Category Archives: fairy tales

And Then Everyone Was Dead

BFF emailed me the other day and sent me the following. He knows I am obsessed with the following things:

  • Death
  • Fairy tales
  • Weird, warped, twisted things
  • Dark humor (even better when it’s not on purpose)
  • Animals

And this has ALL OF THE ABOVE.

This is most definitely why I have the best BFF in ALL THE LAND.

Also, SIDE NOTE!, BFF and I have made a VERY GRAND PLAN. This year I am all vacationed up, and next year, most of my vacation time (and money) will be spent making the most exciting trip ACROSS THE WHOLE WORLD and going to FINLAND, but the FOLLOWING year, I do NOT have plans (well, not DEFINITIVE plans) and I said, “BFF! Do you want to make a plan where we will do something in 2015?” and BFF said “YES I DO!” so we talked about what we should do and it was decided that WE WOULD GO TO MAINE. Maine is on my list of places I have never been and have always wanted to go. This is because I grew up on a steady diet of Stephen King books and read more about Maine than anywhere else in the whole world and have always wanted to visit it and see if the Maine in my head matches the Maine in the real world. Also, Maine has forests and oceans and seafood. These are all things I enjoy on a vacation. (I do not enjoy mosquitoes, but I can learn to adapt, I suppose.)

Ooh, look at all our CHOICES! This is very exciting.

Ooh, look at all our CHOICES! This is very exciting.

VACATION WITH BFF IN TWO YEARS!!! IN MAINE!!! Oh, well THIS is exciting. I’d better make sure my job doesn’t fire me before then, I’d really like to go on this one.

So today we’re going to talk about possibly, in the words of BFF, “the saddest Brothers’ Grimm fairytale I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”

Ladies, gentlemen, and whatever you are, Ding Dong Joe, I bring you:

The Death of the Little Hen

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

One time the little hen and the little rooster went to Nut Mountain, and they agreed that whoever would find a nut would share it with the other one. Now the little hen found a large, large nut, but — wanting to eat the kernal by herself — she said nothing about it. However, the kernal was so thick that she could not swallow it down. It got stuck in her throat, and fearing that she would choke to death, she cried out, “Little Rooster, I beg you to run as fast as you can to the well and get me some water, or else I’ll choke to death.”

The little rooster ran to the well as fast as he could, and said, “Well, give me some water, for the little hen is lying on Nut Mountain. She swallowed a large nut kernal and is about to choke to death on it.”

The well answered, “First run to the bride, and get some red silk from her.”

The little rooster ran to the bride: “Bride, give me some red silk, and I’ll give the red silk to the well, and the well will give me some water, and I’ll take the water to the little hen who is lying on Nut Mountain. She swallowed a large nut kernal and is about to choke to death on it.”

The bride answered, “First run and get my wreath. It got caught on a willow branch.”

So the little rooster ran to the willow and pulled the wreath from its branch and took it to the bride, and the bride gave him some red silk, which he took to the well, which gave him some water, and the little rooster took the water to the little hen, but when he arrived, she had already choked to death, and she lay there dead, and did not move at all.

The little rooster was so sad that he cried aloud, and all the animals came to mourn for the little hen. Six mice built a small carriage which was to carry the little hen to her grave. When the carriage was finished, they hitched themselves to it, and the little rooster drove. On the way they met the fox.

“Where are you going, little rooster?”

“I’m going to bury my little hen.”

“May I ride along?”

“Yes, but you must sit at the rear, because my little horses don’t like you too close to the front.”

So he sat at the rear, and then the wolf, the bear, the elk, the lion, and all the animals in the forest. They rode on until they came to a brook. “How can we get across?” said the little rooster.

A straw was lying there next to the brook, and he said, “I’ll lay myself across, and you can drive over me.” But just as the six mice got onto the straw, it slipped into the water, and the six mice all fell in and drowned.

They did not know what to do, until a coal came and said, “I am large enough. I will lay myself across and you can drive over me.” So the coal laid itself across the water, but unfortunately it touched the water, hissed, and went out; and it was dead.

A stone saw this happen, and wanting to help the little rooster, it laid itself across the water. The little rooster pulled the carriage himself. He nearly reached the other side with the dead little hen, but there were too many others seated on the back of the carriage, and the carriage rolled back, and they all fell into the water and drowned.

Now the little rooster was all alone with the dead little hen. He dug a grave for her and laid her inside. Then he made a mound on top, and sat on it, and grieved there so long that he too died. And then everyone was dead.

There’s a lot to discuss, here.

