Tom Shillue: What being a Toys R Us kid really means

Americans are sadly saying goodbye to Geoffrey the Giraffe and Toys R Us, because the retailer has just finished closing its 735 stores across the country and has gone out of business.

The photo of Geoffrey the Giraffe walking an empty aisle with a suitcase in tow heading off to a “very long vacation” touched the hearts of many.

The photo has gone viral and was passed from one mobile device to another, ironically using the very technology that has made life so difficult for many traditional retailers like Toys R Us. These days, people can buy a toy with one click on their phone and have it on their doorstep in 48 hours or less.

I remember the Toys R Us TV jingle from the 1980s, but I was not really a “Toys R Us kid.” I was from the generation before – we had the Sears Wish Book, a telephone-directory-sized colorful catalogue of everything under the sun.

While it may be sad to see this company close its doors, the magic of childhood will live on…

I would pour over its pages full of photos of happy kids playing with toys, games and sports equipment and circle item after item in red marker. “Wish” was the right word for it – I don’t remember my parents ever buying anything from that catalogue.

Sometimes on Christmas Eve I would leave a page open as a hint for Santa, which I knew was a long shot, because I think at that late hour Santa had already made up his mind about what I was going to get.

Along with the heart-wrenching photo of Geoffrey, the company posted this message on its website:

“Thanks to each of you who shared your amazing journey to (and through) parenthood with us, and to every grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother and sister who’s built a couch-cushion rocket ship, made up a hero adventure, or invented something gooey. Promise us just this one thing: Don’t ever grow up. Play on!”

A great message – and very true – because kids don’t really need toy stores to have fun and create their own adventures. And while it may be sad to see this company close its doors, the magic of childhood will live on, whether you shop in a store, or on the Internet, or even if you just make your own fun out of a bunch of couch cushions. Play on!

Tom Shillue is host of The Tom Shillue Show, live Monday-Friday 3 to 6 PM ET, featuring comedic insight and analysis on the days trending topics as well as interviews with special guests. Shillue is a stand-up comedian and former host of FNC’s Red Eye, he joined FOX News Channel in 2015 and remains a contributor to the network.

Daniel Henninger: Here’s another Trumpian solution to illegal immigration: Let the economy control it

W.C. Fields, the great and wise film comedian, once said that doing a scene with children was perilous because they will steal it. Someone should have warned the Trump White House.

No doubt buried somewhere inside the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal border crossings is an important issue related to the rule of law or national sovereignty. Just don’t expect anything resembling serious thought to compete with images of kids in Border Patrol processing cages.

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the parental separations. Reassembling these families may slow the bleeding for Republicans, but it won’t solve anything related to illegal immigration.

In 1986, after a mighty legislative struggle during the Reagan administration, Congress passed the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act. Its purpose was to control the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. More than 30 years later, we are putting them in holding pens.

To continue reading Daniel Henninger’s column from the Wall Street Journal, click here.

Daniel Henninger is the Wonder Land columnist for The Wall Street Journal where he serves as Deputy Editorial Page Editor. Follow him on Twitter @DanHenninger.