Wednesday 2 October 2019

May Contain Nuts

Roger Noons

a glass of sarsaparilla

‘Joyce, I’ve got an idea.’
    ‘What is it this time, Charles?’
    ‘I’m sick of one panel jokes. I’m sure I can make more of a boy and his dog.’
    ‘Don’t drop the dog.’
    ‘No, I won’t but I’ve an inkling for a four panel version.’
    ‘Make the dog the wise one who tells the boy what to do and throws up his paws when the lad goofs out.’
    ‘Don’t know if that’ll work.’
    ‘Course it will.’ Joyce stared over her spectacles. ‘Most dogs are brighter than their owners. Look at Mrs Rose over the road, her chihuahua has twice as many brain cells.’
    ‘And add some pals for the boy. They need to be unusual, kids with distinct personalities. But the dog must always be in charge. You could give him a pal … perhaps a chirpy bird, something like that.’
    ‘I could still use the name Charlie Brown, for the boy.’
    ‘What will you call the dog?’
    ‘Dunno … you got any ideas?’
    ‘They bark and poop … and snoop. Why not call him Snoopy?’
    Charles shook his head. ‘I’ll try it out on the Syndicate, but I don’t think it will work.’
    ‘Keep the drawing simple but you need to suggest a breed, a smallish dog, I think, they’re the cleverest.’
    ‘I had a dog when I was a boy, a pointer, Spike.’
    ‘Beagle,’ Joyce shouted, ‘better than a terrier.’
    ‘Right, beagle it is unless the Syndicate think  otherwise.’
    ‘Tell them Charles, don’t ask. Assure them it will be a success.’
    He nodded but he didn’t have his fiancé’s confidence.’

Peanuts premiered in the Washington Post and six other newspapers on 2 October 1950.    

About the author

Roger Noons is a regular contributor to Cafe Lit. His Slimline Tales was published earlier this year by Chapeltown Books.

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