Sleeping Beauty, the Real Story

We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty. A prince kissed her to wake her up from a one-hundred-year long nap. Kind of makes Rip Van Winkle look like an amateur. There was such a sexual attraction between the two that they immediately did the deed. She did not fake her orgasm. When you’ve gone without for one hundred years, any prince will do. If not a prince, a carpenter or a woodsman, even a kitchen knave. Then came the marriage and they lived happily ever after.

That’s the story anyway. The one that the prince’s press agent put out for public consumption. When you’re a prince, you’ve got to keep up your image. But the story wasn’t true. Just look at Prince Charles. As soon as the public heard about the scrap he had with Diana, his poll numbers went down, not just in onesies and twosies but in decades.

A prince couldn’t afford to have his image tarnished like that. Especially in the olden days. Pretty soon there’d be a ruckus in the kingdom, the common folk in an uproar, and the prince hightailing it for God-knows-where. Don’t believe me? Just look at King John. In 1215, he had a Magna Carta shoved up his rump.

It is true how Beauty ended up in bed for that one hundred years. Her Mommy and her Dads gave a humungous eighteenth birthday gala for the Princess, the apple of their eye, the darling of the kingdom’s town crier society. When everybody’s back was turned, the Wicked Witch of the West, yes that witch, spiked Beauty’s chalice of Kickapoo Joy Juice with a mickey.

Why she did it, no one seems to know. Speculation is the Land of Oz had gotten boring and she had way too much time on her hands. What better way to bring excitement to her lackadaisical life than to show up in another fairy tale and mess things up royally for the fairy princess. Otherwise she had to go and tangle with Dorothy, and Dorothy was more than a handful.

Even though Beauty hated the taste of the Kick, she had manners up the wazoo. Etiquette said that a princess didn’t refuse a drink at her own birthday bash. So she sipped, then she was out like a light. Folks at the party thought she was dead. The royal doc advised the king and queen she was only asleep.

Wicked Witch didn’t want to kill the sweet young thang. She wasn’t a murderer. She just wanted to create some mischief. The potion would make Beauty sleep until a prince came along and kissed her ruby reds. I’m not talking shoes here. I’m talking lips.

Mommy and Dads Royal laid their precious child in a glass coffin for all to see and put her on an IV for nourishment. Then they sent for princes. Few showed. The few who showed weren’t about to kiss a princess in a coma no matter how lovely she was. They were afraid they would catch whatever she caught.

Time passed as it was bound to. Mommy and Dads died. The kingdom was taken over by a Regent. Regent wasn’t about to surrender his regency. He moved the coffin way out of sight. His thoughts on the matter: “Out of sight, out of mind.” An adviser suggested he do her in, but he wasn’t about to commit regicide. Regicides have consequences.

Pretty soon a hundred years passed. All that time Beauty dreamed. Being a beautiful princess, there wasn’t a nightmare among the bunch.

In her dreams, there were wonders her waking life never suspected. Paris in the springtime and walks by the Seine. Old Kyoto with its temples and cherry blossoms. Strolls by the fountains of Rome. Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. And oh, the food she ate. Sushi in Tokyo. Pizza in Rome. Koushari in Cairo. Paella in Barcelona. Not once did she gain a pound. It was heaven.

One particular dream put a huge smile on her face. There was this kingdom that needed a princess. It had snow ice caps and meadows with the loveliest of flowers. The people were all dressed in their traditional garb. No suits and ties for the guys or no formal dresses for the gals like it had been in her Daddy’s kingdom. It was love at first sight when Beauty saw the place. She volunteered to be their princess.

“Now that we have a princess,” the king, with his gentle eyes, kind smile and long white beard, said, “we need a prince.”

“But, Sire, we do have a prince,” his adviser said. “Remember he was turned into a frog by that Wicked Witch of the West. If our little princess kisses him on the lips, he will snap back to his princely self. And we can have a wedding.”

“Well, where is he?”

“Last we saw him he was down at the pond with all the other frogs. We’re not exactly sure which one he is.”

“You know what that means?” the king said.

“It means the princess is going to have to kiss a lot of frogs,” the adviser said, then turned to Beauty. “You willing to do that?”

She smiled and agreed. “Sacrifices must be made.”

