*After teaching my short people the words to Blackstreet's "No Diggity" and how to make a prisonyard shiv out of a toothbrush and a sharp rock
. . .is instilling in my twin boys a voracious love for reading. I'd like to think that having children who eschew eReaders and whose fecund hearts swell with glee at the thought of a day spent poring over tomes at the local bookstore almost makes up for hemming their pants with duct tape and letting them wear their school clothes to bed so I can sleep in an extra half hour in the morning.*
*Don't be judgy.
From the time the boys were infants I spent countless hours reading to them; sharing my beloved childhood stories, and discovering new classics as well. Many of them such as "The Poky Little Puppy" and the Winnie-the-Pooh series continue to warm the cockles of my otherwise blackened and withered heart, but there are some that I read that made me wonder what level of Ira Levin-esque psychosis spawned such madness. If you are a parent, I can guarantee you own at least one of these books. And if you are a child being exposed to said books, be very, very afraid.
#1: THE CAT IN THE HAT
Let me preface by stating that I love me some Dr. Seuss. I believe that "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are" and "Green Eggs And Ham" were two of the finest works of literature ever put to pen and "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" is just one acid hit away from being a Lollapalooza-sized drug trip.*
*"Who am I? My name is Ish. On my hand I have a dish. . .when I wish to make a wish, I wave my hand with a big 'swish-swish', then I say 'I wish for fish'. . .so, if you wish to wish a wish, you may swish for fish with my Ish Wish Dish." That is some existential shit right there, yo.
But the one story I can never read without an overwhelming sensation of "WhatThe@#$%!?!?" is perhaps Dr. Seuss' most seminal work: "The Cat In The Hat".
And henceforth, hipster headwear was born.
Our story begins with a pair of siblings who appear to be no older than six or seven being left home alone while their mother disappears on an errand of dubious origin.*
*Which she does yet again in "The Cat In The Hat Comes Back". I can only presume the mom is supporting a raging meth addiction by giving handjobs to truckers at the highway rest stop.
The kids appear to be managing things pretty responsibly, considering their age, but evidently they missed the whole "Stranger Danger" assembly at school because they were more than happy to open the door for a six foot tall cat wearing nothing more than a top hat and a Jerry Sandusky smile.
The cat assures them that "Shh, your mom won't mind" and as these children are both light-headed from subsisting on a diet of Cheerios and neglect and desperate for an adult role model, they happily give him the run of the house. Unfortunately, things soon go south and, like a virulent case of the clap or a member of the Clinton Administration, this feline son of a bitch just won't leave. Finally the fish steps in to cockblock the cat and in the end the children are left to cover up for the pedophiliac feline under strict orders to "not tell mother".
So, in summation: if a stranger tells you that "it's our little secret, so don't tell your Mommy" then that's OK, because Mommy's probably too jacked up on a cocktail of crank and trucker spunk to give a rat's ass anyway. Sweet dreams!
#2: I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER