The truth about Rambunglstiltskin

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A man lived under a log in a bog, a big black bog with his big black dog. Rambunglstiltskin was his name. Rambunglstiltskin (pronounced “ram-BUNG -ul-stilt-skin") was a strange man, a man without a plan, or rather it was a big black, slap-happy, heart attack plan-- but he had to keep it secret. Rambunglstiltskin knew a lot of people, but his two favourite people were Cassidy Von Butterbean and Coleridge Wickfiggins. Here's a bit about these three famous idiots:

-He likes to call people crazy. ‘You’re crazy,’ he says. And he laughs
-Light fires under strangers' toes and scampers away.
-Eats peanut butter from the jar
-When someone says his name, he shouts for joy
-Knows the secrets to spinning gold
-And he uses that secret to charm little girls into buying him snickers bars
-Has really big green teeth
-Knows the words to every song by the Jiminy Slicker Poofs, a local bog band
-Can snap his toes
-Is wiser than wisdom and smellier than stink.
-Is three feet tall, and smaller than small

Coleridge Wickfiggins
-is ‘the straight man’
-is accused by many of having no soul
-has carefully coiffed hair and shiny shoes
-was attracted to R because he needed his help to crack a riddle
The riddle was ‘how much is too much?’
-R’s answer ‘Too much is never enough, and never enough is always right’
-Coleridge often impatient with R
-has a nasty girlfriend named Zelda Strickney, and R feels sorry for them both
-lives in an office building beside the tunafish plant

Cassidy Von Butterbean
-likes to walk all over the place and sing
-never throws away chewing gum wrappers
-calls R ‘Rammy-roo’
-lives in a banana tree and has her radio set to station CUTY 105.2

Here’s a mock-up of a potential story involving Rambunglestiltskin, Cassidy and Coleridge (apologies for the lack of editing—I’ll clean it up later)


The truth about Rambunglstiltskin

R said to Cassidy one day, “I feel like going for a walk.” And so they walked into town; well, R skipped and Cassidy walked: she was so much bigger than R and she kept up with him easily. Cassidy pointed at all the clouds in the sky and whispered ‘How very very shapely and strange they are,’ and R just looked at her and said, “You’re crazy.” And R pinched her in the cheek and asked her vainly for a snickers bar. Cassidy led them onto another road and said ‘maybe we should look for Coleridge in the tunafish factory, because he likes to hide in there and play with his trains.' And well he should: Coleridge Wickfiggins had the biggest train set in the town--it had over 600 cars and 50 cabooses.

At the end of the road the tunafish factory rose up toward the sky, looming above Cassidy and R like a red rumble from the mists of… something. Whatever the comparison, it was the tunafish factory, and it was oozing with fish. “This place is stinkier than me,” said R, “and I’m smellier than stink.” Cassidy ignored R and opened the door and said, ‘the door is unlocked, I just opened it.’ And R said ‘You’re crazy--I already knew that.”

Rambunglstiltskin was more tired than a racoon who had spent all night climbing a tree, and so he said to Cassidy, “Please, no further today my dear,” he was starting to perspire, and the sweat made an X-shaped circle on his pink and purple shirt. But Cassidy was so eager to do this that she said ‘I insist, my dear R,’ for sometimes she was more stubborn than a mule in a hardheadedness contest. And living in a banana tree had taught her to always be as close to fruit as she possibly could, and what better metaphor for a ‘fruitful’ day of walking and exploring than stumbling upon their friend Coleridge in the tunafish factory?

After entering the factory, among other phenomena they heard a loud beeping noise. It wasn’t the sound of tunafish being sliced into mash along the canning row, and it wasn’t the sound of all the robots in the factory trying to foment a cyborg revolution. Rather it was the sound of a grand and glorious train set, humming on all cylinders. Except it beeped a lot too. And so there was Coleridge Wickfiggins, and he was playing with his trains on high speed, and they were beeping away. He was like king of the beeps. And he was so very very tall. And handsome.

