As part of my Higher English, I had to produce a piece of creative writing. This was around 1997 or 1998, when I was sixteen or seventeen, and I was heavily influenced by the things I was watching on TV at that time – Father Ted, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, Not The Nine O’Clock News, the Monty Python films – and the music I was listening to, especially Iron Maiden, The Bloodhound Gang, and early punk and new wave. This was the time when the “Best Punk Album Ever” and “No. 1 All-Time Punk Album” and their ilk were being released.
When my teacher read my submission she handed it back saying she couldn’t mark it, that she didn’t know how to mark it. It defied and ignored virtually all literary convention in the pursuit of humour and pop culture references. Hell, the entire plot came from a joke I got out a book and expanded. It’s very silly, not least because it was supposed to contribute to my final English exam, but you might like it. Here it is:
“A TWIST IN THE (FAIRY) TALE”
The lost work of Hans Christian Anderson
Discovered and translated by Jordan R.A. Mills.
NB: If you find this story offensive, you’re not cool.
He was a dark and stormy knight. Astride his jet-black horse, he travelled throughout the European Union saving villages from dragons, rescuing princesses from horrible fates and generally being an all-round good guy. In reality, he wasn’t very dark and stormy, but got the name due to his suit of armour, which was black with a picture of a thunder storm etched into the breastplate. He had been travelling now for several days and nights in search of a little village called Flubbelum (hey, if Lewis can get away with Narnia, I can call my village Flubbelum), which he had been summoned to rid of a dragon.
Approaching a castle, he noticed a man wearing absolutely nothing, except for a suit of armour complete with matching helmet and sword. However, as this man has nothing to do with this story, lets ignore him. The knight, whose name was Prince Listerine, approached the castle door and rang the bell. A serf opened the door and Listerine asked for directions to Flubbelum. “It’s six miles as the cock crows”. Listerine thanked him and left, arriving in Flubbelum the next day.
Flubbelum was quite a big wee village, surrounded by fields of green (what other colour do fields come in?) which were full of grazing sheep. Or at least, they wuld have been full of grazing sheep, had the dragon not eaten them all. So instead, the fields were full of broken-hearted Welshmen and Aberdonians. Unlike many other villages, Flubbelum had its own small but fully-operational castle, complete with King, Prince and Princess.
As he rode up to the castle, the door opened and out rode King Bob, Prince Engelbert and Princess Claire-Rayna.
“Who are you?” challenged the king.
“The new number two” answered Listerine.
“Who is number one?”
“You are number six”
“I am not a number, I am a free man! Hold on – I’m the king. Of course I’m not a prisoner. What is your name?”
“I am Listerine of Smeg”
“What is your favourite colour?”
“What is your quest?”
“I seek the holy grail”
“Oh wait, no. Sorry, got confused.”
“You have come to kill the dragon?”
“Father”, interrupted the princess, “that’s no way to talk about our late mother.”
“But daughter, on her last birthday she blew on the cake and lit the candles. And I’m not talking about her, I’m talking about the dragon who has wiped out half the population of our village.”
“I have” said Listerine, totally disregarding the above father-daughter exchange and answering King Bob’s earlier question.
Inside, the castle was cramped. It had only four rooms – three bedrooms and a combined living room/ kitchen/ dining room/ servant’s quarters/ barn – where a lowly servant boy (aged twenty and named Spizz) was cleaning the fireplace and singing to himself.
“I just wish I was queer so I could get chicks, Chicks dig guys that are queer guys that don’t dig chicks that don’t dig guys like me, See I’m not queer, I’m too ugly
But if I were handsome, just imagine how great it would be, Incognito as a gay though but not actually that way though, pseudo homo phoney,
Maybe it’s a stupid theory or maybe just stupidity…” he sang, stopping abruptly as the king entered the others with the others.
“And here we are” said the king. “Welcome to my humble pie”.
“Home” whispered Claire-Rayna.
“Home. Humble home”.