The local frog-caller did his thing. Pretty soon a line of frogs waited for a smooch. And smooching there was. Beauty must have kissed a thousand frogs. The final frog, a rather handsome fellow, if a frog can be considered handsome. This frog approached Beauty, bowed politely and jumped up on her lap. She leaned down to kiss him, then—

She woke up. This old guy stood over her, slobbering all over her mouth. “Son of a bitch, why the whatever did you want to do that for?” she screamed and sat up.

“I’m your Prince Charming.” The old guy was shocked. After that incident with Cindy Rella and the shoes, he had spent fifty years searching for Miss Right. Here she was and she was not happy. He’d done the right thing. He’d chanced getting whatever she had and falling into a stupor. Now she too was rejecting him. What was a Prince Charming to do?

She pushed PC away.”You’re not my prince. No wonder I woke up. What with your b.o. and halitosis. You need to see a doctor for that stuff. And have you taken a look at your face lately? Warts.”

What happened next? It’s a sad tale. Prince Charming returned home to his castle. There he lived until he was one hundred and seventy-five. He died of a broken heart.

And the fate of Princess Beauty? She went in search for that one-in-a-million frog. Every time she came across a frog she picked the creature up and kissed it. Some say she is still searching. So, if you see a lovely young lady in your part of town kissing frogs, leave her alone. It’s just Beauty trying to find her Beastie.

A Cindy Rella Story

You think you’ve got problems. What if you’re a prince and you show up at your girlfriend’s house, then she rejects you?

A little back story. Our heroine, let’s just call her Cindy Rella for lack of a better name. Our heroine happened to be washing the dishes, as she did every Saturday night, when it all came down. The crud on the dishes on this particular evening was not cooperating. It didn’t want to be cleaned off.

“Why doesn’t she just get a dishwasher. I hear Whirlpool is a good model,” she muttered. Cindy was referring to her stepmother. You can see that there was no love lost between the two. Fact was they hated each other’s guts.”It’s not like she can’t afford one. She has the money she stole from daddy before he died.” Then, “Bitch.”

Cindy was 16 and never been kissed. Never even had a date. Just how was she supposed to get a date with the soot all over her from cleaning the chimney day-in night-out. There wasn’t a day she didn’t have to clean it. The darn thing just wouldn’t stay cleaned. And no matter how hard she tried, the soot would not scrub off. It had gone skin deep.

And her hair was black, though she was a blonde underneath. She was a mess. Right about this particular time she could have used a nice, leasurely bath. Soaking in some of that Sleeping Beauty Bath Wash must be heaven. If only her daddy was still alive, she would show The Bitch and her two daughters just what was what.

When she asked Stepbitch about going out on a date, the woman said to Cindy, “You want to date? No way. You’ll end up getting yourself knocked up. Then I’ll have another mouth to feed.” In those days, knocked up meant getting pregnant. “No, you’re better off staying home and doing the laundry and cleaning the chimney. You may need a job later and this is good training.”

“What about my two stepsisters? You know, the ones you pamper all the time. Won’t they get pregnant?”

“Don’t you talk to me like that, young lady. Such impertinence. If only your father was here. And to answer your question, they are on the pill, thank you very much, Little Miss Smartass.”

The two glared at each other. Then they each went on about their business, Cindy cleaning the chimney, Stepbitch stomping off to pamper herself. You may not believe this. Pampering can be a full time job, and it’s hard work too.

Well, you know the story. The two stepsisters went off to a ball, all prettified and everything. But the prettification didn’t help. They still had the warts. Stepbitch went off to sleep early. She needed her beauty sleep. Some would call it laziness, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Let’s call it beauty sleep. In the kitchen, Cindy was doing yesterday’s and the day before’s dishes. What with chimney cleaning, slopping hogs, feeding the chickens, running the wolf out of the hen house, and getting all the clutter out of the garage, Cindy had not had any time to do them.

Just as Cindy was about to faint from hunger (she hadn’t eaten her allowed daily meal of bread crumbs and water), this little old lady appeared in the kitchen doorway. “Want to go to the ball?” Old lady asked.

“Can’t,” Cindy answered, thinking it was a pigment of her imagination. “I’m starved and I have all this work to do.”

