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Tag Archives: Brothers Grimm

Fairy Tale Theater: Little Red Riding Hood

17 Dec

December 17, 2013

fairy tale theater header

from 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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Fairy Tale Theater: Pinocchio

16 Dec

December 16, 2013

fairy tale theater header

from 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.
Hmmm.

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.

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