— An Opera —

libretto by Randy Horton

ACT I

Scene one


On a dark stage we hear Beethoven. Lights rise on Shroeder and Lucy at a child's piano, Lucy entranced by the music.
Suddenly, a male SHRIEK rings out off-stage.
LUCY Was that yelling, Shroeder...? Was it?
Did you hear it? What was that? SHROEDER It was nothing. Just a noise. LUCY But what kind of noise was that? SHROEDER Nothing, Lucy. Just a noise. LUCY But a noise that I don't like. Darling?
Go and reconnoiter,
Find out who was yelling, dear? SHROEDER "Darling" Why don't you go check it out.
I will wait right here. LUCY Darling! You said Darling! SHROEDER Yes I did. Go check it out. LUCY You do love me! You said Darling! SHROEDER Yes I did. Go check it out. LUCY He said darling! Darling Shroeder,
(Even though I know you're lying)
He said Darling, and I'm flying.
(Even though I'll make you pay.)
I'll go find out what that noise was dear.
You stay here and play. SHROEDER You go find out what that noise was. LUCY Then we'll be together all the day. SHROEDER I can't wait. I cannot wait. LUCY Then you'll pay and pay and pay!
Lucy leaves to investigate the noise. Shroeder shakes his head. He returns briefly to his Beethoven, then stops.
SHROEDER If I wasn't such an artist I would smack her with a rake.
Then I'd dunk her in the toilet
Then I'd hit her with a plate.
If I wasn't such an artist
I 'd really smack that woman hard
With a two by four upside the head,
And rub her up with lard
Then I'd say something really poignant
Far more poignant than a child my age has a right to
touch upon
That girl is mental poison
She'd defoliate the lawn
If I buried her there up to her neck
And left her until dawn
With nothing but a cigarette stuck in her mouth
Lit, of course.
And no way to put it out.
But as an artist I must strive to be un-worldly.
So I won't express my disgust at her petty human love
with anything more than this minor chord.
Let her wallow in emotion.
I'm an artist... and I'm bored.
He begins to play, but a tall, ominous shape enters and towers above him.
SHROEDER Who are you? SHAPE The man from Metropolitan Life. I am your future. SHROEDER There is no future here. SHAPE I am your future. SHROEDER Disappear! SHAPE Now it's time for you to see the world!
The set goes black. Lights rise on a dead Shroeder. Lucy skips in.
LUCY It was nothing. I was wrong.
Though I'll never say those words.
In a thousand years of being wrong
I'd never say those words.
Not until we two are married and our lives are bitter hell...
(she sees his corpse)
Shroeder...? Darling Shroeder?
Oh my Shroeder, are you hurt?
Say some hurting, biting comment, darling Shroeder
Are you hurt?
Say some nasty, cursing comment, darling Shroeder.
Are you hurt?
Say some cutting, crueling, caustic, darling Shroeder.
Make me hurt!
He is dead! My darling Shroeder. He is dead!
She breaks into tears as the lights go out.

