The Magic of Dr. Seuss
When I was a child, my parents had to bribe me with bedtime stories to get me to go to bed. I had a small library of books but my favorite book was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. According to family lore, I requested this book every night. I imagine that my parents grew to loathe Sam-I-Am.
The morning after the night before…. My father was usually in charge of breakfast and he loved to make eggs. He liked to fry them. He liked to poach them. And most of all, he liked to scramble them. Given my attachment to the book, Green Eggs and Ham, it would be reasonable to assume that I liked eggs and ham. I did not. I did not like them, not in the house, not with a mouse, not in a box, not with a fox. I simply despised them.
This was terribly inconvenient because my parents had a rule that I was not allowed to leave the table until I finished my meal. Our breakfast table, on egg days, was a battlefield. I tried everything I could think of to avoid ingesting them. I pouted. I cried. I stared down the eggs for hours. I wished we had an indoor dog who would happily eat my eggs. Once I even tried sneaking them into the trash can but got caught before the garbage went out. The scene that ensued was not nice. The end result is that nothing worked and I usually had to drown my eggs in ketchup.
Inspiration. I don’t know about your dad, but when my dad got inspired in the kitchen, the results were often somewhere between questionable and horrifying. And at some point, Dad got inspired. We had company visiting from out-of-town. We also had ham. You can probably see where this is going, but I’ll fill in the dots anyway. Somehow, Dad thought it would be funny to make green eggs and ham for me for breakfast. The other adults – the enemies – thought it was a riot. I was mortified. Eggs in general were bad enough, but green eggs, with a side of ham. Well it was just too much. And to add insult to injury, he’d poached them so it didn’t even work to cover them in ketchup. I had to look at the ghastly green things I was eating.
I imagine that Dad thought that this would convince me that like Sam-I-Am’s ill-fated target, I would fall in love with green eggs and ham. Or perhaps he just wanted to sever my attachment to the book. Neither worked. I simply became more resolute in my hatred of eggs and to this day, I still love to recite Green Eggs and Ham.