With the election around the corner, and (appropriately?) Halloween this weekend, I am feeling the need for something a little different. Therefore I offer a piece I wrote some time ago (before the social media buttons were installed, so ignore those). For those of you who know me for my political writing, well, forgive a little writing of a different character:
I can date precisely when my dangerous dalliance with Harry Potter began.
I had seen the news stories, of course, which mostly consisted of long lines of nerdy boys and girls waiting outside of bookstores each year in glasses and striped ties. Since Harry Potter bears a striking resemblance to the title character of Where’s Waldo?, I could not tell whether these were Harry Potter release parties or Where’s Waldo? conventions — which would, it seemed to me, be exactly contrary to the spirit of Where’s Waldo? But no sooner had I begun to separate Harry and Waldo in my mind than I was informed by these reports that I, as a Christian, was supposed to be Gravely Concerned about Harry Potter’s corrupting force upon children.
I had never met any such Christians, but they must have been out there in droves, because that was all these reporters talked about. Apparently the county franchise of Gravely Concerned Christian Parents was keeping constant surveillance over the local goat populations, fearing bands of children might be roaming the countryside with broomsticks between their legs in search of sacrifices for someone whose name sounded like Lord Value Mart. They had not yet caught any such nefarious bands of prepubescent children — which was surprising, because it’s not easy for ten-year-olds to run with goats slung over their shoulders and broomsticks clutched between their legs — but the Value Mart got lots of free publicity and the local cow-tipping clubs nearly went out of business.