I’ve been having a little bit of stomach trouble lately. It’s nothing serious, so there’s no need to worry. I merely had a basic misunderstanding with the advertising policies of the Chinese Buffet down the block from me. Apparently “All You Can Eat” is neither a challenge to my abilities, nor is it an enforceable matter of law, so I guess I don’t have to keep eating until everything is gone. I tried to explain to the doctor that it’s not my fault and anyone could make that mistake (that is pretty ambiguous wording if you ask me), but she seemed to be more concerned with operating the stomach pump than hearing my side of the story. Now, apparently, not only am I a danger to myself, but I’m also an insurance liability to the restaurateur community at large. To make a long story short, I have to cool my heels at home for a couple of days.
Since I have some free time on my hand for once — and you can only watch so many episodes of Boy Meets World on basic cable before you’re ready to suck-start a shotgun – I’ve been doing some much needed soul searching. Somewhere along this odd road I’ve traveled in life, my personal views of food have been dangerously skewed. Since the moment my appetite was perverted was most likely not a moment I was shoveling potato chips or macaroni salad down my gullet it shouldn’t be too hard to narrow down the list of culprits. I’ve reviewed all the empirical evidence, checked all my personal records and I’ve come to the harsh conclusion that this is all Dr. Suess fault (because it sure as hell isn’t mine).
I know you’re all standing in line for the once-in-a-life-time-chance to argue with me about this because no one in their right mind would ever dare insinuate that Dr. Suess is anything but a beloved icon of childhood whimsy and an American national treasure; but hear me out because I’ll bet you haven’t taken anywhere near as many anti-psychotics as I have. I would propose to you that this tongue-twisting word-sorcerer has dodged his share of the blame for my enormous man-tits for far too long. From the moment I first learned to read, he was there, misinforming my youthful understanding of what’s acceptable to shovel down my throat without any regard for my well being later in life. The result: whenever I think about Green Eggs and Ham, I end up in some kind of downward addiction spiral that ends with the police finding me under the counter at a Dunkin Doughnuts with my mouth wrapped around the butter-cream spigot. Now I’m wanted in seven states, I’m not allowed within five hundred feet of Paula Dean and I’m receiving sexually explicit letters from Wendy’s, but Dr. Suess suddenly doesn’t have any more keen advice for me in his fun little dime bag of lyrics.
Look, I’m well aware that by this stage in life, I should have learned on my own not to lick candy bar wrappers off of highway asphalt; I can accept that. But what I can’t help is the fact that when I was just an impressionable child I had it repeatedly reinforced in my brain that it’s okay to eat the first platter of farm-runoff that finds its way into my mouth because the green eggs and ham didn’t hurt that irate manic-depressive mutant. From there it’s really just a short mental leap to believing that Reese’s Pieces in milk is an acceptable substitute for cereal. I get that the whole story was written with only fifty words, but I think he could have made one of them “gastritis;” it only seems fair to warn the children.
So you get a better idea of what I’m driving at, let’s take a closer look at Green Eggs and Ham:
On the surface, it looks like a delightful little song about trying new things and not judging a book by its cover – the kind of shit that’s supposed to make us grow up into the kind of well adjust adults that wouldn’t threaten to murder an Olive Garden waitress for failing to refill the breadstick basket. The whole thing is written in circular rhymes and has a recognizably catchy beat behind it, so you’re almost too hypnotized by the wordplay to recognize the very disturbing fact that the eggs are fucking green. I’m no nutritional expert, and my opinions on anything that comes out of hen’s ass should be taken with a grain of salt; but I do religiously observe the one all important rule that allowed the human race to evolve thus far: don’t eat the green eggs. I stand by this advice with every jagged inch of my regularly inflamed lower intestines.
