story talk

It’s Been A Long Time Since You Sent Your Stories: Shoutout This Week To Nehal

Girl With Floating Balloons On StorybookThe shoutout this week is to a reader named Nehal, who wrote me an email:

“Hey Anita

It’s been a long time since you have sent any of your stories.

I love your stories and I am desperately looking forward to hearing from you.”

Hi Nehal! Sorry for being gone so long and leaving you all without any stories to read here.

To be honest I had fallen into a depression due to various personal things and stopped writing about stories for a while.

Which anyone who has been following this blog knows is totally crazy. Stories and writing about them have saved me more times than I can count …not to mention they were the whole reason I started this blog back in 2008.

Well I snapped out of that real quick when I read Nehal’s email and started thinking about things. I realized I needed to start exploring stories again and sharing them here like in the old days.

I actually felt a little better right away, like I had let light back into my life again or something.

Let this be a lesson to me and anyone reading this: if you are having troubles in your life you need *more* stories, not less.

Life is definitely better with stories!


story talk

Why Does Nobody Think Charlie Brown Has Cancer? Question From Dale

Charlie Brown and Caillou questions cancer
Caillou and Charlie Brown, do they have cancer?

A reader named Dale had a good question and posted it on The Caillou True Story And Urban Legend post:

“I just heard about this myth [that Caillou is bald because he has cancer] the other day from a friend. She was so insistent on it and it did kind of make sense as I’ve never seen or read the books before…

You know, Charlie Brown is a lot older and is pretty much bald as well yet I’ve never heard anyone claim that he had cancer.”

Hey Dale thanks for your comment. It’s interesting that you should bring up Charlie Brown and cancer.

Charlie Brown in a hospital bed cancer

You make a good point but there are actually a lot of people that think Charlie Brown has cancer (and there are even some “Theories” floating out there like with Caillou).

I came across quite a bit of ‘Charlie Brown has cancer’ stuff while doing research for the Caillou blog post.

Like with Caillou, kids who have cancer see that Charlie Brown is bald like them and find the idea of a beloved cartoon character having the same struggles as them comforting.

There’s a story told on by a person named Doc Warren about how Charlie Brown helped a boy with cancer find comfort during the fight for his life:

“Years ago I met a young man who was fighting cancer. He had his signature hat to hide the fact that he had long since lost his hair, his skin was pale and his body was frail.

He carried with him an old Charlie Brown doll.

Charlie Brown doll cancer
“He’s my best friend.” The boy with cancer carried his Charlie Brown doll with him everywhere.

It was well worn and battered… He held it tightly and you could tell that it meant the world to him; it was an extension of him.

I asked him about his doll, curious as to why it meant so much to him. I was ill prepared for what he said.

He said that he saw it… when he was going through his original series of chemotherapy and when he saw the doll, those few hairs on its head he felt that he had found a friend indeed.

To him, the lack of hair meant that poor Charlie was undergoing chemotherapy: Charlie Brown was a doll to tell kids that he had survived cancer and so could they.

“Charlie Brown has no hair, why else would a kid have no hair? He has cancer like me. He’s my best friend,” he said as he rubbed on the rubber head. “Charlie Brown is how I know I will be ok.”

So yeah, while the belief that Charlie Brown has cancer doesn’t seem as widespread as the one about Caillou…it does exist.

And I think that both beliefs usually serve the same kind of purposes for people, especially kids with cancer.

story talk

Anthony Bourdain And The Ghosts Of The Barog Tunnel: Shoutout This Week To James Yu

Anthony Bourdain the great storytellerA reader named James Yu wrote something that surprised me in the comments of the Ghost Of The Barog Tunnel Story:

“Anthony Bourdain rode the train thru Barog Tunnel. I would like to walk to Barog Tunnel by myself and see Antony and Colonel Barog having a tea.

I will seat and join them to discuss current affairs. Then ask for some matches and stick so that I can walk out of the tunnel.”

James I loved your comment, it was very poetic. And I want to thank you for bringing it to my attention that Anthony Bourdain rode through the Barog Tunnel.

I have been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for a long time now, being an admirer of how he so easily was able to show the deeper meaning of any particular location he was in. I even wrote a blog about it in 2010 wishing for his superpower.

Entrance To Haunted Barog TunnelAnd being a fan of the ghost stories surrounding the Barog Tunnel, I can’t believe I never knew that Anthony Bourdain had visited the area and had even gone through the Barog Tunnel itself. How cool.

I’m going to track down that episode where Anthony Bourdain went through the Barog Tunnel and watch it.

I’ll probably have a tear in my eye through half of it as I still can’t believe Anthony Bourdain is gone. But I’ll also have a beer in hand to raise a toast to Anthony Bourdain and his great stories!