The Long National Potato

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Hope you had the time of your life, like the cheesy song goes, and as it plays in CP's head over a drama-drenched montage of Henry Hyde clips, he wonders: Were these The Best Years of Our Lives? (Or 14 months, anyway?) William Wyler's star-stocked 1946 Oscar sweeper -- it's the reason It's A Wonderful Life got shut out -- is about nostalgia earned the hard way, and getting back to real life after the fog of battle clears. Because war tends to leave lots and lots of scars. The House managers are now the ones who need prosthetic hands (we won't discuss the prosthetic meant for Clinton here) and for pols, prez and press alike there's Purple Hearts all around. But if we had it all to do over again . . .

And this week's Please Remain in Your Homes feature: Well, how can you choose? My Favorite Martian? Please, please please remain in your homes. Message in a Bottle? Try It Happened One Night -- Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable are the mismatch to end them all. Blast From the Past? Brendan Fraser's done this already -- it's called Encino Man, and it's Pauly Shore's finest work. But here's a tip for a nifty impeachment coda: Rounders is now out on video. Not a bad flick -- and keep your eye peeled for a Vernon Jordan cameo as the third judge on the right. Alas, poor impeachment. We knew ye all too well.