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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.
Ken enters the world of fairy tales
"The Adventures of Ken Harris - 3"
by Mark Valentine
The Adventures of Ken Harris: Fictional Time Traveler. Episode 3.
Each week, Ken Harris magically travels into a famous work of fiction to warn characters of impending danger. This week, Ken visits An Anthology of Children’s Fairy Tales.
THE SCENE: A medieval forest. All of our favorite fairy tale characters are there. On a tree stump in the center of the action stands Ken Harris. He addresses the multitudes.
KEN HARRIS: Hi everybody. My name is Ken Harris and I come from the future. I want to thank everyone for taking time from their busy schedules to be here this afternoon. I know some of you have kingdoms to rule over, bread to bake, straw to spin into gold, things of that nature, but I think I can make this quick. I’ve got a lot of advice to dispense, so I thought it would be more efficient, rather than visit each of your fairy tales individually, to visit an anthology and kill several birds with one stone.
A slew of birds including the Ugly Duckling, The Golden Bird, and the goose that laid the golden egg suddenly fly off. Ken yells to them
KEN HARRIS: Guys! Guys! Come back! It’s just a saying!
The birds come back. Ken motions for the goose that laid the golden egg to come closer, then addresses her.
It’s OK goose, no one’s getting stoned.
Just then, Happy the dwarf comes bouncing by.
HAPPY: (singing) Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work I go.
KEN HARRIS: (addressing the goose) OK, well maybe that guy.
(turns his attention to a list of names he is holding) Where’s Jack?
VOICE FROM CROWD: Which one? ‘And Jill’, ‘Be Nimble’, or ‘And the Beanstalk’?
KEN HARRIS: Beanstalk.
VOICE FROM CROWD: (shouting to Jack who is toward the back of the crowd) Hey, Beanstalk, the guy from the future wants you.
Jack walks up front
KEN HARRIS: Jack – do you recognize this goose?
JACK: Yeah, I mighta seen it before. You know, around the neighborhood.
KEN HARRIS: Do you know what kind of eggs she lays?
JACK: Rumor has it she lays golden eggs.
KEN HARRIS: That’s right, Jack. A pretty special goose, wouldn’t you say?
JACK: I guess so.
KEN HARRIS: Kind of odd that you would have seen it, given that it lives way up in the sky, don’t you think?
JACK: Sometimes I climb things.
KEN HARRIS: Like beanstalks?
KEN HARRIS: Do you ever do a little breaking-and-entering on these climbs?
JACK: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
KEN HARRIS: Oh, I think you do. You’ve been up there, haven’t you? In the giant’s house? And you’ve seen the goose there. And you’ve thought to yourself “Boy, I could really use a goose like that”. Only problem is, the goose doesn’t belong to you, does it?
KEN HARRIS: No. Whom does she belong to?
JACK: The giant.
KEN HARRIS: Correctamundo, Jackson. This goose is the property of that big fucking giant over there. Now, how do you suppose this story would end if you stole the goose? You think you’d get away with the goose and kill the giant?
JACK: Could be. Like maybe I’d chop down the beanstalk while he was climbing down and he’d fall to his death.
KEN HARRIS: How old are you, son?
KEN HARRIS: Kind of young for burglary and murder, don’t you think? Besides, maybe things wouldn’t play out according to your plan. I mean, look at that giant – he’s freaking huge. And a bit ill-tempered also. How do you think he’d feel about someone taking his special goose?
JACK: Not happy, I suppose.
KEN HARRIS: You think? The goose that lays the golden egg will become a metaphor for everything from finding oil reserves in your backyard to signing Lionel Messi’s contract. And this guy has the original, literal, goose. What’s he gonna do if he catches someone breaking into his house, taking his goose, and possibly screwing his wife?
JACK: I’m not gonna screw his wife. I’m only nine.
KEN HARRIS: You know that, and I know that, but he’s not gonna know that. All he’s gonna know is that you snuck into his house, pilfered his prize bird, and conspired with his wife to keep it on the down-low. That’s bound to arouse some suspicion, wouldn’t you think? And even if he doesn’t suspect you of hanky-panky with the Missus, the theft alone is enough to seal your fate. If he catches you, he’s gonna eat your sorry ass. You’d probably go down in one bite, and the next time anybody laid eyes on you, you’d be nothing but a tiny chunk in his giant turd. Is that what you want?
JACK: Look, Mister, I don’t want to steal the bird, but we’re poor.
