Good Grief Benton Fraser!
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Good Grief Benton Fraser!
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And I'll bet you thought that I only wrote tearjerkers with talking animals...

On October 2nd, 1950, a simple little comic strip appeared in nine newspapers, showing two children sitting at the curb, talking about a third child as he walks by. The punchline wasn't much, and the children weren't memorable; neither was the puppy that first appeared in the strip two days later. The title for the strip was not the artist's first choice; he would have preferred "Lil' Folks". But the name chosen by the syndicate - "Peanuts" - stuck, and the comic strip... well, we know what happened with the comic strip.

On February 12th, 2000, the night before the final original "Peanuts" comic strip was to appear in Sunday newspapers, Charles Schulz passed away. It still hurts.

This story is nothing earth-shaking. It's just a convoluted tribute to Charles Schulz and to those wonderful characters that he gave us. I wanted Constable Fraser to interact with a certain baseball manager with more enthusiam than skill, and - if only across the decades - with a certain World War I flying ace and former Head Beagle.

(Oh, yes, about that peculiar surname. There really was a footnote person in aviation history named William Christmas. He is notorious for designing and building the Christmas Bullet, a prime contender as the worst airplane ever to leave the ground - ask me about it and I'll tell you more. You can consider this an exercise in kicking a man when he is down.)