In a long running gag from the comic strip Peanuts, Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she’ll hold a football for him to kick. Charlie Brown refuses to kick it at first, not trusting Lucy, not wanting to get burned again. The two go back and forth until she convinces him to trust her.
Charlie Brown races up to kick the football, but at the very last second, before he can kick it, Lucy pulls the ball back and Charlie Brown flies in the air, falling head-over-heard, hurting himself. The gag usually ends with Lucy pointing out to Charlie Brown that he shouldn’t have trusted her.
He just can’t get a break. In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, “Good grief.”
Man’s best friend
Where Charlie Brown seems to attract bad luck, his lovable pet beagle, Snoopy, is the coolest of the cool. Snoopy has all the moves. He’s one of the most recognizable and iconic characters from the comic strip. Everyone wants to spend time with him and be with him. Snoopy is loyal, funny, imaginative and good-natured. He’s a genuinely happy dog and the only thing that truly upsets him is a lack of supper.
As a kid, I loved Snoopy. I couldn’t get enough of his portrayal of a British World War I flying ace from the Royal Flying Corps trying to bring down his rival, the German flying ace, the “Red Baron.” It makes sense then that I had a Snoopy stuffed animal and carried him everywhere throughout our house.
A friend to count on
I would read the comic strip, or try to read it, with Snoopy lined up next to me. With him at my side, I felt like I had his same “Joe Cool” style and confidence.
When I didn’t sleep with Snoopy, I slept with a small brown and yellow Teddy Bear. The bear had dark brown eyes and the smallest hint of a smile.
Snoopy and Teddy were my friends. If I had a tough day at the babysitters or kindergarten, I’d race home to play in my room or to our living room to watch cartoons on TV. I felt cuddling next to my two stuff animals made everything better. I knew they weren’t real. I knew they were made of stuffing and soft cloth, but I could still laugh and cry with them. They gave me confidence to face new challenges and everything that the day brought.
We all need a friend
I’ve been thinking about Snoopy and Teddy lately. I don’t need stuffed animals, I’m well past that point in my life, but I think we all need a friend or two to trust once in a while. I’m not talking about just any ole friend, but someone who you can confide your deepest worries, your deepest secrets, someone who you can tell everything.
I’m better off because I had Snoopy and Teddy as a kid. Likewise, I’m better off now as an adult because I have my wife at my side. I couldn’t imagine not having that outlet.