Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On Green Eggs and Ham...

In many ways and in many levels, the story of my life may be represented by one of my favorite books, Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. Among my bookshelf stocked with the works of Conrad, Cervantes, Twain, and their cohorts, this piece stands out as a route to my past, my inner child, and my personal experiences. My mom was the first to show me that “I can read it all by myself,” (the trademarked seal on the cover of many of Dr. Seuss’ works). That has brought me here, to this point turning point in life, where I’m currently lost in the plots of Shakespeare, the diction of Dickens, and the vernacular of Verne.

Whenever I reminisce of reading my first books, I can always recall Sam-I-Am’s perfunctory persistency and skills of persuasion, and the opposite character’s (who was not never named via sign-on-a-stick or otherwise) ability to accommodate, lessons which have been taught the proverbial hard way. Like a photograph in my mind, I can see wordless pages comprising the picture of the furry, unnamed, yellow creature in the water, with a countenance of doubt and a fork in his hand, preparing to eat the green egg while the other characters look in with anticipation; he ultimately eats the egg, green yolk and all.

As a 5 year old, Green Eggs and Ham had tremendous appeal: its bright orange cover and simply vivid pictures boggled my mind. So at that particular age and an estimated height of three feet, I walked into the library, the labyrinth of a world I had yet to be formally introduced to. I eagerly avoided the larger books for the time, or the ones sans pictures, and found myself in a safe haven where the tables and chairs accommodated the people of my stature. Here I found Green Eggs and Ham.

Thirteen years later, approximately two and three quarters feet taller, and a mind much more enriched through the passing of time (I would hope), I bought the book again, having lost it while moving. It was a much different experience then before. As my dad remarked, I was the biggest kid in the children’s section. After purchasing a book required for my English class, I strolled over to the familiarly foreign area of the children’s section. I searched in vain for a small amount of time before recalling that Dr. Seuss had his own section for his works alone. I purchased my two books at the cost of around twenty-one dollars (to my lament) and a strange look from my sister (to my expectations).

All in all, I rediscovered a relevant element within the book: my childhood. The character that had rejected the green eggs and ham throughout the first half of the book was consistently avoiding it under no justifiable reason. As the famous lines reiterates, “Not in a box/ Not with a fox/ … / I do not like them,/ Sam-I-am./ I do not like/ Green eggs and ham.” Only after Sam-I-am coerces this character to actually taste the green eggs and ham after much deliberation and refusal, does he ultimately gain a new interest, a new taste, and a new outlook. The green eggs and ham alludes to many things: a belief in continuous effort, a desire to experiment, and a willingness to think outside the aforementioned box. Maybe it’s just me, this Green Eggs and Ham Theorem I have.

Whether this give and take hypothesis of life holds true or not, I would wish leave this world saying something along the lines of: “I do so like/ Green eggs and ham!/ Thank you!/ Thank you,/ Sam-I-Am.”


Circa 2000. My momma was proud that my teacher was proud.

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