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My Memories of Little Red Riding Hood

19 Jul

July 19, 2012

Once upon a time there was a little girl. Amazing, right? Like who would think that in all of history there was ever a little girl and believe it or not, she lived in the woods. Nobody ever lived in a rundown apartment over a liquor shop back then.  Seriously, a little girl who lives in the woods in a fairy tale is like leaves on a tree. Big deal. I can look out my window and see leaf after leaf. I can probably also look out my window and see little girl after little girl but I won’t. A man my age who looks out his window at little girls is a sure bet to wind up on the sex offender registry.

Anyway, this particular little girl was named Little Red Riding Hood. That may be hard to believe but there was actually a time long ago when it was common to name people after items of clothing. Her mother was named Plaid Socks and her father was named Old Denim Overalls. She also had a cousin named Pants with Stinky Brown Stain on Rear.

Little Red Riding Hood, whose last name was Schwartz, lived in the woods. This is not the same woods as the one in Snow White or Pinocchio, though they were all run by the same management company. In fact there were about 30 different woods and in each the ogres were threatening to go on strike. Little Red was a cute and sweet young girl. In fact she was too cute and sweet. She was so sweet you couldn’t stand her. Little Red was like one of those cute kids in a Stephen King novel whom you couldn’t stand but you’d keep reading because you knew she’d get killed in some horrible way, like the baby in Pet Semetary. But not only was Little Red cute and sweet, she was also kind and generous and good-hearted. Everyone hated her. Even Mother Theresa once slapped her.

Here is a typical page from her daily planner:

-wake up
-milk the cows
-massage the cows
-dress the cows in pretty dresses

And that’s just before 8am.

On this particular day Red took some time out of her busy schedule to bring a basket of food to her sick grandmother. Grandma lived even deeper in the woods, all alone. Great idea for a frail old woman, right? Anyway, she was sick so Red decided to bring her enough food to last a week. I would have brought her a Medic Alert bracelet and some aspirin too.

The woods were full of wolves. Big, hungry, ravenous, sexually repressed wolves. What? Didn’t think I’d go there? Fairy tales are full of hidden sexual imagery.  Think Rumplestiltskin wasn’t freaky like Chris Brown? Yeah, some wolf beat up Rihanna too.

So there was Little Red Riding Hood, skipping along through the woods singing along to Gotye when just when she got to “But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough” (yes that song is that old. Gotye stole it from a German folk tale) a wolf leaped out of the trees and demanded “open the door and let me in or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in!” Clearly he was in the wrong place. Seeing his mistake he politely apologized and left.

No sooner had he left than another wolf leapt out and demanded the picnic basket. Back then wolves would wait in line for a shot at a picnic basket. He snarled. He showed his fangs. He waved his claws. His fur bristled, his teeth glistened, even his busy tail was somehow menacing.

Little Red Riding Hood smiled and, being so sweet and obnoxiously good-natured, gave him the basket, kissed the wolf on the snout, and turned around and skipped back home, singing Lady Gaga all the way. And poor granny? She was still starving.

Later, the wolf took the basket back home to his den. Lair? Nest? Where do wolves live anyway? The point is, he ripped open the basket and found it full of nothing but Ensure, Metamucil, and more adult diapers than you would expect. After all, Granny wasn’t about to digest a T-bone steak at her age. This did nothing to slake the wolf’s appetite. He trashed the basket but he kept the diapers. The wolf was getting on in years, you know.

The next day the wolf decided to get even with Red. He’d guzzled a week’s worth of Granny’s Ensure and went into body failure. He showed up on Grandma’s doorstep and rang the bell. He claimed to be selling subscriptions to Vibe magazine. Granny wasn’t interested and didn’t open the door. The wolf decided that being sneaky was getting him nowhere so he jumped through the window and ate her. Honestly, he’s a wolf. Why didn’t he do that to begin with?

After completing various good deeds, like washing a leper’s feet and knitting scarves for bald sheep, Little Red Riding Hood Schwartz once again brought a basket to Grandma’s house. She knocked on the door and a strange, high-pitched growl that would fool absolutely no one but this silly kid said “come on in, the door is open.” 

She went in and there, in the inky shadows, was what looked like a wolf in Granny’s bed. See? I told you fairy tales were full of sexual imagery. Let me lay this out for you: The wolf was trying to lure the girl into bed. There’s a reason why men who hit on every woman in sight are called wolves.