Before you can say abracadabra, there was a big plate of food on the table waiting for Cindy to dig in. What kind of food was it? I don’t know. I didn’t take a picture. Besides this is a fairy tale and details of this kind don’t rightly matter. Let’s just say that it wasn’t gruel.

Now Cindy didn’t just flop into a chair and scarf that food down. As famished as she was, she minded her manners, sat down and ate daintily like the lady she was. After all, her dead daddy sent her away to Southern Belle School before he went horizontal. When she finished, she drank the last bit of wine in her glass, then she poured another glass. It was a Bordeaux, a Cheval Blanc. A very fine wine indeed, so you know this was no run-of-the-mill fairy godmother, for fairy godmother the old lady was.

Just as Cindy was about to lift the second glass, the godmother put her hand on the glass. “You’re getting a little tipsy there, girl. No more wine for you. We’ve got some work to do.”

A tap of her wand on the table, a quick shazamarama and the dishes were done and neatly stacked in the cupboard. Then she turned to Cindy, “You want to go to the ball?”

“Does Mylie Cyrus know how to stick out her tongue and twerp? You betcha I do.”

“Come with me then,” godmother said and went through the wall.

Cindy watched in amazement. Then she heard mumbles. A hand stretched out and grabbed her and pulled her into the wall. On the other side of the wall was a coach with six white horses and two coachmen in fancy-dancy coachmen uniforms. She looked at herself and she was all snazzed up. Godmom handed her a mirror. She couldn’t believe what she saw in the glass. Her hair was done up by the best hairdresser in the land. The dress would make her a standout in any room. Wow! This is me. It’s really me.

“What do you think?” Godmom asked.

“It’s just like all the fairy tales I read when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.”

“Well, get in,” she urged Cindy. “Just one thing though. You have to be home by midnight.”

“What happens if I’m not?” Cindy asked after she crawled into the coach.

“Oh, you’ll be giving Lady Godiva a run for her money.”

With that, Cindy was off to the ball. Well, we know what happened there. The ball was a real wing-dinger. Cindy’s dance card was filled up in two shakes. The prince looked across the room, and that was it. He was smitten. This was the girl for him. And being the prince, he got to dance all the dances with Cindy.

Then the clock went dong, and it went dong again. It was midnight. Cindy was glad for it all to be over. All that attention and those shoes. The shoes were way too much of a tight fit. Cindy left without a goodnight kiss. Halfway home the carriage turned into a pumpkin and Cindy crawled out of the darn thing with pumpkin pulp all over her. She ran her fingers through her hair, combing the pumpkin seeds out. What a mess.

Princie just had to know who the girl was. She would be his bride, and they would live happily ever after. Being a resourceful fellow he searched the ballroom for anything that would help him find his golden girl. Finally he found a shoe. So he went off and searched. And he searched. And he searched. He left no stone unturned. He knocked on every door in the kingdom. Till finally he came to Stepmom’s house.

Think about it, ladies. Would you marry a guy who couldn’t even remember your face the next day? The only way he would know you was by your shoe size? I don’t think so. Which brings me to Cindy Rella. She went to a party. Danced all night with a guy. Took off before midnight. He realized he’s in love but he can’t even remember her smile, much less her eyes. Reason being we know what he was looking at. Don’t we? And it wasn’t her face.

So he showed up at Cindy’s doorstep. Only thing he didn’t even take a second look at Cindy. Nope. He went after the steps. After all, even with the warts, they were the local cheerleaders. What’s a better wife for a prince than a cheerleader?

Not only didn’t Charming, oh, that is what all the folks called him. Nobody could remember why. He sure wasn’t charming these days. More like a fuss bucket. Well, not only didn’t Charming not know Cindy’s face. He didn’t even know her shoe size. He went through the sisters lickety split, then it was Cindy’s turn. He almost left, thinking he wouldn’t be seen dead with a woman in the clothes she wore.

But his man, Jeeves, said that he’d better give the poor girl a chance. Elsewise his kingdom would be rioting gangbusters. If it got on the six o’clock news, he would be seen for the snob he was. Letting her try the shoe on would make him seem like a man of the people.

“But what if she has smelly feet?” Princie wanted to know.

“Sire, you can spray those feet with a whiff of Chanel No. 5.” Jeevies took out an ounce of the perfume.

Charming snapped his fingers as if Cindy was supposed to jump. She didn’t move. She had work to do. Clean the chimney. Do the laundry. Wash the dishes. Clean the chimney some more. She didn’t have time for no fancy pants prince. He had blown his chances the night of the ball by not following her, taking her in his arms and showing her the stuff a prince was made of. But Jeevesy was having none of that. He took her by the hand and led her over to his Audatiousness.

She did the polite thing. She curtsied. Charming showed her the shoes. And what do you think she said? “I wouldn’t be caught dead in those clodhoppers.” That was what she said.

She turned and headed off to the kitchen. Her fairy godmother stopped her. “Such an opportunity,” Fairy said, “to get all your wishes met.”

“Then you marry him,” Cindy said. “‘Sides everything else, he smells.”

To make a long story short, she went out the back door. She had decisions to make. The first one being that it was time to get a new Fairy Godmother. This one was a royal screw-up. The second one was to get some new shoes. The ones she had worn the night before had hurt like all get-out. When she’d been dancing, she felt like she was walking on fire. And not the kind of fire Anthony Robbins has his semineers walk. No, the really real stuff. The kind that burned Joan of Arc up into a puff of smoke.

The Fairy Tale Blues

Rapunzel has her hair,
Cinderella has her shoes,
Goldilocks has her bears,
And I’ve got the Fairy Tale Blues.

My name is Prince Charming,
But you can call me Prince.
My teeth are pearly white,,
And I know how to dance.

I can do the Quickstep,
My Cha Cha is so fine,
I’m Mister Twist and Tango,
I can Minuet on a dime.

I kissed Sleeping Beauty.
She said, “I’m taking a nap.”
Snow White ate an apple.
It was me who took the rap.

They say I stole the beans
Jack got for his silly cow.
I took it on the chin
When Jack hit me, and how.

I crashed Kind Cole’s party.
Dumpty’s gone to pieces.
The Kingdom’s overrun.
I’m blamed for all the meeses.

All this means but one thing.
Of this I am assured.
Time to get out of Dodge.
I’ve given them my word.

I’m off on vacation.
Permanently so.
I shall never return.
Where I go I do not know.

Maybe greener pastures
Will be waiting down the line.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Kansas will be just fine.

An Un-fairy Tale

It was a party, that wedding reception. Half the kingdom showed up to eat, dance and be merry. The couple was extremely popular and well-loved. That was why it was such a surprise when they started in a marital train wreck It had been such a fairy-tale, their romance.

As disappointed as everybody was, they all knew that happily-ever-afters were not to be. Marriage took a lot of work. Charming and Beauty might have been up to the work. They were not committed to it. Sure they liked the glow of it all. They had both gone to see “Romeo and Juliet” a dozen or more times. They had binged on “Outlander” on tv. And they were smitten by “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

The real test was when he farted at an inappropriate moment and when she belched when they were visiting his parents. Most couples let the body functions pass with, “I’ve heard worse” or “I’ve smelled worse.”

The real trouble nobody spoke about was that Beauty wasn’t Cinderella or Snow White. And Charming wasn’t the Woodsman or the Big Bad Wolf.

The parents of the couple suggested counselling. It had helped them through their troubled times. Beauty. But that didn’t help. It made matters worse. Now they spelled out loud the issues. After the third session, the Royal Marriage Counsellor shook his head and gave up.

“He’s been biting the apple with Snow White and she’s had a real howl-in with Big Bad. Let’s face it. It’s a case of ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the fence’. Nothing can save this marriage.”

Now it just so happened that it was that time of year. Early autumn. As usual Merlin was taking his stroll through the kingdom. After the fiasco with King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, he didn’t show his face much anymore. He’d failed Camelot, and that was that. Fortunately he had been taking lessors from Gandalf. Since Gandalf had gotten Aragorn and Eowyn together, he was considered Matchmaker to the Stars.

It was hard to miss the news about Charm and Beauty. There were posters on just about every tree in the forest and photograms all over Instagram of the fights. Merlin saw his chance to get back into everybody’s good graces. If he could fix the couple’s marriage and give the kingdom a happily-ever-after, he would be the superstar he’d always seen himself as.

