Who: Charlie Brown
Clarification: First of all, no, not that Charlie Brown. Although I think the comic strip Peanuts should have been retired when Charles Schultz passed on and would further add how I feel Schultz himself should have retired decades before he died, I dig that lovable loser Charlie Brown and think he and the whole Peanuts gang were pretty damn hep back when the strip was relevent and funny – oh, in the fifties and sixties. Nope, I’m talking about Charlie Brown, the titular character from the #2 Coasters hit. You know: “Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown. He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown. He’s gonna get caught; just you wait and see. Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?” Yeah, THAT Charlie Brown.
Why: At first blush, ol’ CB seems like a good-natured chucklehead who just may be in the wrong place at the wrong time or perhaps the school loser who gets picked on unjustly. However, if you listen to the lyrics precisely then you know that Charlie Brown is nothing more than a punk, a hoodlum. Listen up: “Who’s always writing on the wall? Who’s always goofin’ in the hall? Who’s always throwin’ spit balls?” Seriously, he’s that problem kid – every school has one – that makes the principal’s hair fall out and all the faculty want to give up teaching and sell Amway. Moreover, check out this bit: “Who walks in the classroom, cool and slow? Who calls the English teacher Daddy-O?” This was 1959! Kids didn’t talk to adults like this. The little bastard was not only in danger of getting expelled; he’s lucky that the teacher didn’t smack him upside his dumb-ass thick head. Of course, Charlie Brown would have probably pulled out a switchblade and that would have made it a vastly different song. Hey, I’ve seen Blackboard Jungle! I know those ‘50s teens were nothing but trouble – what with their gum chewing and their rock and roll music and their malt shoppes and jalopies. And Charlie Brown was the epitome of this good-for-nothing ilk. Hey! You’re one step away from juvie, mister!
How I justify it: He’s a fictional character. I think I can hate all the fictional characters I want with impunity. Next up: Chilly Willy and that dead dog from For Better Or For Worse!