Sleeping Beauty. Another Perspective (Part II) (An Update)

As you will recall from

Sleeping Beauty. Another Perspective (Part I) (An Update)

We left the narrative with Aurora ensconced with three old biddies and the old veteran foot-slogger promising to carry on the tale of:

Sleeping Beauty 

Redacted image of

I’m taking no copyright risks I tell ya!!


The dialogue continues at the sort of tavern polite people do not go to AND you would take your date to….

“Hey, not a bad watering hole this. Nice to have ale which tastes like before it’s been drunk…. and not afterwards…..

Now, back to the story.

Maleficent doesn’t see why she should go chasing around for the kid, I mean a curse is a curse right? She goes over the border, her sights on another of those widowed kings, I mean what do they do to their poor wives? Maleficent gets her hooks in and in a year he’s dead! Yep! NO doubt abut it, screwed him to death! Wadda way to go uh? But he’s got this teenage daughter, and like all of ‘em at that age she’s get spikey. Next thing you know she’s slipped the castle and shacked up with seven guys running an illegal mining operation. No wonder Maleficent tried to have the little monster put down! The story gets messy after that, some young noble getting involved, the kid nearly chokes on something…what I don’t care to know. But that’s they’re problem. Let’s get back to my story.

There’s us. Fifteen years of putting down spinning wheel riots, hunting out Conspiracy Kooks who claim the kid is actually half-elf and the king an’t his dad, and border patrol for smugglers AND the next door kingdom.

Next door kingdom? Yeh, well y’know how it goes, any instability and your neighbours are leaning over the fence. Kingdom to the east, that guy, he’s sharp. He’ heard things an’t so good back in Our royal boudoir and that the king is elsewhere looking for his royal happy-times. Now this guy knows he can’t take us on in a full-out invasion, so he nudges a bit. We’re on to him. He’s send these regular large patrols out, we ‘bump’ into them. And y’know the drill. It always goes;

        ‘Hey you guys’ we say, ‘How ya doin?’

                        ‘Ahhnn, not so bad. How’s yerselves?’

                        ‘OK. Say, do ya know you’re on our side of the border?’

                        And they go, like

                        ‘No shit?

                        And the corporal…it was always the corporal, he says

                        ‘See sarge. I toldya that map wuz out of date,’

                        And their sarge says to our sarge.

Gee sorry ‘bout that guys. Ah, we’ll be on our way. Some weather uh?’

Then we report back and they report back and the officers report up the line that they’re doin’ all that is necessary and everyone is happy. As the years rolled on and I stuck with it I moved up corporal to sergeant and we’d play the game back to them. When we sneak over to see what they were up to and of course encounters happened. I’d open my arms an’ go.

          ‘Aww heck boys! I’m sorry. It’s our l’tenant. He’s the biggest asshole ever! I told him this way was goin’ over the border, but he says in his squeaky voice ‘No sur-jent! I have the latest map! Now obey your orders.’ Do you see him here? I mean Honest-To-Stars! He could no more find his way around a map that he could a *****(redacted for proprietary’s sake) in a  brothel! Y’ know the sort…Uh-uh? You got one too. Yea! Ah well…take care you guys….Some weather huh?’

Yeh, the same old story.

An’ let me tell you if we’d been patrolling that forest where the old biddies had kept the princess none of what I’m about to tell you would have happened. But that’s what you get when a king kits out a bunch of youngest sons of second-class nobles and call ‘em the LifeGuard. It was only a money-scheme anyway! Them having to pay for their outfits and ‘special’ training. Then wander about in groups of five making enough noise than even a deaf man could hear them! No surprise then, when next door nation gets into that forest. Led by none other than the heir to their throne himself. What was he doing there? Who knows? Maybe the kid was bored sitting at home, maybe he was running his own side-line in the smuggling racket? Maybe he’d got intel on who was in the forest. Anyways he finds her, she apparently being a girl who likes to sing, loudly.


And that’s just what we reckoned happened! Him being royal and young, just like a buck rabbit on aphrodisiacs! And she not knowing much about men. Dunno what it’s like up here, but down there, they got laws about girls under sixteen! Oh yeah! Must have been something to it because next thing we know she’s being scooted back to the palace, and an entire regiment put on guard around it. LifeGuard? Huh! They got theirs! Sent on patrol duty in one of the stinkest swamps you smelt, a sewer outlet for the kingdom’s biggest town.

