Only one author in all of history can claim to have won an Academy Award and depicted Hitler as a turtle. That would be Theodore Giesel, more commonly known as “Dr. Seuss,” much less commonly known as “Jimbo the Cave-Diving Monkey Squirrel,” who sold an estimated 600 million books in his career, many of them containing the word “floob-boober-bab-boober-bubs.”
Steven Seagal vs. the Chartreuse Ovums
Giesel began his career as an advertising illustrator for Standard Oil and a product called “Flit,” which was a bug spray you bought in one of those big old-fashioned cartoony bug sprayers that, pumped once, fumigated your entire house, pets and family, as the bugs back then were all communists. He began to use the pseudonym “Seuss” in college (Geisel actually meant to have the name “Seuss” pronounced “Sue-ice.” Lesser known: he also wanted “Dr.” pronounced as “Dee-Arr-Dot.”) During World War II Giesel supported the war effort by drawing posters and working in the animation department of the Air Force, which was housed in the belly of a B-17 and would drop ink wells and derogatory cartoons on the heads of enemy soldiers. After the war he helped produce the decidedly non-kid-oriented documentary Design for Death, which did not star Steven Seagal as an undercover dressmaker in Cold War Moscow, but nevertheless won the Academy Award for “Documentary Not Using Made-Up Words Such As ‘Squitsch’, ‘Grickly Grucktus’, or ‘Gootch’.” It wasn’t until after the war that Seuss’s career began to take off, with a string of hits in the 50s including Horton Hears a Who!, The Cat in the Hat, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. One of his most popular works was the result of a bet he made with his publisher that he couldn’t write a story using only 50 words, and none of them dirty. Seuss took the bet and wrote Green Eggs and Ham, which ranks 3rd in the most popular children’s books of all time, and contains such famous lines which, for copyright reasons, we cannot reprint here, but go something like:
“Do you prefer
Chartreuse ovums and the cured flesh from a domesticated porcine animal?
I do not prefer them, Sam, the self-aware antagonist
I do not prefer
Chartreuse ovums and the cured flesh from a domesticated porcine animal.”
Sloo-Slunkers and Amphibrachic Tetrameter
Geisel wrote most of his books with anapestic tetrameter, a particularly virulent form of poetic arthritis that caused him to rhyme in four rhythmic units.Geisel wrote most of his books with anapestic tetrameter, a particularly virulent form of poetic arthritis that caused him to rhyme in four rhythmic units. In later years, such as when he was writing “If I Ran The Circus,” he also suffered from amphibrachic tetrameter, a debilitating attack on the metrical foot consisting of a long syllable between two short syllables. Despite this, he was able to live a full, normal life, although he fathered no children. Most of Geisel’s artwork had a tendency to be somewhat rounded and droopy with no straight lines, indicating that he either was working in a hot studio or his ruler was broken. His post-war work was mostly in black and white sketch form, as color for the book and film industry was still being rationed, as can be seen in every Three Stooges short of the time. Later books, such as 1971’s “The Lorax,” used multiple colors, mixing bright greens, oranges, and purples, because it was the 70s, and no one knew any better because they were too worried about the width of their bell-bottoms. Some of his books have even been turned into full-blown Hollywood-style money-vacuuming motion pictures, which we’re going to pretend never happened, seeing as how none of them can hold a sloo-slunker to the classic Chuck Jones version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”
So no matter the color of your sneedle, or if you don’t know your zong from your diffendoofer, or if your turtle is a fascist, or if your belly has a star or just navel fuzz, or if you’re young or really old; I mean, like so old you can remember when there were pay phones, you can still enjoy the work of that guy who’s name I forgot because this sentence was too long.