“From there to here
From here to there
Funny things are everywhere.”
Never a truer word was spoke. And who did the spoking? Why, Dr Seuss of course. Doctor Who? No! Silly, Dr Seuss – though he wasn’t a doctor and his name wasn’t Seuss.
Never heard of ’im? Then, honey, you haven’t lived. My advice to you: get procreating RIGHT NOW so that you have little ones on whom to unleash the delightful, ticklish nonsensical marvels of Dr Seuss. And if you really can’t be doing with all that sex and bringing up stuff, well, borrow a nephew.
Theodore Seuss Geisel, the man behind The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, started life as an advertising executive for an American insecticide. He may have gone down in history as the man who coined the phrase “Quick Henry, the Flit!” had it not been for an enterprising publisher who, responding to a report that children were having trouble reading because books were boring, sent Geisel a list of 400 words, asking him to write a book using just 220 of them. Nine months later, A Cat in the Hat was born.
In 1960, he was bet $50 that he couldn’t write an entire book using only fifty words. The result was Green Eggs and Ham, which munchful mouthful went on to sell millions of copies and has never been out of print since. Like One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham is part of Seuss’s Beginner’s Books series which encourages children to read on their own. The madcap antics of Seuss’s menagerie were hailed as a ‘karate chop’ to the boring world of Peter and Jane, and Spot the Dog.
By the time he died in 1991, his books had sold over 200 million copies in 15 different languages. Now that they are imported into India, there’s no excuse. I can’t think of a better way to greet the coming winter than to grab the nearest willing kid, and snuggle under the razai with Horton the elephant, the Yink who drinks pink ink, Mr Gump and his Seven Hump Wump, The Fox in Socks and the whole kaboodle.
Vox Pop column
City Limits magazine, November 7, 2005