ACT I

SCENE II


At the stone wall, with only their arms and heads visible, Lucy talks to Linus.
LUCY I have told you all I know. LINUS He's dead... I can't believe... LUCY Shroeder's dead and I want vengeance. LINUS He's dead... I can't believe... LUCY Well, little brother, who will pay? LINUS He isn't simply sleeping? LUCY He is dead. LINUS Have you kicked him? LUCY We must have vengeance. Now! Today!
Peppermint Patty enters to the left of Lucy.
PEPPERMINT PATTY How's it hangin' little fellows? LUCY Shroeder's killed. He died today. PEPPERMINT PATTY No one dies in here!? You crazy? LINUS That's what I say-only sleeping. LUCY Shroeder's dead and I want vengeance!
Sally enters to the left of Peppermint Patty.
SALLY Shroeder's dead?! LINUS Only sleeping! LUCY I want Vengeance! PEPPERMINT PATTY You don't say? SALLY He must be faking. LINUS Narcoleptic? LUCY Vengeance now! PEPPERMINT PATTY But who will pay?
Snoopy enters in front of the wall in the guise of Sherlock Holmes.
SNOOPY Here comes the great detective! PEPPERMINT PATTY Snoopy is a beagle. Beagles sniff out crime. LUCY I know! PEPPERMINT PATTY We should watch him and he'll lead us. LUCY To the criminal. He's mine! LINUS But the crime is undetermined. SALLY It's a murder! Don't be shy. PEPPERMINT PATTY It's a murder and you know it. LUCY And the murderer must die! LINUS But we've never dealt with death. We are children! SALLY In my eye. LINUS We are children. PEPPERMINT PATTY Through forty years of syndication? LINUS Aren't we children? LUCY He must die!
Snoopy mugs for the audience.
SALLY Snoopy's sniffing at the corpse. PEPPERMINT PATTY He's sniffing killer sweat. LINUS But who would kill in here? LUCY It's Charlie Brown! Of course! LINUS My friend!? PEPPERMINT PATTY Chuck!? SALLY My brother!? SNOOPY That round-headed guy with the food!? LUCY It was Charlie Brown I knew it!
He was jealous of my love!
Of my love for darling Shroeder
-Oh this hateful, hateful day!
He has hated me for forty years. SALLY You pulled his football away. PEPPERMINT PATTY You wopped him on his fat round head. LINUS You berated him all day! SALLY Now he's killed Shroeder. PEPPERMINT PATTY What a downer. LUCY But now Charlie Brown must pay! LINUS Wait! Lucid thoughts are called for.
We don't know that Charlie's guilty. LUCY We don't know that Pigpen's filthy!
We must get him! PEPPERMINT PATTY I guess so. LUCY We must get him! Now we know! SALLY But what should we do?
Snoopy mugs hanging himself.
LUCY I will take a knife and stab him.
He has killed my only future. SALLY As the wife of an artist incapable of feeling human love? LUCY I could have made him feel emotions. SALLY Not the ones you're dreaming of. PEPPERMINT PATTY You could take my bat and smack him. SNOOPY When he brings me evening's dinner! SALLY Can I have his room? LUCY You betcha! SALLY Let's go kill the evil blockhead! LINUS NO! ...Are we not children? LUCY We are creatures. LINUS We don't know that Charlie did it!
We don't know who killed our Shroeder.
Perhaps he simply ran out of material.

We don't know that someone killed him!
We can't say that Charlie did it.
Certainly not without a proper trial. LUCY So we'll try him. SALLY Then we'll kill him! LUCY Then I'll rip off Charlie's head. SNOOPY His head?! LUCY His head. And I'll place it on Shroeder's piano,
As a tribute to the dead.
They reach down behind the wall and lift Shroeder's corpse onto their shoulders.
PEPPERMINT PATTY Let's arrest Chuck! SALLY Let's confiscate his room! LINUS What a hateful, hateful day! LUCY I'm going to find me one dead blockhead.
And he'll pay, and pay, and pay!

ACT I

Scene III


Charlie Brown stands alone with his baseball glove on top of the mound.
CHARLIE BROWN There's a beauty to an empty baseball field.
Without players or a referee
All its failures so well hidden, waiting for me.
But I shouldn't shield myself with expectation
Of the anguish destined for me on the field.
There's anguish everywhere.
Not just here. It's everywhere.
And I wish, and I wish that I could be
That anguish waiting. And see me,
As the victim soon to be.
Then I'd know what it was like to be needed.
Ah, self pity, yes it really gets me off.

If only I could see that little red-haired girl
Walking toward me. Stepping to me.
With her hands outstretched to hold me
In her arms so tenderly
As she tells me that she wants me... for a friend.

On cloudy days like this,
Unrequited love can be one long, slow, sloppy kiss.
The group seen previously enters, with Lucy in the lead.
LUCY Kill the blockhead! Kill the blockhead! CHORUS Kill the blockhead! CHARLIE BROWN Kill the blockhead? CHORUS Yes, we know that you have done it!
Yes, we know that you have done it!
Yes, we know that you have done it!
LUCY Yes, he did it! CHORUS Kill him now! SNOOPY Kill him now! CHARLIE BROWN Do you hate me for my failure?
My self-pity, or my hatred
Of the things I see within me
That I see around the world? LUCY No, we hate you for the murder,
Of the lovely, loving Shroeder,
Who would have surely been my husband
And outfitted me with children. SNOOPY For you to mistreat and abuse! LUCY For me to mistreat and abuse!
Yes, I hate you, you thick blockhead.
Kill the blockhead! CHORUS Kill him now! LINUS No! Must I say this to you all?
We are children not blind killers.
We are trusting, simple children,
With a knack for being poignant.
We can't kill him, we must try him. CHORUS Try him first and then we'll kill him!
Try him first and then we'll kill him!
Try him first and then we'll kill him! SNOOPY Kill him long and slow! CHARLIE BROWN Shroeder's dead? LUCY As if you didn't know?! SNOOPY KILL HIM LONG AND SLOW!
All look to Snoopy. He skips to the rear of the crowd, embarrassed.
CHARLIE BROWN I did nothing to hurt Shroeder.
I'm a man of simple kindness.
I'm a man who hides his hatreds
With a mask of simple kindness. LUCY You admit you hated Shroeder! CHARLIE BROWN I never talked to Shroeder. LUCY You admit you hated Shroeder! CHARLIE BROWN No, I don't! I do not know?! LUCY Charlie Brown I see your eyes.
They are glinting like dark coals
From the fire where I'll store
the poker that I'll use to put them out. CHARLIE BROWN Not my eyes! LUCY And your head is like the football
That I never let you kick.
We will laugh and dance around it,
When it sits on the piano.
We will kiss your rotting forehead,
With the love you've never witnessed.
We will play songs to the pity
That you've hoarded for yourself. CHARLIE BROWN Good grief!
He runs away and they chase him, singing in chorus.
CHORUS Yes we know that you have done it!
Yes we know that you have done it!
Yes we know that you have done it! CHARLIE BROWN I'm not guilty! CHORUS Try him now! CHARLIE BROWN AH! I am caught!

ACT I

Scene IV


Charlie Brown is behind bars in a makeshift jail. Outside, Lucy has set up her Psychiatrist stand. She sits impassively behind it, talking to him.
CHARLIE BROWN Lucy! This is silly.
I have murdered no one. Lucy! LUCY As a court appointed psychiatrist
It's my duty to apply my gifts
As the unraveller of all sorts of mental processes.
And though I personally despise you
I will perform my duties despite you and
Discover what lead to this unforeseen decay.

For your brain has surely rotted
From excessive self-obsession
And your thoughts are darkly spotted
With the sores of introspection
And self pity for transgressions
That we know too well you've plotted
Though your thoughts may well have blotted
Out the memory of your mission
To destroy my loving Shroeder
Yes, it's far beyond suspicion
I can tell that you have started
Trusting me with this petition
So just sign here this confession
On the line that I have dotted
And I'll promise that the audit
Of your crimes will call it passion
And to judge the situation
From your own unique position
We will take no rash inaction
That might torture you with guilt. CHARLIE BROWN Are you saying that I did it? LUCY Yes, you did it and you WILL...
Die for it. CHARLIE BROWN But I always feel this guilt. I see no strong connection
Between that and this transgression. LUCY But I've made it my own mission
To destroy you with this session. CHARLIE BROWN You don't seem all that objective. LUCY Please!
Look beyond my sweet invective,
To the woman who can help you.

If you'd focus introspective on the crime we'll find a clue. CHARLIE BROWN But I just don't trust you. LUCY There's no reason for you to. CHARLIE BROWN No? LUCY Because women all your life have left you hanging,
Haven't they? CHARLIE BROWN Well... LUCY Because women all your life have left you longing
to be gay. CHARLIE BROWN I wouldn't... LUCY The little red-haired girl, you say? I could have sworn
She never once, gave you the time of day. CHARLIE BROWN But it was my own fault! LUCY You admit it now, you say?
That unrequited love has left you
tortured and dismayed?
You know your mother never loved you, Charlie Brown. CHARLIE BROWN She's a busy woman. LUCY Far too busy to appear in forty years of syndication? CHARLIE BROWN She's... LUCY That's a hearty indication when the woman won't appear,
That the lady doesn't love you CHARLIE BROWN I just want to disappear... LUCY You can!
Because, Charlie Brown,
I've really come to sympathize with you
As a professional psychiatrist. CHARLIE BROWN But you just said I shouldn't trust you. LUCY And you shouldn't, but hear this:
I'm here to help you, Charlie,
Reach inside to find the tears
That the world has stuffed within you,
As it ground you in its gears.
Did you ever really think you might
Have a real career?
All you ever seem to do is fail.
In the eyes of all your peers you engender nothing
but abuse and hateful staring leers. CHARLIE BROWN But I'm innocent! LUCY Of what? Your moral bank account has long been
in arrears.
You hide your hatred of the world
With this stoic mask of fear?
Did you ever stop to think that maybe, Charlie, dear...
All that disappointment would surface
in one blinding act of Hate! CHARLIE BROWN From unrequited love?! LUCY You should have learned to masturbate! CHARLIE BROWN In the bowling alley of life I always drop the ball
on my foot. LUCY Will you sign this nice confession? CHARLIE BROWN No! LUCY Fine! if the simple truth is something you continue
to refute,
Then I'll see you in court.
I've been assigned to prosecute.
Lucy walks off in a huff.
CHARLIE BROWN Though I've always felt depression, circumspection, and
dejection. And I've always known I've never quite fit into
my condition
I never once considered maybe I would kill a Shroeder.
Did I hate him for the talent that I've never manifested?
Or was I really jealous of the love that he neglected?
Or was it simply malice exploding unprotected?
I didn't think I was impacted
with the hatred that I've had.
Oh, did I say hatred? I meant to say I'm sad.
I mean just because the world hates me doesn't
mean that I'm infected
With a hatred for this world gone mad...
Snoopy peeks up over the top of the jail, with a key.
CHARLIE BROWN Snoopy! Man's best friend, my only friend,
You've come to take me from this cell! SNOOPY Sorry, kid- just here to tease you.
I'm your personal dog from Hell.
Lights go out as Snoopy brandishes the key.

