Where is Walter Mitty when you need him?

Walter Mitty is the fictional character created by American author James Thurber in his 1939 story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Walter was a dreamer extraordinary, charging from fantasy to fantasy fearlessly and successfully without equal.

Walter is the great crusader, leading a vast army against the marauders; he is the famous heart surgeon who saves hundreds from sure death when no other physician could. Yes, he is the machine gunner who charges up the hill, against all odds, fighting heroically to take the overlook. No…he is the general commanding troops successfully to victory when outnumbered four to one.

Can you see Walter riding high on the parade float, cheering throngs waving frantically, hoping to catch the eye of the conquering hero… No, he is the trombonist in the marching brass band, playing notes from the instrument none have ever heard. Ah, but he is the drum major, twirling as no one else could; or walking proudly down the boulevard, hundreds of children singing and following the modern Pied Piper.

Walter Mitty, too, is the greatest orator of all time, bringing solitary men forward to “fight for a heavenly cause”, bursting with pride for their country. Can you see Walter standing before Congress, bringing all to their feet in cheering applause. Can you see the master word-smith crafting bill after bill, all unanimously passed for the good of the people, liberties strengthened for one and all.

Oh, that would be the nation of Walter Mitty, alright…calm and peaceful, unselfish. However, Elaine Paige’s lyrics say it well:

“There was a time when men were kind, when their voices were soft, and their words inviting. There was a time when love was blind, and the world was a song, and the song was exciting. There was a time and it all went wrong.

I dreamed a dream in days gone by, when hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that love would never die. I dreamed that God would be forgiving, Then I was young and unafraid, and dreams were made and used and wasted.

There was no ransom to be paid, No song unsung, no wine untasted. But, the tigers come at night with their voices soft as thunder as they tear your hope apart, as they turn your dream to shame…”

Call for Walter, he’ll make things right. But, you see, Walter Mitty does not exist. He is only the figment of imagination.– D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee