Tag Archives: Snow White

The Fairest Of Them All

The Queen of May crossed the room to the Magic Mirror, then spoke.

“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall,” she said, “who is the fairest of them all?”

The Mirror looked at the woman in front of it, at the slightly wild hair, the slightly wild eyes, the almost visible air of panic that surrounded her. It spoke.

“You are, my Queen,” it said calmly.

And there it was. The Mirror had provided the same re-assurance to every leader since the dawn of time – to Margaret the Iron-blooded, to Tony the Smooth, to Gordon the Mumbler. It had even given the same answer to King Winston the Two-fingered, who’d had a face like a bulldog that had run into a brick wall.

It called this white lie the “Yes Minister” policy, and it had enabled the Mirror to provide unbroken, in every sense of that word, public service for centuries.

The Queen of May looked relieved, then leaned forward suddenly, causing the Mirror, though it would not have thought this possible, to retreat slightly before her eager stare.

“I have a plan,” whispered the Queen.

The Mirror sighed. An unexpected part of its job was to act as confidant to rulers who felt they were could not trust anyone else, believing that they were surrounded in court by rivals conspiring against them. In fairness to the Queen of May, the Mirror felt that she had a point. She herself had become ruler less than a year previously, after all of the serious contenders to the throne had simultaneously stabbed each other in the back, leaving her standing alone and bewildered in the throne-room, slightly hurt that none of them had felt her important enough to bother with.

Since then she had proven to be a surprisingly tough leader, breaking off ties with neighbouring Europia, and bringing in more schools for the wealthy whilst cutting aid to the poor, and was planning a measure where elderly people would lose their home if they started to lose their marbles.

The Mirror was thus a bit worried about what her new plan might be, but put on what it hoped was an eager face (basically, the Queen of May’s face reflected back at her).

“Yes, my Queen?” it said.

“I want a hard Brexit,” said the Queen.

“Um, is that something like a ginger-nut?” asked the Mirror.

“Of course not,” said the Queen. “It’s a way of dealing with Europia. We’ll have none of them coming here, and we won’t be going there. It will be like having a wall around us.”

“A wall?” said the Mirror.

“Yes,” said the Queen. “I got the idea from my cousin in Yoosa.”

“The Grand Covfefe?”

“Indeed,” said the Queen.

If the Mirror had had its own eyes it would have closed them in pain. Instead it focused the Queen’s eyes back at her. “An excellent plan, my Queen,” it said.

“Oh, that’s not the plan I came to tell you about,” said the Queen. “I want to hold an election.”

The Mirror banged the back of its head against the wall in surprise. “Er, what?” it said.

“I’m giving the people the chance to show how much they love me,” said the Queen.

“Why?” asked the Mirror.

“So I can rule them more forcefully, and introduce tougher laws” said the Queen.

“O-k,” said the Mirror slowly. “But what happens if they say no?”

“I don’t understand,” said the Queen.

“What happens if they say they don’t love you?”

“Why would they say that?” snapped the Queen. “I’m strong and stable.” She turned a glare on the Mirror, a glare that was, in what the Mirror desperately hoped was just a turn of phrase, both sharp and piercing. “Aren’t I?”

“Strong,” agreed the Mirror. “Definitely.”

“And sta-”

“Look,” interrupted the Mirror. “Why risk it? Why have this, this -”

“Election,” said the Queen. “Or plebiscite, if you like.”

“Oh, dear Lord, don’t call them plebs,” said the Mirror, in the first piece of political advice it had ever offered.

“Why, Mirror,” said the Queen, “you’re worried. You needn’t be. Remember, I’m the fairest of them all, aren’t I?”

“Er, when we use the word ‘fairest’, we are talking about looks, aren’t we?”

The Queen smiled. “Say it again,” she breathed. “Tell me one more time.”

“You have to use the phrase,” said the Mirror.

“Very well,” said the Queen. “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

The Mirror sighed inwardly and was preparing to reply when suddenly it felt dizzy. Its glass clouded over and began to swirl. Slowly another face began to appear.

“Who is it?” shrieked the Queen, in so high-pitched a voice that the Mirror developed a shattering headache. “It’s not that cow Snow White, is it?”