KEN HARRIS: Oh, you’re poor. …hmm, let’s see... what are we gonna do about that? Hey, here’s a thought – get a fucking job!
Turns to address the larger crowd) In fact, a lot of you would do well to heed that advice. All you unemployed chicks waiting for a prince to come, find yourselves some gainful employment. Look at yourselves, lying around wearing frilly dresses and doing nothing all day. What kind of lesson are you teaching all the young girls who look up to you?
SNOW WHITE: To always look pretty.
CINDERELLA: To wish for a miracle.
PRINCESS GERTRUDE: To kiss frogs.
RAPUNZEL: And to take no initiative to better your life - eventually a man will come to your rescue.
KEN HARRIS: Wow. That is some messed-up, Dark Ages, pre-Enlightenment shit. You gals are gonna need some serious re-programming. Luckily, I brought some helpers with me – two of the best. Girls, I’d like to introduce you to my friends, Oprah and Ellen. They’re going to give you some self-esteem lessons, teach you that you’re more than just pretty faces.
SNOW WHITE: Couldn’t we study with him instead? (She points to a handsome, princely looking young man)
RAPUNZEL: Yeah, he’s so dreamy.
KEN HARRIS: (aside) This is going to be tougher than I thought. (turning to address the handsome young man while checking his list) Which one are you?
PRINCE CHARMING: (approaching Sleeping Beauty who is lying on a table) Charming’s the name. Prince Charming.
KEN HARRIS: And what exactly do you think you’re doing?
PRINCE CHARMING: I’m gonna kiss this pretty girl here.
KEN HARRIS: You know she’s sleeping right? (Prince Charming shrugs) I mean, it’s right there in her name – SLEEPING Beauty! Did she give you permission to kiss her?
PRINCE CHARMING: Not exactly, but I’m Prince Charming, who wouldn’t want to be kissed by me?
KEN HARRIS: You’d be surprised. Not all the ladies dig guys in tights.
PRINCE CHARMING: But still, I’m supposed to kiss her to break the witch’s spell. You see, she pricked her finger on a poisoned spinning wheel and fell into a deep sleep.
KEN HARRIS: You sure you didn’t slip her a roofie, Cosby?
PRINCE CHARMING: What?
KEN HARRIS: Never mind. The point is, you can’t do these things without consent.
PRINCE CHARMING: I was just going to give her one little kiss.
KEN HARRIS: One little kiss, eh? Empty your pockets.
As Prince Charming empties his pocket, a condom falls out.
That’s what I thought – Sergeant Melendez, could you cuff our friend and put him in the wagon. Stick around though, I’ll have a few more for you in a couple of minutes.
Sergeant Melendez places handcuffs on Prince Charming and leads him away.
(Ken checks his list)
Is there an emperor here?
The Emperor, a large naked man, steps forward.
Whoa dude, put some clothes on! Nobody wants to see that – don’t you ever go to the gym?
THE EMPEROR: But I AM wearing clothes, Very expensive and fine clothes, Also, I have the very best body.
KELLYANNE: That’s right. You tell him Emperor. You look great.
KEN HARRIS: (addressing Kellyanne) You know, you’re not doing him any favors with your brown-nosing, Kellyanne, so why don’t you take your alternative facts back to the swamp you crawled out of, you sycophantic bitch.
Kellyanne storms off. Ken addresses the crowd.
Somebody get this guy a mirror.
(Someone brings a mirror. Once it’s in place, Ken turns to the Emperor)
Dude, I want you to look at yourself. You are naked, and more than a little overweight. Look down. I’m guessing you can’t even see your penis, can you?
THE EMPEROR: I have the very best pe…
KEN HARRIS: (interrupting) Oh, for crying out loud!
(Addressing a couple of guys in the crowd) I got some other work to do. You guys keep him in front of this mirror until he sees something resembling reality. In the meantime let’s replace this guy with an emperor who is at least somewhat oriented to reality.
VOICE FROM CROWD: Can we do that?
KEN HARRIS: Sure, it’s in Article 25 of the Fairy Tale Code. Okay, next. (Ken checks his list of names) Hansel and Gretel, front and center. (Hansel and Gretel go stand in front of Ken. Gretel is holding a bag of bread crumbs. Ken addresses them.) Whatcha got there, kids?
KEN HARRIS: And what are you going to do with those?
HANSEL: Well, tomorrow, when mom and dad take us out into the forest…
KEN HARRIS: (interrupting) again…
HANSEL: …again, we’ll sprinkle the bread crumbs along the way, so after they ditch us, we’ll be able to find our way back.
