Brownielocks and The 3 Bears
A Fractured Fairy Tale by A.J. Jacobs,
as featured on "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" 1959-1961
These are best when seen as an animated cartoon. My page really doesn't do justice to the creativity.
Centuries ago, in ancient Arabia, there was a modest little lamp shop owned and operated by a young man called Aladdin---largely because Aladdin was his name. His lamp business wasn't exactly booming---largely because Aladdin didn't have any lamps.
You see, the place was a front. Aladdin had a pinochle game going in the back room. Then one day, a very rich and powerful king----as if there are any other types--- walked into the shop.
"I need a lamp," said the king.
"Sorry, Your Highness.
Can't sell you a lamp. How about a deck of cards?"
"Get me a lamp, or I shall have you thrown into a dungeon for insolence. I'll be back at three-thirty sharp to pick it up."
Aladdin considered the options (find a light fixture or spend life in chains) and decided maybe he should get the kina a lamp. He dashed out of the shop in search of one, but in his haste, he stepped in a rather large hole and tumbled into inky darkness.
He said to himself, "I seem to be in in a bottomless pit." Thud. He hit a hard rock with his rear. "And this bottomless pit seems to have a bottom in it." At that moment, he spotted a dim light coming from a strange-looking, squat lamp lying on the floor. On it were inscribed the words "Rub me and get a surprise."
How could he resist a deal like that? He rubbed and--- ---out popped a beautiful girl, decked out in ballroom pants and curly shoes and just a little too much eye makeup.
"Good heavens," exclaimed Aladdin. "A genie!"
"Yes, that's my name. Jeannie."
"That's unnecessarily confusing," said Aladdin. "Are you the kind of genie who, you know, grants three wishes?"
"Oh, heavens no. I'm just an ordinary girl who happens to have been brought up in a lamp. You know, the housing shortage around these parts and all."
"Are you sure?" asked Aladdin.
"Sure I'm sure I'm sure. Just try making a wish."
Aladdin did. He wished they were out of the pit and -- they were. Just like that.
"Can you imagine," said the genie. "All that time I was stuck in that lamp and I could have wished myself out. Oh, the humanity!"
Aladdin hurried the lamp and Jeannie back to the shop.
"Look, Jeannie baby. I've got to check on the game in the back room. You shine that lamp up for the king, will ya?"
"Why not just wish it clean?" asked Jeannie.
"No sir! I've only got two wishes left. I'm saving them for something important."
Aladdin slipped into the back room and Jeannie set to rubbing the lamp that once help her prisoner. But as soon as she began--- ---another genie appeared. This one, thankfully, was named Sally.
Meanwhile, back at the palace, the king was in the was in the throne room meeting with the grand wizard, a short little man with a long gray beard and beady little eyes.
"Terrible news, Your Highness," said the wizard. "Your throne has been overthrown. You are no longer king."
"No?" asked the king. "Who is?"
"Me!" shouted the wizard, with an evil laugh.
With that the king disappeared through a trap door and the grand wizard sat on the throne and surveyed the plush, carpeted, tastefully appointed throne room.
"You know what this needs?" he said to himself. "A nice lamp. We may be in the Dark Ages but does everyone have to take that so darn literally?"
With that, the wizard went to the only lamp shop in town---Aladdin's. But by this time, the shop was jam-packed with recent inhabitants of the lamp: Sally, Jeannie, Susie, Jackie, and plenty more. Apparently, the lamp was sort of a pint-sized condominium complex, with all the genies living in different parts of the lamp.
"Who's in charge here?" interrupted the wizard. "I'd like to buy this lamp---although it is a little dirty."
The wizard picked up the lamp and began trying to rub it clean. But who should appear but--and here's the rub---the king!
"B-b-b-b-but how did you get in the lamp?" stammered the wizard.
"Don't ask me, bub" said the king, who was a bit fed up by this time. "It was your trapdoor. Now prepare to defend yourself."
The king drew a sword. The genies drew breathes.
At that moment, Aladdin, who had just emerged from the backroom pinochle game, saw this impending mess and came up with a brilliant idea. He could stop this chaos---and get out of this pinochle business---if only he wished himself king.
"I wish I were king!" shouted Aladdin. Nothing happened. Everyone turned to him. "Ooops," he said. You see, he had used up his wishes back in the game, when he wished for an ace of hearts and an ace of clubs. He need to rub the lamp and get more wishes!
He lunged for the wizard, who was holding it. The two fell to struggling and tumbling---and both rubbed the lamp at the same time. But instead of another Mary or Jenny appearing, nothing happened. Instead, something disappeared------namely, Aladdin and the wizard. And the king was king again. Which only goes to prove that fairy tale endings can sometimes be completely arbitrary.
Oh, and that only in checkers should one try to jump the king.
Note: There were 91 Fractured Fairy Tales. I loved all of
See a complete listing Here.
Unfortunately there is an entire generation or more that hasn't had the fun of experiencing
A.J. Jacob's tremendous writing talent. This is why I am offering a few of his tales on my site
so you can get an idea. To read them all, buy the book listed below!
Fairy Tales" told by A.J. Jacobs
Bantam Books © 1997 by Ward Productions
All rights licensed by Universal Studios Publishing Rights,
A Division of Universal Studios.