March 16, 2012

"I think he showed me a cover of a magazine that said 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun.'"

"It was a gun magazine. I just thought it was a fantastic, insane thing to say. A warm gun means you just shot something."
The reference, whether or not intermediately from the magazine, was one of many 1960s riffs on Charles M. Schulz's culturally popular saying, Happiness is a Warm Puppy, which began in the Peanuts comic strip and became a widely sold book.
We've all heard the Beatles song. (It's my longtime personal favorite.) But have you read "Happiness is a Warm Puppy"?

It's a slight book, writes Alan David Doane:
There are perhaps 40 or so concepts visited by Schulz over the course of its orange, pink, red and brown pages, and of course the reader will agree with some and wonder at others. "Happiness is sleeping in your own bed," is one that rings solidly true for me...

"Happiness is some black, orange, yellow, white and pink jelly beans, but no green ones," seems bizarre to me....

"Happiness is one thing to one person and another thing to another person," Schulz finishes up with, showing Linus and Lucy each enjoying their own, separate, things.

26 comments:

Pogo said...

I'm having trouble guessing a theme to the posts today.

Throw me a bone.

frose said...

Some folks have interpreted the song lyric "warm gun" to mean syringe of heroin.

DADvocate said...

The Beatles "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTU2Y0VFH0E

From the White Album, I believe.

Maybe we do need contemporary culture classes.

traditionalguy said...

Happiness is temporary, and that worries everyone except Alfred E Neuman.

Scott M said...

When I was kid, completely unencumbered by things like domestic violence, abuse, etc, happiness to me would have been, just once, Chuck getting up off the ground after the nth time Lucy pulled the football away, slowly dusting himself off, and walking back to her smiling, smug face, and hauling back to knock her block off.

Happiness would have been Lucy flying out of her shoes and socks on the receiving end of a Charlie Brown beat down.

Just once.

purplepenquin said...

I can't find a clip of it right now, but does anyone else remember the show "Drawn Together"?

'cause the one episode where Foxy (dressed in leather?) says to Charlie Brown (who she has on a leash) "Come on blockhead, I'm gonna give you some GOOD grief" suddenly popped into my head...

deborah said...

I recently explained the relation between warm gun and warm puppy to my daughter. I had never considered that warm gun meant recently fired. My guess is the Beatles were just riffing off the book.

I highly recommend _All I Need To Know I Learned From My Cat_

And as a companpion piece _101 Uses for a Dead Cat_

Scott M said...

"Drawn Together"

Yeah. I've been working my way through the entire show on Netflix. The Vegitales episode was pure genius. I could have done without seeing Elmer Fudd as gay, though.

Pogo said...

"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent."

Pogo, by Walt Kelly

deborah said...

"Throw me a bone."

Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

CachorroQuente said...

That is one Beatles song of which I had been blissfully unaware. Now I can say that I've heard part of it once.

Scott M said...

Pogo, by Walt Kelly

I remember a Bloom County strip that ended with Pogo, sitting crying in a closet surrounded by Opus merchandise and saying "Someday..."

Roman said...

I am very happy when one of my guns is warm. I find shooting very relaxing. I have never taken someone shooting who did not like it.

MadisonMan said...

Of course I've read the book. I still have it.

At one point I had all my Peanuts Books memorized.

Pogo said...

There were some really ugly little plastic dolls made of the Pogo characters. Yike. Came free with detergent or somesuch in the early 1960s.

I have my doubts that Pogo will ever be discovered by new readers. But such is life.

purplepenquin said...

I could have done without seeing Elmer Fudd as gay, though


I always thought the "real" Elmer Fudd was gay anyways (NTTAWWT, of course!) Keep in mind, the only time we ever saw him sexually attracted to anyone is when Bugs would get dressed up in drag...

edutcher said...

Yes, I did read "Happiness is a Warm Puppy", although my own take is that happiness is a warm woman, especially A Warm Blonde.

And I agree with Scott about Charlie Brown and Lucy.

(somebody pass the smelling salts; penguin is about to swoon...)

And, no, I don't want to see Elmer Fudd portrayed as homosexual.

WV "alcong" Vietnamese guerrillas in the pay of an inconvenient vice president.

rcommal said...

"Happiness is some black, orange, yellow, white and pink jelly beans, but no green ones," seems bizarre to me....

This was always my favorite, and it made perfect sense to me (even though I, myself, have never had any more problem with green jelly beans than with any other type).

Love it. Such a great, random, individualistic statement.

rcommal said...

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rcommal said...

Way back in middle school, we staged a production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown." "Happiness" struck me as eye-rollingly, hopelessly sappy at the time. But I was so much older then than I am now, so now I am more benignly amused than sharply derisive.

Happiness, animated.

rcommal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcommal said...

OOPS! WRONG THREAD, thus deletion.

Jim Ellison said...

My sister had a cartoon of a recentyl fed snake captioned "Happiness is a warm puppy." I thought it was funny when I was a teenager.

Bruce said...

I always thought, even as a naive kid, that "Happiness is a warm gun" was a thinly veiled sexual reference. A warm, recently fired "gun" is indeed cause for happiness.

"When I hold you in my arms, and feel my finger on your trigger..."

Bryan Townsend said...

If you listen to the Beatles' song you will hear that the way the phrase is organized it sounds very much like he is saying "A penis is a warm gun, mama" which explains a lot of the rest of the song. It is the heavy accent on PI that does it. I just did a post loosely about the White Album that ends up talking about the song:

http://themusicsalon.blogspot.mx/2012/03/now-i-have-to-buy-white-album-again.html

Michael McNeil said...

Just as I was reading this thread about happiness, I happened to be watching a Harry Potter movie, whereupon Prof. Dumbledorf said, just moments ago, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times, if one only remembers to turn on a light.”

I'm reminded too of the Outer Limits? Twilight Zone? episode where a mild mannered, pleasant fellow dies, and gets sent to Heaven, whereupon he ends up in a softly lit room, with lilting classical music playing, folks engaged in cordial conversation, playing chess, and the like — and he loves it!

Then we switch to a hard-ass, rowdy thug, who's lived a fast and furious life, who thereupon dies and gets sent to Hell — ending up in the very same room!