Linus: Portrait of a True Believing Pumpkinist as a Young
What does the Great Pumpkin offer Linus? Why does Linus
spend every Halloween in the pumpkin patch, waiting for
the Great Pumpkin to appear? Is it about the toys?
"Each year on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises
out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere
and flies through the air with his pack of toys for all
the good little children in the world."
No. This is about sincerity, a subjective standard by any
if Linus blames himself every year for not picking the most
sincere pumpkin patch for his vigil?
if other Great Pumpkinists castigate Linus by asserting
if he were more in tune with the Spirit of the Great Pumpkin,
if he were more prayerful, if he read the Holy Writ of the
Great Pumpkin with a greater sincerity, that he could indeed
rise to the challenge and, via the Spirit, be lead to choose
the most sincere pumpkin patch?
how many years Linus will feel guilty for this failure and
blame himself for receiving no answer no matter how sincere
he believes himself to be?
if Linus ever gets frustrated because there is no objective
way to measure sincerity? And if he realizes there is no
objective standard for such a thing, I wonder if it ever
creeps into his mind that his annual mission is nothing
more than mindless busywork?
does Linus ever has doubts?
For the time being, however, Linus will put aside his doubts
and, perhaps as a means of proving his sincerity, begins
to proselyte among his friends for converts. Most shrug
him off. But Sally, who has a crush on him, believes Linus
and agrees to spend Halloween in Linus’ Pumpkin Patch.
Linus then explains that by using positive language and
positive thinking, they may be able to attract the Great
Pumpkin to their Patch. He also cautions Sally that negative
language and negative thinking will cause the Great Pumpkin
to pass them by.
is no room for doubt when one is a Great Pumpkinist. One
should never say if the Great Pumpkin comes but always when
the Great Pumpkin comes. "One little slip like that, can
cause the Great Pumpkin to pass you by!" It’s hard to imagine
a benevolent icon such as the Great Pumpkin punishing TBPs
(True Believing Pumkinists) for such a minor infraction,
but there you have it.
Sally: The Birth of an Ex-Pumpkinist
Because Sally loves her “sweet baboo” Linus, she sets aside
her own Halloween plans of trick-or-treating and a Halloween
party in order to spend the evening in the Pumpkin Patch.
She converts to Great Pumpkinism because she loves Linus.
She respects his opinion. And she wants to make him happy
and be supportive. And besides, if it’s really true, WOW!
Wouldn’t that be fantastic?
But in the end, the only Being that shows up in the Pumpkin
Patch is Snoopy. Linus, believing Snoopy to be the Great
Pumpkin, swoons into an ecstatic faint, happy in the knowledge
that he has finally deciphered the Great Pumpkin’s standard
for sincerity. But, alas, it is a misplaced hope, and when
Linus regains consciousness, there is not only no Great
Pumpkin there to reward him, there is one upset little girl.
"I was robbed! I spent the whole night waiting for the
Great Pumpkin when I could have been out for tricks or treats!
Halloween is over and I missed it! You blockhead! You kept
me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin and all that
came was a beagle!"
"I didn't get a chance to go out for tricks or treats! And
it was all your fault! I'll sue! What a fool I was. And
I could have had candy apples and gum! And cookies and money
and all sorts of things! But no, I had to listen to you!
You blockhead. What a fool I was. Trick or treats come only
once a year. And I missed it by sitting in a pumpkin patch
with a blockhead. You owe me restitution!"
Luckily for Sally, she only missed one Halloween. And though
she is demanding restitution, because her participation
was voluntary, she will never receive said restitution.
She’ll simply have to accept the experience as one of life’s
absurdities and move on.
However, one can hope that this experience has made Sally
a more skeptical person, so that the next time she is presented
with such fantastic claims, she’ll perhaps be inclined to
do her research before committing any time, money or emotion.
all, fantastic claims should be supported by fantastic evidence,
question now becomes, has this experience made Linus a skeptic?
After yet again not having his Pumpkin Patch recognized
as sincere and after having endangered his friendship with
Sally, will he continue to believe?
spite of a complete and utter lack of evidence pointing
to the existence of the Great Pumpkin, and a complete and
utter lack of the Great Pumpkin’s Promise ever having been
fulfilled, Linus is a True Believing Pumpkinist to the core.
To even admit the possibility that he may be wrong would
be to negate all those years of hard work and sincere belief.
Linus simply cannot turn his back on his belief.
So if Linus doesn't become an ex-Pumpkinist, what is his
strategy? Well, he’s going to keep on trying, isn't he?
"What do you mean, 'stupid'? Just wait until next year.
I'll find a pumpkin patch, and I'll sit in that pumpkin
patch and it'll be a sincere pumpkin patch, and the Great
Pumpkin will come! Just you wait and see! I'll sit in that
pumpkin patch, and I'll see the Great Pumpkin. Just wait
until next year!"