Monday, 13 June 2011

Sweet Dreams

I have been following a friends travels in Europe and Asia through her facebook albums. A couple of things occurred to me, I am that creepy old guy who is living vicariously through other people and Europe is the backdrop for all of the fairy tales we grew up with. There are castles with towers, forests, mountain trails, Frogs, princes, narrow lanes, canals, fjords, draw bridges, windmills and dikes (we have those too), rivers and any number of other things that I can’t think of right now. You get the idea though.

When I say that we grew up with these fairy tales I should have said that our parents used these stories so that we would shit our pants before we would get up to go to the bathroom. Let’s just think about it for a while. Little Red Riding Hood should have been a nice story about a little girl visiting her sick grand mother. Instead it is about a girl being stalked through the woods by a vicious wolf that lies to her and then eats her grand mother, takes her place and then eats the girl. Luckily a woodcutter comes in and cuts open the wolf, at which point the grand mother and Red fall out (alive). They fill the wolf up with rocks and toss him down a well.

“Have a nice sleep Johnny! Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” What the hell is that? You put the kid in a bed knowing that there are blood sucking parasites in it. Nice parents!

Hansel and Gretle is another of those wonderful stories designed to terrorize kids throughout the ages. The family doesn’t have any money so the parents decide to take the kids into the forest and abandon them so they will starve to death. The kids hear the plan and devise a way to get back. The parents try it again the next day and succeed. The two kids wander about for a while and find a cottage made of candy. I’m thinking that they were hallucinating due to lack of food and sleep. They start eating the house and a cannibalistic witch captures them, locking them up in order to fatten them up so that they will make a good meal. Unwanted, abandoned, lost, imprisoned and about to be eaten, could things get any better? Gretel saves the day by pushing the witch into the oven and after listening to her scream in pain for a while, she releases Hansel. The two kids ransack the house and steal the valuables. They return home to their father, the mother having died in the interim. Gee, I wonder how that happened? With the money stolen from the witch they live happily ever after.

“ Just lie there until the sandman comes.” Sorry! Some man is going to sneak into the kid’s bedroom and drug them. Let’s hope that is all he plans to do. Nice parents!

Pinochio is the story of a wooden puppet that comes to life. Huh? How can this not freak out kids that have rooms filled with dolls and puppets? They have made this into a movie, “Chucky”. I still get the willies thinking about that story. I prefer any dolls and puppets in the house to be stiff and unresponsive.

No, I prefer to raise kids the modern way, keep taking away things that they love until they are all alone in an empty room with no one to talk to until they bend to your will. That is the way to raise a child. We wonder why our kids put us in a home at the first opportunity and call us once a month.

Maybe a trip to the woods might be in order…

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