Akron, Oh. —Sarah Joseph doesn’t like green eggs, ham, or Dr. Seuss. A day after being handed a copy of “The Cat in the Hat”, Joseph turned up her nose at the classic children’s book.
“Pure drivel,” she said. “I’m willing to suspend disbelief about an anthropomorphic cat and talking fish, really, I am, but couldn’t the same effect have been achieved with human characters? Why tart up the story with animals? I may be a child but I’m not a buffoon.”
Joseph raised further objections in her Tuesday morning book club in which she is the youngest member by 67 years.
“Who exactly are Thing 1 and Thing 2? Are they halves of whole entity at war with itself? The id and superego of a yet-to-be-introduced character striving for balance? An expression of the cat’s ennui? Or just some schlock a publisher thought us unsophisticated kids would inveigle our parents into buying?” Joseph asked. “And don’t even get me started on how the cat managed to manipulate that bow tie sans thumbs.”
Melinda Joseph, Sarah’s mother and a literature professor at Akron University, sighed when asked about her daughter.
“The other day she was reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and she cried when I took it away from her. She screamed ‘YOU NEVER LET ME READ ABOUT EXISTENTIAL DREAD!’, and then slammed the door to her room,” Melinda Joseph said. “Last week I caught her using the storage ottoman to get Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum off the top shelf of the bookcase. Hell, even I haven’t read that. I just keep so my department chair will be impressed with me if she ever comes over."
Research suggests that most people don’t become insufferable literary snobs until at least age 20, but Sarah Joseph is a rare case.
“On the parenting message boards, moms are always griping about how their kids won’t share or eat vegetables…if only,” Sarah Joseph said.
The older Joseph’s woes don’t end there. Her 10-year-old son, Blake, has begun wearing a beret, smoking clove cigarettes, and reading French philosophy.
“We are born in a grave, live in a coffin, and die in oblivion,” he told his Cub Scout troupe last week.