Whatever the original intention of Dr. Suess’ message may be, nothing offsets the self-evident fact that he’s portraying this roasting pan of chemical weaponry as something that’s both safe — and fun — to ingest. All you have to do is look at those eggs and you know that they’re cold, greasy and probably smell vaguely of sardines. No one in his right mind would think a meal like that would lead to anything other than an unnecessarily painful death. If our great childhood hero Dr. Suess wanted to be in the least bit realistic, he would have written a sequel to Green Eggs and Ham explaining the effects of salmonella on your social life (here’s a spoiler, kids: it causes an unfortunate condition called “anal leakage”).
You know that food has to be nasty too, because both Sam-I-Am and the understandably cranky chain-smoker he’s pestering are both dogs and that ass-ham survives all the way to end of the story. Do you know how rancid meat has to be before a dog won’t eat it? I once watched a dog eat half a wicker basket, go outside to throw it up, then come back and eat the other half. If neither of them are all that keen on devouring this dish of leftovers from Christmas dinner three years ago, then the only reasonable thing to do would be to bury it at the low water mark where the water ebbs and flows because it most likely violates at least three articles of the Geneva Convention.
The sales pitch should be the first clue that something’s wrong with that situation. Sam-I-Am is suspiciously aggressive in pestering this poor guy when he’s made it more than clear he just wants to sit alone with his news paper and presumably wait for the merciful peace of a cold grave. Crack-pushers with mafia debts aren’t this insistent. Not to mention it’s been my experience that the only people who offer food to perfect strangers while on public transportation are minimum wage workers forced to work in a soul-crushing marketing campaign and the occasional child molester. You’d think he’d take the hint and just move on to the next lonely bastard who looks like he could use a random meal shoved in his face; but he doesn’t budge.
In fact, the longer this showdown lasts, the more absurd Sam-I-Am’s offer becomes. His impressive list of haggling techniques includes sweetening the pot with a mouse in a house, a train in the rain and a fox in a box. What kind of sex-dungeon did this guy pilfer before the story began? And why would anyone think that taking a train across the set of Avatar after a forest fire would make a spoiled breakfast any more enticing? This is the kind of activity that would only be conducted by a socially dysfunctional, hyper-aggressive delinquent. Why the fuck would we give a child a book that even approaches suggesting that someone like that is a reliable source of nourishment?
Despite every bit of empirical evidence that he should kick that plate of death-gruel into the nearest sewer, the anti-social moody-dog finally cracks under the psychological torture and accepts his fate as the latest casualty of the all-too-unregulated industrialized food complex. Then there’s a half a second of story left where this jackass claims to actually like green eggs and ham and then the song abruptly ends before he shits himself to death and Sam-I-am cuts off his ear to keep as a trophy.
Okay, I think I may have gone a little bit off the rails with this one, but I can’t help but be passionate about the malicious themes oozing out of this ubiquitous storybook. The simple fact is that Green Eggs and Ham sets up a dangerous paradigm of trusting strangers touting poorly thought out dinner ideas and then we wonder why the Chinese think it’s okay to sell us freeze-dried sewage in foil as a snack-food. Maybe if we didn’t show them pictures of discolored eggs and tell them not to be such picky eaters, our children wouldn’t grow up to eat deep-fried butter on a stick later on in life; that’s my theory anyways.
I can’t be alone on this issue. The news is constantly showing me videos of cellulite-riddled whale-spawns struggling to waddle up the schoolhouse steps every morning and proclaiming it the new national epidemic. This is America, and though it may be the land of the free and the home of the brave, it’s also the origin of the stuffed-crust pizza, so I’d say we’ve all probably got a few skeletons in our dietary closets that we might want to address. Maybe it’s time to take a collective stand and hold Dr. Suess posthumously responsible for the fact that we have become a country of ravenous vacuums sucking up whatever reheated bullshit gets dumped on the buffet line. Admit it and be free: it’s all because one rhyming jackass led us to believe those fucking green eggs were okay.
So, to sum it all up, if anyone asks why I’m not in to work today, then just refer them to the nearest copy of Green Eggs and Ham and explain that I have a tendency to take things a bit too literally sometimes.