Saturday, June 05, 2004

Little Red Riding-Hood Retold

The Little Red Riot-Helmet

Once upon a time in a country far away lived a little boy called Georgie. He lived in a large, beautiful house with his mama and his papa, but the family was not happy with the house. They wanted an even larger and more beautiful house. That's why one spring morning when Georgie was outside playing riot police in his brand new red helmet, his mama called him in. "Georgie Porgie", she said, "Your papa and I have an important job for you. We want you to take a basket of Bible literature and food to your dear old granny Fundie. She's not feeling well, and we need her up by the elections." "Aawww, do I hafta?" moaned Georgie.

"Yes, you do. Elections will get us a bigger house," his mama said firmly. Then she packed a basket with some inspirational fundamentalist literature, a bottle of papa's Secret Health Elixir, and several hard-boiled unborn chickens. "Now, Georgie, remember to walk straight to granny Fundie's house. Don't stay gawking in the forest. There are dangerous Democrats there and even a terrorist who eats little boys!" And after having said this, Georgie's mama pushed Georgie out of the house.

Georgie was scared of the dark woods. He had heard about dreadful happenings there; stories about hordes of horrible feminazis attacking innocent wingnuts, stories about evil people who lived off the hard-earned savings of others and who were always on the lookout for more. Georgie feared that they might steal his basket of food or his brand-new riot helmet, but he didn't believe in any terrorists. Mama was just trying to scare him!

So off into the woods went Georgie, walking very rapidly, as rapidly as he could while carrying the heavy basket. He refused to look to the right or to the left, but went straight down the path. Evening was approaching and light was falling rapidly. Georgie could hear twigs snapping in the woods and he became very afraid. To keep his spirits up, he started singing a little ditty:

I'm Georgie, my helmet is red
I'm going to granny who is sick in bed
My basket will feed her and make her sing
And then mama and papa and I will win.

This was fortunate or unfortunate for Georgie, depending on your view. A very hungry and desperate terrorist was indeed roaming the woods, looking for something to devour. He saw little Georgie, all alone in his red helmet, and thought of making a quick snack out of him, but the ditty made him plan more carefully. Here was a way of getting a real meal: both the pudgy little boy and the granny. So the terrorist quickly ran along a sidepath to granny Fundie's house and knocked on the door.

"Who's there?" croaked old granny through the door. "It's me, little Georgie, granny. I've come to see you with a basket of goodies from mama" piped the terrorist in a convincing imitation of Georgie. "Come in boy, the door is unlocked" the granny answered. The terrorist obeyed. What happened next is too awful to describe. Let's just say that granny Fundie ended up in the terrorist's stomach. The terrorist then dressed in granny's large Christian nightgown and lay down in her bed to wait for Georgie.

Georgie was unaware of all this, of course. He had been walking fast and scared and singing his ditty until he was too tired to sing. He had scratches from tree branches, and his knee hurt from a tumble caused by a nasty tree root. After that one he had taken a break and eaten all the unborn chickens. He had washed them down with papa's Elixir. Thereafter, the path seemed much shorter though curvier than before, and Georgie arrived at granny's door quite happy, except for a small fear that she might not like the basket's contents without the food and the drink. Still, what's done is done, Georgie thought, and straightened his red helmet. He knocked on the door and went in without waiting for an answer. Granny Fundie's door was always unlocked for boys like him, he knew.

Inside the cottage it was quite dark, and Georgie could just distinguish the looming shape of granny in her bed. "Hi granny, how are you?" Georgie said and sat down by the bedside. "Would you like me to open the drapes more to let in some light?" It seemed to him that granny was really unwell. She looked so different. "No! No light, please, my eyes hurt" the terrorist squaked.

"What's the matter with them, granny Fundie?" Georgie asked. "They look sort of red and bloated."

'It's all that pornography that Hollywood keeps pouring out, my dear boy. It corrupts us, even the most innocent of us."

"Ok, granny. And that's why your nose is quivering, too, I guess."

"Yes, my child. I can smell the infidels at their evil plans."

"Infidels?" George said, a little confused. "Never mind, granny. But why is your mouth so open?"

"So that I can better GOBBLE YOU UP!" shouted the terrorist and quickly swallowed poor Georgie, red helmet and all. Poor, poor Georgie. He was all eaten up.

You might think that this is the end of the story, but you'd be wrong. What happened next was this: the terrorist fell asleep, having eaten enough for the day. But he had been so greedy that neither granny Fundie nor Georgie were properly digested. In fact, they were both alive in the terrorist's belly, kicking each other and arguing over whose fault the whole disaster might be. They even made a long list of possible culprits.

All this made a terrible racket, of course, though the terrorist didn't wake up. He might have turned over in his sleep, though. But a brave young carpenter, called Muricanpeeple did hear the racket as he was walking by on his way to fell some Democrats. He looked into the cottage through a window, saw the terrorist snoring away, and immediately knew that something was really wrong. He tiptoed to the front door of the cottage and peeked in. The terrorist was still very asleep and didn't notice a thing. The carpenter gathered his courage and took hold of his trusty axe. Then he took a deep breath, rushed into the room and smote the terrorist's stomach open with one blow of the axe.

Out popped granny Fundie and Georgie, only slightly digested. They were so happy that they kissed and hugged the carpenter and sang great psalms of joy. They promised the carpenter all sorts of good things, like lower taxes and eternal peace as a reward and Muricanpeeple was very pleased. In fact, he was so pleased and flattered that he offered to go out into the world to look for more terrorists. Which he did.

Georgie and granny Fundie didn't go with him. Instead, they skipped hand-in-hand through the dark forest back to Georgie's house where his mama and papa greeted them with great joy and celebration. The election victory was now certain.

The terrorist also got up, holding his stomach together with his hands. He wasn't dead, you know. Instead, he was now very very angry, and ready to find many more terrorists. They would start a big war against that stupid carpenter, Muricanpeeple.

Now, all's well that ends well, don't you think?