First, the little hen. The little hen was a HUGE PIG. I’m not saying she DESERVED to die or anything, but they CLEARLY had an ARRANGEMENT and she broke it immediately. When my brother and I used to put more food in our mouths than was advisable, my mother would VERY SERIOUSLY intone, “GREEDY GUTS AND PIGGY TOES.” Which was the most annoying and now I hear it in my head every time I sit down to eat, thanks, Mom, but ANYWAY, this little hen was most definitely BOTH a Greedy Guts AND a Piggy Toes.

Don't ever show my mom this, she'll say it proves her point.

Don’t ever show my mom this, she’ll say it proves her point.

Also, “Nut Mountain.” A whole MOUNTAIN of nuts! I’m pretty sure this isn’t a euphemism. Except for the line “so thick that she could not swallow it down.” We all know THAT’S totally a euphemism.

Also, “the” little hen and “the” little rooster. Were there only two of them in all the land? AND, whoever FOUND a nut on Nut Mountain? I’d assume there would be billions of nuts there. THE WHOLE MOUNTAIN IS NAMED AFTER NUTS.

This whole story is already fraying at the seams.

I have to assume that “kernal” is how they spelled “kernel” back in the day, yeah? It’s disconcerting to me to see it spelled that way over and over like that.

Now, I think we all know from health class if little hen can still talk, little hen isn’t choking to death. Little hen is being a liar and I think little hen just wants a drink to go with her stolen nutmeats, you know?

What's it say right there? IF THE PERSON CAN SPEAK, DON'T INTERFERE!

What’s it say right there? IF THE PERSON CAN SPEAK, DON’T INTERFERE!

But little rooster is really the kindest, or maybe he’s in love with little hen, I’m not sure. I would like to say I think she’s not good enough for you, little rooster. She bogarted the kernals; she pretended to be choking to death, I can only assume for attention; and now she’s sending you off to get water on some sort of whim. She seems really high-maintenance to me. Dump her now, before things get so much worse and you’re all “Oh, Amy, this is TERRIBLE” and I’m like “I told you so, little rooster, but you chose to ignore me, so whose fault IS this, really?”

Then comes the worst murderous cockblock (no pun intended, little rooster) in the history of anthropomorphism.

First, we have a talking well. WELL (no pun intended), isn’t that something! Only for some reason, the well not ONLY refuses to give up the water, it (or is it he or she? Does a talking well have gender? This is really an interesting discussion best held by college students all in black smoking clove cigarettes, don’t you think?) says it WILL give up some water for SOMEONE WHO IS CHOKING TO DEATH (I mean, the well doesn’t have any idea little hen is a lying liar who lies, so that means the well is, in essence, holding back something that can save a life; there are some states in which that is a jailable offense, talking well) if – and ONLY if – the little rooster brings it “some red silk.”

WHY THE HELL DOES A WELL NEED SOME RED SILK.

Nice job, talking well. Well-thought-out.

Nice job, talking well. Well-thought-out. No pun intended.

Water just ruins silk. Does the well want to be pretty? This makes no sense in the entire world. Not even a LITTLE bit of sense. The well is just screwing with the rooster. I think maybe the well hates the lying little hen and WANTS her to die. Maybe there’s a love triangle going on with the well and the rooster and the hen, I don’t know. Maybe the rooster isn’t ALL little, if you know what I mean, and the well IS female.

So the poor little rooster ran on over to the bride, who apparently is the one with all the red silk? I don’t know. And was all, “ok. So my friend/girlfriend is DYING, and the effing WELL won’t give me WATER which is WHAT IT IS THERE FOR unless I, for SOME reason, bring it SILK, which it will just RUIN, but anyway, bride, please, for the love of all that’s holy, DO YOU HAVE ANY RED SILK.”

Well! Of course the bride has red silk. I mean, what bride doesn’t! But she’s not giving it up that easily, no no. She needs her “wreath” (I don’t know, I DON’T KNOW) which is apparently caught on some TREE. This whole town cares very little about the well-being of a fellow denizen, right?

So the poor little rooster zips on over to the tree. Gets the wreath. Brings it to the bride. She hands over the silk. He runs back to the well. The well gives him the water. He RUNS BACK TO THE LITTLE HEN…

…who is so, so dead. Not ONLY dead, but SO dead. So dead that she “did not move at all.”

WELL OF COURSE SHE IS. I mean, all these tasks and all this talking HAD to have taken this poor guy like most of the DAY.

I am having just the worst day, you guys. Just the WORST.

I am having just the worst day, you guys. Just the WORST.

OK, so out of respect, let’s not talk about how she got what was coming for being a greedy-guts-piggy-toes, or what REALLY killed her since we know it’s not choking since she was talking while she was supposedly choking to death, and if little rooster had paid attention during Heimlich classes, she’d be FINE now, and just mourn a little with little rooster, who’s super-sad about the loss of his greedy, lying ladyfriend, who probably would have ended up breaking his heart and leaving him high and dry one of these days, anyway, and was probably only in the relationship for his money or his kernals or to mess with his head or something like that. Let’s not speak ill of the dead, even if they were the worst.

