08 March 2007
Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel
Author/Illustrator: Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne are the toast of the town until the arrival of gasoline, electric, and diesel shovels render them obsolete. Unable to find work, Mike and Mary Anne move to a small town in search of employment.
Children, repeat after me: Karma's a bitch. As you may recall, the steam engine is what put folk hero John Henry out of commission. The legendary steel-drivin' man died after defeating the steam engine in a race. While Henry won the battle, his death meant that the steam engine won the war. Actually, the steam engine didn't win the war, because the industrial revolution is a heartlessly efficient devourer of souls and steam engines like Mary Anne eventually get replaced, joining John Henry in the dustbin of history.
Mary Anne's descent may be a case of poetic justice, but hers is a struggle that we can all relate to. Everyone strives to prove that they are special... but no matter how hot you are, something new will eventually come along to make you yesterday's news. Just ask Jennifer Lopez.
So kids, take note: Everyone eventually gets trampled by the steady march of time. You're young and cute now, but once that new baby comes along... well, you better start learning your multiplication tables or excel in a sport because you can't get by on your cuteness anymore. Welcome to the real world, punk. Now stop crying and get a job.