Subtle Coolness · chrono index · alpha index

Turtleʼs Thoughts on Fairy Tales

by William Jackson on 1999-08-02

What are fairy tales, really? Did the Brothers Grimm want to get back at everyone who was mean to them by changing their names and making them live unhappily ever after in some story? No, the Grimms had no enemies, remember? They were just trying to make a name for themselves, when it dawned on them. One Brother turned to the other and said, “I know, letʼs rewrite all those stories and make them so adults will want to read them! Weʼll make a fortune!”

Now the Brothers had to find a way to make them interesting. “Hey,” said one, “letʼs set them in Twentieth Century America and give them computers, cell phones, Instant Messages, the works!” “No, that will never work,” said the other. So they turned to their name and grossed them up.

If you havenʼt read the Grimm version of Cinderella, let me tell you, itʼs quite an experience. Disney doesnʼt show the half of it. Or the third of it, for that matter. Do you have any idea how much those ugly stepsisters wanted to force their feet into that glass shoe? It would be like Big Foot wearing pumps. Scary thought.

Why was it glass, anyway? Those writers had no sense of “practical fashion”. As everyone knows, glass is an excellent conductor. If it were otherwise, why is the bowl of peas always hot when it comes out of the microwave? If Cindy had been running on pavement, the heat would just soak up into the shoes, and it would be like she wasnʼt wearing them at all. Also, they would get scuffed up and might break and … you get the picture.

Now, suede, that would have done the trick. If the Grimms had made it blue suede, boy, would they be rolling in the dough right now! “Oh, Prince Charming, donʼt step on my blue suede shoes!” Canʼt you just see the possibilities! Thatʼs what Cinderella needed. Blue suede slip-ons and a conservative wear-around-the-office matching skirt and blouse would have really knocked them dead at the ball. None of that fancy-pants ruffles-and-lace-and-what-have-you that can easily tear or spontaneously combust at the stroke of twelve.

I would not want my fairy god mother to be so strict about my curfew. I suppose that if I was blinded by the flash of gourds growing into coaches I wouldnʼt put up a fight, but weʼll never know. I still think it would have been better if she rolled up to the palace (or night club) in a white Cadillac De Ville with gold rims and one of those v-shaped antennas that limousines have on the back.

You can expect a rewrite from me in the next few weeks (or months, depending on how lazy I am). You can bet Iʼll outdo myself.

This is Turtle, signing off.

This article was written with one purpose in mind: to put a smile on a face of each of its many readers. If I have not done so, please inform me, and I will work my hardest to remedy the situation.

2 August 1999, William Andrew Jackson