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Burt Prelutsky / Feb. 8, 2010

It Used to Be a Wonderful Life

When I was just a kid, I saw the stage musical, “Peter Pan,” starring Mary Martin in the title role and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook. It is to this day the only version of that old war-horse I ever liked. I still don’t know why that story has retained its popularity since 1904. Even Walt Disney couldn’t work his magic on it.

When I was just a kid, I saw the stage musical, “Peter Pan,” starring Mary Martin in the title role and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook. It is to this day the only version of that old war-horse I ever liked. I still don’t know why that story has retained its popularity since 1904. Even Walt Disney couldn’t work his magic on it.

What I remember best about the show, the tunes aside, is that at the point when Tinkerbell’s light was flickering, and she was supposedly at death’s door, the audience was urged to start clapping in the hope that our applause would somehow save her. Suddenly a woman seated behind me leaned forward and said, “Little boy, you aren’t clapping. Don’t you want Tinkerbell to live?”

“I know the story,” I told her. “She’ll live even if nobody claps.”

You can see that, as young as I was, the die was already cast. Even back then, I had zero tolerance for baloney. That is one of my many problems with Barack Obama and his crew of cronies and stooges. They’re trying to make me clap for crapola like cash for clunkers, cap and trade, trillion dollar stimulus bills, AmeriCorps, ACORN, unlimited funds for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, socialized medicine and global warming.

On top of all that, look at the cast he’s rounded up for this tacky production. People used to say they wouldn’t buy a used car from Richard Nixon. Well, I wouldn’t buy a used hubcap from the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, Alan Grayson, Christopher Dodd, Barbara Boxer, Charles Rangel, Rahm Emanuel, Cass Sunstein or David Axelrod. Furthermore, I’ve seen guys selling “genuine mink coats” out of the trunk of a ‘94 Buick I’d trust more than Robert Gibbs.

It struck me the other day how beneficial a nickname can be. For instance, would Magic Johnson have been quite as magical if people had called him Earvin? Would Tiger Woods, however good his golf game, been quite as effective a pitchman if we’d all called him Eldrick? And would Barack Hussein Obama been able to pull the wool over so many eyes if he hadn’t been called the Messiah?

Barack pretends to be George Bailey, everyone’s best friend, but from the way he pushed ObamaCare through the Senate by using any means necessary – including bribes and intimidation – it’s obvious that behind the nice guy façade, he is actually Henry F. Potter, weaving his web like a giant spider, plotting to turn beautiful Bedford Falls, otherwise known as America, into the nightmarish Pottersville.

Two centuries ago, King George III was told that President George Washington, who had eight years earlier turned down the opportunity to be the king of the United States, was planning to give up the presidency at the conclusion of his second term and return to his farm in Mount Vernon. The astonished monarch, who had lost a war to General Washington, said, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

Washington did, and he was.

Does anything more clearly illustrate how far we have fallen in 210 years?

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