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Marketplace Scratch Pad

The Great Pumpkin isn’t coming

Scott Jagow Oct 28, 2009

I watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” last night, and I couldn’t help but think the Peanuts were performing a sketch about bailouts and financial regulation.

As you probably know, Linus sits all night in his pumpkin patch, waiting for the Santa Claus-like Great Pumpkin to arrive with loads of toys. He even lures Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, into waiting with him when she could be out trick-or-treating. According to Linus, the Great Pumpkin only comes to the most sincere pumpkin patch, and he’s convinced that his is the most sincere: “You can look all around, and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.”

Well, the Great Pumpkin never shows up, only a beagle named Snoopy. Sally becomes outraged: “I was robbed!! You owe me restitution!!”

All she can do is yell, Sally the outraged taxpayer. Maybe she missed the signs of hypocrisy all around, particularly in Linus the Treasury Secretary’s pumpkin patch (excellent look-alike casting, by the way). Sally finally catches on to Linus’s belief that if he keeps investing in this patch, it will repay him a thousand times over with goodies from a flying squash.

Sally isn’t like her brother, Charlie, who never seems to learn his lesson. She’s smartened right up. Unfortunately, by law, she still has to contribute to Linus’s pumpkin patch fund. And although Linus has promised to make changes that will entice the Great Pumpkin to shower him with goodies next year… I have a feeling there might just be a dog.

But hey, it’s art. Maybe you have a different interpretation…

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