Saturday, August 06, 2016

Farm Market Fairy Tales

I awoke to a kind-of-cloudy, very humid morning. Ran Pontofel Pock, Where are You? as I ate breakfast. The title character of this unusual Dr. Seuss special is a self-proclaimed "shnook" who just wants to get away from his family's decaying mansion after he loses his job. A fairy gives him a magic piano that can travel anywhere. Pontofel learns that there's no place like home - and nothing quite like a second chance - when he first gets into trouble showing off in a small Alpine village, then fall for an "eyeball dancer" named Eefa Neefa.

Headed out for today's errands around 10:30. I had some trouble at the Collingswood Farm Market. The bike rack that's usually on the Collings Avenue end of the parking lot, across from the Senior Center, had somehow vanished. A guy at the Bikeshare directed me to a smaller rack that was hidden in weeds at the other end of the lot.

After I finally got the bike locked, I was able to get my shopping at the Farm Market done with no problems, despite the usual crowds. Plums, watermelons, and local carrots made their first appearances today, joining the vast abundance of summer produce on the heavily laden booths. I have a ton of vegetables at home and stuck to fruit - white peaches, small yellow apples, blueberries, and a tomato (as well as a bottle of water).

Rode around to look at a couple of yard sales on my way home. A rummage sale at a church in Collingswood looked picked-over by the time I got there and yielded no finds. I had slightly more luck at a small yard sale in Haddon Township. Found a small frying pan that would be perfect for quick batches of eggs or small pancakes.

I was sweating bullets by the time I made it back to Oaklyn. I stopped at Common Grounds Coffee House for something cold and sweet. Splurged on a Chocolate-Banana Smoothie. Oh yum. Theirs was just as good as WaWa's, thick and rich and very banana-tasting.

Though it never did rain (despite the earlier clouds), it was too hot and too humid to be running around. I spent the rest of the afternoon at home. Watched two episodes of from the first season of Scooby Doo, Where are You? while getting organized. It's "Foul Play In Funland" when the gang discover a robot running amok in a local amusement park. They're asking "Which Witch Is Which?" after they get lost in a swamp and discover a zombie and a witch scaring people off. But is the witch and her voodoo magic real, or just a cover for something more nefarious?

Switched to Happily N'Ever After while cleaning the kitchen.  The kitchen wasn't that bad, probably because I haven't been doing a lot of heavy-duty cooking lately. I had to do more dusting than scrubbing, especially on and over the cabinets.

Happily N'Ever After is one of several fractured fairy tale spoofs released in the wake of the success of the first Shrek film. The balance of good and evil in Fairy Tale Land is controlled by a benevolent wizard. One day, he goes on vacation, leaving the job of keeping the story on-track to his less-than-competent animal assistants. They're arguing when the Wicked Stepmother from "Cinderella" finds them. She sees this as an opportunity to redress the balance and get herself a happy ending, weighing all endings in favor of the evil characters. Now, villains are taking over stories. Cinderella is denied her prince, but she's determined to find him and convince him to rescue them all. Meanwhile, Rick, her good friend and the prince's laundry boy, has a huge crush on her. Trouble is, he's not a big part of her story, and he knows he'll never have a chance with her...unless they can prove that happy endings are even better when they're the ones you create for yourself.

This was a fair-sized flop when it came out, and it's pretty obvious why. The story is cliche (even more now after all the early 2000's fairy tale spoofs), and the characters are either oblivious or obnoxious. Rick is supposed to be the neglected anti-hero, but he's such a jerk for the first half of the film (and his narration is so annoying), you wish Cinderella would drop him and the useless Prince and start looking around for someone else. On the other hand, the film does make some interesting points about being the hero of your own story and pre-dates the current fondness for heroines taking  traditionally male roles by over a decade.

This is cute enough for what it is, but unless you really love fairy tales or CGI animation, I'd look elsewhere for animated magic.

After the movie ended, I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening finally finishing my story. Leia strangles Jabba...right after he's stabbed the Beast. Leia kisses him, just as he dies in her arms.

Luke's the one who notices the seafoam. It gathers around the Beast, changing him. When it dissolves, he's now the merman Han Solo again. Leia's thrilled, but there's no time to celebrate. The last night on Leia's magical necklace has gone out, and Luke is no longer under Jabba's spell. Lando gets Luke to the surface. Han tried to get Leia there, but he loses her in the dangerous currents.

Leia finally awakens on land. She hears someone singing a sea shanty and sees a whisper of a navy tail and sad hazel eyes before they dive back into the water. Lando and Luke come to her aid. She gives Luke the bag Han used to steal the jewels from their father's party. They help her to her feet...but she's still scanning the water for Han...

She's still looking for him two weeks later. Lando is trying to convince her to marry him, but she says she's not interested in getting married. Meanwhile, Luke invites her to Maz's to meet a friend of his. She has to return the necklace to Maz, anyway. Turns out Luke's "friend" is a now-human Han and dog Chewie. Maz gave them their wishes and their legs the week before. The story ends with Han and Leia in each other's embrace.

Not too bad. Took longer than I planned, actually. I'm debating whether to return to the Star Wars 30's story next, do that 80's summer story, or say the time for that one has passed and start the 70's superhero story. Or I may just do random short stories for a week. We'll see how I feel. For now, Princess Leia and the Merman is available at my writing blog, Fanfiction.Net, and Archive Of Our Own.

Princess Leia and the Merman at Archive Of Our Own
Princess Leia and the Merman at Fanfiction.Net
Princess Leia and the Merman at My Writing Blog

Finished with scrambled eggs with cheese, mushrooms, and peppers after I finally got the story done. Put on The Three Stooges Go Around the World In a Daze while I ate. The great-great grandson of Phineas Fogg, the gentleman from the original Around the World In 80 Days novella, is challenged to attempt a similar undertaking. This time, however, he won't be able to use any of his money or connections. He has to travel strictly by his wits. He's helped and hindered by his valets, Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe. Not only do they know how he likes his coffee and his eggs, but they know a thing or two about traveling light and broke, too. The bet is complicated by Fogg being set up by bank thieves who frame him for their crimes, then follow him in an attempt to keep him from revealing the truth, and by a beautiful American girl Fogg and the Stooges pick up on a train trip in India.

One of the better of the later feature-length Stooge outings. This showcases a lot of their best bits, including the "Maharajah" skit (with Curly Joe as the blind-as-a-bat ruler) and Larry playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" to turn Curly Joe into a fighting machine. Not necessary for anyone but their fans, but a pleasant enough hour and a half if you ever run into it.

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