So then things really get interesting. (Interesting in this sentence means “weird as hell.”)

Rooster starts audibly mourning; all the animals come to help. (Where were these animals when THE HEN WAS CHOKING TO DEATH?) Some car-manufacturing mice build him a carriage to bring his hen for burial, which is nice. Odd, but nice. Then they did double-duty and became horses to pull the carriage.

OMG WHAT IS THIS I CAN'T EVEN

OMG WHAT IS THIS I CAN’T EVEN

When rooster and his dead friend/lover/liar were on their way to the elephant burial ground, a random fox wandered up all “can I come?” and rooster was like, “sure, but sit in the back, you’ll scare my horses. Who are really mice. That’s how we do it here in Animalland.”

Then I think a sentence is missing or something.

So he sat at the rear, and then the wolf, the bear, the elk, the lion, and all the animals in the forest.

Where did all these animals come from? And how can the mice pull them? And it says it’s a SMALL carriage, how are they all fitting? ALL THE ANIMALS IN THE FOREST! And why were a hen and a rooster in the forest? Are they like wild hens and roosters?

Anyway, I feel we are missing information here, is all I’m saying. IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

So all these animals (being towed by SIX MICE, it’s not like they’re ANTS, who MIGHT be able to tow them, as ants can lift MANY TIMES THEIR BODY WEIGHT, come on, Brothers Grimm) get to the river.

How will they cross the river?

This is where I decided everyone involved in this story might be a complete moron.

OK, so this “small carriage,” loaded with 6 mice, two chickens (one dead, one alive) and ALL THE ANIMALS OF THE FOREST, decide to ride across the river ON A PIECE OF STRAW. I don’t think that’s going to work, buckaroos. Even if it does seem to be a TALKING piece of straw. Everything in this forest talks. Can you imagine sitting on the grass? It’d be all, “Get offa me, ya heavy turdmonster” and you’d be all “WHAT IS THIS?” and then you’d feel TERRIBLE.

Not all of these. ONE of these. ONE PIECE OF STRAW.

Not all of these. ONE of these. ONE PIECE OF STRAW.

Anyway, not to anyone’s surprise READING this, but to apparently EVERYONE’S surprise in the scenario, the straw didn’t work, and the mice all drowned. So now we have a dead hen and six dead mice, which is seven dead animals, in case you’re counting.

Then a TALKING COAL (I know, right, even COALS talk here) decided to GET IN THE WATER TO HELP THEM. But, surprise! THE WATER PUT HIM OUT. And then HE was dead! So now we have 7 dead animals and a dead coal, but I don’t know if I count the coal, because it was just a coal. I know, I’m a total coalist.

Then a TALKING STONE wanted to help. Boy, inanimate objects that are not helpful in water are really stepping up here, aren’t they? What about wood? There’s not like a really helpful piece of wood that might help? Because wood would be the best. Talking wood. WHERE IS THE TALKING WOOD ALL UP IN HERE.

So the carriage like 99% made it over the rock, but EVERY ANIMAL IN THE FOREST, remember, was riding all way in the back, making it totally back-heavy, and although the rooster, who at this point had taken the role of the mouse-horses, and his dead nefarious gal-pal had made it over the rock, the rest of the small carriage did not, and ALL OF THE ANIMALS IN THE FOREST FELL IN THE RIVER AND DROWNED.

(If you read that paragraph out of context it looks like I dropped acid before writing this blog post.)

Now, either that’s a really deep and fast river, or there weren’t many animals in that forest. I mean, seriously, what is it, the Amazon? It drowned ELK? And BEARS? Good gracious. What a river. I mean, you’d think that river would talk, right? Every other damn thing in this story did. I’d like to hear this story from the point of view of the river. Or the kernal. That totally girthy and unswallowable kernal.

Is it this river? You're not getting over this sucker with a straw or a coal, you stupid optimistic animals.

Is it this river? You’re not getting over this sucker with a straw or a coal, you stupid optimistic animals.

So the rooster, all alone in the WHOLE FOREST because for SOME REASON every single damn animal IN THE WHOLE FOREST decided to ride on a SMALL CARRIAGE and mourn a LYING HEN (well, I guess he’s not totally alone, considering all the things talk, except the river and the kernal) digs a grave for his hen, buries her, sits on it, and cries himself to death. He does not eat, he does not sleep. He cries and I think starves to death, I assume because he has lost his ladylove, no one in the forest would help him, and he is to blame for the death of ALL THE ANIMALS IN THE FOREST. I mean, that’s a heavy weight to bear, you know?

And then everyone was dead.

EVERYONE.

WAS.

DEAD.

