Once upon a time.
Once apon a time.
Wait, no. Apon isn’t a word, is it?
Upon. It’s upon.
Great. Now upon doesn’t even look like a word. It just looks like the ending of “coupon.”
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Glow White and, like most beautiful maidens, she always got whatever the heck she wanted. And, also like most beautiful maidens, she had one weakness. Unfortunately for her, Glow White was named for her one weakness, which was being so ridiculously pale that she glowed.
She glowed in the dark.
She glowed in a park.
She glowed in a shed.
She glowed in her bed.
You get the picture: It was very hard for Glow White to go to sleep sometimes.
But, even in spite of her iridescence, Glow White’s stepmother (for all royal maidens have fathers who either kill off their daughters’ mothers or make their daughters’ mothers terminally ill, resulting in untimely death and re-marriage), was terribly jealous of the princess, for Glow White’s stepmother was not as eye-catching as Glow White. Basically, her stepmother was an attention hog.
Glow White’s stepmother was beautiful, but she did not possess the natural and literal glow that Glow White did. No, rather she spent many hours in her royal tanning bed, visiting the royal hair salon to get her hair dyed, and, every so often, would get royal Botox injections to keep up with Glow White’s youthful glow.
One day, Glow White’s father died. It was unfortunate because death is often unfortunate, but it isn’t like Glow White’s father didn’t spend his own share of time in the tanning bed. Melanoma is a real threat. He wasn’t careful.
But now, Glow White was under the reign of her stepmother, who was a real jerk (listen, EVIL is a really strong word. Let’s not use it flippantly. Her stepmother was a jerk, but evil? Too far. You guys don’t even really know her yet, so you can’t really judge her). And her stepmother was kind of… unique. Every night, before she went to bed, Glow White’s stepmother would take out her vintage Lite-Brite and say,
“Lite-Brite, Lite-Brite in my hand, who is the most radiant in all the land?”
And, when she asked this question, the Lite-Brite would spell out the name of the stepmother. Whose name was literally just, “Stepmother.” Her parents knew what they wanted her to be and named her accordingly.
And, for years, because of her excessive tanning and exposure to artificial light, Stepmother’s name was always spelled on the Lite-Brite as the most radiant maiden in the land. That is,
On that fateful day, Glow White’s name was spelled on the Lite-Brite. This threw Stepmother into a jealous rage. Actually, Stepmother CHOSE to go into a jealous rage. Nothing can throw you into a rage. That’s a personal decision which can be assisted by training in self-discipline.
So, in this rage, Stepmother stormed up to Glow White’s bedroom to do away with her once and for all. However, Glow White was not there. She had gone out to talk to the friendly lightning bugs in the forest– the only earthly creatures which understood her fate (well, besides the angler fish, but honestly, where is she going to find an angler fish?).
Stepmother called for her royal huntsman. She pleaded with him to go into the forest and bring back with him Glow White’s heart. However, the huntsman was a poetic man, so, he assumed that Stepmother was speaking figuratively and decided to woo the princess with his wit, kindness, sexual appeal, and intelligence. Guys, c’mon, he liked to hunt, but that didn’t make him a monster.
So, he set off for the forest– thinking he would win the princess’ heart– Stepmother all the while thinking he was going to kill Glow White. Neither of them knowing what was in store for the other next.
Although Glow White was partial to the lightning bugs which inhabited the nearby forest, she was friends with all creatures because creatures usually gravitate toward light anyway, so making friends with them was easy. The creatures also had a keen instinct and knew when the huntsman was traversing toward the wood. The royal birds would tell the nearby squirrels, which would tell the nearby beavers, which would tell the kingdom’s ducks, which would notify the woodland chipmunks, who would tell the rest of the creatures in the wood because chipmunks are natural gossips.
When Glow White heard of the news from the woodland chipmunks, she knew that her stepmother had sent the huntsman after her because Glow White was a narcissist and assumed everything was about her. At least this time she was correct.
She fled into the woods and, because she herself lit the way, she was able to see a well-hidden cabin in the midst of the brush. She hid in this cabin until she was sure the huntsman would pass by.
The huntsman was very disappointed. He never did find Glow White. But that’s life for some people: Unrequited love. Oh, the stepmother also had him executed, which is sad, but he wasn’t a principal character, so what do you care?
