Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cinderella, By Tom Mollica

Note: Kookie aunts, beer, a sleeping beauty named "Cinderella" -- I enjoyed this irreverent tale.

“Another toast to little Cinderella,” Aunt Ruby voiced as she raised her frothy mug of beer in the air.
“One more then I have to go,” Aunt Beulah replied. “Lee Roy is going to be here any minute to pick me up.”
Four aunts had been toasting the newborn Cinderella and her mother, Queenie since they arrived and tapped a keg of beer. Queenie invited her sisters to view her new baby. A fifth aunt, Gertrude was there but not joining in the toasting. Aunt Gertrude believed alcohol was the root of all evil.
“You should stop your consumption of the wicked alcohol,” she preached. “The Lord frowns upon those whose lips touch the sinful brew. Consider yourselves lucky that he does not smat you down as you swill down the juice of the devil like thirty camels on the Gobi Dessert.”
“Oh chill out, Gerty,” Aunt Ruby said. “You have been a stick in the mud all night. Why don’t you make yourself useful and pump the keg so we can tap more beers.”
“We’re just having fun, right Cinderella?” Queenie voiced and touched Cinderella’s little hand. The baby curled her tiny fingers around Queenie’s thumb. “The kid’s got a good grip. In a few years she’ll be on my bowling team and drinking beers with us too.”

“She will do no such thing!” Aunt Gertrude barked. “This baby shall not drink alcohol like you four inebriated donkeys. I am placing a spell upon her. The first taste she has of the evil drink will make her go to sleep for a full year.”
“Oh brother, Gerty,” said Aunt Ruby.
Aunt Beulah circled her index finger next to her temple. “Cookoo, Cookoo.”

Cinderella looked at the ring her prince of a boyfriend, David had given her. What she thought was to be a dinner date to celebrate her twenty-first birthday also turned out to be a dinner where David had asked her to marry him. The ring, cleaned off as David had hid it inside her double baked potato to accentuate the surprise glistened.
“Of course I will marry you, David,” she cooed.
David motioned to the waiter who carried a bottle of champagne. “Let us have a drink of this bubbly to celebrate. Now that you are twenty-one you can have your first drink of alcohol.”
The waiter popped the cork and poured champagne into the lovebird’s champagne flutes. David raised his glass. “A toast to the most beautiful woman in Milwaukee.”

Raising her glass, Cinderella replied. “And a toast to the best guy not only in Milwaukee but in the entire state of Wisconsin.” She took a sip of the champagne and immediately fell fast asleep with her head dropping face first into a bowl of pistachio ice cream she had ordered for dessert.
David looked at the waiter. “Well she does not drink a lot.”

Cinderella lay in the rollaway bed in the middle of Queenie’s living room. She had been asleep for a month. Doctor Schuber looked in her ear with a small flashlight.
“There seems to be nothing wrong with her other than she is sleeping,” the doctor stated. “Has she ever had malaria?”

“No,” Queenie answered
“Has she ever eaten pork that was undercooked?” the doctor questioned.

“Does she wear a girdle?”

“Doe she belong to a civil war reenactment club?”

“Has she ever shot out of a cannon at the circus?”

“Fell off the flying trapeze at the circus?”

“Fell off an elephant at the circus?”

“She’s never been in the circus,” Queenie replied, getting a little impatient.
“Has anyone ever put a spell on her?”

“Her Aunt Gertrude put a spell on her when she was one week old. The spell stated if she ever drank alcohol she would go to sleep for a year.”
“Was the champagne the first alcohol she has consumed?”

“I believe so,” Queenie answered.

“Well that’s it then,” Doctor Shuber stated. “In eleven months she will wake up.” The doctor pulled out a pad of paper and scribbled on it. “Here’s my bill. Tell her when she wakes to take aspirin if she has a headache. Good day.”

“Wait, wait, Doctor Shuber. Is there anything we can do to make her wake sooner?”

Doctor Shuber scrunched up his face. “Let me think back to my days of medical school. I had a class, an introduction to spell breaking. He placed both index fingers on each temple, closed his eyes then opened them. “Yes, yes. Here is the cure. Her true love must kiss her on the lips while wearing a Mexican sombrero.”

“You learned this in medical school?” Queenie questioned.
“Either there or on a Bug’s Bunny cartoon when I was a youngster.”
“But her true love David is in jail,” Queenie voiced. “He has been there since their fateful dinner. The police think he poisoned Cinderella to collect her fortune.”

Doctor Shuber looked around the small, meager home. “I am not a lawyer but don’t you have to be actually married before you can collect your spouses fortune?”

That night with the help of her sisters, Queenie arranged a jailbreak of David. Tying a chain to the jail cell’s bars and the other to Aunt Ruby’s wood paneled Buick station wagon the women tore the bars off the cell’s window. Eager to escape after a month of captivity, David quickly climbed out the opening. Now he stood wearing a Mexican sombrero and looking at the sleeping Cinderella.
“Can I catch what she has?” David asked.
“I do not think so but would you like to wear these,” Doctor Shuber answered and gave David a pair of bright red wax lips.
David eyed the lips. “No. I do not need those. I will risk it for my little petunia.” He bent over and gave Cinderella a big smooch on the lips.

Cinderella’s eyes opened and she looked around the room.

Queenie smiled. “Well good morning sleepy head.”

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