(Can I just say, though, that NOT everyone was dead? Who lives? Well, the people who live are the talking well and the bride. And that means the moral of this story is to waste someone’s time who is trying to save someone else’s life by sending him on pointless errands and then you’ll live while everyone else in the forest dies, and I think that is a very bad moral. This would make a terrible Aesop’s Fable.)

Seriously, can you imagine reading this to a child with their little innocent eyes and such? And you’d get farther and farther along into the story and they’d be like “NO NO WHAT NO PLEASE WHY SO MUCH DEATH?” and you’d shrug and say, “That’s how the Brothers Grimm rolled, Little Lulu. AND THEN EVERYONE WAS DEAD. And someday, I will be dead. AND SO WILL YOU. Maybe even tomorrow, you never know when you might choke on a kernal. Sleep well, lemon tart!” and then you turn off the light and leave them alone WITH THEIR THOUGHTS.

...why momma why...

…why momma why…

Good parenting 101, am I right?

Have a happy Wednesday, MY little lemon tarts.

Watch out for kernals.

And lying significant others who break your little rooster-hearts.

And wells that want things before giving over their water.

And friends who want to tag along, but weren’t helpful when you needed it.

And inanimate objects that SEEM helpful, but will really just lead to drowning.

And mourning so much that you end up dead.

Otherwise, have the best day, you know? Just the utter best. Kisses. Love your faces.


Apparently there’s something to the word “birdbrain.” Who knew?

Happy Monday! OK, fine, there’s nothing overly happy about a Monday, I know. Sorry. Happy…um…

Oh, shit, check this out. It is RECONCILIATION DAY.

You thought I was KIDDING! Nope.

Apparently, April 2 is the day Ann Landers set aside in 1989 to:

…patch relationships and to make amends. Its intention is to re-establish relationships between family, friends and couples. Life is too short to hold a grudge between those we love.

Estranged couples may find today to be an opportunity to work out their problems. People who have had a “falling out” with family members are encouraged to reach out and “mend the fence”.

For those considering a reconciliation, the old saying is “It’s never too late”. But, that is not true. Someday, it could be too late. So, please use today to begin your reconciliation.

Ugh. This is way crunchy-granola-touchy-feely, right?

Dear Ann Landers, even though I’m pretty sure you’re dead. Sometimes, the people you’ve had a falling-out with are BEST LEFT FALLEN OUT WITH. Your life is SO MUCH BETTER without those people in it. Sometimes, they try to contact you? And your whole stomach hurts because you wish they would just disappear or maybe move to Zimbabwe where there is no internet. (I don’t know if there’s internet in Zimbabwe. I just like the way that country sounds. ZIMBABWE.)  I don’t want a Reconciliation Day. I want a National Leave Me the Hell Alone, I Made the Right Decision the First Time When I Kicked You to the Curb Day. Let’s do that, OK?

In happier news, today is also National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. THIS IS A HOLIDAY I CAN GET BEHIND. I’m totally eating PB&J daily lately. It’s like a smile in my lunch bag waiting for me at breaktime.

It’s also International Children’s Book Day and the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, so if you have a kiddo, you should read them The Little Mermaid, or The Ugly Duckling, or something equally moody and Danish.

This could possibly be the best thing ever photographed. This gave me such a smile.

OK, so celebrate one of these things. That’d be nice. Do that. Or just go to work and drudge drudge drudge, if you must. But I can guarantee you it wouldn’t be as much fun as eating PB&J while reading The Little Mermaid. (Screw the reconciliation garbage, those people can go shit in a hat.)

In other news: three people won the gigantic Mega Millions recently which was up to $640 million dollars. Those people lived in Kentucky, Illinois, and Maryland. As you can see, none of those people live in New York. This made EVERYONE I KNOW VERY CRESTFALLEN. I think that’s humorous, because most of those people? Seemed to think they had a chance of winning. One of my more practical coworkers told me you had a better chance of getting hit by lightning 200 times than winning that lottery drawing. I had a better chance of waking up switched into Dumbcat’s body, as I didn’t play. I feel like playing the lottery is like putting your money to the crack in your car window as you’re driving 90 down the highway. (I mean, WHO DRIVES 90 DOWN THE HIGHWAY SURELY NOT ME.) I think you have a similar chance of payback on your investment with both forms of “spending” your money. I like my money to go toward things that I can touch. Like cheese. And pudding. And cat food. And laptops.

ZOMG the Mega Millions mascot! SO NIGHTMARISH! It's like that Burger King king used to be! GAH!

