Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Endings

My freshmen physics teacher, Mr. Physics, had a great way of dealing with dumb stories.
A kid would come in say, “Mr. Physics! Mr. Physics, last weekend my dad took me fishing and we didn’t catch anything.” And Mr. Physics would stare that poor freshman down for thirty seconds and say, “…And then you found twenty dollars?” Which was his kind way of saying, “That may be the crappiest story I’ve ever heard and it won’t be worth anything unless something excellent happens at the end.” And that poor freshman would say, “Erm, YES, Mr. Physics. How did you know? Has my sister been through already?” and then scamper off to their seat. Mr. Physics had an amazing way of making lame or pointless endings much happier.
I’m a firm believer in a happy ending. If you’re not smiling it’s probably not over yet. I am a super fan of all things Disney. Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Anastasia, Beauty and The Beast, you get the point. A couple of days ago I caught the middle of the Hunchback of Notre Dame on the Disney channel, so I decided I would read the book. I ran to the library, sat down out side in my mothers Adirondack chair and went to town. I’ve got to hand it to Victor Hugo; he’s quite the intelligent guy. It was a super book and a half: romance, dancing, weird guys, fights, the things to make a classic, albeit nothing like the Disney movie. Imagine, if you will, the child in the picture above, throwing garbage at Quasimodo, while Quasimodo growls and tries to protect La Esmeralda, who is cowering from Quasimodo but lusting after Phoebus, and Phoebus the Golden knight, drawing his sword on all of them. That is a more accurate portrayal. Anyway, super book, except the end… I’m not sure if you have read the Hunchback of Notre Dame but let me tell you. It is not a happy ending. I don’t remember how Disney finished it because I was about six when I saw the ending, but the book has a CREEPY ending. It’s like one of those tragic “My Platoon Went to Battle and Everybody Died, It’s Great That I Kept A Diary To Document The Tragedy Otherwise Nobody Would Know What Happened” books.
The last sentence reads as such:
“When they tried to detach the skeleton which he held in his embrace, he fell to dust.”
Cheery image to leave a reader with at 1:27 AM, wouldn’t you agree? Me neither.
In my head the last sentence reads:
“When they tried to detach the skeleton which he held in his embrace, he fell to dust. And underneath they found 20 livres. They bough a baguette and some wine and put the rest into their child's college fund. They all lived happily ever after, especially the child who went to college and became very rich off of the 20 livres in his fund.”
Obviously dollars weren’t the main currency back when and would’ve been useless to find, in which case, it still would’ve been a tragedy.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! I've missed your postings.
    The senior, the 4th grader, & I stayed up late last night and watched a terrific re-telling of Cinderella via opera (!!) on PBS' "Great Performances: Live at the Met." There was an evil bumbling stepfather, the wicked & hilarious stepsisters, and the prince masquerading as his own valet (and vice versa). It was oh so wonderful. I think you would have enjoyed it. :)