Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: A not-so-grim fairy tale

Once upon a time, in the borough of Queens, N.Y., there lived a troll named Trumpelstiltskin. He was prone to fits of pique, kicking his tiny, bone-spurred feet into the dust when angered.

Using his outsized personality and bravado, Trumpelstiltskin became legendary in the borough of Queens, less so in neighboring Manhattan, which vexed him bigly.

One day, he encountered a blonde woman, call her Marla, who had been locked in a dungeon after her father, drunk on mead, bragged to the king of Queens his daughter could spin straw into gold.

“I was really speaking metaphorically,” Marla’s dad said later. “Who knew the king was so literal? Also, totally giving up mead.”

Trumpelstiltskin got wind of this deal and snuck into the dungeon where he offered to spin straw into gold in exchange for Marla’s necklace.

“Duh, if you can spin gold, why don’t you just buy your own necklace?” she thought but didn’t say because fairy tale.

Trumpelstiltskin hired many construction workers to replace the stacks of hay with fake gold from a nearby condo he was building. When they asked to be paid, he laughed.

“Sue me,” said Trumpelstiltskin. “Instead of paying you money, please enjoy these delicious steaks which are just a little bit beyond their expiration date.”

The king, a simpleton who was easily duped, was delighted with the “gold” in his dungeon and ordered the fair Marla to make him some more.

“Whoa. It’s just never enough for you people, is it?” she muttered under her breath.

After the king left, Trumpelstiltskin said, “I like your ring. Gimme that for another roomful of (snicker) gold.”

Cheating contractors made it harder to find workers but Trumpelstiltskin lured a few with promises of overnight degrees from a “college” he owned out by the interstate.

The next day, fresh out of baubles to trade for “gold,” Marla offered to give Trumpelstiltskin her firstborn child. The king, while dim, was going to propose, she just knew it.

“We’ll name her Ivanka if it’s a girl!” he said.

“I was thinking maybe Tiffany,” said the fair maiden.

“Blech,” said Trumpelstiltskin.

And it came to pass, the maiden married the king, had a child and the troll came around to collect.

“No deal! You can’t separate a mother from her child!”

“Watch me. By the way, get rid of the baby weight. You’re more of a four these days.”

“Your hair looks like butterscotch pudding flung from a fan,” she replied icily.

Trumpelstiltskin decided to make her a deal, artfully: She could keep her baby if she could guess his weird name.

That night, she snuck across the Queensborough Bridge, following him to a seriously gaudy apartment where she watched him preen before a mirror and sing: “The queen will never win the game, for Trumpelstiltskin is my name!”

What were the odds? The next day, Queen Marla correctly guessed his name and Trumpelstiltskin was escorted out of the castle in defeat. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Celia Rivenbark finds the spectre of four more years Grimm indeed.

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