Well, there’s a lot of toing and froing between kingdoms and a wedding is being put together pretty dam’ quickly, if you ask me. Some meeting between Aurora and her parents that must have been! Of course, we were up north at the time, chasing…yep you guessed it right…spinning wheel smugglers! Then check the irony, while we’re up there, the kid is nosing about the castle ‘cas it’s her first time, and wouldja believe it? She finds one dam wheel! Can you believe that after all those years of us poor dogs incacerating them, smashing and burning ‘em , some winner in the village-idiot contest five years running has left one in the castle. And, yeh the kid stuck her finger on the needle, ya saw that comin’ didn’t ya?

Of course the curse kicks in and it is a doozey!

Not only does she fall asleep but so do the whole dam’ castle staff and her folks. Not just that but a big mess of thorns grow up around the place, scattering that regiment all over the place, them that were awake that is!

Naturally  King Next Door makes his move! Says everyone needs to be rescued, stability returned, the usual old excuses. And over the border he comes with troops to help us. Naturally his son is there, all noble and upright to save his bride! For solidarity’s show, but actually to keep an eye on that army, we get called back and we all trudge off the scene of the crime.

Man! And those were no regular thorn bushes like the ones veterans throw bare-naked recruits into to harden them up. These were like branch thick and castle high with thorns that would double as swords. The lad must have really had the hots for the girl, for he’s off his horse and calling for us all to join him in hacking his way through. And us and his troops are looking at each other and sharing ‘What’s with this lad! Do we look like we’re combat engineers? Do you see any siege weaponry here?’. No use trying to complain to royalty though… Yeh you got that right!…And we had to hack and dig. Chop and cut. Seven days and half the army down with sprains, cuts an’ hay fever and only five feet in. Someone has a bright idea and has sent for some of those new-fangled cannons to blast our way through.

With all this racket going on it’s bound to attract Maleficent. She flies in smooth as a hawk and stand all haughty and grand demanding everyone to back off, because a curse is a curse! Us lot, it’s not the kind of thing we’re paid for right? Even the officers are a bit leery. Sonny, though he notices his father looking Maleficent up and down. The lad must have brains, worries for his mother’s safety and no doubt reckons with Maleficent as step-mother his chances of getting hitched to Aurora and planting his royal ass on a throne are slim. The boy ups at her with his fancy sword and get this! She turns into a dragon! Wings, fire! The whole deal!

His dad, The king. He’s backing off, hiding up and half his army ready to protect him. You got it! There’s always some ready to get back to the rear area out of the front line. MY squad and me, we get stuck at the front, and we’re ducking, dodging and diving, flames, flying thorns, you name it! The lad and some of his buddies go for the dragon, y’ know what nobles are like. No surprise, a few get barbecued. The lad is carrying some good hardware though, his shield is beating off the flames. Right then up rolls one of those cannons, while the witch an’t looking, the crew get a shot off and..pow! Right where we’d be looking if she were a woman and down she goes. Of course, the lad gets his sword in her neck so as he can claim credit and since he’s about that business a lot of us pile in with our own steel and hack off a few souvenirs to impress the yokels.

Since Maleficent’s dead, so the curse goes, and all the thorns fall away. Off goes the prince, up the castle steps, finds Aurora gives her a magic kiss or something and she wakes up, then so does everyone else. If you ask me the lad knew too much about the whole business. I mean have you ever heard of a young prince being that intelligent!

With all the fuss dying down and everyone active again and the girl past her sixteenth there’s a wedding. In just about nine months, there’s a little Aurora! Yeh! We wuz right all along. The kicker is though, grandad. He allegedly dies in a riding accident, or so it’s said. And his widow is consoled by her daughter’s father-in-law, whose’ s wife by the way had happened to have decided to take holy orders thus divorce and hide up in a nunnery…Sharp lady. There must be a whole other story there!….So the two older love-birds are wed, and the two kingdoms joined! An’t that neat? Smooth operation huh?

