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(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Take Famous Stories And Set Fire To Them #1: Hansel & Gretel

Take Famous Stories And Set Fire To Them is a recurring feature wherein we take familiar, many-times-told, many-times-heard stories, and explore them and their themes from a new angle, uncovering hidden meanings or unexpected depths, by setting them on fire.

Hansel and Gretel were children. Their mom was dead, their dad was a poor woodsman who could barely support his new wife and she was like, "these kids, they'll be the ruin of us Gunter, we must lead them into the woods and leave them there." Hansel and Gretel heard the plan from the room next door, so they thwarted it twice: first with pebbles but the next time with pieces of bread, which didn't work because: birds. So they thwarted it once. The second time, they were lost in the woods. "Whatever shall we do, Hansel? We shall surely starve," said Gretel, but Hansel said pluckily, and sure enough soon enough they came upon a Gingerbread Cottage. The witch who lived there caught them both and it surely would have been the end of them, except SUDDENLY I JUMPED OUT AND SET THE WHOLE STORY ON FIRE! THE GINGERBREAD COTTAGE BURNT TO BLACKENED, GRAPE-NUTS-LIKE CRUMBS! ITS SUGAR-GLASS WINDOWS CRACKED AND BLACKED WITH SMOKE! THE WITCH, ROASTED ALIVE! HANSEL AND GRETEL, COOKED LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN! THE ENTIRE FOREST WHERE THE CHILDREN WANDERED, BURNED TO STUMPS AND ASH! EVEN THE CHILDREN'S FATHER AND STEP-MOTHER COULD NOT ESCAPE THE CONFLAGRATION AS IT ROARED, INFERNO-LIKE TO SURROUND AND TRAP THEM IN THEIR JOYLESS HOUSE!

The End.


Mel said...

Once upon a time Lieutenant John C. Fremont explored California from 1843 to 1846 and was said to have camped overnight in a redwood in the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, but when he returned to the area in 1888, and was asked if it were true, he said, "It makes a 'great' story, let it stand." BUT THEY DIDN'T, THEY SET FIRE TO IT.

The story that is, not the tree.

The end.

dogimo said...

I just googled "It makes a great story let it stand" and got a bunch of results all to do with Fremont and his so-called "great story." None of them seem to have anything more to the "story" than someone asking "Hey did you sleep in that tree?" The words vary.

I don't see how this makes a great story. Hey Mel, did you sleep in that tree?

Oh wait. Actually, that does kind of make a great story. Maybe we expect more from the ancient and famous stories handed down. After all, to him right there in the moment, being asked, it may well have been a great story.

dogimo said...

I wonder if you snuck a sleeping bag in there and pretended to be asleep during park ours, and maybe put a sign up saying "SHHHH!!! It's going to be a 'great story' let it lie!" - I wonder how long it'd be before somebody evicted you?

dogimo said...

I just realized we're wearing the same hat.

Mel said...

I think the trick to getting away with sleeping in the tree would be to dress up in authentic, ye-olde attire, and claim you were part of a "re-enactment". To avoid being bothered by tourists, you'd have to have a sign out front, near the "great" sign, explaining how you were embodying the spirit of the intrepid John C. Fremont and that they could look in but weren't to disrupt your slumber in the interest of historical accuracy.

I read his complete wiki and wow it's quite a tale. He was the result of "criminal intercourse" between his mother and her tutor, a French-Canadian immigrant who had escaped from a British prison. She was 17 at the time of the affair,and married to a 60 year old, it was her husband who had hired the tutor (seriously please, what did he think was going to happen). The husband applied for divorce but the House of Delegates (whoever they are) refused it so John was born out of wedlock.

There's a cool quote in the wiki where Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (whoever he is) said after the report of Fremont's first expedition "Frémont has touched my imagination. What a wild life, and what a fresh kind of existence! But ah, the discomforts!" I'm assuming he means the sleeping in trees bit.

There's also a cool part that says the city of Elizabeth, South Australia named a local park and high school Fremont in recognition of the sister city relationship it had with Fremont, California. The high school has since merged with Elizabeth High School, so Fremont's legacy is carried by Fremont-Elizabeth City High School. I should try to see the park when I'm there in May!

dogimo said...

Great story, Mel!

TimT said...

Once there was this cool blog called Asurfaceofinfiniteshallowness AND THEN I JUMPED OUT AND SET THE WHOLE THING ON FIRE AN INFINITE FURNACE OF RAGING CHAOS and it was even cooler IN A HOT WAY and Dogimo and Mel and me all bought out our marshmallows and toasted them in the flames OF DESTRUCTION the end.

(Hey Dogimo. Long time no.... blogsee.)

dogimo said...

Great story, Tim!

Hey, you and Mel are both 'straylan. Dya know each other?

Now I need marshmallows.