I think it’s safe to say that most of us enjoy a good fairytale. Ugly ducklings turning into swans, frogs becoming princes; Cinderellas marrying handsome young kings and awkward stablehands winning the hand of the old king’s only daughter.
Fairytales are a little bit like the American Dream – with the added benefit that fairytales don’t need a million losers to create a handful of winners, as the A.D. does.
So, in a way, all these old stories, filled with magic and wonder, are about transformations: Humble beginnings and all kinds of adversity that lead to happy endings. Dragons and witches may be encountered & slain on the way but they are truly just extras. It’s the journey that counts – the rags to riches trail, the orphanage to ballroom voyage.
It’s a pity that our lives aren’t more like those classic fairytales. Transformations in the real world do happen often enough but are seldom as benign.
Romantic first dates become abusive husbands; your local Santa Claus has pictures of naked elves on the walls of his grotto (and the Chinese toys he gives away are poisonous anyway); hedge funds turn into tundras; cute Mouseketeers morph into bald, pill-popping drunk drivers with lingerie issues, und so weiter, und so weiter.
So, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise when we read news stories like the following one, in which a ’seemingly loving girlfriend’ who was ‘nice and beautiful and passive’ turns into the spitting image of Mike Tyson.
Okay, not so much the spitting image as the chewing image:
“A woman bit off her boyfriend’s tongue after asking him for a French kiss, a court heard. Mark Coghill said his seemingly loving girlfriend, Tracy Davies, suddenly “turned into the likes of Mike Tyson”, chewed off half his tongue and spat it out on the floor in front of him. The 45-year-old was rushed to hospital by ambulance but doctors were unable to stitch it back on. Jurors were told that when police arrived at Mr Coghill’s home, Davies handed officers the severed flesh in a small plastic bag and said: “We had a domestic and I bit his tongue off, here it is.”"
Somehow, I doubt that these two former love birds will be living happily ever after. Still, master Mark Coghill may find some, cold comfort in that old Russian proverb, that states that ‘The wise man has long ears, big eyes and a short tongue.’
That and the fact that his girlfriend asked him for a French kiss, instead of offering to give him a blow job.
(The ultimate fairytale love song…?)