ACT I

Scene V


A trial is set up, with our characters surrounding Charlie Brown. Snoopy is the judge, Lucy the prosecutor, and Linus the defense. Sally, Peppermint Patty, Pigpen, and Woodstock form the chorus/jury.
SNOOPY Call to order! CHORUS We want vengeance! SNOOPY Take your seats! CHORUS We want our vengeance! SNOOPY When is lunch? CHORUS It's at twelve thirty! SNOOPY Let's get this over now! CHORUS We'll get it over now! SALLY Your honor, if I may, as the forewoman of the jury
Deliver now our final verdict on this horrid, horrid, crime! CHARLIE BROWN But we haven't even started! SALLY Oh, well, fine. Let's get it over.
(And people wonder why our courts
Take so long to tender justice!) LINUS If I may speak first for my client? LUCY When do I get time to talk here? CHARLIE BROWN My one and only sister? LUCY Are you talking, or am I?
Linus cracks his blanket like a whip, and stands above the rest to talk.
LINUS Ahem! If I may begin my defense
Of the noble Brown called Charlie. SNOOPY No one stands above the judge. LINUS Well I'm sorry, I'll slouch some.

Now, we know it is our duty... SNOOPY -Bailiff! Bring the judge a cookie. LINUS ...to bring blind justice to the
Only crime we've ever witnessed,
The foul murder of our cohort LUCY My soon husband LINUS Our own Shroeder. CHARLIE BROWN I didn't do it! LINUS Would you hold on? SNOOPY Bring the handcuffs! LINUS I have yet to give my speech!

Ahem! Now...
I will make one simple point, in the defense of my client,
And I think you will agree that the argument is cogent
When you follow my firm logic... LUCY Would you get on?! LINUS It is tragic, that our own beloved Charlie
is imprisoned in this sad shape.
Pathetic as he is, he is ours and we must love him!
For, I ask you all, has he kicked a single football?
And ponder this, a single girl that he has kissed?
And his kite, in the air? It is not a common sight.
And his head, and his hair?
He must have covered it with Nair (tm).
He always loves the competition, but he loses everywhere.

