Claim: A writer named Rob Suggs penned the poem “The Binch” in order to help explain the World Trade Center attacks to the children at an Atlanta hospital for whom he performs story-telling therapy.
Status: Not quite.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
The gentleman who wrote this, Rob Suggs, is a children’s author and illustrator. He works a lot with the children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He is able to “lighten their load” through his art and story telling therapy. The children obviously are asking questions about the dire circumstances we are in, as well as the adults. This is what he has written to further explain the situation to the children he is working
with in the hospitals . . . adapted from a classic story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.
But, Whatever the reason, his heart or his turban,
Tomorrow, he knew, all the U’s and the S’s,
And then they’d do something he liked least of all,
“I must stop that singing,” Binch said with a smirk,
The Binch cocked his ear as they woke from their sleeping,
He stared down at U-ville, not trusting his eyes,
He HADN’T stopped U-Ville from singing! It sung!
So we circle the sites where our heroes did fall,
For America means a bit more than tall towers,
Origins: The little satirical poem quoted above — penned in response to the September 11 attacks on America and based on Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s story, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” — has garnered a great deal of attention: NPR and CNN have covered it, The New Yorker printed an excerpt, several city newspapers and untold numbers of radio stations have performed their own readings which are being passed around in MP3 format, and WCBS-TV in New York City even produced a filmed version.
The poem is correctly attributed to Rob Suggs, an author, illustrator and humorist living in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Mr. Suggs is not associated with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, nor did he write “The Binch” for children. He created the piece for the enjoyment of a few adult friends, and amidst the chain of e-mail forwards someone added the preface with its erroneous explanatory information:
This wasn’t a grand gesture, a premeditated desire to minister to children, or an effort to speak to America through cyberspace. It was a parody that I spent ten minutes writing after considering the mythic parallels between Dr. Seuss’ character and this horrific contemporary figure who was suddenly thrust like a dagger into the middle of our national psyche . . . I merely wrote the verse for a few adult friends on the Net, not children — not even my own kids, who are 8 and 10. I tossed it off without even adding my name, and I had no expectation of forwarding.
In the words of Mr. Suggs, “I love Dr. Seuss and hope the poem will direct people back to his wonderful work — in addition, of course, to providing us with a literary reference point we
can find comforting and encouraging in a time of terrible national crisis.”
|The Untold Story of America’s Favorite E-mail Forward (Christianity Today)|
Last updated: 7 March 2008