It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Happy Halloween

I don't hate you Charlie Brown -- I really don't. But for some reason your holiday specials always rubbed me the wrong way. Not any specific instance about them, but they always seemed to come on when I least wanted to watch them. There was never a perfect moment to watch a Charlie Brown holiday special when I really wanted to see one. You were never there for me, Charles.

All with one exception. The Great Pumpkin special. I feel like I couldn't escape you. You were never not on. There was always some channel playing you. I couldn't escape. Can't find the exit. Can't find the exit.

"quintessential" people called you. "The most important part of Halloween" follows after. Your damn pumpkin show never leaves my vision. Snoopy and Woodstock plauge my cold, wet, October month.

7 days until Halloween (not at the time of this writing, in the scope of this dumb story I'm writing). The walls I walk by are littered with your presence. I see your big ass head plastered on the side of buildings. I see Linus and his dumb ass blanket screaming at me on painted windows. I walk into a Target and see your decorations the only ones left for sale in the holiday aisle. And most importantly, I see your cereal in the breakfast aisle.

I grab you from the shelf. Quizzically scanning the box, I question why they put you in a dumb little Zoro mask. I don't remember you wearing that in the Great Pumpkin episode. I ignore your 1 month free trial of Apple TV Plus. And then I see your piece de la resistance -- you are apparently "Vanilla Flavored"

0 times have I heard "Vanilla Flavored" cereal before. I've probably seen it, and probably have tasted it, but I've never internalized "Vanilla Flavored" cereal.

And what a perfect descriptor for you, Chuck. Vanilla. You are the base-line. You are the safest option. The poster-boy for mediocrity. You are vanilla.

You came home with me that day. I was really excited to give you a shot. I love marshmallows, yknow. So even if your vanilla flavoring wasn't going to do anything for me, I was ready for my milk to turn green or something. I told my roommate about you, Charlie. About how you had a cereal out now. She loves you, Charlie. She loves your Halloween special. She saw your movie.

8 weeks have passed since I let you into my home, Charlie. I haven't eaten you since the first time we met. My roommate hasn't touched you. You live in the back of my cupboard now.

Go ahead and try the It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown cereal.

It's vanilla.