The image slowly settled. The Queen was now looking, not at herself, but at a shy-looking man with a wispy beard and a look of slight puzzlement, like a geography teacher on the day the USSR split into fifteen countries.

“It’s Corbyn the Tie-rant!” gasped the Queen.

“Tyrant?”

“No, Tie-rant,” said the Queen. “He doesn’t wear ties.” Her shoulders slumped. “This is terrible,” she said. “I will never be able to keep my throne now.”

In the Mirror’s mind, two millennia of obsequiousness fought with the urge to make a smart remark. The millennia lost.

“Well, at least you got your policy through, my Queen,” said the Mirror. “An elderly person who’s beginning to lose her marbles is going to lose her home.”

Corbyn the Tie-rant

The Queen of May

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

After Ever After

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “happiness”…

************************************************

It was the kind of bar that echoed regularly  to the clink of pool-cue hitting pool-ball, and almost equally regularly to the thwack of pool-cue hitting head. It was the kind of bar that had a juke-box that played only country & western music, sad songs about how someone’s woman done left them. It was the kind of bar filled with men whose women had done left them, precisely because they were the kind of men who drank in that kind of bar.

It wasn’t actually called The Bar Brawl, but it might as well have been.

It was the last place you would expect to find her, but there, on a high-stool at the counter, swigging back her fifth beer from the bottle, sat Snow White.

Two years had passed since her dramatic awakening at the hands, well, the lips of the Prince. The wedding had been wonderful, the palace was spectacular, Princessness was the businessness. But she was married to a guy that she had met just once, after she had heard him sing “One Song, I Have But One Song”.

She hadn’t realised then that he meant that literally.

He sang the song in the shower, hummed it whilst driving in the carriage, whistled it while he worked. She now hated it with a deep, deep hatred, the kind of hatred people normally reserve only for My Heart Will Go On.

And she was starting to hate him. They had nothing in common – he liked falconry (hunting with falcons) archery (hunting with archers) and husbandry (hunting with other husbands). She, having been hunted herself, did not. She had to drink endless amounts of tea with ladies of high breeding who moaned about their servants, smelled strongly of gin and hinted that they were having it off with their gardener.

Dinner-time conversation between herself and the Prince, along the length of a thirty-foot table, was along the lines of “How was your day?”, “Fine”, and then silence.

So this night she had taken off, stormed from the castle and marched into this bar. It had fallen silent when she entered, thirty sets of eyes looking suspiciously at her. Then someone had said “well, hello, doll”, and patted her on the bum. She had punched him in the face.

The bar relaxed, the man she had punched laughed and bought her a beer. She was in.

Now she drained her bottle, and nodded to the bar-owner.

“I’ll have another,” she said.

“Make that two,” said a voice. The Prince sat down on the stool beside her.

“How did you know I’d be here?” she said, astonished.

“Because I know you, better than you think I do,” he said. “I know that you’re just a simple girl at heart, and I know that the Royal life is not easy for you. I know that you’re not happy.”

“No, but I know that I should be,” she said. “We all live happily ever after. The story says so.”

“Yet none of us are happy,” said the Prince.

“Well, Happy is,” said Snow White.

“Ok, apart from him,” said the Prince. “The thing is, the story stopped there. It never told us how to be a couple.”

“Exactly,” she said. “We’re not really a husband and wife. We don’t even, er….”

“I wasn’t sure if you’d want to,” said the Prince. “The story doesn’t say ‘and they all shagged happily ever after’. I didn’t know how to bring it up.”

She giggled, and he blushed. “Ok, that sentence needed thinking through before I said it,” he said. He looked into her eyes.  “I do love you, you know,” he said softly.

She returned his look , then smiled . “I’ll give you a game of darts,” she said.

They played darts, then pool. They had a belching contest, which she won with a thundering rumble that earned her whoops of appreciation from the entire bar.

They walked home hand in hand. He told her about his plans for the kingdom, the first time he had done so, and listened seriously to suggestions that she made about them. She told him that she believed a princess could do so much more, and again he listened. She told him she never wanted to hear “One Song” ever again.

“I thought it was our song,” he said.

“Nope,” she said, “let’s stick to Wind Beneath My Wings like normal couples.”

They went home. They went to bed.

