“You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch; you’re the king of sinful sots. Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots, Mr. Griiiiinch. You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!” These are the dark, and oft forgotten lyrics to the 4th verse (since we worry about these things so much nowadays) from- “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch.” The lyrics were written by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, with music composed by Albert Hague. The song was performed by Thurl Ravenscroft (best known as the voice of Tony the Tiger) for the 1966 cartoon special, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
Before we go any further, understand that this article is in no way meant to demean the works of the beloved Doctor or to belittle the animated features they inspired. This writer holds the late, great Seuss in the utmost respect and finds his works inspiring to this day. However, if it in any way demeans or belittles Ron Howard or Jim Carrey, and the helliday abomination they created, then GOOD!
As the yuletide rolls into the holiday shore line this year one has to ponder, has the Grinch become passé? As our society spirals deeper and deeper into the misguided realms of “political correctness” has referencing someone as “a mean one, Mr. Grinch” become an offensive act? Originally the title of “Grinch” was reserved exclusively for people you truly despised. Whose negative attitude towards the holidays increased you despised-ness of them. As time passed it became a playful way to pick on friends and family who got a little grumpy during the holiday season. In our modern-day selfie-centered society it can be cool and trendy to adopt a Grinch-like attitude, mostly to get attention. However, regardless of how it’s used, the term has been misused for the past 59 Christmases. Because no one can be a Grinch!
Why not? Well what is a Grinch exactly? Let’s reference the original and only true source material; this being the 1957 publishing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The protagonist of the book is simply referred to as “The” Grinch. The word “the” indicates that it is not only his name but species as well. In addition the use of the word “the” also lets us know that he is the last of his kind or the only one that ever was. Judging by his appearance and his living conditions (in a cave just north of Whoville) we can ascertain that he may be akin to Bigfoot; a missing link between the Homo-sapien-like Whos and the Neanderthal-like Whats.
So to be a Grinch you’d have to hate Christmas. Be one of a kind or the last of your species. You would have to commit grand larceny and rob every house in your neighborhood. Then change your mind, have a change of heart and somehow return it all without being arrested. Seriously, if some a-hole robbed you and then came back and said, “Sorry I robbed you blind on Christmas Eve but it’s OK because now I got the Christmas spirit!” would you really invite them to dinner and not call the cops? Oh almost forgot, to be a Grinch you’d have to be dead and buried in Whoville cemetery. Because the Grinch certainly wasn’t around by the time Horton the elephant heard that Who a few years ago.
Wait? What? You think being a Grinch isn’t about being what the Grinch is but rather what he represents? So you think the Grinch is the symbol for hating Xmas? You seem to be confusing what the Grinch was with what the Grinch is (aside from dead and buried). Did you even finish the book?
By the story’s end the Grinch had seen the error of his ways and has made amends for his actions. He has joined the Who society and is taking part in the Wholiday festivities. Thus the Grinch becomes a symbol of social conformity and reform. This means in the symbolic sense you could be a Grinch. Provided you had a heart-felt experience that caused you to rejoin society. Preceded by years of living a sheltered, self-inflicted hate filled life climaxing in a one-night crime spree.
So maybe we should all aspire to be a Grinch during the holiday season. Find our place in society and rejoice the company of our fellow Whovillians. Forget about commercialism and more importantly forget about self and consider and cherish Who-ever we share our lives with. However, if your heart grows three sizes in one day that is not it filling with the holiday spirit; that is Myocarditis and it will kill you.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!