His Christmas tree had Chestnut blight.
His afternoons are full of night.
Valentines? He never gets them.
Bronchial Asthma? He just might.
Romantic trysts? He's not too handsome.
And charisma?
Oh yeah, right. LUCY What's your point? LINUS We must have the utmost confidence
in Charlie Brown's incompetence.
Do you honestly believe that he could succeed
in this killing
Even if the flesh were willing?
It must be now decried, that in the realm of homicide
Failure is personified
By the very man that you have all locked up.
He simply couldn't do it, because if he tried to do it,
Charlie Brown would surely have screwed up. CHORUS It's true he is incompetent.
It's true he is incompetent.
It's true he is incompetent. LUCY Now I call him to the stand! LINUS I'm sorry. Self incrimination is against the law. LUCY So is fratricide. LINUS All yours. CHORUS Killer to the stand!
Reluctantly, Charlie Brown takes the stand.
LUCY Do you swear to tell the whole truth?
Nothing but it, just the whole truth.
Just the truth and nothing but? CHORUS Just the truth and nothing but? CHARLIE BROWN Just the truth and nothing but. LUCY I'll begin with this one question,
That defines the altercation
That you had with my own Shroeder,
On the day that he was murdered! CHORUS He was murdered! LUCY (And you did it!) CHARLIE BROWN No I didn't! LUCY Tell me why! Why did you, one Brown named Charlie
Walk up to your only sister
And demand that she go to him
To remove him from my side?! CHORUS You were pimping for your sister? CHARLIE BROWN I did nothing of the kind! LUCY You were always jealous of me,
Of my beauty and my drive.
So you asked your only sister
To remove him from my side. CHORUS You were pimping for your sister? CHARLIE BROWN I did nothing of the kind! SALLY Yes, you did my darling brother.
Now poor Shroeder's gone and died. CHARLIE BROWN Perhaps I only wanted you to find another friend? SALLY As part of your sick plot, my brother,
Now let's not pretend. LUCY Then when Sally turned you down,
You went around the bend.
You stalked him and you stabbed him
And you stabbed him twice again! CHORUS You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and CHARLIE BROWN NO! CHORUS You stabbed him twice again! CHARLIE BROWN I did nothing of the kind! LUCY Then why is it, loyal friend...
The daily comics show you rending Shroeder
limb from limb!
Each member of the chorus lifts a panel from a Peanuts comic strip showing Charlie running at Shroeder with a knife, and finally stabbing him.
CHORUS You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and
You stabbed him and CHARLIE BROWN NO! CHORUS You stabbed him twice again! LINUS ...defense rests. CHARLIE BROWN How could I have killed him?! LUCY With the hatred in your soul! CHARLIE BROWN But I didn't even hate him! LUCY Yes, you did and you were bold
With the virulence that lurks inside you
Waiting to unfold. SALLY We declare him guilty! CHORUS He is guilty! LUCY Bought and sold! SHAPE Wait!
The tall, ominous, shape seen earlier steps into court, under a black cape.
SHAPE Charlie Brown is innocent. LUCY And just how would you know? SHAPE It's simple, Ms. Van Pelt. Because I told you so. LUCY Then what of all our evidence? SHAPE I drew it on my own. LUCY Well what about this witness here? SHAPE She just wants a room. LUCY And what about the corpse, my friend? SHAPE Your rotting artist groom? He's dead.
It was an act of God. LUCY It seems to me like Charlie here,
you must have thrown a rod.
We've got him cold, he did the deed.
There was no act of God.
I'm sick of your banalities... No, this is not reality! CHORUS -This is not reality, no
-This is not reality, no
-This is not reality, no
-This is not reality, no
-This is not reality, no (continues until revelation) LUCY He is guilty, can't you see?! SHAPE He's guilty of believing in his immortality.
As are you all. Now set him free. LUCY Exactly why should we? SHAPE Because he is not guilty. I am guilty of the deed. LUCY You killed our only Shroeder? SHAPE Yes I did, Delightedly.
I killed him with the hands with which
I made him, don't you see? LUCY You're Mr. Shroeder? CHARLIE BROWN You're his daddy? SHAPE No. Charles Shultz. SNOOPY AAAIEEEE!
The shape whips off his cloak to reveal a bland, bespectacled man in a suit. The chorus silences with a scream as the lights go out.

ACT II

Scene I


On the far end of the stage we see a little bed and a clock radio on a night stand. Someone sleeps under the covers.

Mrs. Shultz, a kind, dissolute woman, enters and tries to wake her husband.
MRS. SHULTZ Oh, Charles, hello Charles... Still asleep?
For heaven sakes.
The mail's already come dear
And it's time for you to wake.
I wouldn't do it Shnooky but you know my wrist still aches
From signing those endorsement fees
We got from Land'O'Lakes.
Not to mention Dolly Madison
-We still have thirty crates
Of those chocolate things they gave us
After you endorsed their cakes.
But he's sleeping, always sleeping...
And of course it could be worse...
How many of us can be loved by innocuous, inoffensive,
easily manipulated, multi-multi-millionaires..?
With the cutest little, fuzzy patch of greying pubic hair
I call it Snoopy, when I see it,
Which these days is very rare.
He's understanding, and so quiet.
If I so much as nudge some thing
He'll turn around and buy it!
The irony of cartoon characters owning a large
Percentage of California is not lost on me.
Charlie? Charlie?
Oh my Lord, Charles won't awake!
The lights rise on center stage where Charles Shultz walks with Charlie Brown. Mrs. Shultz worriedly attempts to wake her husband in the background during all this, occasionally throwing in a comment.
MRS. SHULTZ (Throughout, softly) Charles wake up, wake up Charles... CHARLIE BROWN How could you kill your own creation? CHARLES SHULTZ Oh, that Shroeder had to die. CHARLIE BROWN You provide no vindication? CHARLES SHULTZ Do I need to? Why should I?
I have made him now unmade him,
Don't you know all life must die? CHARLIE BROWN Were you jealous of his talent? CHARLES SHULTZ His talent? It was mine!

I've forged an empire on your simple frustrated passions
That would shame a Mussolini at his height.
A billion human minds are enslaved to my designs
But my flesh still rots and I can't sleep at night.