A year later (it doesn’t work the first time, that would just be a fairy tale) she sat cradling her new-born baby, Snow Whiter.

“Are you happy?” asked the Prince.

“Oh, yes,” she said.

“And I am too,” he said, and a twinkle came into his eye, “about one love,” he continued, “only for you”.

Liar Liar

At last Saturday’s Workshop in the Irish Writers Centre we were given this prompt: “A woman knocks on the door of another woman’s house. She lies to get what she wants. Does she get it?”  I know I’ve slagged her before, but there’s only one possible person this could be about….

************************************************

She was told not to open the door. She was told not to speak to anyone. She was told, most definitely, not to let anyone in.

So when the knock came on the door she opened it, spoke to the person outside, and then invited her in.

Snow White wasn’t very bright.

The Queen, who had changed her appearance into that of an old crone, said “hello, dearie,” because she believed that’s the kind of thing that old crones say.

“Hello, old woman,” said Snow White, because she had never been to finishing school.

“Are you alone?” asked the Queen.

“At the moment, yes,” said Snow White. “The seven men I live with have all gone to work.”

“She lives with seven men?” thought the Queen. “Wow, what a slapper.”

“What are you doing in these woods?” asked Snow White.

“I sell apples,” said the Queen, showing her a basket.

Other women might have asked themselves how you could possibly eke out a living selling apples in a forest that had only one cottage in it, but Snow White was the kind of girl to whom the height of intellectual thought was that one day her prince would come. She was the fairy-tale equivalent of a WAG.

“They look really lovely,” she said. “Can I have one?”

“Yes, of course. Try this lovely red one,” said the Queen, holding out the apple which she had filled with poison.

“I prefer the green ones,” said Snow White.

This possibility had not occurred to the Queen, because nobody throughout history had ever preferred green apples to red ones before.

“Er, no, you don’t want a green one,” said the Queen. “They, um, show traces of horsemeat,” she finished desperately.

“Very well,” said Snow White, who soon wouldn’t be. She took a bite, then staggered about clutching at her throat as it’s recommended that you do when you’ve been poisoned, despite the fact that it doesn’t in any way help.

“Why?” she gasped.

“Because with you dead I’ll be the fairest of them all again,” said the Queen.

“Seriously?” said Snow White, looking at her gapped teeth, her hooked nose and her pebble-dashing of warts. “I haven’t met any of the other girls in this kingdom, but they must be a right collection of mingers.”

“Oh, just hurry up and die,” snapped the Queen.

Suddenly the door burst open and the seven dwarves rushed in. They saw that Snow White was dying and they all looked expectantly at Doc. Doc, however, was actually a Doctor of Fish Psychology, a quack qualification that he had picked up via a correspondence course, so he just stared helplessly. To everyone’s surprise it was Bashful who rushed forward, just as Snow White was gasping her last, and performed the Heimlich Manoeuvre.

Around her knees, unfortunately. After all, he was a dwarf.

But what was effectively a rugby tackle caused Snow White to fall forward, her chest hit the kitchen table and the piece of apple popped out.

The Queen ran out the door and, shedding her apples, her basket and her disguise, fled deep into the forest.

That was where she came face to face with the Prince. Her shoulders slumped in defeat, and she resignedly awaited her fate.

But the Prince had been searching for Snow White for months now and in truth was getting a bit tired of the quest. So when he saw the Queen, who was not only the second fairest of them all but also had a dangerous bad-girl aura about her, the Prince found himself hooked.

So the Prince found a bride, the Queen became the world’s first cougar, and Snow White settled for life with the dwarves, consoled, of course, by the fact that they owned a diamond mine.

It truly was a story where they all lived happily after.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

Every week WordPress have a photo challenge, and every week I take it on, even though my camera is broken…

*******************************************************************

… and they all lived happily ever after.

Well, Snow White did, she married a prince. And the Prince did, he married a girl whom he had kissed even though he’d thought she was dead at the time, which actually is quite disturbing if you think too hard about it.

But not everyone did.

The Queen didn’t, of course, what with falling off a cliff and all that.

And the dwarves weren’t happy.

This sentence is not, of course, strictly true, since one seventh of them was indeed Happy. But even Happy wasn’t happy, which is an upsetting paradox. It’s like being punched in the face by someone called Patience.

