Thursday, April 3, 2014

Drawing The Parallels Between Dr. Seuss And Al Capone...

Remember the scene in the Untouchables when Al Capone (Robert De Niro) gathers together all of his hit men for a dinner party, pulls out a bat and proceeds to beat one of them to a bloody pulp?

If you haven't seen the movie, long story short, two of Capone's men were plotting to kill him, Capone got wind of it and SPLAT!!!

I don't necessarily condone violence as a way to settle disputes of any kind but in a situation like that one, it was a flat out case of kill or be killed.

Capone isn't going to cry to the police and he certainly can't let these dudes just walk into some Italian bistro and wack him while he's eating his Pasta Fazul.

Now this brings us to my favorite book of all time.

It's a lesser known book by the now deceased, legendary children's book author, Dr. Seuss.

It's called, "I Had Trouble In Getting To Solla Sollew".

The premise of the story is fairly straight forward and it's written in the classic rhythmic style that Dr. Seuss is famous for.

The protagonist, a scrawny little half cat - half muppet creature, stubs his toe. Because he's such a whiney little bitch and things aren't going his way, he decides to get the fuck outta dodge.

He eventually gets wind of a city named Solla Sollew that's supposedly the bee's knees.

Seuss so eloquently describes this city as follows...

"on the banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo, where they never have troubles! At least very few."

If Google Translate had a language setting for Dr. Seuss, I'm hoping it would translate the above description as, "right off the balneario beaches in the south zone of Rio, where they have hot Brazilian hookers and all of the Cachaca you can drink."

 Great. That makes perfect sense. I would go too.

So this half cat, half muppet sets off on his journey but things don't go so smoothly.

Along the way, he runs into a bunch of assholes that want to kill him for no apparent reason.

One of them looks like a mutation of an Aardvark and a Dragon Fly and it's constantly trying to suck the life out of him.

Another nemesis resembles some sort of Chicken Lizard and the fucker actually bites him on the ass.

At one point Seuss even pits this poor schmuck against what seems to be a pack of Sesame Street Mountain Lions gone bad.

And to add insult to injury he arms him with nothing but a pea shooter.

No joke.

A God damn pea shooter.

With one pea!

Holy shit.

Any way, it goes on and on and on until he finally gets to this Solla Sollew place and then realizes he needs a key to get in and he can only gain access to it via this shady man / yeti that's dressed in some weird bellhop bathrobe costume that looks like Yul Brynner's (God rest his soul) outfit from the King and I.


Thing is, this yeti doorman is a sadistic douchebag and he won't give cat man the key.

Just when you think the story is gonna take a hard left toward male prostitution, he actually persuades the yeti bellhop to hand him the key and inserts it into the door.

But holy mother Mary of Christ, there's a fucking door weasel that lives in the keyhole and takes the key!


So now he's faced with a dilemma.

He can't get into Brazilian Hooker land and he certainly doesn't want to go back the way he came, for fear of getting skinned alive by Chicken Lizard and Dragon Fly.

So he makes a decision.

Usually in children's books there is a moral that aims to teach kids the right thing to do.

In this case, maybe it would be to offer the door weasel something in return for the key. This would teach kids the importance of sharing.

Or maybe he could go back the way he came and reason with Chicken Lizard and the Aardvark monster. This would teach kids how to cope with bullies with words rather than violence.

But the good Dr would have none of this.

Seuss decides that rather than run away from your troubles, it's sometimes best to face them head on.

It's the same lesson we learn from Capone in the Untouchables and they approach it with uncanny similarity.

This is the text on the last page verbatim:

"Then I started back home
To the Valley of Vung.
I know I'll have troubles.
I'll maybe, get stung.
I'll always have troubles.
I'll maybe, get bit
By that Green-Headed Quail
On the place where I sit.

But I've bought a big bat.
I'm all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going
To have troubles with me!"


I'd like to think that somewhere up above or perhaps below, Dr. Seuss and Al Capone are sharing a mason jar full of Cachaca, off the balneario beaches in the south zone of Rio, with an abundance of Brazilian hookers, exchanging stories of bad-assery and garnering mutual respect.