And what to show for all my troubles? CHARLIE BROWN Just a moral three day stubble. CHARLES SHULTZ No, no. There are two problems here,
That I do need to make clear,
And we might as well begin with you, my son.
You see, for forty years and more
You've been a child, underscored
By the simplicity of loss our world adores. CHARLIE BROWN But that is life. CHARLES SHULTZ Not anymore.
The real world's beating at your door.
I must unleash it on you now.
I can hold it back no more. CHARLIE BROWN Can reality be worse than this angst
That was my burden unto birth? CHARLES SHULTZ Perhaps not worse, but more complex.
And of course the aging process...
In time you will become,
As organs fail and lose their sheen,
A man like me; you will be me. CHARLIE BROWN Good grief. CHARLES SHULTZ But with decay there are a host of guilty pleasures... CHARLIE BROWN Does this mean I'll find a wife? CHARLES SHULTZ Perhaps, yes, a fine young wife!
Though she's bulimic and a kleptomaniac.
She cheats on you, and you keep coming back. CHARLIE BROWN Unrequited love would seem a heaven in its place. CHARLES SHULTZ Yes, you'll find the candy best, that you don't taste.
But in this world we all must eat. CHARLIE BROWN And to eat we all must kill? CHARLES SHULTZ It's a heavy, bitter pill. CHARLIE BROWN It is a waste.
And now you place the burden on your children? CHARLES SHULTZ It is the way here in my culture.
But if we learn to work together
I believe we can succeed. CHARLIE BROWN Work together? CHARLES SHULTZ On my needs. CHARLIE BROWN What needs are these? CHARLES SHULTZ I must find my one true love.
And I must have her to be happy.
I will take her and I'll love her. I will hold her in my soul. CHARLIE BROWN And I bet that I do know her. CHARLES SHULTZ See, you are not such a blockhead. CHARLIE BROWN And you will not draw another? CHARLES SHULTZ No, I fear she isn't plural. CHARLIE BROWN You have made firm plans to take her? CHARLES SHULTZ Yes! The little red-haired girl! CHARLIE BROWN You will steal your own son's lover? CHARLES SHULTZ Do you know what I have shouldered?!
Do you know what I have weathered?
The world it is no pleasure! CHARLIE BROWN Even for a millionaire? CHARLES SHULTZ No insolence. I am God here, little child.
Bring her to me and you'll live. CHARLIE BROWN And yesterday I didn't know that I could die.
In the Ice Capades of life, I'm just a melted Eskimo Pie.
Charlie stalks off, angrily. Lucy moves up to Charles.
LUCY I admire your strong words.
I admire your strong passions. CHARLES SHULTZ You were all set to behead me. LUCY When I thought you were a blockhead. CHARLES SHULTZ Well I am, dear. LUCY You are not.
I am here to say I'm sorry. CHARLES SHULTZ It's accepted.
She sits in his lap, stroking his face, lovingly.
LUCY No, I mean it. Let me show you my intentions.
For I feel now in my body, I have always wanted power.
And it's in you now, I feel it,
I could show you how to use it. CHARLES SHULTZ Your love? LUCY It's yours; abuse it.
Oh, I know you want another, but wait first,
Don't reject me.
There are ways that we can do this, to benefit us both.
You could draw me lanky buttocks,
you could fill out my thin torso
You could take me when you want me
You could spank me like a daughter... CHARLES SHULTZ I would not! LUCY Dearest father.
I'm a bad girl, now, today. CHARLES SHULTZ Get away! LUCY If not your daughter then a wife!
We could stay up every night.
You could love me, your creation,
You could mold me as you like.
We could rule together, Charlie, just you and I together.
Through rough or simple weather
With an iron hand, clenched tight! CHARLES SHULTZ I love you Lucy-not that way. I'm waiting for another. LUCY That red-haired slut! CHARLES SHULTZ Now don't begrudge her, she is mine. LUCY Her rampant Knight?
You are a blockhead, stupid Charlie
You'll regret this rash decision.
I have a premonition, you will pay, and pay tonight!
She storms off. Charles Shultz stands and shakes his head.
CHARLES SHULTZ Now my own thoughts are set against me,
Is this fair? They are my thoughts.
Can't I think them, or unthink them
Can't I twist them as I like?
Can't I rape them or unmake them,
Can't I think just what I like?

All my life I've packaged sorrow,
Wrapped in humorous unease
Vague malaise in syndication,
Under laughter's quick strip tease.
But having sold them, don't I own them?
Can my children tell me no?
Or should they take the aging cottage of my mind,
And go Condo?