The three old biddies? There was scandal about security and upbringing. The Church got involved and the old girls had to flee the kingdom. Spinning wheels were allowed again, and suddenly there’s no need for so many soldiers they say, peace and happiness ever after, they say. Severance pay? Oh sure! Only some crappy bits of land and a few skinny hogs! I ask ya!

So here I am? Whadda ya reckon sarge? Sign on sure! What’s the deal around here? Uh-uh. Security sweep, hunt and search. Yeh-yeh. Your prince is looking for one girl.? Only one. That makes a change! He met her at a ball…She was wearing glass shoes, then lost one? And last seen riding off on a…pumpkin? You did do a narcotics sweep off the guests? Did you?….Just the usual sunk-drunk…Hmm…..

I tell ya what there sarge. You tell your officers we gotta look out for three old biddies…they’ll have the dope of this for sure!”

And they all lived.

For a while anyway…..

Thank you Mr Newhart & MAD magazine


Thank you Bob Newhart

One of the great comics of the 20th century. Bob Newhart’s conversations with unseen and unheard folk were part of my life from the late 1950s onwards. So, I wrote this back in 2018 but wouldn’t have managed it without the inspirations of this great comic.

Preamble ….

Names uh?

We don’t ask for them. And maybe we don’t like them, but somehow we get stuck with them, because up until a certain age it’s an adult who is recording the name or names officially on so many records. And for a lot of us it’s just too much trouble to try and convince everyone who could possibly have your name that it has changed. Even worse these days because if you forget to tell just one organisation then computer systems get confused and are liable to wipe you out. So we carry on with the name given us. Though for some people this can be a trial and they really get upset about it.

Bearing this thought in mind. Last summer this advert popped up on one of my sites and like most adverts I didn’t ask for it, even so I had some explaining to do to my wife!

Flirty Singles

But as you will see the title ‘Flirty Singles’ has a peculiar ring to it, I mean you have the picture of this forward young lady and an encouragement to meet ‘Flirty Singles’, which if you read it one way can mean a  direct invitation to a young lady of this name. This set me thinking, just suppose there is a young woman out there whose family name is ‘Singles’ and by some chance she’d ended up with the first name ‘Flirty’. Now she has a real problem and as you know such burdens can give folks a certain attitude and outlook in life. So I offer to you Miss Singles going for a job interview at a construction site, and the owner and site manager’s conversation might go something like this….

“Ah Good Morning Miss Singles. Welcome to the job interview. Can I get you a glass of water? Tea? Coffee? Sure coffee! And, black, yea. No sugar, sure….With a spoonful of salt? (nervous laugh)..well that’s different…Eh keeps you focused does it? I’ll have to…err…look into that.

Now with construction site work many folk don’t realise that in addition to being quite labour intensive, a lot of skill is needed so I hope you don’t mind if some of my questions seems a measure intrusive…Err would you like a tissue Miss Singles….looks like you got something in your eye…Ah I see, that just a twitch…Yeh! Quite twitch…Anyway. Now I have to ask (laughs). Your first name there, it’s…… I see….uhh-huh…Yeh rich grandparents sometimes make some freaky requests of their children…uh…their weak-assed Godforsaken children? Yeah, I see…. Oh they made their money in the 1960s on the West Coast, yeh…kinda makes sense now….Have you ever discussed this condition of the…ahh…name…. with them? Oh, both died. Suddenly….At home…falling downstairs together…Gee…that’s tragic…..I’ll just get you some paper towelling, you spilled some of your coffee when you were giggling. And your parents?….Those creeps are still alive y’say….Well I guess that ties up that line of enquiry.

I see you went through twenty schools. Did you parents move much? No. Hmm, some places can be picky can’t they? Did the kids call you silly-nick names….Yeh I guess it would have gone better for them if they had….. Sports? Gridiron, I didn’t know some schools had girls’ teams…..Not the girls’ team… Offensive tackle? No kidding, they are usually kinda taller….You say it an’t needed when you jump at the face….Yeh that would be different…Hmm…Now my opinion is those guys were being a bit whinny, it is a contact sport after all, just as long as you didn’t try and wrench the helmet off….Only the once…I suppose he kept laughing when he used your first name did he?…. Oh y’know,  just a lucky guess.