He pulled out his smartphone and started taking pictures of the unhappiness that had hit the kingdom like the ten plagues of Egypt. Humpty Dumpty’s fall was the first. Then there was Little Red Riding Hood’s granny and the Billy Goat Gruff taking out the Troll. There was the two little pigs’s houses the wolf had blown to smithereens. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Repunzel’s hair all fell out.

Merlin put together his powerpoint presentation of the destruction Charm and Beauty’s marriage was doing to the kingdom. Then he buckled up his bucklet and went up to the Castle. He knocked on the giant wooden door. When the porter asked what he wanted, he answered, “I’m here to see the Prince and  Princess.”

“I’m sorry but no can do. Lady Macbeth went chasing Spot the Dog and fell off the castle wall. And Lord Macbeth’s got Macduff’s sword stuck up his tushy.”

“Not that couple,” Merlin said angrily. “The Prince and the Princess, you goof.”

“Don’t get yourself in a tizzy. I’m sorry your gps isn’t up to snuff. Their castle is the one on the hill. If you had put The Castle on the Hill into it, it would have taken you to their front door step. But be forewarned. That place has gone to quackers.”

Merlin’s eyes followed the porter’s finger as it showed the way. There must have been more steps to the Castle on the Hill than there was to the top of the Great Pyramid. For a second the old wizard choked. This was not going to be easy. Then he buckled himself up for the climb and determined that a wizard’s got to do what a wizard’s got to do. If it was easy, everybody would have the job.

It was a long, arduous climb that took a fortnight. For you readers who don’t know what a fortnight is, it’s two weeks.

He came to the door of the Castle on the Hill. Before knocking, he sat down on the stone walkway and had himself a rest. He dumped the pebbles out of his shoes and saw the holes in their soles. If he pulled off his goal, there would be a reward of new shoes.

Then he stood up straight and rang the giant bell.

“Who’s there?” the guard at his post asked from the other side of the door.

“It’s Merlin, the Magician. Let me in.”

“State your business.”

“Marriage counselling.”

From the other side of the door, there were guffaws galore. Finally, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

Merlin was not used to being challenged when he was determined to do a thing. So he said, “Let me in or I will huff and puff and blow your house down.”

More laughter. Then, “We’ve heard that before. You gotta do better than that.”

Merlin sunk his head into his hands and said mostly to himself, “Oh, what to do. What to do.”

At that, his staff whispered in his ear. He called out the offer the staff offered, “A flagon of ale for every member of the staff.”

From the other side of the door, “What’s a flagon?”

“It’s a lot. Now let me in.”

“Well, if you insist, but we want the good stuff.”

The door creaked open. Merlin strode in, lifted his wand, and said loudly, “Let the booze flow.”

The Castle-on-the-Hill tour guide walked out of his cottage. “May I help you, sir.”

“The couple?” Merlin said huffing and puffing, not from exhaustion, but from frustration. “Where’s Prince and Princess?”

The tour guide pointed at the two lights at opposite ends of the castle. “There.”

At that, Merlin did what any self-respecting wizard would do. He gathered himself up, then he thought, “Geez, more stairs.” That was followed by, “I guess a wizard got to do what a wizard’s got to do.” And up the stairs he went.

First he showed his powerpoint to Beauty, then he went down to the other end of the Castle and showed Charm. They both laughed him out of their rooms.

This was Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot all over again. What to do? What to do?

Merlin, never being a quitter, was not about to take this lying down. There was only one magic spell left in his ye-olde-spellbag. So he pulled it out and said the magic words, “Jimmy Stewart.” Then he grabbed up the royal couple as fast as you can say, “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle” and took them down to the Royal Movie Theater and showed them “It’s a wonderful life”. By the end of the movie, Charm and Beauty were in each other’s arms. bawling their eyes out. Jimmy Stewart had done what Jimmy Stewart always did. He did that old Jimmy Stewart magic.

From that moment on, there was no more complaining about the farting or the belching. Twenty years and three kids later, they found those activities endearing in each other. And there was rejoicing and happily-ever-after-ing throughout the land. On top of that, Merlin’s Matchmaking Business went into franchising. Now the kingdom has one on every corner.

The business has prospered so much so that Merlin is taking it public next week. You can buy shares under the ticker name of MMBz.