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For Readers in their 23rd Year of Schooling

‘Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the
annual yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence,
kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this
potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus
musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of
the wood-burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory
pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric
philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title
of St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their
respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious
visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving
rhythmically through their cerebra. My conjugal partner and I, attired
in our nocturnal cranial coverings, were about to take slumbrous
advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior
portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance
that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for
the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing
the fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without,
reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline
aqueous precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian
itself — thus permitting my incredulous optical sensor to peruse a
miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by an octet of
diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a miniscule,
aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent
to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his
undulate motive power traveling at what may possibly have been more
vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated
loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and
addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen …
“Now Dasher, now Dancer…” et al. — guiding them to the uppermost
exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could
readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was
performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved
– with utmost celerity and via a downward leap — entry by way of the
smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebon
residue from the oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated
on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed
largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in
a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his
submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging
amiability. The capillaries of his molar regions and nasal aptenance
were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the
former approximating the coloration of Albion’s floral emblem, the
latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub- and
supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their
ambient hirsuite facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and
columnar crystals of frozen water.

Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smokingpiece whose gray
fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a
decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was
high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region
undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the
aforementioned hosiery with articles of merchandise extracted from his
aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon
completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about-face, placed a
single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ,
inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith
affected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage. He
then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a
musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the
antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement
hitherto observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common
weed. But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately
prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility: “Ecstatic
yuletides to the planetary constituence, and to that self-same
assemblage my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and
gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn.”

1.You can’t win.

2.You can’t break even.

3.You can’t quit the game.

“Marine biology researchers have developed a new method to fend off shark
attacks. If you are diving and are approached by a shark they recommend
that you swim towards it aggressively and punch it in the nose as hard as

“If this doesn’t work, beat the shark with your stump.”

Review: The Cat in the Hat

by Dr. Seuss, 61 pages. Beginner Books, $3.95

The Cat in the Hat is a hard-hitting novel of prose and poetry
in which the author re-examines the dynamic rhyming schemes and
bold imagery of some of his earlier works, most notably Green
Eggs and Ham, If I Ran the Zoo, and Why Can’t I Shower With
Mommy? In this novel, Theodore Geisel, writing under the
pseudonym Dr. Seuss, pays homage to the great Dr. Sigmund Freud
in a nightmarish fantasy of a renegade feline helping two young
children understand their own frustrated sexuality.

The story opens with two youngsters, a brother and a sister,
abandoned by their mother, staring mournfully through the
window of their single-family dwelling. In the foreground, a
large tree/phallic symbol dances wildly in the wind, taunting
the children and encouraging them to succumb to the sexual
yearnings they undoubtedly feel for each other. Even to the
most unlearned reader, the blatant references to the
incestuous relationship the two share set the tone for Seuss’s
probing examination of the satisfaction of primitive needs.
The Cat proceeds to charm the wary youths into engaging in
what he so innocently refers to as “tricks.” At this point,
the fish, an obvious Christ figure who represents the
prevailing Christian morality, attempts to warn the children,
and thus, in effect, warns all of humanity of the dangers
associated with the unleashing of the primal urges. In
response to this, the cat proceeds to balance the aquatic
naysayer on the end of his umbrella, essentially saying,
“Down with morality; down with God!”

After poohpoohing the righteous rantings of the waterlogged
Christ figure, the Cat begins to juggle several icons of
Western culture, most notably two books, representing the Old
and New Testaments, and a saucer of lactal fluid, an ironic
reference to maternal loss the two children experienced when
their mother abandoned them “for the afternoon.” Our heroic
Id adds to this bold gesture a rake and a toy man, and thus
completes the Oedipal triangle.

Later in the novel, Seuss introduces the proverbial Pandora’s
box, a large red crate out of which the Id releases Thing One,
or Freud’s concept of Ego, the division of the psyche that
serves as the conscious mediator between the person and
reality, and Thing Two, the Superego which functions to reward
and punish through a system of moral attitudes, conscience,
and guilt. Referring to this box, the Cat says, “Now look at
this trick. Take a look!” In this, Dr. Seuss uses the
children as a brilliant metaphor for the reader, and asks the
reader to re-examine his own inner self.

The children, unable to control the Id, Ego, and Superego
allow these creatures to run free and mess up the house, or
more symbolically, control their lives. This rampage
continues until the fish, or Christ symbol, warns that the
mother is returning to reinstate the Oedipal triangle that
existed before her abandonment of the children. At this
point, Seuss introduces a many-armed cleaning device which
represents the psychoanalytic couch, which proceeds to put
the two youngsters’ lives back in order.

With powerful simplicity, clarity, and drama, Seuss reduces
Freud’s concepts on the dynamics of the human psyche to an
easily understood gesture. Mr. Seuss’ poetry and choice of
words is equally impressive and serves as a splendid
counterpart to his bold symbolism. In all, his writing style
is quick and fluid, making The Cat in the Hat impossible to
put down. While this novel is 61 pages in length, and one
can read it in five minutes or less, it is not until after
multiple readings that the genius of this modern day master
becomes apparent.

If you cloned Henry IV, would he be Henry V, or Henry IV Part II?

© 2015