Now, listen. I know you are wondering: Amy, what exactly is wrong with you? Why are you such a weirdo? How does someone turn into you, exactly? I mean, with the weird obsession with serial killers and horror movies and death and legend and fantasy and a love of theater and story and words and also totally warped and twisted senses of what’s right and wrong?
I can only assume you’re asking because you’d like your children to turn out JUST LIKE ME. And to that I say, YOU ARE WELCOME. And also THAT IS AN ADMIRABLE GOAL.
The answer is a simple one.
Not the stupid, squeaky-clean Disney-fied versions, you heathens. GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES. The dark, creepy, woodcut versions. Where they didn’t end well.
I grew up on a very steady diet of very, very dark fairy tales. And look at me now! You couldn’t ASK for someone more twisty.
What’s that? You want EXAMPLES? Are you implying you don’t BELIEVE me that fairy tales are the most dark and twisty? WELL. Isn’t this just your LUCKY DAY. SIT RIGHT DOWN THERE CHUCKLES.
Now, you’re going to read these and say, “This isn’t what I remember!” Nope. These are the ORIGINAL versions of these fairy tales. Or, in other words, WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Not all cleaned up shiny pretty for popular consumption. I hate cleaned up shiny pretty. I like the dark places.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
This is a story about how a town full of skinflints thought they could rip off a skeevy itinerant exterminator with pedophiliac tendencies. So to repay them, he kidnaps their children by hypnotizing them with music and then drowns them by forcing them to walk into a pond, except for a handicapped one, who couldn’t keep up. And the poor lame kid is the only kid left in the village and is so sad because he wasn’t part of the group AGAIN. Left behind AGAIN, you guys. Nice! This is a nice story.
Moral: The Lannisters have a point. PAY YOUR DEBTS YOU FRIGGIN’ DEADBEAT.
Little Red Riding Hood
Listen, I don’t know if you’re aware? But there’s no woodsman all “here I come to save the DAYYYYY” in the original. Everything else stays the same. But the story ends as Little Red gets gulped. End of story. A wolf eats a little girl and her grandmother. That is all. A TALKING WOLF WHO IS CRAFTY ENOUGH TO WEAR CLOTHING AND APPARENTLY HAS OPPOSABLE THUMBS.
Moral: Why the hell are you talking to strangers. STRANGER EFFING DANGER YOU JACKASS.
The Little Mermaid
Hans Christian Anderson KILLED me as a kid. This guy was ONE SICK MAMMAJAMMA.
A beautiful mermaid falls in love with a human prince. For love (obsession, really, she doesn’t know him enough to love him), she sells her soul to become a normal human. Here’s the rub, you sickos – “every step you take it will feel as if you were treading upon sharp knives.” Also later she says it feels like she’s walking on sharp needles. And also she can’t talk. Part of the bargain is her voice is also gone. So NOT ONLY is she in excruciating pain with every single step for this stupid son of a bitch, she’s completely mute. Every man’s dream girl, right? Because she can shut up and rattle the pots and pans. Yippee!
(Sorry. This story always pissed me right the hell off.)
And I know. I KNOW. You’re all, “But it ends well!” Nope. Not in good old Hans’s version. In the original? THE PRINCE MARRIES SOMEONE ELSE ANYWAY. And it WAS ALL FOR NOTHING. And the little mermaid turns into air and disappears.
Moral: No man is worth giving up your essential essence for. Because when he’s gone, you’ve lost everything. (What? That’s not the moral? Bite me, that’s what I took from it.)
A girl’s stepmother has one of her employees take her stepdaughter into the woods to bloodily murder her for being more beautiful than she is. Let that sink in. You know that chick at work you have a secret hatred toward because she’s so pretty? Think about GETTING YOUR HUNTER FRIEND TO CUT OUT HER HEART. Yeah, I know. WHO DOES THIS. Then when he can’t complete the deed, the stepmother poisons her. A necrophiliac prince (no, seriously, think about this, he didn’t know the kiss was going to wake her up. Chick was IN HER COFFIN. He was MACKING ON A DEAD GIRL. Yep. That’s a keeper, Snow!) makes out with her seemingly dead body and it wakes her up. As revenge, the queen is forced to dance to death in red-hot-right-out-of-the-fire shoes as everyone watches, laughs, and cheers. Huzzah!
