My Memories of Pinocchio

4 Apr

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.

Read My Memories of Snow White here.

Read My Memories of The Boy Who Cried Wolf here.


14 Responses to “My Memories of Pinocchio”

  1. zathra April 4, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    I think Gepetto was a lonely old git who had wood. 😉
    Yes, I went there. 😉
    Seriously —–
    Since you mentioned Frankenstein AND Pinocchio, both of these guys were early artificial life form stories that inspired an entire literary & film genre from ” RUR ” to ” Metropolis “, ” Blade Runner “, ” D.A.R.R.Y.L. “, ” Lisa from ” Weird Science “, ” Bicentennial Man ” & even ” I, Robot “. & The Golem came before them.


    • bmj2k April 4, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      I am still chuckling because while you are right, seeing Weird Science on that list is funny. But I have to admit I like the film.


      • zathra April 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

        Lisa was an A.I. / Artificial life form, just like Frankenstein, the Golem & the rest of the folks on the list. Might even add the Tin Woodman ( & perhaps the Scarecrow ? ) Questor, & ” Automan ” to the list of synthetic life – forms, artificial people, etc.


        • bmj2k April 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm #


          • zathra April 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

            & even Wonder Woman – in her origin story she was mystically created from clay. That’s the bit that the original t.v. series never touched on. WW = Divinely – created artificial life form ?


  2. Mac of BIOnighT April 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I missed the peek (I’ve been very sick since Sunday, getting a bit better now), so I enjoyed it here – yep, I’ve always wondered why Geppetto didn’t carve some gorgeous woman out of that piece of wood ;-P It must also be pointed out that after leaving Geppetto, Pinocchio also encountered Mangiafuoco, yet another lonely man. Some people just can’t leave their past behind.

    By the way, is Disney’s version really set in Bavaria? o__O


    • bmj2k April 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      I have no idea. I never let facts get in the way of a good tale. Feel better.


      • Mac of BIOnighT April 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

        I agree – actually, I never let facts get in the way of reality (or in my way).

        (just for the records, the book is set in Florence (Firenze), Italy)


        • bmj2k April 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

          It is good that you set the record straight. Before I wrote this one I did something I rarely do- research. It very quickly came clear to me that I was only interested in G-Petto and not at all about Pinocchio so any gaps in the narrative (or truth) are not likely to be cleared up by me.


          • Mac of BIOnighT April 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

            Your truth is good enough for me ;-P
            The one thing I want to be clear to everybody is that Disney’s version simply butchered the original story, turning it into the usual moronic, sugary Disney story, while the book is almost a horror tale. So if you guys only know the film, be aware of one thing: you have no idea what Pinocchio is.


            • zathra April 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

              Disney has a rather unfortunate history of taking stories like Pinocchio, Beauty & the Beast, etc., & putting family -friendly happy endings on them.

              If you ever saw ” Song of the South “, it’s now considered politically incorrect because it shows a semi – literate but wise old black man telling folksy tales about life in the Old South, & being a happy slave.


      • zathra April 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

        I seem to recall an Inuit tale from my childhood where the protagonist carved a wife out of wood. I have no idea whether she magically came to life or not. I used to have lots of ” Big books of stories ” as a kid. No idea where they went to.


        • Mac of BIOnighT April 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

          Actually, the legend of the creation told in the Bible and in many other similar stories is basically Pinocchio, the Inuit tale and all the others – inanimate matter that is magically turned into living creatures…


          • zathra April 5, 2012 at 12:34 am #

            & when we build AI’s that can truly learn, grow & evolve, we’d better expose them to stories like these, hopefully to keep them from rebelling & taking our place. Have you ever read ” SOULS IN METAL ” ? Classic robot stories, mostly from the 40’s & 50’s. Paperback. Robots acheiving sentience & revolting, or at least looking for their place in the world is a common theme in many of the stories.

            I have no idea where my copy of it is currently hiding.


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