ACT II

Scene II


Linus leads a discussion by the cement wall. His blanket is the cape that Charles Shultz wore in the beginning of Act I. All but Lucy are present.
LINUS Well... We have always somewhat known
Of an outside world of which our own
Was the merest sad distillation.

Now they're poised to burst upon us,
All the years that we've been missing. CHARLIE BROWN And from us not the slightest provocation. LINUS What would our future be, as forty year old beasts
Heaving with the baggage of our meaty aged frames?
Budded overnight, our bodies promised with life's yeast
Would darken on the vine, to a turgid blackened wine
Ready-made for death's insensate feasts. SNOOPY I don't want to be neutered! SALLY What would I be -half passed forty? LINUS Yes, a rollicking divorcee. SALLY Very pretty? LINUS Of a sort, though your obsession now with beauty will
Be bloated to absorb every aspect of your passion, every
Hope of satisfaction-every single observation
Filtered through your introspection. SALLY But I'll be pretty? LINUS Very. CHARLIE BROWN Snoopy?
Snoopy's ears prick up.
LINUS Dead. CHARLIE BROWN With a bang or with a whimper? LINUS Just a slow case of distemper.
Snoopy topples over backwards.
PEPPERMINT PATTY And for me? LINUS Realty. You will be fabulously wealthy. PEPPERMINT PATTY But you say this none too happy. LINUS No you won't be very happy.
Though you never will know why.
A slick religion will then guide you,
And you'll give it lots of money
And you'll move into a commune
Full of mindless, vegan robots. PEPPERMINT PATTY My friends? LINUS We will have left you, sick of your righteous justifying.
And myself? I will be dying of an AIDS related illness. SALLY Are you certain? LINUS It is a vision.
And my blanket will remain,
The last vestige of my sickness,
Dotted with my bloody stool. CHARLIE BROWN I'm sorry Linus. LINUS Don't pity, fool.
Your wife she won't respect you,
Though you will remain devoted.
You will become embittered, a confirmed misogynist. CHARLIE BROWN Can we convince him that he needs us?
That we must remain as children? SALLY Even though I will be pretty... SNOOPY I could bite him in the scrotum? LINUS No, first you should appease him...
-With the little red-haired girl. CHARLIE BROWN But we haven't even spoken.
Ours is love from quite a distance. LINUS Now you have a chance to meet her. CHARLIE BROWN Giving romantic assistance. SNOOPY I could pretend I have Rabies?
Snoopy sprays shaving cream over his mouth, then coughs and hacks on it.
LINUS No, our duty calls tonight.
Have we not always been yearning
For the chance to do what's right? CHARLIE BROWN But if a creator orders evil? LINUS As in Isaac on the hill? CHARLIE BROWN Would a sane God ask this sacrifice,
Just to test our will? LINUS Sane or not, he is our founder. CHARLIE BROWN But he made us with free will!
What a cruel demonstration of the powers he's abused.
To forge us all a function that we cannot rightly use. SNOOPY Well, if he tries to pet me, I think I will refuse. LINUS Just go meet your little red-haired girl.
Then bid your fond a-dieus.

ACT II

Scene III


Charlie Brown stands on his baseball mound. Snoopy mugs nearby for the audience.
CHARLIE BROWN I've born the slings and arrows
Of this outrage now repleat
With my sorrow's expectation of another ripe defeat
-Since the hand of God that gives me genitalia
is the seat
Of castration fears that guide me
To my longing lover's feet.

I'm a boy of fifty-three
And I've never had VD!
I've never owned a Mazarati.
Or taken ecstasy... SNOOPY How can you contemplate the question
Of 'to be or not to be'
When all you've done for fifty years is lose at sports
And watch TV? CHARLIE BROWN I've only longed for those emotions
That need lubricating lotions.
Now pubescence will ensue,
With menopause to follow through
I'll develop and decay within a single day or two! SNOOPY Just watch for prostate cancer,
It tends to strike with men like you. CHARLIE BROWN But could the desperation he exhibits
Propagate itself through me?
Expressing the prohibits
that I've yearned from to break free? SNOOPY Speak English, Charlie Brown,
Or I will lift my leg and pee. CHARLIE BROWN Can I use this instigation to make anger rise in me?
Can I kill my own creator? SNOOPY I think it's time to see you later. CHARLIE BROWN He can't hear us, speak to me! SNOOPY I'm a dog; I just do thought bubbles. CHARLIE BROWN Oh... There's no answer to my troubles.
There's no trick to set me free
I was born to follow orders
As in his lifetime, so was he.

