Peppermint Patty and Marcie: BFFs or GFs?

A wise scribegrrrl once said, “Even in a two-dimensional story like this one, there can be a poignant layer of subtext.” She was talking about A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

I recently caught the old summer camp classic Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown on Cartoon Network, and within five minutes I decided scribegrrrl was definitely justified in searching out Marcie/P-Patty subtext. In fact, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown might be their gayest adventure ever.

I’ve highlighted the nine most lesbian-ish moments below.

1) As soon as the Peanuts gang arrives at camp, they’re ushered into a big tent and forced to fill out questionnaires. What follows is this conversation between Peppermint Patty and Marcie:

Peppermint Patty: I’m going to put down a lot about baseball; they’ll probably make me captain of the team.

Marcie: How come they don’t have trips where you just stay home?

Peppermint Patty: If you want a better way of life, Marcie, you always have to cross an ocean, or a desert, or a mountain. Sometimes, however, your whole life can be changed by crossing a crowded room.

Marcie: That’s a romantic thought, sir.

Talk about your number one lesbian couple argument! One person wants to go out for an adventure — or, you know, drinks — while the other person just wants to cuddle on the couch. The adventurer feels pinned down, and starts off on a tirade about pirates, which eventually just turns into a lengthy circumlocution on love.

2) When the girls make it to their tent, Peppermint Patty delivers this address: “OK gang, I suggest we run this tent in a democratic fashion. The first thing we’ll do is elect a tent leader; we’ll have to prepare some ballots. One gal, one vote. […] All in favor say ‘aye.'”

Marcie votes “Aye!” while Lucy and Sally both vote “No!”

There’s a reason people say, “I love you like a lesbian loves the Constitution.” Gay ladies adore some democracy. (And you always side with your girlfriend in public.)

3) Once the girls are settled in their beds, Snoopy comes in to kiss them all goodnight. Things get rowdy when he jumps up onto the bed to kiss Peppermint Patty, because she, of course, has chosen the water bed. Always two steps away from P-Patty’s business, Marcie jumps up and says, “Sir, you’re making too much noise. Can’t you just kiss him goodnight and leave it at that?”

Peppermint Patty replies, “If I ever get off this bed, I’ll kick him, not kiss him! Marci, help me get off this water bed!”

Finally, Marcie wrestles Snoopy off the bed, and she and P-Patty settle in for a slumber party.

Oh, girls. If only you knew how many times that’s going to happen to you in high school.

4) The next morning, Peppermint Patty leads the girls around the camp in a single-file circus-colored line. Pride parade? Oh, I think so.

5) Marci’s chosen color for athletic competition is University of Tennessee Lady Vol orange.

6) When it’s time to set off on the camp’s main challenge — a raft race down the river! — Peppermint Patty takes charge and starts bossing Marcie around. Marcie smiles and hands over the air pump and whatever else, because, well, you saw who was in charge in the tent last night.

7) After a hard night on the river, the gang gets separated. Finally they meet up in an abandoned cabin in the woods. They could not be happier to be safely back together again, so P-Patty puts on a record and everyone gets ready to dance. Just when it looks like she’s going to partner with Chuck, Snoopy bursts through the door, and she chooses to spin around the floor with the beagle. “Wow, that kid really can dance,” she says, “and he sure knows how to make a girl happy.”

8) When the race is over — Woodstock wins! — and the gang heads back to the bus, Peppermint Patty stops to congratulate Chuck on being such a great leader.

He launches into a monologue about growing up and being brave, but he only gets in about three words before P-Patty abandons him to make sure Marcie is saving a seat for her.

Now, before you start protesting about how this is a cartoon, and there’s no way to tell if someone is a lesbian just because she wears UT colors and prefers beagles to boys and is occasionally conflicted between adventure and cuddling, let me show show you something.

This is your friendly neighborhood StuntDouble, on the way home from a hike, headed straight for a snuggle.

I think I can rest my case.