BEDFORD FALLS, PA — Mr. Henry F. Potter of Bedford Falls, PA, has offered to buy a special edition hard cover copy of Keith Rommel’s “The Cursed Man” for every citizen of the borough.
“Mr. Potter,” said George, putting the cigar back in the humidor, “Well, Mr. Potter — you see — that just isn’t right. Mr. Potter — you shouldn’t be giving out psycho-thrillers to everyone in town — Mr. Potter! That’s just crazy, Mr. Potter — just crazy…. I don’t want your deal, Mr. Potter, and neither does Bedford Falls! We want to read good books, Mr. Potter, like “Go Dog Go” and “Grapes of Wrath” and “The Old Man and the Sea”, Mr. Potter — not these nutzo books … what would Mr. Gower think? What about Zuzu? … Mary! Mary! Do you hear this — Potter’s giving out nutzo books!”
Snarling, Mr. Potter pulled away from his desk and glared at the lanky banker.
“George Bailey, you will regret this …”
George Bailey and his bride are about to leave on their honeymoon. Mary Bailey handed George Keith Rommel’s “Thanatology Series” to read on the train.
“Mary! Mary! What’s this?” asked George.
“Mary! Mary! These are those nutzo books Mr. Potter wanted to spread around!” exclaimed the young banker. “Well, I’ll have none …”
“George! They’re freaking good books!” screamed Mary. “I love the Thanatology Series — and Georgie — I really wanted to meet Keith Rommel!”
“Mary! What? Oh Mary!” said George, fumbling with The Cursed Man, The Lurking Man and The Sinful Man. “Oh my, Mary! They’re not only good — Mary! — these books are great! Oh Mary — what am I to do — I canceled the book signing at Mr. Gower’s store because Potter wanted to buy everyone nutzo books and change the town name! But these books are good! No! No! Mr. Potter can’t be right!”
George then dropped the books and stormed out onto the street — running through the snow and sleet — at one point he was about to jump off the bridge into the Susquehanna River below.
“I’m a screwball” he said, “I messed up Keith Rommel’s book signing at Mr. Gower’s store…”
The next thing George knew, he was waming himself in a small bungalo by the river with Clarence, the angel.
“Sometimes, George, bad people can inadvertently do good things,” offered Clarence. “Mr. Potter didn’t know the books were actually entertaining — he was so focused on taking over the town. He would do anything to take over. But that doesn’t mean Keith Rommel’s book signing shouldn’t happen!”
“Oh Clarence … what am I to do …?” whimpered George Bailey.
“Let’s see if we can’t make things right,” suggested Clarence.
George Bailey jumped up from the table in the bungalo and burst out the door. Clarence was right! Everything was going to be OK. The Keith Rommel book signing could still happen in Bedford Falls, despite the prying Mr. Potter.
George ran past the police car and shouted at Bob the policeman, “The Cursed Man is coming Bob! The Cursed Man is coming!” The officer looked at him like he was a kook.
He ran past Mr. Gower’s store. “Nutzo books for everybody! The Cursed Man is coming!” he yelled, slipping on the snow, heading for his home and his beloved Mary, Janie, Tommy and little Zuzu …
George Bailey arrived back at the Bailey house to find a throng gathered around the table. The whole town had arrived, including brother Harry Bailey, back from the war.
“Mary! Harry! Uncle Billy! The Cursed Man is coming!” exclaimed George as he put his arms around Mary.
“I know George”, said Harry, “and we just got a telegram from Sam Wainwright … Mr. Gower cabled you need cash for books, stop. My office instructed to advance you up to twenty-five thousand dollars for Keith Rommel Cursed Man novels, stop. Hee Haw and Merry Christmas! Sam Wainwright.”
Meanwhile, townspeople dumped money on the table to get multiple copies of The Cursed Man, The Lurking Man and The Sinful Man.
“I’ve emptied my account at the building and loan to buy these Rommel books,” said Mr. Vincetti.
“Bless your heart,” whispered George.
“I gave my last fifteen dollars for one!” said Mrs. Hopkins.
“Oh no, no … you don’t need to do that. … Uncle Billy … see to it!” said George.
“Of course, of course,” said Uncle Billy, tying another string on his finger.
As the cash piled up, it was realized that The Cursed Man was going to be the #1 selling book in Bedford Falls in advance of the book signing. Townsfolk were now ready for the arrival of Keith Rommel on September 19.
Note: Keith will be at the Sunbury Press store on September 5. His limo arrives around 6 PM and he is staying until 9. The Bedford Falls appearance will follow …