Pain-A-Day Calendar

by Michael Channing

For Christmas last year, my fiancée gave me a Peanuts Page-A-Day Calendar, as both of us are big fans of Charlie Brown and the gang. Each page features a picture of a character cropped from a Peanuts comic strip. As we magneted the calendar to the fridge, my fiancée came up with the idea of having each page represent the mood and fortunes of the day ahead, sort of a low-budget, do it yourself I Ching.

Bad idea.

If all you know of Peanuts is "Happiness is a warm puppy" and that tree they all decorate to demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas, then you haven't been paying attention. That's the Hallmark version. In truth, Peanuts is only slightly less depressing than Eraserhead.

Though Peanuts does have more realistic-looking characters.

On a typical morning, we would look to our calendar and say, "What's today going to be like?"

"Oh, it's a sad child crying."

"Well, what about tomorrow?"

"Oh, it's a sad child losing at baseball."

"And the day after that?"

"A child contemplating the cold, friendless abyss."

"And after that?"

"A small child being conscripted into the navy."

"This week is going to suck."

But then we find the occasional page where the character doesn't appear to be in any mental anguish at all.

"Hey, Friday's not going to actively try to crush us. I can't wait."

And we soldier on, certain that one day, the universe has to hold that football for us to kick. It has to.

Some Days are Dark

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Chokes and Warbles
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Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing