April 4, 2012
Once upon a time there was an old man named Geppetto. And you might expect that he lived in the woods since it seemed like everyone lived in the woods back in fairytale times and you never read any fairy tales that take place in the ghetto, but you’d be wrong. Geppetto lived in a small cottage in Bavaria. In fact, Bavaria was so rural and picturesque that many years later Hammer Studios would film The Revenge of Frankenstein there. But that was in the future.
Geppetto was a wood-carver. A very poor wood-carver, that is. How do I know? He had lost three fingers from his left hand and one from his right. The guy had no knife skills. But what do you expect? They had no Boy Scouts back then, and it would be many years later until the got an organization even close- the Hitler Youth. Anyway, when it came to carving he sucked. No matter what he tried to carve- a flute, a toy, a small replica of Jesus- it invariably came out looking like a stick. Even snakes, who already sort of look like sticks anyway came out looking like gnarly sticks.
He was a poor craftsman, thus he had no money, thus he was unmarried, and thus he was very lonely. Oh, it had not always been that way. Back in his youth he was a popular rapper called G-Petto and had all kinds of stank on his hang low but his record label stole all his money. All he had to show for his once-thriving rap career were his big gold chains, which unfortunately were not gold but carved out of wood. And yes, they looked like sticks.
One night, as he sat on a stool and tried to whittle a wooden bowl out of a leafy fern, it occurred to him that since no one would talk to him anyway, maybe he should carve a puppet to be his friend.
As you might have realized by now, all the solitude had driven Geppetto a little cuckoo.
So he set out to do his very best work and carve a wooden boy. At this point I will say that I am making no judgments but if I were I could really have some fun with an old man wanting a little boy to play with. Seriously, if I were the type of person to make judgments I’d be making some serious pedophile jokes right now. But I am not that kind of person. However, if you are that kind of person, please click on the link and leave me a comment.
He carved the hell out of an old piece of firewood and soon- and do not even try to guess- he had carved a puppet boy. And since Geppetto was a pretty lousy craftsman it looked less like a boy than some sort of Lovcraftian horror, with tentacles and big nose. He named it Cthulhu and tossed the eldritch horror into the sea.
The next day he tried again and Pinocchio was born.
Every day Geppetto would feed Pinocchio and dress Pinocchio and play games with Pinocchio and pretty soon he was spotted by some local townsfolk and the police were called, because back then there were some pretty strict ideas about what a consenting adult and his puppet could or could not do in the privacy of their own home.
Since this a fairytale and we have gone a long time without a fairy, this is where the Blue Fairy enters the picture. She saw Geppetto’s grief and loneliness and turned Pinocchio in to a real boy. I am not sure that was a good idea. Now he had to deal with puberty because Geppetto had very specifically made Pinocchio look about 13 years old.
If you know anything about fairy tales you will have realized that fairies are never helpful. If the Blue Fairy was so powerful why didn’t she start up his rap career again? Seriously, does Geppetto strike you as the right guy to raise a child?
Anyway he was not and pretty soon Pinocchio was smoking and drinking and hanging out with the wrong crowd, just like a typical kid. And he never did listen to Geppetto, who came to regret ever carving the kid in the first place.
The moral of the story? Those of you who expected me to make some off-color jokes about how Pinocchio’s nose grew severely underestimated me.
Can you stand more?
Read My Memories of Cinderella here.