Anyway, I have friends who live in Maryland. So I’m fairly sure they’re the winners of the Mega Millions, only they’re keeping it on the downlow because they’ve posted on Facebook since the drawing and made no mention of it. R. & A., since you are now the winners of the Mega Millions, please feel free to donate to my trip to Europe. I will send your soon-t0-be-born daughter and my unofficial niece MANY EUROPEAN SOUVENIRS. Also, instead of me taking the Amtrak to see you this summer, maybe you could drive me there in a stretch Hummer. I always wondered what kind of assholes rode in those. I WOULD LIKE TO BE ONE OF THOSE KIND OF ASSHOLES, R. AND A.

This is totally not a post with a point. Listen, the sooner I get this shit written, the sooner I can get out of these sleepy pajamas, put on some clothes, and go laptop shopping. CUT ME SOME SLACK JACK.

Oh, two new people I know in REALLY REAL LIFE are reading the blog. Let’s say hi to N., who is a wonderful website designer and actor and human being and about to become a dad, I just found out! HI N.! And also K.! Listen, K. reading this makes me super-smiley-happy. K. and I used to work together at the animal shelter, many moons ago. She was my favorite coworker. Here is a story. I feel like I told you all this once before but my search tab isn’t being helpful. Well, if you heard this before, you can stop me. Oh, wait, you can’t. Oh, well, skip over it or whatever. Or don’t, it’s really funny.

K. was in charge of accounts payable and receivable and I was in charge of the reception area at the humane society. So we were the two working at the front most of the time, and the other people were in the back with the animals. So when things were slow, we’d chat.

One day, she was all, “Amy?” and I came in, and she said, “Look at this pile of applications the boss gave me,” and we were hiring, and there was a pile, and I said, “OK,” and she said, “now read the response to ‘have you ever been charged with a felony’ on this one.”

Some guy had written “Yes, I killed my best friend and was arrested for it. I’M SO SO SORRY.”

K. and I just looked at each other and tried to have serious faces for about fourteen seconds but then we just busted out laughing until we were CRYING and SNOTTY because WHO WRITES SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I mean, maybe it was a drunk driving incident, or something like that. Fine. Things happen. But why did he PHRASE it like that? You don’t PHRASE it like that. You write “Yes, 2010, vehicular manslaughter, please inquire for details” or something equally professional. “I’M SO SO SORRY?” Oh, so awful. So sad and awful.

So we laughed until we cried, and then for WEEKS we were all, “I’m SO SO SORRY” to each other and that’s all it took to set us off into giggle fits. It bears note that K. and I were not children. I was in my mid-twenties and K. was – hell, I’m awful with ages. Mid-forties? GIGGLE FITS. Like TEENAGERS.

We knew it wasn’t funny. Which is why it was funny.

K. and I still write letters to each other. With PEN! And PAPER! And I told her about the blog, and she wrote that she’s reading it! And I said, hey, someday I’ll say hi to you, K.! So, hi, K.! I miss working with you every day. You will always be one of the best people I’ve ever worked with in the history of ever. You always got my insane humor, and could calm me down when I was stompy. Also, you loved animals as much as I did, and were totally there the day I found Dumbcat for the first time. I MISS YOU, K.!

Two more things, then I’m hitting the hay. OK, there’s no real hay. It’s METAPHOR hay.

I GOT THE LAPTOP!

Please interject happy cheers and whoo-hoos and clapping and such…NOW.

It is just about the cheapest one they had at Best Buy (which is totally the Buy More from Chuck, bee tee dubs. I’ve totally never been in a Best Buy before. I know, it’s like I’m not even Merkan. But most of the Geek Squad looked a LOT more like Jeffster than like Chuck. That was a major letdown.)

More this...

...than this. Just saying.

BUT I am ASSURED it will do what I need it to, which is a., word process (ALSO, was anyone aware that buying Microsoft Word was A HUNDRED EFFING DOLLARS? I wasn’t buying CRACK COCAINE for the love of Pete. I was buying WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE!), b., get on the interwebs so I can blog, and c.,  have a webcam so I can FINALLY use Skype like a normal human being.

I don’t have wireless for it until Tuesday or Wednesday, so until then, it’s a very pretty gunmetal gray box that makes pretty musical notes when I boot it up? But NEW LAPTOP! That cost AS MUCH AS MY RENT!

I’ve never bought anything that cost as much as my rent all at once in my life. That total almost made me have an aneurysm, and also on the way to my car I was sure I was going to be mugged by hoodlums. Possibly those teen hoodlums at the mall I keep hearing about.

THEN, when I got HOME, my parents had the following story for me:

Mom: You are never going to guess what is HAPPENING here.
Me: No. Probably not.
Mom: A BIRD is smashing over and over into our WINDOW.
Me: What? Why?
Mom: We don’t know. We think it’s deranged.
Me: Explain, please.
Mom: There is a robin with a VERY SHIFTY LOOK IN ITS EYE and it sits in the tree. Then it flies to the window. Then it flies up, and BASHES into the window. It’s been doing it every 2-3 minutes for five hours.

