advice for the grand price
of 5c. Rerun, reluctant daredevil who risked his life on the back
of his mother's bicycle every day, would never grow up to know why.
Pigpen would win his endless battle with soap and water. Schroeder's
piano would gather dust in his absence, its final arpeggio played.
The Red Baron would laugh as Snoopy put his kennel in the hangar for
the last time. Charlie Brown, perpetual fool of fortune, would never
kick the football.
A tear-drop formed in Icemanís eye, which he rubbed away with his
shirt-sleeve. "Good grief, the morning sun is melting me."
Beast, whose powers had very little to do with ice or water, was
apparently also melting, judging by the suspiciously damp sparkle
in his eyes. When he spoke, his voice caught: "The mornings will never
be the same again, will they?"
"No, Hank, they wonít."
Somewhere in the distance, a small, yellow bird trilled a few notes
and was silent.
mentioned are the sole and exclusive property of their creators. Iceman
and Beast belong to Marvel Comics. None of this is being used to make
me a profit, nor would I want it to in this case, because it would
be crass. Charles Schulz passed away yesterday in his sleep at the
age of 77 after a long battle with cancer. At the request of his family,
and for good reason because it was so personal, Peanuts is not being
continued in his absence. I will miss the blend of wry humor, the
gentleness, the deep spirituality, the utter charm that his cartoons
typified, and I know that I am not alone in that. Rest in peace, sir.
For those who say this story is crass because it does not descend
to endless angst, please don't tell me so. I know he would prefer
to be remembered with smiles and laughter, rather than tears. It's
the highest honor any cartoonist can be awarded. To this lists on
which this is OT, I'm sorry. I thought this was universally applicable.
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