story time…

Zook cook.

From June 2008 in direct response to activities in the office I posted this. There’s a popular power phrase that goes something like, “Do it and apologize later.” I take issue with it: it makes your apologies meaningless, and says you don’t stand up for what you believe. Do it. Explain why; and let others do the same. I thought a fun send up of a popular Dr. Seuss story would be a harmless, enjoyable way to discuss the idea. My poem revisits The Butter Battle Book in a parody of Seuss’s poetic verse and illustration style.

It was the first day of summer,
ten hours past spring…
and VanItch let me know a most wonderful thing.

There was going to be a wedding, a Zook cook’s dream.
and I was the cook, and I set the theme.
I’d pick the berries, I’d whip the cream.
The general’s daughter was wedding
a Zook Back Room Boy.
and the entire Zook nation
was filed-brimming with joy.

What would I cook for them I pondered all day
till very late I checked recipes, vexed with dismay.
All were good, but only one said, “Hooray!”
I’d serve the national dish;
Fruggle… simple… no clutter.
I’d serve homemade bread
all slathered with butter!

But what I knew best of the Boys from the Back Room
those who would stand, sit and eat right up next to the groom
is they took pride in each piece of their Zooky costume.
Each would eat his bread
with gloves on their hands;
then mingle with guests
filling social demands.

If the bread that they ate was served butter side down
as is the custom all over Zook farm, and Zook town,
each guest that night would leave with a frown.
The Boys in the Backroom
each eating a piece
wouldn’t notice their gloves
had been covered with grease.

Each hand that they shook, each dance partner’s dress
would pick up the grease and carry the mess.
The guests would leave, that night, in distress.
I knew what I’d do
for each boy and man.
It may cost my job, but
I’d come up with a plan.

I’d take each bread slice and put butter on top.
The Boys in the Backroom would see every drop
They’d shake and they’d dance with no need to stop!
But here is the question,
here is the test.
What would you do,
what do you think would be best?

Make it butter side up, apologizing later for the “gaffe”?
Or serve it up, and explain how it’s in their behalf?
Or do nothing at all, like the rest of the staff?
I know what I’d do,
what I think is right-
but what would you do
on this wedding night?

(This is currently running as a comment on my regular blog)

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