Sure, it LOOKS innocent, until it gets all WINDOW-BASHY.

Me: What? Why isn’t it dead?
Mom: We don’t know. Your father went outside to shoo it away but it ignored him.
Me: Oh, I bet he didn’t like that.
Mom: No. He wants to open the window, let it in the house, then it will get disoriented. Then he will open the back door and fly out there and get lost so it can’t find the front window again.

(Then I heard in the background my dad saying “YOU ARE TELLING HER ALL THE GOOD STUFF GIVE ME THE PHONE!”)

Dad: That dumb bird. I want to shoot it.
Me: No. You can’t shoot a robin. You’d kill spring. That’s like a sign of spring.
Dad: Good. At least then I wouldn’t have to hear that thing smacking into my window every few minutes. Can you even believe it ignored me?
Me: That’s very insubordinate of it, yes.
Dad: Also, it keeps rubbing up against the siding, so it has white stuff all over its feathers. Then it runs into the window. Now the window is all smeared with white stuff.
Me: Maybe it’s poo.
Dad: It’s not POO. There’s no POO on the window.
Me: I don’t know. I’m not there.
Dad: I’m going to put you on speaker so you can hear this.
Me: I trust you. I don’t have to hear a kamikaze bird.
Dad: ARE YOU ON SPEAKER NOW?
Me: I don’t know, I’m not THERE. Am I?
Dad: No.
Me: OK. Then I’m not. Did you hit the speaker button?
Dad: THERE IT GOES AGAIN YOU MISSED IT.
Me: Sorry. Guess it’s because I wasn’t on speaker.
Dad: ARE YOU ON SPEAKER NOW?
Me: I don’t KNOW, Dad. Am I on speaker now?
Dad: Yes. Shh. Listen.

(We then had five minutes of him saying “shh…shhh…DID YOU HEAR THAT?” over and over. I heard NOTHING.)

Dad: You’re just pretending you don’t hear that.
Me: Why would I do that? That seems like a mean prank to pull.
Dad: It IS April Fools’ Day.
Me: I assure you, if I wanted to be a douchebag I could do better than that.
Dad: Yeah, probably. Why do you think this bird is doing this? I think it’s someone’s pet that’s escaped and it was tested on by the government.
Me: That seems unlikely.
Dad: Oh, you don’t know the half of it.
Me: Hey, this is like that movie The Birds. Only it’s an indie version. On a low budget. It’s The Bird. It’s not very scary and no one would go to see it.

Hee! This was totally the scene at my house today.

SIDE NOTE: Dad called me up at 8pm, so about four hours later, and told me, in a VERY CONSPIRATORIAL WHISPER (I assume as to not WAKE the bird) that it had stopped the window-bashing. When I asked where the bird was, he said, “It’s in the tree, asleep. I’m keeping an eye on it.”

I’ll keep you updated with the saga of the bird. This is very exciting. I think it might have been sent by Helper Mule, honestly. Or it’s a sign of the apocalypse. Either way.


You Knew What I Was When You Picked Me Up

This is the Deathstalker scorpion. It can kill a man. Also, "Deathstalker." Most awesome name of anything, EVER.

I try to remember the scorpion when I’m going about my daily business.

You all know the story, right? I wasn’t aware until I started looking into it, but apparently it’s really, really old. Like, third-century-B.C. old. So, back in the third century, before Jesus was all water-into-wining and whatnot, people were talking about the scorpion and the frog. Or sometimes, the scorpion and the turtle, but I’m going with frog, because frogs are softer and easier to injure.

And yet we never fucking learn.

In case you didn’t click above (and LISTEN YAHOOS, I look at my clicks, and I notice you are not clicking, and that is just SO SAD, are your clickers broken? Is it the fact that, like my brother says, you all have one hand? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?) I will tell you the story of the scorpion and the frog. But, Amy-style, because listen, what’s not better, Amy-style? Very little, is the answer.

Once upon a time in a kingdom nowhere near the sea, there lived a frog. The frog was a damn dirty hippie, all “peace love DOPE!” and shit, and hopping along all willy-nilly and probably dropping acid or whatever damn dirty hippie-frogs do, I don’t know, whatever, wearing frog peace-beads and stinking up the joint with frog-patchouli or some such nonsense. One day, Hippie Frog decided, “Duuuude, I think I’ll swim over this here river, see what’s on the other side, maybe they got some better grass, you dig?” So he got all ready to do so, and a scorpion came up to him.

“Dearest frog, with your lovely scent of, oh, what is that, patchouli? How utterly delightful,” said the scorpion. “I am a very poor swimmer, being a scorpion. Perhaps you, as a frog of many talents, one of which being superior aquaticism, would be willing to give me a ride on your back across this wild and woolly river?”