“No sire, it’s home sweet home. And who, pray, is this?” he asked, indicating Spizz.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven…” began Engelbert.
“What are you doing, son?” asked King Bob.
“Praying, like Listerine told me to.”
“D’oh!” retorted Bob, in a perfect imitation of Homer Simpson. It was at this point that Listerine realised that the King’s character was not going to be developed, and that he was thus superfluous to the plot. So he took his big, massive, huge, big sword and ran him through. Nobody minded though, because, as I have said, the King’s role wasn’t that important anyway. The only protest came from Engelbert, who yelled “Oh my God, you killed daddy! You bastard!” in an hilarious South Park stylee.
“This, kind sir, is Spizz, our servant” said Engelbert.
“And why is he called that” enquired Listerine.
“Because that is his name.”
“No, fool, what made his parents chose that name?”
“Well”, interrupted Claire-Rayna, “I believe that his name backwards is pronounced ‘zips’, which is a pastiche on the ‘buttons’ character from Cinderella – especially as Spizz probably fancies me but doesn’t have a cat in Hell’s chance. Spizz also ties in with everyone’s favourite punk band, Spizz Energi.”
“He says very little” observed Listerine.
“That’s because he’s very shy and only speaks Russian”.
“Oh right. Well, I’m fed up with the way this story is going. Let’s cut to the chase. Will you marry me?”
“I’m afraid you have to kill the dirty, great, huge, big, people-eating dragon first.”
“Hmm. Okay then.”
As they left to go in search of the aforementioned dragon, Spizz resumed his song (which can be found on the CD “One Fierce Beer Coaster” by The Bloodhound Gang, alongside classics such as “Lift Your Head Up High and Blow Your Brains Out”).
“If I was a queerbee in the fashion industry, Scoring with a supermodel would be easy, Cause Supermodel means ‘voluptuous’ but also is synonymous with ‘super-dumb’
Ya see I’d be a good listener so she’d treat me like a sister and soon I’d become, That trusted friend that cares, that rubs her back and braids her hair, No it wouldn’t be a week before I’m in her underwear, I wish I was queer so I could get chicks.”
We leave the sad, depressing and perverted world of Spizz to travel through time and space to arrive in another time and another place – one hour later and one mile away from the entrance to the dragon’s cave. “You’d better go it alone from here” said Claire-Rayna. “Yes, we’ll wait here for you” agreed her brother (her brother is Prince Engelbert, in case I hadn’t made that clear). “I agree” said Listerine, mounting his horse and riding off into the sunset (boulevard) where the dragon’s cave was.
One line later, at the dragon’s cave.
Listerine entered the cave. It was dark inside. He removed a torch from the wall. Unfortunately, the batteries were dead, and the nearest Duracell shop was several hundred years in the future. He made his way to the back of the cave (which he correctly assumed to be in the opposite direction from the front), feeling his way along the walls of the
————— ve – THUD!
He had fallen. Luckily, like a cat, he always landed on his feet. Today, however, was different – he had landed on something else’s foot. It was the foot of something large and green and scaly……………………………… a dragon’s foot (Dan de dan dan DAAAAA!).
The dragon’s foot, as you might expect, was at the foot of a dragon – a whopping great, huge, big, enormous, humungous, people-eating, antisocial and downright not-very-nice dragon.
“Ouch” said the dragon, exhaling a large fireball from his nostrils.
“Goodness gracious, great balls of fire” remarked a rather scared Listerine.
“Well what else do you expect from a dragon?”
“But of course, I’ve discovered it is by far the best means of communication.”
“Good point, Sir very-awfully-nice dragon, sir.”
“I found that rather patronising.”
“ “. Listerine was speechless. He was in a dark cave, looking up into the face of a forty-foot long dragon (who, incidentally, still had traces of smoke emerging from his nostrils) and was being accused of being patronising. Much like a doughnut seven feet in diameter, he found it hard to swallow. Eventually he composed himself and managed to speak again.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news for you”.
“Oh yes? What bad news might this be?”
