Fairy Tales 2005
January 7, 2005
Hansel and Gretel 2005
In a house by the edge of the woods there lived a woodsman, his wife, and their two fat children from his first marriage. A season of great hardship befell the stock market, and because the woodsman had not diversified his portfolio (he was largely invested in rotted piles of wood), his status as a primary caregiver became a tremendous burden. And though the woodsman would willingly shoulder such a burden, his wife was distressingly self-involved, not unlike most defendants on “The People’s Court.”
Being German, she was a pragmatic woman and not of great sentiment. “Husband!” she said. “The time has come for us to choose between your porcine offspring and keeping DSL service. Tomorrow, we must go forth on a picnic in the woods, whereupon we shall stuff our children, and upon their napping, we must steal back to our cottage and never think of them again.” The woodsman, being heavily medicated and also emotionally dead inside from years of watching the local news, nodded his assent.
But unbeknownst to the parents, the two children had lain awake, and overheard the nefarious plan. “What ever shall we do?” asked Gretel, the young girl. “Do not fear, sister,” said Hansel. “I shall protect us both.”
The next day, the family drove deep into the woods, and following a picnic of Monster Thickburgers, the two obese children fell fast asleep against the trunk of an old pine tree. But upon attempting to sneak away, the woodsman and his haggardly second wife were apprehended by Agent Oladarsky of the local woods FBI bureau. For the night before, Hansel had used his cell phone (a common accessory even among the fifth-graders at Hansel’s school) to contact the local authorities and initiate an amber alert.
The children hugged Agent Oladarsky with great glee, and giddily testified against their parents just weeks later. They lived happily ever after in a crumbling government foster care system, which eventually separated the pair, sending Gretel to live with a lonely woman in the same woods in which she first lived. A paranoid schizophrenic from years of neglect, Gretel shoved the woman in an oven and looted her home before disappearing into a Fundamentalist Mormon community in the New Mexico desert. Hansel became a male prostitute and died of consumption under a bridge in Paducah. You may have seen all of this on Lifetime.
Sleeping Beauty 2005
Once upon a time, a skanky witch consumed with jealousy cursed a great and beauteous princess to an eternal slumber -- a sleep so deep that only the kiss of true love could overcome the spell. Legends of the enchantment spread throughout the city bus, and after many stops, a bold and compassionate prince was taken by the beauty of the fair maiden. He approached the sleeping lovely and pressed his lips to hers. But alas, the princess was not a "morning person," for she maced the handsome prince, kicked him several times in the abdomen, and did not even thank him for making sure she didn't sleep through her stop. The princess lived happily ever after, and the prince went home to watch John Hughes movies on DVD and wonder what had went wrong.
The Princess and the Pea 2005
Once upon at time there was a prince who wanted to marry a real princess – not the fake, disposable kind that you can find at any martini bar around 8 p.m. on a Tuesday, or whining about her quarterlife crisis while wearing designer yoga pants at Starbucks. He wasn’t sure exactly what a “real princess” was, but his mother insisted on one, and when you live with your parents well into adulthood the chances are you’re willing to cave on a few things here and there.
He searched the world over for such a woman, but royalty not being what it used to, most of the women he met were inbred, or his second cousin, or uggos. He returned home distraught, cooking all of his meals on a Foreman grill and watching a lot of History Channel.
One evening, a great storm ravaged the kingdom. Old people rushed to the supermarket to purchase toilet paper, and milk. Those with satellite television frantically asked conventional cable subscribers to tape their favorite shows. And at the castle, a knock was heard at the castle gate. The prince himself answered the door.
It was an attractive woman, soaked to the bone and caked with mud. Women feel that being soaked and muddy isn’t attractive, and that only a proper hairdo and outfit will do, but clearly, they don’t understand men. Soaked and muddy is just fine. The woman claimed that she was a princess and asked to come inside to get warm.
The prince, recognizing this scenario from erotic cinema, eagerly agreed to let her inside. But he lived with his parents, and the queen quickly interceded, insisting that the princess use a guest room. “We shall see if she is a real princess,” thought the queen. She ordered her servants to place a tiny pea under the mattress in the guest room, then to pile 19 extra mattresses and feather quilts on top of that mattress. It was one of the stranger requests the queen had made, but she took a lot of pills, and the servants found it was generally easier not to ask questions. The week before she had demanded Brazilian waxes for each of her 24 show dogs, so this was really not so bad.
The princess, with the aid of a 20-step ladder, went straight to bed. The next morning, the queen and the prince burst in to the room to ask how she had slept. “Terribly,” said the princess. “Something in the bed was excruciatingly painful!”
”Yes!” exclaimed the queen. “I put a pea under the bottom mattress! And as you felt it, you are truly a real princess. You may marry my son!” “But mother,” said the prince, “I don’t think I’d want to sleep with that for the rest of my life. God forbid I try to hide a Victoria’s Secret catalog under the mattress. It might kill her. Also, eating in bed would be right out, and I want to be able to enjoy the occasional Ding-Dong while watching Leno.”
“Nor do I wish to marry the prince,” replied the princess. “I just wanted a place to stay. And furthermore, as you intentionally injured me with a pea, I am suing your kingdom for damages in the amount of $80 million, plus $275 million in emotional distress, as I am afraid of heights.” She waved her arms, and with a puff of smoke, Stan Rothberg, Esq., magically appeared by her side.
They settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, and everyone lived happily ever after, particularly the prince and princess, since he was in on the whole deal and she was really just a grifter he met at a local gas station. Which is why mothers should mind their own business about these kinds of things.
The surface of the sun. Also, when there's a new trivia night I'll post the date here.
A nine-day journey into the heart of madness (aka California) is being posted on the travel pages. Read it before the Big One makes it obsolete!
The third Nerdcation (TM) is in the books. Feel free to recreate this journey stop for stop with your spouse, the next time you really want to strain your marriage.