Awful Lessons Taught by Familiar Stories

There are fairy tales, folk tales, books and movies that have become so familiar to us that they are programmed into our nerve endings.  In most cases, we are taught to see positive messages in these stories.  On the other hand, there are multi-layers in these familiar tales, and if we look deeper into them we find some lessons that are best left untaught.  Here is a partial list of these sneaky subliminal messages.

BatmanYou can always recognize an evil person because they are the weirdest looking bunch of psychopaths on the planet.

Beauty and the Beast:  Bestiality will be rewarded.

Cinderella:  Your most important measurement is your shoe size.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears:  If you are a cute little blonde kid, it is okay to wander into a house when the occupants are out, eat their food, mess up their furniture and sleep in their beds, then, when they come home and find you, run away without even offering to clean up after yourself.

Hansel and Gretel (a):  If you get lost in a forest, you won’t freeze or starve or be attacked by a wild animal.  You just have to stay away from evil, cannibal witches.

Hansel and Gretel (b):  If you don’t have any food in the house and your kids are pestering you because they’re hungry, it’s okay to send them out into the woods to pick berries, even if an evil, cannibal witch lives nearby.
... like this one
Jack and the Beanstalk:  Breaking, entering and burglarizing is perfectly okay, as long as the victim is a giant.

Old Yeller:  It’s alright to cry buckets of tears when Old Yeller gets rabies and the kid has to shoot him.  (Yes, this is a GOOD lesson.  I just want to see if you are paying attention.)

Rumpelstiltskin:  It’s okay to get someone to do all your work for you, then stiff him on his wages.

Shrek:  It’s a lot of fun to pick up random animals in the woods and fields and blow them up into helium balloons.

Sleeping Beauty:  It is perfectly alright to sleep for 36,500 days, and no, you won’t die of hunger and thirst in the process.

Snow White:  Necrophilia will be rewarded.

Star Wars (a):  Never try to kill a wicked monster who destroys whole planets because he might turn out to be your long lost father.

Star Wars (b):  A brave, intelligent, resourceful, valiant young woman like Princess Leia is appreciated, but she will never be invited to train as a Jedi because … well … she’s a woman.  She also needs a new hairdresser.

Superman:  Forget what you hear about journalists who go after stories with all the energy they have.  Big metropolitan newspapers hire mild mannered reporters.

The Lord of the Rings:  If you think you are being spied on by a huge, fiery eye, you are.

The Terminator:  A machine that used to be a murdering monster will make a great substitute father if you reprogram his brain.

The Wizard of Oz (a):  You can kill evil, green-skinned people by forcing them to bathe.

The Wizard of Oz (b):  It is worth it to risk your life for a great pair of shoes.

For more of my humor, go to Kathy Minicozzi on


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