A Fairy Tale Before The Polish

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

“Cinderella, thee little tart, get down in thine kitchen and rattle them pots and pans. And when that task is done, make thy stepsisters’ feather beds, slop them hogs, then wash your hands and fix me a cold ox sandwich.

If mine dear husband, thy father, were alive this day he wouldst surely box thine ears in recompense for thy lazy ways and foul disposition. Lord knows what I didst in a previous life to deserve such a lazy stepdaughter as thee.”

Ah yes, dear friends, we must once again delve into the fairy tales of our childhood. Today we shall study perhaps the most well-known of all the bedtime stories, Cinderella. We students of the genre will recall there were similar stories and they have been around for centuries. Long before the Brothers Grimm published the modern version in 1812, the Greeks told their urchins about Rhodopis, (Rosy Cheeks) a Greek courtesan who married the King of Egypt. Which of her cheeks were rosy the story didn’t say, but I have my suspicions.

Ye Xian, a similar tale, was also popular in China in 860 AD although the man who delivered last night’s dinner for two ($22.95) seemed to be unaware of it. Nor did he know what happened to one of the egg rolls or why little bean sprouts were dribbling down the front of his Beijing Bombers T-shirt.

If you recall, the Earl of Fairyland, Cinderella’s father, died on his wedding night during a Vietnamese knee trembler. His new, but well-worn, bride, as to the terms of an unwitnessed pre-nuptial agreement, took over his estate and reduced the Earl’s only daughter to a non-union, unpaid, scullery maid –  with no benefits and not much else. Be it known that the wicked stepmother had two daughters from a previous marriage.

Cinderella was quite a comely lass and compared quite favourably with Miss November in a magazine that shall remain nameless since they no longer pay me for gag lines. Her two stepsisters, unfortunately, were not and were never let out of the house without a paper bag over their heads.

About this time, the Prince of the Realm was coming of age (42) and eager to enjoy the simple joys of maidenhood, theirs not his. And so the Royals invited every maiden in the kingdom to the palace to dance the night away. Every household in their realm was sent a gilded invitation – not unlike our MP Bruce Stanton’s invite to go skating on New Year’s Day only a hell of a lot warmer. Within hours every ladies wear store in the kingdom was wall to wall empty hangers and every young girl of marriageable age was standing in front of a full-length mirror adjusting their push ‘em up bras.

It was no different at Cinder’s house. The two ugly step-sisters were trying on dresses and ironing paper bags. But not Cinderella, she was down on her knees scrubbing and mumbling about the stupidity of old men and knee tremblers. Suddenly there was a POOF and right before her pretty blue eyes a fairy god-person appeared.

“I am your fairy God-person.”

“What happened to my fairy Godmother?”

“It’s the 12th century; times they are a-changing. I just came out by the way? Now let’s have a look in your closet. Great, if you are into burlap. Never mind, I‘ll see what I have at home.”

Sure enough on the evening of the ball, the fairy God-person appeared with a stunning ball gown slashed to the navel and a pair of crystal-clear glass slippers.

“Better wash your feet, dear.”

Getting to the ball should have been a problem since the kingdom had ousted Uber but the God-person rounded up six mice and a pumpkin. With a touch of his or her magic wand, they were changed into a team of pure white Arabians and a golden carriage. Suspecting Cinderella might be of the Jewish persuasion, the Saudi’s refused to work and the God-person quickly changed them into horses.

“By the way, sweetheart, the spell runs out at midnight, so don’t waste time hanging around the punch-bowl, go for the guy in the sequined tights.”

It was a marvelous ball, except the band failed to show and everyone danced to a Cape Breton fiddler who only knew one song and even that one, not too well. It was almost 11:30 before the Prince saw Cinderella and said to his mother,

“Who’s the chick with the third eye?”

“That’s her navel stupid, go get her.”

It was love at first sight, he knew it, she knew it, but as they danced, the sleeve fell off her dress.

“What time is it, your majesty? And by the way be careful where you put those hands”

“Five to twelve.”

“Son of a  . . . I forgot to turn the clock ahead, Damn, damn, damn why do they do that?” and took off like a bat out of hell out the front door.

All that remained was the scent of her Deep Woods perfume and a glass slipper.

A hundred yards down the road it started to rain and the poor girl tripped over a soggy pumpkin and squashed four of the mice. It reminds us a bit of the Three Blind Mice Caper without the carving knife, doesn’t it?

The Prince was despondent and woe-be-gone, and no doubt more than a bit p_ _ _ _ d off. But in the end everything worked out fairly well. It turned out the Prince had a shoe fetish and took her slipper right to bed where they remain to this day. One of the ugly step-sisters fell in the punch-bowl and drowned. The other, the King had put down. (Well she was pretty homely after all and it was done out of kindness)

As for Cinderella, she’s back in the kitchen scrubbin’ floors, sloppin’ hogs and making her wicked stepmother cold ox sandwiches – but (and this is important in these days of viral strife) she never washes her hands.

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