Part of the cause of their gloom, of course, was that they had fallen in love with Snow White and she had left them for someone younger and handsomer, and that just has to hurt.

The other problem was that their part in her rescue had brought fame to a group of men used to living quiet lives in the woods. They were interviewed by Graham Norton. They were photographed at home by Hello!. They appeared on Celebrity Big Brother. And soon the media uncovered a very important and hitherto unknown fact about them.

They owned a diamond mine. Once this got out then slowly, like sharks, the gold-diggers began to surround the diamond-diggers.

They weren’t a perfect catch, of course. Each of them seemed to have just one personality trait, and that would surely grate upon you after a while, it would be like being married to Pollyanna.

But let me stress the sentence “They Owned A Diamond Mine”.

A number of women (and indeed some men) were prepared to accept a flawed husband for the chance of a flawless diamond.

More and more lady callers began to arrive at their cottage (why seven millionaires lived together in the one cottage is a mystery, by the way, like why all of the Ewings continued to live together at Southfork). Some of the girls brought pie. Some brought pesticide, offering to rid the cottage of the birds, rabbits and squirrels that continued to infest the house even after Snow White’s departure. One simply brought a fur coat, which she opened to reveal that that was all she had brought. Bashful had nearly exploded.

They were undeterred by Grumpy’s grumpiness, by Dopey’s dopiness, even by Sneezy’s projectile snot. They wooed their way through the wood, seeking to become one of seven brides for seven little brothers.

The dwarves were rescued, though. By Snow White.

It may be every girl’s wish to marry a Prince, but Snow White had soon found that sometimes that isn’t enough. The signs had been there, of course. The Prince was so shallow that he had fallen in love with a girl just by hearing her sing, then had vanished for much of the story when she really could have used his help (perhaps she had thrown a stick for him to chase and he had fallen into a ravine). He had all the personality of a cardboard box, and eventually a life watching jousting, eating roast pig direct from the spit and behind entertained by a court jester as funny as a tooth abscess was no longer enough for a girl who had once fought an evil sorceress, or at any rate been easily duped by her .

She left him (in case you feel sorry for him, the following day he heard Kylie sing on the radio, and fell in love with her instead) and returned to the woods. With the broom with which she had kept the cottage spotless she literally beat off the opposition, and resumed her life with her true friends. And their diamond mine.

And this time, they all lived happily after.

Over and Over Again

WordPress asks What film have I seen more than any other.

What do you reckon? The Lord of the Rings? The Great Escape? Citizen Kane? One of those black-and-white indecipherable yokes where nothing happens for hours, the screen suddenly goes black and the word “fin” appears?

You forget that I am a parent.

I have seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarves about 150 times. As a baby Tinson1 loved it and all weekend every weekend we watched it together.

They say that you can have too much of a good thing, and in this case they are not wrong.

It‘s a film that does for feminism what Sex and the City does for, well, feminism. The heroine is gushing and simpering, she falls in love with the first bloke she ever sees, moves in with seven men she knows nothing about and, although those men beg her to let no-one into the house while they hi-ho off to work (they owned a diamond mine, by the way, surely they could have afforded to take even one day off to protect her), she ushers in the first woman to turn up wearing a face full of fake warts. She accepts an apple from this woman, fully believing that she is an apple-seller making a living in a forest entirely bereft of humans.

When she bites the poisoned apple and falls to the floor, you have to be a true saint not to think “well let’s face it, you asked for that”.

The queen then hardly advances the argument for feminine intellect by running from the dwarves to the very top of a cliff. In fairness to her, though, she is merely following the gene built into people throughout movie history, the one which makes them flee upwards until they are trapped. James Cagney in White Heat, Alan Rickman in Die Hard, the bad guy in the Enforcer (can‘t remember his name), King Kong in King Kong, all take flight upwards to a height from which the only means of escape is flight. Or falling, the option they invariably go for, which is quicker though less successful.

I may seem a bit callous in pouring scathe upon one of the most beloved films of all time, but you have to remember that I saw it about four times a day for many months.

Walt Disney only saw it once and had himself cryogenically frozen rather than have to watch it again.