“It might be that Labour’s in government, but its not.”
“So what IS the bad news then?”
“I’m going to have to kill you.”
“You may have noticed that I am quite a bit taller than you and a grand sight heavier too. Do you honestly think that I’m scared of you?”
“I’ll be leaving now, if you could just show me to the door…”
“Have you to kill me because of all those people and sheep that disappeared from Flubbelum?”
“That’s right, yes.”
“Oh, that IS a relief. You see, even as we speak, the people of Flubbelum are working in my secret factory, making a cure for cancer out of the naughty bits of sheep.”
“No, of course not. I ate them, obviously.”
“So why haven’t you eaten me?”
“You’re wearing armour, and I don’t like tinned food. I’m not feeling that well anyway.”
Listerine took some aspirin from his pocket and gave them to the dragon to ease his pain. The dragon accepted them gratefully, and took seven of them just to make sure.
“Are they taking effect?”
“Well, the pain seems to be going.”
“So you feel okay now?”
“I feel a lot bette-aaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh!” With that, the dragon keeled over and died, kicking the bucket, turning his toes up, popping his clogs and cashing in his chips as he did so.
“Oops” said Listerine, reading the dosage guide on the back of the packet.
‘Give one to kids, two to adults, but for any favour don’t give any to dragons. Did you read that, Bozo? That’s right, you give one of these to a dragon, it can have instantaneous harmful side effects. Like killing him.’
“D’oh! Silly me. Still, I’ve done what I came here to do and not a speck of blood on me.”
He laughed. A cold, chilling laugh. And he left the cave still laughing.
Another line later, a mile away from the cave.
“Ah, you’re back” said the princess, stating the obvious.
“Yes, and my front as well” croaked Listerine, hoarse from laughing so much.
“Well how did it go? Is the dragon dead?”
“Super! What-ho!” cried Prince Engelbert in an outrageously camp way.
“Engelbert!” scolded the princess “I’ve told you before about not saying that – it makes you sound as bent as a nine-bob note.”
“Actually, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you sis…”
“I’m free!” yelled Listerine, in his best John Inman impression. “Now let’s return to the castle and see if anyone has seen Mrs Slocombe’s pussy.”
Back at the castle, a few humourless double entendres about Mrs Slocombe’s pussy later
“It’s not fair” said Claire-Rayna to Spizz, when they were back at the castle and alone. “The only two really good-looking blokes left in the kingdom and they’re both engaged. To each other.”
“Fear not, fair maiden” (corny or what?) “All is not lost, for I know of another young, free, single male who is not only heterosexual but also fancies you something awful.”
“Who’s that then?” (Well, DUH!)
“It’s me, dear princess. Can’t you see that I’m madly in love with you? Will you marry me?”
“Well, seeing as it’s either you or spinsterhood, how can I possibly refuse?”
“Yeah! Listerine turned out to be a queen and that’s what makes this great, I pulled the ‘burd’ and caused no hurt just because I’m straight!” he sang.
And so the two princes “married” (why did you think it’s called a FAIRY tale??), as did Spizz and Claire-Rayna. With the dragon dead, the people of Flubbelum rejoiced and, under the reign of a new king and queen THREE queens, they all lived happily ever after.
Except the dragon, who was dead.
And let’s not mention all the sheep or the people that the dragon ate prior to its death.
Oh yeah, best forget the King too, although his death was kind of justified in a humourous manner.
– The End –
…Or is it? Yes, it is.
PS: After writing this story, Hans Christian Anderson traded in his last two names for
one – Olo. As Hans Olo, he went on to have enormous success in three blockbuster movies, the names of which escape me…
Not really, I’m of course referring to Star Wars.
After discovering, translating and dramatising this story, Jordan Mills went on to… Ah, who cares?
This story was made with parodies of the following:
Not The Nine O’Clock News
The Fast Show
Are You Being Served?
“A Twist In The (Fairy) Tale” is part of the Children’s Television Workshop. Honest.
(C) Copyright 1997