David Sheehan is quoted on the poster for JUNGLE BOOK 2.

“Pure Joy!” — David Sheehan, it says.

David Sheehan gets quoted a lot in movie ads. No matter how universally reviled some movie is, you can bet if there’s one critic who likes it, it’s David Sheehan. And he’s not some fake critic on the studio payrolls, like so many others who say nice things just so the studios have something to put in their ads. He’s a real guy with a real job. I’ve seen him on the local news.

As hard as it is to believe, I think David Sheehan really likes everything.

Sometimes I wish I were David Sheehan.

I wish I could watch SAVING SILVERMAN and think it was “A laugh riot!” Or tell the world that I found TWO WEEKS NOTICE “A real charmer!” I wish I could find something positive in every single aspect of my life.

If I were David Sheehan, I’d think my lousy job was “Thought-provoking!” That my neverending struggle to free myself from my mountains of debt was “An over-the-top comic delight!”. That the stress of taking Drew to meet my family this weekend was “A real nail-biter!”

I wish I could just blurb away all my issues David Sheehan-style. David Sheehan would find my apartment’s disgusting moth infestation “Whimsical!” He’d see my ongoing struggles with coming out to my relatives as “A magical fairy tale for the whole family!” And he wouldn’t mind my occasional bouts with adult acne. He’d simply declare my complexion “Unpredictable!”

David Sheehan baffles me. He’s like the people in airline safety videos. There they are, preparing for every traveler’s worst nightmare, inflating their life vests and strapping oxygen masks to their suffocating children… yet they seem so happy. Nobody’s panicking, nobody’s scared. What’s wrong with these people? If a plane has to go down, I’m glad it’s going to be theirs, because they seem to be handling it awfully well.

On second though, no. I don’t want those people to die. They’re too valuable to society. Somewhere out there, there’s a whole airline full of people who can handle anything life throws at them. Let them take on my problems — the fears and regrets, the moths and the acne. Let them contract SARS and get swindled by ENRON and have planes crash into their apartment buildings on quiet Friday afternoons. Let them scope out suicide bombers and child molestors and racists and rapists and that obnoxious cashier at the Starbucks in Century City. Let the passengers in the airline safety video live, and make them suffer. They wouldn’t mind, and it’d spare the rest of us a world of hurt.

And instead, put David Sheehan on that plane. He’d not only be as calm and collected as the people in the videos, he’d still be enjoying the in-flight movie as the airline plunged into the ocean.

“An edge-of-your-seat thriller!”, he’d proclaim.

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