UPDATED TALES: Cinderella
|It was a country of benumbed people.|
Once upon a time, in a country nobody ever heard of, there was a prince whose name was Julio: Julio Prince. His parents were Marvin and Gertrude King, who were the constitutional monarchs of the country. They had no power, but they looked good and they had nice manners. Nobody wanted to get rid of them because, well, they were the king and queen, and you couldn’t get rid of a king or a queen unless you beheaded them. Nobody wanted to do that.
Julio was the crown prince. He was single and available. This was a cause for concern, because Julio caused a new royal scandal every month with a different person. The people loved him because his escapades made good tabloid reading, but the queen’s blood pressure was getting dangerously high and the king had started to drink large quantities of anisette. Even the prime minister was not immune to the pressure. She had taken up smoking Russian cigars again.
The king, the queen, the prime minister and the heads of all 10 parties in parliament held a meeting, after which the queen read the Riot Act to the prince. Her voice was quivering and she was shaking pretty hard.
“If you don’t get married, settle down and give us some grandchildren, we are going to disown you. Your idiot cousin Pippin Duke will become heir to the throne. You won’t get a title. You won’t even get an allowance. You’ll have to go to work! We mean it this time!”
Consideration of this horrible future caused Julio to agree to their demands. He wasn’t about to marry just anyone, though. He had standards. The king had an idea. They would throw a humungous party with an orchestra, a bar and a buffet, to which they would invite all the unmarried young women in the country.
It was a small country and they had a big ballroom.
In the meantime, on the other end of town, lived a family of women. The father of the family had died, leaving behind his daughter, his wife and his two stepdaughters. Neighbors called their house the Bitch Burrow. Nobody could figure out why the man had married that old witch in the first place. She looked like an orangutan and she had the personality of a Tasmanian devil on amphetamines. Neighborhood gossip held that he had married her because she could bake a great double dark chocolate chip cake doused with rum. Others theorized that she blackmailed him about a body in the cellar. The cake story was the most popular. The man had weighed 300 pounds.
The Wicked Stepmother’s two daughters, Zelda and Imelda, were even uglier than she was and almost as unpleasant. The one sweet, pretty member of the family was the dead father’s daughter. Nobody knew that she was pretty, though, because she was always covered with dirt and grime. This was because the other three made her do all the work around the house. They were too poor to hire a maid and too lazy and stuck up to do any housework themselves.
They called her Cinderella because she had ashes on her face most of the time from sleeping on the floor next to the fireplace. She didn’t mind the nickname. Her real name was Ethelgard, and she hated it. It reminded her of gasoline. It was also a boy’s name.
One sunny day, a special delivery letter from the palace arrived at the house of the four poor women. It was the king’s formal invitation to the party during which the crown prince was expected to pick out the woman he wouldn’t mind marrying to keep his parents off his back.
Zelda, Imelda and Wicked Stepmother made Cinderella’s life miserable in the days before the party. The three of them had to take their formal dresses out of moth balls, and Cinderella had to hang them outside to make them smell better. After she persuaded the thieving neighbors to return the dresses, Cinderella had to work like a slave doing alterations on all of them. Cinderella had attended the Elite Beauty College for a couple of semesters while her father was still alive, so she also had to give everyone else a makeover on the day of the party.
She shyly mentioned how nice it would be if she could go to the party, too. The others looked at her as if she had two heads, and Wicked Stepmother brought the subject to a crashing close with, “Don’t be ridiculous! You’re filthy!” Cinderella knew better than to argue.
After they had left, Cinderella sat in front of the fireplace and resigned herself to never going to a royal party and having to scrub floors and clean the bathroom for the rest of her life. She sang a few verses of “Someday My Prince Will Come,” then sighed and lay down on the floor in a fetal position.
Unbeknownst to Cinderella, she was being watched from above. Three aliens from Planet Fair were hovering in an invisible ship above the house. Because they were from Planet Fair, they called themselves Fairies. They weren’t particularly bright, but they had magical powers.
