Sunday, October 4, 2009

In which an organization dedicated to the preservation of a childhood icon ponders prostitution

When we visited London in ought-five-or-six (I really do not quite remember) one thing I very much wanted to do & DID do was see the Pooh portrait at the National Portrait Gallery. Christopher Robin was also in the picture, but I do not care about him.

Not so very long before we went, some group in the UK (perhaps the very group...but I digress) had become quite testy with the New York Public Library because they (the library) had the actual original Winnie-the-Pooh in their collection & the complainants felt this artifact belonged on British soil, what with Pooh being a national treasure & all. In the version I heard, the library responded they would be happy to discuss it, just as soon as the British Museum returned the Elgin Marbles...& all those mummies...

I have decided to believe this story for two reasons. First, it sounds like something a New York librarian would say: snarky yet well informed, dare I say snarkily well informed? Also Pot-Kettle-Black is one of my favorite games.

Flash forward to last January when I read this & learned again that indeed nothing is sacred. The very organization charged with preserving the original Pooh concept, those same caretakers that licensed him to Disney & gave us those flat-colored amorphous things & the Tigger song which I agree is worth having & then turned around & re-sold us Classic Pooh, maybe even inspiring that whole Classic Coke debacle....

What I am trying to say is I learned that someone had been commissioned to write more Pooh. Imagine that Christopher Robin never grows up. He never really leaves the hundred acre wood. He never writes his memoir talking about how intellectually distant his father was, that his mother could give a chilblain a run for its money & that he is sick&tired of people asking him about the G*d D*mned Bear. We have to pretend we do not know he married his first cousin against his mother's wishes- not because she was his first cousin but because she did not care for the girl's father, her own brother. It is too much to ask.

This is hardly the first time such a thing has happened. You might not know it but recently the Peter Pan People aka The Great Ormond Street Hospital authorized a sequel to Peter & Wendy. I just do not know what to think. I do, however have the audio-version on hold at the library. Someone somewhere had the good sense to hire Tim Curry to read the thing & that I will not miss.

But back to Pooh. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood will be on shelves in a bookstore near you tomorrow & just in time for holiday sales. I am not sure I will be able to face it but face it we must.

//how do you play Pot-Kettle-Black you ask? Well it is very easy. Whenever you catch people biotching about someone else doing something that they themselves do, you get right in their face & scream "Pot Kettle Black!". It is most effective if you have something in your mouth that sprays while you do this. I try to keep twizzlers & beer in my purse for just such occasions. Tuna sandwiches work too. Originally this game was widely known (in my family anyhow) as Guess My Food, but I classed it up a bit.

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