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The comic about the Vatican time machine.
<- Relative Intelligence Grinch Redux ->

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Okay, Campers! Rise and Shine!

the grinchI really enjoy the short-fiction section in Harper's Magazine because the stories they print never wrap themselves up in a nice, neat little bow at the end. The reader is almost always left with an unsettling degree of uncertainty about what happens to the protagonist once the final page has been turned. You know, just like real life.

These sort of tales rarely make good screenplays, though.

I thought about this after re-watching Groundhog Day this weekend (Thanks for the great movies, Mr. Ramis!) If it had been a Harper's story there would have been considerably more ambiguity involving Phil Connors' final disposition. While it's true that his escape from his temporal prison upon earning the love of a virtuous woman was quite heart-warming, and far more profitable than any Harper's version, it really did not make much logical sense. At most, Phil Connors is just another immature jerk so it hardly seemed worth the cosmic effort to force everyone to relive his life until he reformed enough to meet Rita's criteria for a marriageable man.

Yeah, that's the movie in a nutshell.

Perhaps it should have ended with Phil still trapped in his reverse-Parkinson limbo, but happy to have finally found the perfect groove in which to court Rita. This ending could have been both melancholy and romantic  at the same time.

So how long WAS Bill Murray's character stuck in Punxsutawney? According to the director it was somewhere between 10 years and 10,000 years. Even more interesting,
an early version of the story had Phil escaping Groundhog Day but Rita becoming trapped in February 3rd. Now THERE'S your Harper's ending.


end rant

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Scene: St. Peter's Basilica
Pope: Ah! Bishop Griswold. What can I do for you?
Bishop: Holy Father, I'd like to request that the Church fund the development of a time machine.
Pope: Interesting. So that we might, perhaps, return to the Garden of Eden?
Bishop: Uhh, no. So that we go back and construct it.
Pope: Let me get my checkbook.

Overturn Citizens United