One of them, who called herself Fairy Godmother, said to the others, “I want to go down there and help that poor loser. I hate those other three bitches.”
Fairy Godmother transported herself down to Cinderella, who fainted in shock. Fairy Godmother threw some water in Cinderella’s face. After Cinderella stopped screaming, Fairy Godmother introduced herself and offered to help her get to the party.
“I can make you look like Angelina Jolie, Selena Gomez and Amber Heard together!”
This got Cinderella’s attention, and she agreed to be the subject of Fairy Godmother’s extreme makeover. The whole process took about 10 minutes. Cinderella ended up looking like a bridesmaid at a 1950s wedding, but that look was in fashion that season, so it was fine. The outfit was accessorized with a pair of size 10 transparent ballet flats made to look like glass and an evening bag to match.
Cinderella couldn’t walk to the palace in those shoes, so Fairy Godmother turned a pumpkin into a fancy carriage with two horses and commandeered two frightened cats to drive it and ride shotgun. She warned Cinderella that her spells never lasted very long, so if she was wise she would get out of the palace before midnight, unless she wanted to end up really embarrassed.
Cinderella made it to the palace around 10:00 PM, in time to get a drink at the bar and look for the prince. She found him and he asked her to dance. It turned out that she was the only woman in the room who knew how to do dirty dancing, and she and the prince had a fine time together. All the other hopefuls thought it was disgusting, including Zelda and Imelda, who did not recognize the interloper but didn’t like her, anyway.
In the middle of some complicated erotic dance moves, Cinderella heard a big clock going bong, bong, bong. She stopped short with one foot in the air, said, “Oops!” and charged out of the ballroom, elbowing people out of the way and knocking down several ornamental plants. She lost one of her shoes at the front door, but didn’t stop to retrieve it. She was only halfway to the street when she turned back into her regular self. She had to walk home, because the carriage and its drivers also changed back, and the two cats sped away like torpedoes.
|The Prince and His Dance Instructor|
Prince Julio Prince was disturbed, to say the least. He had made up his mind that this woman with size 10 feet who could dance like a stripper was the one he wanted to marry, even though he didn’t know her name or anything about her, except that she was hot. He found her shoe at the front door and picked it up. He was going to find the woman of his dreams if he had to try that shoe on the left foot of every female in the kingdom. In the meantime, he figured he’d get a decent night’s sleep, to be fresh for the ambulatory excursions he would have to do the next day.
The prince got an early start at 11:00 AM the following day. He made his way around every house in the capital city without finding any foot big enough to fit the shoe. He finally came to the Bitch Burrow. Wicked Stepmother, Zelda and Imelda let him in with a lot of bowing and scraping and flattery and any other kind of ass kissing they could think of. By then he was tired and in no mood for stupidity, so he snapped, “Alright, already! Take your freakin’ left shoes off and let’s get this over with!”
Zelda and Imelda had small, dainty feet, so it was obvious neither one of them was the woman of the prince’s daydreams. The fact that they were both ugly as dirt sealed the verdict.
At that point, Cinderella, whose face was still clean after her magical makeover of the night before, came out of the kitchen and announced that she should try on the shoe, too. Zelda and Imelda tried to push her back into the kitchen, apologizing to the prince and complaining about how hard it was to find decent help.
The prince looked at Cinderella and felt the same stirring he had felt the night before. He handed the shoe to Cinderella, whose big foot fit it perfectly. She then brought out the shoe’s mate and put IT on, too. Fairy Godmother had decided to let her have it as a memento.
To make a long story short, Cinderella married the prince, who retained his right to be heir to the throne. Zelda married a glazier. Imelda married a shoemaker. Wicked Stepmother became Wicked Mother-In-Law and made life miserable for a whole new set of people
Cinderella and the prince lived happily ever after, or at least until they both reached middle age and he had a midlife crisis. That’s a whole other story.
For more of my funny writing, go here.