Moral: I don’t even KNOW. Don’t get a case of the green-eyed monster toward your stepdaughter, you big fat weirdy weirdo?
Hansel and Gretel
Come on, are you even kidding me? This is about a cannibal person who lives in the woods in a house designed to lure children in so she can FATTEN THEM UP AND EAT THEM. This is just about THE WORST THING. This is the story where a million Hummel figurines go to die I can’t even. Also, let’s not even MENTION the REASON the kids were in the forest IN THE FIRST PLACE which is their PARENTS were GROSSLY NEGLIGENT and didn’t take care of them so they were out looking for food. I mean, seriously. This is like a nightmare wrapped in a torture chamber surrounded with pinatas filled with spiders. IT IS THE BEST. I LOVE IT.
Moral: Um. Don’t eat people’s houses even if they look totally delicious and you’re starving or they’ll get revenge by eating you and your sister? I’m not really sure.
OK, so most of this is pretty standard, until the end, where the prince comes looking for Cinderella, and the first evil stepsister, when the prince comes calling, can’t get her fat old mega-foot to fit in the slipper, so her mom forces her to cut off part of her heel. CUT OFF PART OF HER HEEL YOU GUYS. Then she CRAMS HER BLOODY FOOT into the shoe, but the prince notices the blood and is all no no no, lies, who else is here who wants to try. Then the stepmother forces the OTHER sister to cut off her big toe because she ALSO has feet that are too big, with the same result. WTF, stepmother. W. T. F.
Also, once Cinderella claims her rightful place on the throne, she sends her faithful bird friends to peck out her stepfamily’s eyes. You know. As you do.
Moral: STOP TREATING YOUR STEPCHILDREN LIKE THEY ARE SERVANTS. This is worrisome, fairy tales. Also, it bears mention that glass is a silly thing to make shoes out of. If that breaks you’re totally going to cause some serious damage to your tootsies.
MY FAVE OMG.
You know this one, right? I think I quote this one once a MONTH. This is my favorite thing since CHARLES MANSON.
Bluebeard marries this little chica and he leaves a lot doing manly things like probably pillaging, I don’t know. He gives her the run of his big old castle except one room. He tells her, THAT IS THE ONLY ROOM THAT IS OFF LIMITS. But he gives her a key to it because he is one twisted old bastard. So of COURSE she’s all “I MUST KNOW.” SO, you ask. WHAT IS IN THE ROOM.
ALL HIS FORMER WIVES. DEAD. FOR BEING NOSY AND LOOKING INTO THE ROOM. And it actually says “the floor was AWASH IN BLOOD.” Hee!
Best. Fairy tale ending. Ever.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end the way I wanted it to, with her also being murdered for nosiness. She ends up luring him to his death or something redeeming. I didn’t care much for that. I like things DARK I TELL YOU. Listen, HE TOLD YOU DON’T GO IN THERE.
Moral – Don’t be a nosy parker. Also, probably don’t marry people who dye their facial hair weird colors. That’s usually an indication of deep psychological issues.
The Juniper Tree
A stepmother (Again! With! This!) kills her stepson, frames her own daughter for the murder, and cooks the dead body into a stew (please note the TOTALLY DISGUSTED ITALICS) which she feeds to her husband. The daughter, who is sad and sweet (aren’t they all, these fairy tale chicks? None of them have many facets. I want a multi-faceted fairy-tale chick) buries his bones under a juniper tree, and then somehow his spirit gets into a bird, who kills the stepmother by dropping a stone on her head (that is totally the strongest bird ever, yo.)