ACT II

Scene IV


Mrs. Shultz ushers in a middle-aged man, the Doctor.
MRS. SHULTZ Hello doctor, come right in here. DOCTOR He is feeling very badly? MRS. SHULTZ He is comatose. I'm sad. DOCTOR Well you should be. MRS. SHULTZ Yes, I am.
We see Charlie bringing a shrouded, red-headed shape to Charles. The chorus lines up along the stage with their backs to the audience.
CHARLIE BROWN I have battled with my conscience
Have I won, or come up empty?
I have tied up and I bring her
Even though she's not in love. CHARLES SHULTZ I will make her feel emotions SNOOPY Not the ones you're dreaming of. DOCTOR His breathing is not normal. MRS. SHULTZ We must call help from above. CHARLES SHULTZ Please don't be too sorry, Charlie
If your God has feet of clay
The cure for life is living.
And for love...
Charlie whips off the veil to reveal an angry Lucy, baring a knife, which she plunges in the chest of Charles Shultz.
LUCY —Is death I say! CHARLES SHULTZ AAAIEEE! DOCTOR Oh, my God, he isn't breathing. CHORUS Kill the blockhead! Now! Today! MRS. SHULTZ Oh, good doctor you must fix him! CHORUS Now the blockhead dies today! CHARLES SHULTZ My own daughter! Now you stab me? LUCY Is it true? Et tu Brute?
You have spurned me, loving father. SALLY You have warped my only brother! LINUS You've perverted my own honor! DOCTOR I will do my best, I say. PEPPERMINT PATTY You have saddled me with horror. CHARLIE BROWN You have stolen my own lover! MRS. SHULTZ You must make him live another,
Live another dying day! CHARLES SHULTZ You can't kill me? CHORUS We will kill him! MRS. SHULTZ He can't die? CHORUS YOU DIE TODAY!
Lucy and Charlie Brown, followed by the chorus, move after Charles Shultz who, bleeding from his wound, crawls away from them.

Charlie takes the knife from Lucy and moves up.
CHARLIE BROWN I am closest to you, father,
One might say I am your double.
And I can't say that I am happy to see you in such pain.

But as every child knows,
Though it's forgotten upon waking,
All good parents die, so that their offspring may live...
Charlie plunges the knife in the old man's chest.
CHARLIE BROWN The man is dead! LUCY Thank God. LINUS Our God is dead. LUCY I am sickened by your shyness,
Do you really think he made us?
If he did we would not be here! CHARLIE BROWN We would die with him, it's true.
One by one, in ascending order of importance, the chorus lays silently down on the floor.
LUCY Now our future is behind us! CHARLIE BROWN But where do we now go to? LUCY What do you think, wise old Linus? CHARLIE BROWN Has he gone? Not Sally too? LUCY Are they off to make new children? CHARLIE BROWN Disappeared, and Patty too! LUCY I can see your face is sallow... CHARLIE BROWN I am going too. It's true... LUCY That our parentage decides us... CHARLIE BROWN From the start. We never knew. LUCY Now we're blending in together. CHARLIE BROWN Our two minds are now the same. LUCY As we fade out through the background CHARLIE BROWN Of our God's mind, gone insane... LUCY I forgive your stupid actions. CHARLIE BROWN You are me, you have no choice. LUCY So we'll die in line together. LUCY and CHARLIE BROWN Protesting with a single voice.
They lie on the floor.
DOCTOR I'll call the ambulance when you're ready. MRS. SHULTZ He's gone, now what to do? DOCTOR If you need a place to cry on... MRS. SHULTZ Here's your shoulder, will it do?
He nods and she takes his hand. DOCTOR Was he always a good husband? MRS. SHULTZ Good.
And oh so quiet, too.

ACT II

Scene IV


Charles Shultz stands. The chorus are on the edges of the stage, singing with a single voice. Snoopy drives up in a long, colorful, Cadillac. He steps out and wraps the cape that we've seen throughout the play around his body.
CHARLES SHULTZ I thought that I had died? Am I hurt?
Am I all right? SNOOPY No, Mr. Shultz, your carcass there
Is rotting in the night. CHARLES SHULTZ But what happened to the others, Snoopy?
I remember wanton strife. SNOOPY Don't call me Snoopy, Mr. Shultz.
I'm the man from Metropolitan Life.
Charles Shultz get in the Cadillac, and Snoopy revs it up.
CHARLES SHULTZ Where to now? SNOOPY Oh, syndication. CHARLES SHULTZ That endless, repeatable world... SNOOPY And on the way, we'll stop to see,
Your little red-haired girl.
Snoopy drives off with Charles and the Chorus sings into silence.