KEN HARRIS: Anybody see any flaws in that plan? (A girl in a red hooded cape throws up her hand. Ken calls on her.) Yes, Little Red Riding Hood.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: How’d you know my name?
KEN HARRIS: Lucky guess. Now what’s wrong with Hansel and Gretel’s plan?
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: There are lots of animals in the forest and they’ll eat the bread crumbs.
KEN HARRIS: That’s right. Hear that kids? This girl can’t tell her grandmother from a wolf, yet even she can see that your plan is stupid.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: What do you mean I can’t tell my grandma from a wolf?
KEN HARRIS: Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, Red, but, even as we speak, a wolf, and not just any wolf mind you, but a big, bad-ass wolf, is eating your grandmother. Later, when you go to visit Grandma, the big bad-ass wolf is going to cross-dress in order to fool you -- and also, cuz that’s the kind of stuff he’s into. I’m not judging, just sayin’ -- anyway, you’ll sort of suspect that something is amiss. Nevertheless, when the wolf tells you to come closer, you will oblige, and then the wolf will eat you, too.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: Oh, no!
KEN HARRIS: Not the end of the world though, because a woodsman will cut you and granny out of the wolf’s stomach, and Amanda Seyfried will play you in the movie.
(Ken turns to address the crowd) This should be a lesson to all of you, especially you, Gingerbread Man. We all love dogs, but you really gotta stay away from your non-domesticated canines.
(Ken focuses his gaze on a young boy in the crowd) Also, do not cry “wolf” unless there is really a wolf. Are we understood, young man?
BOY WHO WOULD HAVE CRIED WOLF BUT FOR KEN’S INTERVENTION: Yes, sir.
KEN HARRIS: Now where was I?
VOICE FROM CROWD: You were explaining how Hansel and Gretel are stupid.
KEN HARRIS: Ah, yes – Hansel and Gretel. Guys, let’s put the bread crumb thing aside for a moment and focus on the bigger issue. Seems that your parents keep taking you out to the woods and leaving you there – doesn’t that throw up some red flags?
GRETEL: Well, it’s not ideal.
HANSEL: Yeah, definitely sub-optimal parenting.
KEN HARRIS: I’ll say. So I’m gonna suggest that we forget about the bread crumbs and focus on the root of the problem, which is, and I’m just gonna be blunt here, your step-mom wants you dead, and your dad doesn’t have the cajones to stand up to her. So, that being the case, I’d like to introduce you to Melanie. Melanie is from Child Protective Services. She’s gonna take you to live with some people who will care for you, feed you, and most importantly, not try to kill you. Sergeant Melendez could you take these children’s step-mother to the wagon with our date rapist. In fact all of you step-mothers, please go with Sergeant Melendez for fingerprinting and processing.
CINDERELLA’S STEP-MOTHER: That’s profiling!
KEN HARRIS: Hey, if the slipper fits… Meanwhile, you husbands, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, got some ‘splainin’ to do. You let these evil shrews run your lives and drive wedges between you and your children. You should be off to the fairy tale slammer also, but today’s your lucky day -- I’m gonna give you all second chances. So go ahead and form a single file line behind that table. Joe will distribute replacement penises and testicles to you. Guard these with your lives gentlemen. One penis and two testicles per person. (Ken sees Snow White trying to sneak in line) Not you, Snow White -- those are for men only!
SNOW WHITE: Oh, give a girl a break. Do you know how hard my life is? In spite of being the fairest babe in the land, I got no man. I live in the forest with a bunch of midget miners who think I’m their fucking maid. A witch keeps trying to kill me. Everyone else my age is having children and I’m still a virgin.
KEN HARRIS: I kind of figured by the name, but I’m not sure what you want me to do about it.
SNOW WHITE: Oh, who’s being unenlightened now? You’re so tall… well comparatively speaking… and handsome… again comparatively. I think you know what I’m getting at.
KEN HARRIS: It would never work
SNOW WHITE: Why not?
KEN HARRIS: We come from two different worlds. You’re fictional and I’m not.
SNOW WHITE: Oh, like you’ve never had a pretend girlfriend before.
KEN HARRIS: Touché. OK, your place or mine?
SNOW WHITE: Unless you’re looking for a ménage a neuf with some sooty short people, I’m thinking we should go to your place.
KEN HARRIS: My place it is. Boston, here we come!
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