My favorite part of this is when the father is chomping down on Dead Son Stew he’s all, “THIS IS THE BEST STEW YOU’VE EVER EVER MADE MY STARS AND LAND SAKES!” Hee. You’re totally eating your own son, dude. Hope you enjoy your Mad Cow Disease.
Moral: stop being an evil stepmother. Also, know what you’re eating, because gross.
The Robber Bridegroom
I don’t even know what even. A father is all greedypants and when a rich man shows up and says “Can I marry your daughter?”, says “Sure!” Probably with dollar signs in his eyes like an old-timey cash register. And then she goes off to visit the fiance in the woods, and then ALL THE ROBBERS show up (her fiance being the lead robber, apparently? Odd) and she hides behind something while they chop up a woman they’ve brought to their house, and one of the DEAD WOMAN’S FINGERS FALLS IN HER CLEAVAGE, and she escapes once they pass out from drinking too much, and then on their wedding day (what the hell? She went through with the wedding? That seems unlikely) she tells the story as if it’s a dream she had and the robber’s all “ha ha my little buttercup YOU SO CRAZY” and then she’s all “BAM HERE IS THE FINGER YOU MURDERER!” (SHE KEPT THE DEAD ROTTING FINGER? Girl has ISSUES) and then he is killed. WHAT. THE. HELL.
Moral: I guess…um…hold onto evidence because someday you might need it? I don’t know. What would be the moral of this thing? Don’t marry robbers? Don’t betrothe your daughter to some rich dude you know nothing about? Don’t go off into the woods alone to visit your fiance you know nothing about? CONFUSING. Also? I love the word robber. It is one of my favorites.
The Goose Girl
A princess and her talking horse (AWE! SOME!) and her bitch of a social climber maid go to the princess’s fiance’s palace (this ALSO seems to be a thing, the princess travelling to the fiance. Why can’t the PRINCE come to HER?), but on the way the starfucker maid decides SHE WANTS TO BE THE PRINCESS so she apparently overpowers the princess (I’m not really sure what the hell, here, the princess seems pretty weak to me) and puts on all her finery and says “I am the princess!” when they get to the castle and then HAS THE TALKING HORSE BUTCHERED which is totally the worst thing because who loves horses? Me. Talking ones would be even better. Unless it’s like Mr. Ed. Then screw it, I hated that weird thing with its fake-ass mouth and someone told me to get it to do that they put peanut butter in its mouth and that’s pretty mean. Anyway, the princess has to be the goose girl which I assume means take care of geese and geese are the meanest things EVER and that’s the worst fate. And for some reason the people who work in the castle hang her horse’s head on the castle walls? What is this, Westeros and he’s a traitor? And the HEAD KEEPS TALKING. Because it is the MOST MAGICAL CREEPY DEAD HORSE EVER OMG. And then somehow the trick is discovered and the prince asks the starfucker, “Hey, let’s say a starfucker maid were to take the place of the rightful princess and kill her horse and make her take care of geese all day long, what should be the punishment for that starfucker?” and the starfucker maid is all “Put her in a barrel studded with nails and push it down a big hill.” THAT IS THE STUPIDEST ANSWER I HAVE EVER HEARD. Who would SAY that. You KNOW it’s about you and you’ve been FOUND OUT. Did playing princess take away ANY BRAINS YOU MIGHT ONCE HAVE HAD? Anyway, as you might guess, that’s what happens to the starfucker. I’m not really sure what happens to the talking butchered horse head. I assume it rotted. I mean, that’s what happens to dead things. Even magical ones.
Moral: be content with your lot in life, even if that means you have to take care of disgusting mean hissing geese. Also don’t kill animals, and if someone asks you how you would kill someone else, say “I wouldn’t! I’d let them live FOREVER and give them A MILLION DOLLARS OMG.”
So! As you can see, THIS is what’s wrong with me. THIS is why I am the way I am. Fairy tales! So read some to your kids today, and YOU, TOO, could have a little me in the wings, waiting to DAZZLE THE WORLD with their CHARM and SOCIAL INCOMPETENCE in ONLY 30 YEARS TIME. Good luck!