Hippie Frog, even through his dope-haze, was savvy to this jive. “Whoa, wait a minute, you’re a SCORPION,” he said. “I know what will happen. I’ll get halfway across the river, and you’ll sting me and I’ll die. You can’t fool ME, scorpion-dude. I wasn’t born YESTERDAY, you know.”

The scorpion nodded sagely. “Well-played, Sir Frog, well-played indeed. Yes, it is true. I, as a scorpion, am known for my fearsome stinger. Yet, it would not behoove me to sting you while we were crossing the river. We would both perish, if I were to do that; so, you can see, you have nothing to lose, and only my friendship to gain, by assisting me in my traveling task. I promise your safety, my good man, on our mutual river crossing. On that you have my word as a scorpion. My, but those are lovely beads, did you get them at that precious corner headshop run by that psychoactive toad?”

Well, Hippie Frog so wanted to be helpful. And the scorpion had a good point! And he had PROMISED! And what if, after the river crossing, he and the scorpion could become friends? It would be like a little project! He could win where everyone else had failed! It would be epic! Songs would be sung! Stories would be told!

“Hop on scorpion-friend,” the frog said. “Let’s get to swimmin’.”

So Hippie Frog started swimming, his head full of dreams: oh, the friendship he and his BFF the scorpion would have! The picnics they would go on together! The inside jokes they would crack! The double dates they would venture out upon! People would be so jealous of such a close friendship; even more so, because the frog had been brave, and had won over the scorpion. Hippie Frog knew that everyone said the scorpion was bad news, but that was just idle talk, nothing more. I mean, seriously, dude! This was going – pun most definitely intended – SWIMMINGLY!

OUCH. SHIT. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT.

“Um, scorpion-dude, did you just sting me?” Hippie Frog asked, his head starting to get fuzzy, his arms and legs starting to fail in their perfect froggy breaststroke. “Why? Why? You promised. YOU PROMISED!”

“Ah, yes, that I did,” the scorpion said, and Hippie Frog thought he even seemed a little sad as his eyesight started to go and they both started to go under. “But, Sir Frog, I’m a scorpion. You knew that, going into it. It’s in my nature.”

Now, this story’s been told in a variety of ways, and in a variety of places – the movie Natural Born Killers (LOVE), the movie The Crying Game (remember how we all tried not to spoil that for each other when it first came out? Aw, weren’t we all so cute, pre-interwebs?), the movie Skin Deep (no idea what this even is and don’t care enough to research it) and Star Trek: Voyager (sorry, not a Star Trek person, but I’m sure someone reading this is and remembers it from there.) I, oddly enough, first heard it in a sermon in church, so you know it was a long time ago, before me stepping foot into church would mean me going up in a pillar of flame. Yeah, I know. I have no idea what it was referring to, or how it tied into God or whatever. I just remember listening to the story and thinking shit, but that explains a lot, yo.

There’s also the snake/girl version, which I actually like even more:

A girl finds a viper freezing to death in the snow. “Please,” the snake says, with its last breath. “Please, pick me up and put me in your coat. If you do not, surely I will die.”

The girl is afraid, and rightfully so. I mean, she’s not a honey badger. Venom would kill her, not just make her take a brief nap.

“I can’t, you’ll bite me and I’ll die,” she says.

“No, I would never,” the snake says. “I’d be eternally grateful to you for saving my life. Please. Please help me. You’re my only hope.”

The girl, who wants to be a good girl, always and forever, and you know, like girls do, can’t turn down a plea for help, because that’s just BAD and that’s just WRONG, scoops up the snake and nestles it close to her heart, and begins to walk home, so proud of herself for how giving and kind and righteous she is.

After a bit, the snake begins to warm up. After a bit more, the snake opens its jaws and sinks its teeth into the girl’s breast.

As the girl sinks to her knees in the snow, she cries, “Why? I saved you. I saved you. Why would you do this to me?”

Simply, the snake says, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

I think of this story a lot.

I think of this story when someone tells me that the guy they’ve been living with for two years, who’s always been kind of a cock and always been kind of yelly is STILL a cock and is STILL yelly and it finally got to the point where they couldn’t take it anymore so they moved out and why didn’t he change? Why didn’t he stop being a cock? Why didn’t he stop being yelly?

Verdict: You knew he was a scorpion when you moved in with him.

I think of this story when someone says they were roped into an online scheme and got their entire bank account wiped out, and YES, it seemed like a really, really good deal, but they just thought, hey, I finally got lucky, for once! It’s my turn! It’s my time! And they heard horror stories from people who went through similar things, but they were all, IT WON’T HAPPEN TO ME!

Verdict: You knew it was a scorpion when you gave it your bank account information.

