My favorite book, hands down, is not The Wanting Seed as I may claim some times. It’s by far the most entertaining book I’ve read and certainly the one I enjoy the most, but it’s not the one that’s touched me the most. That one would be The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread by Don Robertson. It’s one of those books I so love that has numerous characters that seem removed from each other until the climax. The main protagonist Morris Bird III is a 9-year-old boy on, to him, a big journey across the city of Cleveland. Set in 1944, it’s a seemingly innocent tale of a child discovering himself and some secrets of the world around him.
Now the reason it’s special to me is because of the particular when of my first reading of it. I found it when I was a preteen in my mother’s collection of books and began reading it as a bathroom read. Shortly after beginning it, I was admitted into the hospital with one of my bouts of ketoacidosis. When I was asked if I wanted anything brought to my room, I requested that book. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered it was the first of a trilogy. Unfortunately, they were all out of print. Abie surprised me with the second and third books (The Sum and Total of Now and The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened respectively) on my 23rd birthday. I’ll admit that, upon reading the melancholic end of the third book, I cried like a bitch.
Four years later and I’m looking through the channel guide of my digital box and what’s this on 17-2? The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened? It couldn’t be based on the story I read, right? Wrong. The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened was apparently released in 1977 as a made-for-TV movie starring James Earl Jones as Morris Bird Jr. and, as Morris Bird III, Jimmie Walker.
Let me make this perfectly clear:
The motherfucker known for shouting “Dyn-o-mite!” is playing the character from a book that may be one of the few pieces of evidence of me having a heart.
It’s on in an hour, and I shall at least try the first couple minutes of it before completely denouncing it as an atrocity. My expectations, however, are not very high, especially since they can’t even show the greatest thing that almost happened.
She and me’s a history of violence but I long and burn to touch her just the same