“Hidy ho, my comrades; please, meet my train set—the Train Set of Delight,” he said with a mixture of pomp and ease. “Beep ‘em if you got ‘em.” Coleridge could be very officious sometimes, and that is a word that means ‘prick.’

“Comrades, comrades, comrades,” he exclaimed, when he realized the other two were hypnotized by his beeping trains; “Awake from your reverie,” he said officiously, “I need to ask you a favour.”

“Hi Coleridge,” said Cassidy, finally looking Col in the face “Me and R were just out walking and we wanted to come inside to see you.”

“Turn off that beeping train set, Coleridge,” said Rambunglstiltskin. “You’re crazy if you don’t.”

“Ok ok,” and he turned off the train set. There was still a lot of beeping going on, but that was from the tunafish factory, which produced 70,000 cans of tuna every day—think of how much beeping that would require!

“So what’s this favour of yours,” asked R, clearly relieved at the powering-down of the train set. “Do you need help moving furniture? Advice for the upcoming tax season?”

Coleridge smiled at R, who was now into the cans of tuna and gorging himself like a talking great white shark in a lake full of tunafish.

“Actually, my dear R,” he smirked, “I need you to solve a riddle for me, and it’s a lot harder than the last one. If you can spare me a minute from your tuna feast, I think we might make ourselves a little wager or agreement of somesuch. Perhaps we’ll make it a winner take all; perhaps we can lay a bit of tunafish on the line?”

“Do you remember," Col said, "how we first met; the way you enlightened me underneath the bog tree?” And indeed they smiled at the memories.

[aside: When Coleridge and R first met years before, R was sitting beneath a bog tree in a boggy area outside of bogtown, then known as Pittsbog. R held a placard emblazoned with some kind of insignia, and this placard read: ‘Riddles solved, quandaries nullified, enigmas belittled, perplexities rendered inert—five cents only.” So Coleridge flipped the small placard-bearing man a nickel, saying “here you are, my tiny fellow, can you answer me this riddle?” R looked up – he had been sound asleep – and answered ‘Why yes, sire, my name's Rambunglstiltskin and I solve everything I can wrap my noodle around.” Finally, an answer to his question--Col was so happy--and his question was this: “How much is too much?” Well, R looked blankly for a split second; he then shook his head and scoffed mockingly, 'Keep your nickel, sir; I do not wish to rob you, by answering a question that is plain as day!" “What’s the answer then," C said, a bit put off, and R replied, “TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH, AND NEVER ENOUGH IS ALWAYS RIGHT.” Before you knew it Colerige and Rambunglstiltskin were tightest chums. It was so true, thought Col here now in the tunafish factory: even after so many years' friendship with R and now Cassidy Von Butterbean, too much of those two was never enough, and never enough is really always right.]

‘So what’s you newest riddle, Coleridge,’ said R, resuming the story, ‘if you must test me again by posing me a riddle, well then, you know I’m your huckleberry."

And Coleridqe said, “My new riddle is this: wither are spoons, where are forks, and what did you do with the knives?” But Rambunglstiltskin was not able to answer! He tried staring blankly again, like when he solved the last riddle, but it produced nothing of value. He sat there for minutes and minutes, but to no avail. Coleridge had stumped him. R asked Cassidy to take him home, to mull over this latest riddle. He was quite shaken at his inability to solve it: “They call me Rambunglstiltskin," he grimaced, "but who am I if I’m not able to master this riddle?’

Coleridge showed them the tunafish factory door, and he resumed playing with his trains. Although R was his friend, he secretly exulted that R could not solve this cutlery-related riddle, because that is the way of friendships—sometimes you like to screw your friends over. And he turned the trains back on, full throttle. “Beep beep,” the trains beeped, and C, ordinarily doleful, was temporarily gleeful. Beep beep, indeed!

(be honest--wouldn't you want your children to read this, instead of Mr. Mugs???)

ps Happy Bastille Day!

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