I think of this story when someone says they met someone who had a girlfriend, and they were the “other woman” for a while, and then he finally broke up with his girlfriend, and things were SO STELLAR ZOMG for a while, and they were SO HAPPY, and then he started being shady, and getting a lot of texts, and making these weird phone calls, and having to work late, and then he broke up with them for ANOTHER WOMAN.

Verdict: You knew he was a scorpion when you started sleeping with him behind his girlfriend’s back.

I think of this story when someone tells me that their heart is broken because they fell in love with someone who flat-out TOLD them they didn’t want a relationship, that it was just a friends-with-benefits thing, but they thought, “NO! It’ll CHANGE! He’ll fall in LOVE with me, once we’ve been doing this long enough! He’s just SAYING that! It’s what guys SAY!”

Verdict: You knew he was a scorpion when he straight-up told you his intentions for the relationship and you chose to ignore them.

Now, not every situation is a “you knew he was a scorpion” situation. Sometimes, the scorpions hide and lurk and they don’t announce themselves. Sometimes, you’re dating someone for a while and then BAM you find out they’ve had a girlfriend or wife the whole time. In that case, you DIDN’T know he was a scorpion. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. However, now that you KNOW he is a scorpion, you cannot blame anyone but yourself for sticking around waiting to get stung again.

Or sometimes, the person wasn’t a scorpion the whole time! Sometimes, the person just POW! BECOMES a scorpion! It is not predictable, and again, NOT YOUR FAULT. But now you know. And once you know, IT IS TIME TO GO. Don’t beat yourself up; just pack your bags and hit the road, Jack or Jacqueline, you don’t need to be hanging around there waiting for the stinger to drop. If you do, you’re going to be sinking to the bottom of the river like that dirty patchouli-reeking hippie-frog.

The problem, as I see it, is that we, as a species, both men and women, like to think we’re special. We’re brought up (more so now, not so much, say, in my parents’ generation) that we’re all such special damn snowflakes. And, when presented with a challenge, or a project, or a “climb every mountaaaiiiiinnnnn”, or whatever, we want to be the one. We want to say, “Yeah, Jimmy was a total player, until he met me. And then I was THE ONE! And he totally calmed right down, and now he’s just the best family man!” Or “Jane was all career and dating when I met her, but once we got together, she’s all about being a mom and I mean, seriously, smokin’-hot, too, am I right? She’s ALL MINE and I am WINNING.” We want to be the one who wins; we want to be the only one who could tame the scorpion. WE ARE INDIVIDUAL AND SPECIAL AND UNIQUE DAMMIT.

We like a project, we like a fixer-upper, because then we can say we did it, we fixed it up, we can take pride in having done that, we can be the winner, it is ours now. And we like to be the ONLY one who could do that.

Thing is, it blows up in our faces, more often than not. It’s an effing scorpion, you idiot. It’s not going to calm down. You’re not the Scorpion Whisperer. I mean, I suppose there’s a chance you MIGHT be, but that chance is pretty remote. Like, snowball-in-hell, melting-all-over, isn’t-this-just-like-the-worst-mess-you’ve-ever-seen remote.

I’m totally a victim of this. I’m not going to lie and tell you “I AM TOTALLY ABOVE ALL OF THIS SO LISTEN TO WHAT I SAY I AM THE BEST THING.” Nope. I’m not always the most SYMPATHETIC to the people who pick up scorpion after scorpion, but I’m a victim of it too, sorry to tell you. I’m not Superwoman. I like a project. I like to win. I get sucked into bringing the scorpion across the friggin’ river time and again, I’ll admit it right up front. Just when I think I recognize the scorpion right away, the scorpion changes and comes at me in a different scorpion-disguise and I’m all “HEADDESK! OH, YOU STUPID TRICKY-ASS SCORPION.”

But I try to remember the scorpion. I try to tell myself, listen, THAT IS A SCORPION. Because if you pick up a scorpion, there really is no one to blame but yourself. You can’t blame a scorpion; that’s its nature. Here, I’ll give it to you in all-caps, set apart from everything else:

A SCORPION IS GOING TO STING YOU.

Whether you’re a hippie-frog or a girl with a snake in her coat or a grown-ass woman, you’re going to get stung.

Solution: watch out for the scorpions. If you listen, they announce themselves. Then get the hell away from the scorpions.

Seems simple, but isn’t always. Your stupid heart often gets in the way. But I promise: you’re better off not carrying scorpions across the river or snakes in your coat. The outcome is kind of already determined for you.

I mean, except if you’re a hippie-frog, then maybe you deserved it. Patchouli is the worst.


My Mother, She Killed Me; My Father, He Ate Me: Or, Why I am A Weirdo Crazyperson

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.

Fairy tales.

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.)

Snow White

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.

Cinderella

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.

Bluebeard

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!


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