Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Good Read

Somewhere around the beginning of April, 2000, my soon to be three year old daughter wanted to get a video out of the church library. She picked up probably the most colorful video they had - it was green and yellow and had a big green cucumber on the front. Yeah, ok fine, whatever you want sweetie. It's from the church library, so at least I don't have to worry about it being offensive. So the next day we popped it in the VCR, so that I could have a few quiet moments to nurse my then 6 week old baby. Within the first few minutes, I was hooked. It was FUNNY! Funnier and smarter than any kids video I'd ever seen. When my husband got home I told him "You MUST watch this!" and he was hooked too. The video she picked was Veggie Tales Silly Songs 2 - The End of Silliness? We had officially become a family of Veggie lovers. It wasn't long before we all were quoting lines, and humming the songs walking through the produce section of the grocery store. We got as many of the other episodes out of the church library as they had, and loved every one. Eventually my husband ordered all of the previous episodes from (using his mother's credit card, didn't know that at the time, but that's besides the point and another very good reason he's my ex!) and we eagerly waited for new releases. And then we heard about the Veggie Tales movie that was coming out - Jonah. YAY! We took the kids to see it, and enjoyed it very much. Not long after that though, I was reading the paper one day and noticed a little blurb in the Business section about the sale of Big Idea, the company behind the Veggies, to a company called Classic Media. It also mentioned that Big Idea had gone into bankruptcy. I wondered then if Jonah wasn't biting off more than they could chew, but figured I'd never know for sure. I went to the Big Idea website and wrote a very heartfelt email asking if what I'd read was true, and inquired about the future of our dear friends, Bob and Larry. I got a return email reassuring us that Bob and Larry would still be around. I said a prayer for the people involved in Veggie Tales, and then just waited. We kept buying our Veggies, but we'd watch the credits and notice that Phil Vischer, the founder of Big Idea, wasn't having as much to do with the creation of the episodes. While still good, we did notice a difference. So all this time, I've been kind of curious about what really happened. Then a couple weeks ago, I spotted this book - Me, Myself and Bob: A True Story about Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables. I got my paws on it yesterday. Since last night was my 911 night at work, I thought "Yippee! something to read!" because around 3 am on a Thursday morning in January is not our busiest time. By the time I left work this morning, I had made it to chapter 19 out of 22. I couldn't wait to get home and finish it. And finish it I did. This is a book I will be thinking about for a very long time, and going back to reread those last couple chapters to let what they have to say really sink in. So why did Big Idea crash and burn like it did? It's all explained in the book - poor management, getting too big too fast, a lawsuit... there are a lot of reasons... but there are also a lot of lessons, and I'm so glad that Mr. Vischer has taken the time to share them with us. They're good lessons for all of us who think we have something bigger we want to do for God.

I still love me some Veggies, and now I feel better knowing more about why they are where they are. The book itself is a very good read, and entertaining even describing the plumment from the mountain-top of success to the valley of bankruptcy. As a cucumber I know of once said "I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob!"


Rebekah said...

Thanks for the post. I knew Big Idea sold out. I never liked any of the episodes after that. Vischer really had the annointing for creating the shows. My favorite is Dave and the Giant Pickle. I will have to read the book

Erna said...

Thanks for the review on the book. (You made me think of the other book I've got to read that you sent . . . I'm still working on the last one. There just aren't enough hours in a day!) I'll have to catch up on the rest of your posts. :0)