Glow White decided that, because she could not return to the castle, she would live in the cabin until the foreseeable future. Luckily, Glow White was not alone, for in the cabin, she found eleven forks, which she dressed up like little dolls and talked to when she became bored with speaking to the woodland creatures that could magically understand her.
But this happiness could not last forever.
Stepmother grew weary of Glow White’s games and of the Lite-Brite constantly tormenting her with its words of truth which lauded natural incandescence. She decided to disguise herself as an old peddler woman and search for Glow White in the woods. She did so by skipping her next Botox injection and neglecting to pluck her chin hairs. She also wore a wig and an over-sized cloak she found at a thrift store.
After many months, Glow White had long forgotten the impending threat of Stepmother’s psychosis. She had also forgotten that talking to strangers is dangerous.
So, one day, when an old peddler woman (IT’S STEPMOTHER, GUYS. NOT AN OLD PEDDLER WOMAN, DON’T FORGET) came to Glow White’s door, she thought,
“Oh wow! Company! How embarrassing– I made a pie, but don’t have any forks for this old peddler to eat it with because all of my forks are people.” And Glow White opened the door.
The old peddler woman asked Glow White politely, “May I come in, dear?”
“Of course, old peddler woman,” the princess responded as she opened the door to the cabin.
“Would you like to have a sip of the water in my canteen?” the peddler woman asked.
“No ma’am, I don’t drink things offered to me by strangers,” Glow White responded. She was dumb, but she wasn’t an idiot.
“Hm,” responded the peddler woman (STILL STEPMOTHER, REMEMBER), “Perhaps then you would like this delicious berry which I found along the path?”
“GAH!” Glow White shouted, “You can’t just eat any berry you find along a path! Many wild berries are poisonous to human consumption!”
The old peddler woman (aka S.T.E.P.M.O.T.H.E.R.), however, was not thwarted, for she had one more idea,
“Young lady, you surprise me with your street smarts,” she said, “Won’t you take this– an ice cream cone which I picked up from the local ice cream trick–er–truck?”
“Ice cream!” Glow White responded. For, although her chief weakness was her glowing complexion, her second weakness was ice cream. Ice cream is everyone’s second weakness.
But, Glow White did not realize that the ice cream cone was poisoned.
No, I don’t know what it was poisoned with, but I do know that it caused Glow White to fall into a deep sleep. The only way she could be awoken was through true love’s kiss, which was remarkably unfortunate as she hadn’t even MET her true love yet.
But he was out there.
And he knew her.
Because he was her second cousin.
And he was next in line for the throne in his own kingdom. Stepmother had planned on poisoning him next so she could form a kingdom monopoly of sorts. Also, before you’re absolutely disgusted by this whole scenario, this is what royal families used to do to keep the bloodline pure. Don’t hate the historian, hate the history.
When news of Glow White’s unconscious nature reached the prince’s ears, he became very upset and locked himself in his room for a couple of days to grieve because he knew that grieving was healthy.
Then, he realized there was one option greater than wallowing and stuffing his face with a pint of ice cream: True. Love’s. Kiss.
He raced to the woods and found Glow White encapsulated in a glowing coffin. Then, he realized that it was no coffin– it was Stepmother’s tanning bed. He knew in that moment that this was Stepmother’s doing. But he would deal with that later.
The prince threw open the lid of the tanning bed and kissed Glow White. Her eyes fluttered open, but she was initially confused because she was wearing those protective tanning bed goggles (I told you Stepmother wasn’t COMPLETELY evil). Glow White then ripped off the goggles to see standing before her, her second cousin: The prince.
At first, she was weirded out because, like, she didn’t even know if this thing with her cousin was legal?… But then she realized that it was legal because royalty does this all the time these days and so, she and the prince rode off into the sunset on the prince’s royal horse.
And, because she had spent so much time in that tanning bed and in the sunset, Glow White got a wicked tan.
Which meant that Stepmother was, once again, the most radiant in all the land. And she only became more radiant as she spent time in the kingdom’s underground dungeon, away from the light of the sun.
Which just goes to show you– radiance isn’t everything.
Because meanwhile, Glow White and her second cousin, the prince, lived happily ever after.