Meanwhile, how dumb is Red? Be realistic, would you be fooled if you saw a dog in bed instead of a human being? Of course not. Even if your dog could talk and looked cute in a sweater you’d knit her, you’d still recognize that it’s a dog. So what was Little Red Riding Hood’s problem? Sheesh. I think she needed glasses. You know what comes next.

“My Grandma, what big ears you have!”
“The better to hear you my dear.”
“My Grandma, what big eyes you have!”
“The better to see you, my dear.”
“My Grandma, what big teeth you have!”
“Oh screw this shit!” And the wolf leaped out of the bed and tore Little Red Riding Hood to pieces.

A passing lumberjack heard Little Red Riding Hood’s screams and came to rescue her. Guess what? The wolf ate him too.

The moral of the story? A wolf will eat you. Avoid wolves.

———————–

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.

Read My Memories of Pinocchio here

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11 Responses to “My Memories of Little Red Riding Hood”

  1. zathra July 19, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    Alternate ending
    She lived, but she filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment & massive psychological trauma. The wolf’s story was used as part of a ” Law & Order : SVU ” storyline.

    Like

  2. Thomas Stazyk July 19, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Having the passing lumberjack eaten by the wolf too is a nice 21st century touch!

    When I studied English I did a course on fairy tales and it was fascinating. There is no question that they are morality tales designed to terrify little kids into behaving. What’s interesting is (1) different cultures have similar fairy tales and (2) how twisted they are. We read an earlier version of Snow White that features incest and cannibalism.

    I remember we read an original of Red Riding Hood and there is a long section in the middle usually left out that is a dialogue between Red and her mother before she goes into the woods. My memory is hazy but it makes it clear that the story is about being a good girl. There was all sorts of discussion about what to wear and how to wear it and I remember the mother tells her about ten times, “Don’t leave the path.” Of course she does and that’s when she meets the wolf. For some reason he doesn’t eat her on the spot but runs ahead, does in Grandma and lies in wait for Red. The theory is that straying from the path is not only dangerous to the young lady, but will also cause problems for the family. I also seem to remember that the lumberjack was a very patriarchial figure which was supposed to also convey messages of the need for women to be protected.

    Like

    • bmj2k July 19, 2012 at 12:47 am #

      Great comment. I’ll have to defer to Saarah, who is much more of an expert than I. Hopfully she’ll read this soon and respond.

      Like

  3. itssrijana July 19, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    “Anyway, this particular little girl was named Little Red Riding Hood. That may be hard to believe but there was actually a time long ago when it was common to name people after items of clothing. Her mother was named Plaid Socks and her father was named Old Denim Overalls. She also had a cousin named Pants with Stinky Brown Stain on Rear.” now thats totally funny 😀

    Like

  4. Jimbo July 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Hard to believe the passing lumberjack was soooo stupid to enter the house with LRRH was in the first place; after all, we all know not to believe people who cry “wolf.”

    Like

  5. Saraah July 20, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    At Thomas…………………. I have also taken a German Fairy tale class that was highly educational in that regard. We read different renditions of Red Riding hoods that were also very contemporary in nature. One of them was very political correct where the Lumberjack was a “technician” and at the end Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma and the wolf were brought together by the lack of political correctness which caused the Lumber Jack’s death. Yes, they killed him. I have not read the version of Snow White and cannibalism. Albeit, it was fascinating how far spread oral traditions were and hence the reason for similar stories in countries with vast distances in between.

    Hmnnnnnn………………… I would prefer a different ending for this version…………….. But for once the wolf is the sole victor in this equation!

    Like

    • Thomas Stazyk July 20, 2012 at 2:04 am #

      It is interesting to see the variations in the stories–about the only thing that ruins a good story is political correctness. The Sleeping Beauty version was called “Sun, Moon, and Talia” from Il Pentameone by someone named Basile.

      Like

  6. pennycoho July 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    I’m in love. Not with you, but with your wit and your wonderful approach to life. And you make me laugh, out loud. Thank you so much!

    Like

    • bmj2k July 21, 2012 at 12:14 am #

      Coming from you, whose writing I respect and admire, that is a real compliment.

      Like

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