Did you ever have the feeling there’s a WASKET in your BASKET? Did you ever get the feeling that the DOC had WRITER’S BLOCK?
Dr Seuss was a favourite of mine when I was little. The Cat in the Hat. Classic. Fox in Socks. Great fun. But he was also incredibly prolific, writing more than 60 children’s books. Only now do I realise how few of them I’ve actually read.
So tonight’s bedtime story is a Dr Seuss work that is new to me: There’s a Wocket in My Pocket.
This was written in 1974, when the Doc was 70 years old and firmly established as a legend of children’s literature. Arguably the biggest name in the genre.
And so he said to himself: “Fuck it, I’m Dr Seuss, I can rhyme any old shit and people will buy it.”
That's about the only explanation for the lack of effort that went into There’s a Wocket in My Pocket.
This was Dr Seuss bereft of ideas, phoning it in. You can just picture him sitting at his desk, on deadline, looking around his house in desperation. What rhymes with bureau? Nothing. What rhymes with toothbrush? Nothing. What rhymes with chimney? Nothing.
Damn, I’d better make some words up.
There’s a ... nureau in my bureau. Yeah, that’ll do. And a ... nooth grush on my toothbrush. Not my best work, but hey, I wrote The Cat in the Hat. What are they gonna say? A quimney up the chimney. Hey, this is easy.
It seems appropriate this book was first published by Random House.
Some Dr Seuss works had important moral lessons, some were great vocabulary builders, others were just a lot of fun. And some, like this, were utter gibberish. Still, I suppose there is a hidden message. Don’t rest on your laurels.