I see you’ve had quite a few jobs…Hmm…finding the right one can be a bit difficult. This is different though, most of the recommendations coming from your employers’ wives… Hmm…quite a bit of colourful language but the phrase ‘He had it coming’ crops up quite a lot, guess that explains the lack of police enquiries….Oh the police liked you…Muggings dropped off wherever you lived.

Ah I see here you signed up for the Marines…..And were dropped out of basic training because your drill sergeant and the rest of the squad were getting nightmares. Special Forces said they needed stealth not banshee screaming. Geez, I hate to come across as old and cranky, but they don’t breed them as tough as they did in my day…Nah…I was in cooks and that’s no walk in the park I can tell you! Now this rejection from the Chicago Police Department. To my mind just isn’t helpful, I mean what does ‘Hah! Not until Hell Freezes Over’ offer to the applicant, it’s just not helpful.

OK, before we go out and try out on site there, if you don’t mind me asking, who took the photo? It’s only just first impressions y ‘understand but…..ahhh…doesn’t seem your style. Oh….right.……That…ah… thrice-dammed witch, your mother. Well she is good at photoshop and all that…stuff…Annd she put it on FaceBook and Instagram did she?……Gee that’s tough. But I guess that mothers for you. Trying to get you married….My, that is some twitch!

Well anyway, here we are. Office being on site. As you can see a lot of construction going on here….HEY guys! You might wanna tone down the sexist remarks….YEH? Well JOE it’s my opinion you’re damn lucky you are up there and not down here! Don’t worry I’ll have a word with them at lunch break….Sure…ha-ha….for their own sakes.

OK, so this is Harry our site foreman. No, Harry I wouldn’t make too much of that twitch if I were you. I’d be careful there Harry…Yeh I kinda guessed she’d have that sorta tough grip in her handshake, put it in cold water after, swelling will go down. So this is Miss Singles…No Harry, her first name isn’t important, truly Harry you want to trust me on that one. Remember how I was right about that gas leak?…Well it’s the same kind of situation Harry. Yeh, glad you agree.

So Miss Singles, we’ll just go for a quick walk for you get a feel of the place…Oh sure, if you want to…ahhh….try a swing with the hammer at that rubble, sure be our guest…..JOE!….Tone it down will you? Trying to help you here fellow!

Yeah I know Harry that’s one hellva swing she’s got there and…..Wow!!…Did you see that Harry?…..Harry ?…Harry, what are you doing hiding behind the truck there Harry? I mean they were only rock splinters Harry. No, Harry I’m sure you saw worse shrapnel in Iraq. Well I give you that Harry, that expression when she swung the hammer, yep it’s kinda imposing…those bared teeth.. Yeh Harry she’s got great impact there? I dunno Harry, something on the rock, looks like a piece of paper…Oh yeah, it’s a photo Harry….Probably of her parents Harry. How do I know?.. Hmmm….just a feeling. Y’know how it is when you interview folk. Aww now come on JOE! Sayin’ she can swing your hammer anytime, those sort of remarks just an’t funny anymore fellah.

Now y’see JOE, you provoked that. Quit whining. It was only a little piece of stone. Betcha didn’t think Miss Singles could get you at that range uh?… I know Jeff, that was a great pitch wasn’t it?…..I dunno Jeff. You’d best ask Miss Singles herself if she does any Little League coaching, yeah I think your daughter’s team would love her… Hey would someone get JOE down from there and off to Emergency, there seems to be a lot of blood there….Wassat Dave?…You can’t prize his fingers from the girder?….Oh boy, what a cry-baby, ok just wrap something about it, for the time being.

Well Miss Singles, I think you proved you can contribute to the team….Yeah… That’s ok, if you’re not done with the rock…Not done with the picture?….OK…What’s that…. Sure you can borrow the hammer, take it home and show your folks… Err we call it a tool Miss Singles, not a weapon…. Fine, if that’s what you like to call it…. Yeah Harry, kissing it, I dunno, but some folk get attached to equipment, remember Ken and that chainsaw..(Laughs)…Crazy way to trim your toenails…Yeah Harry, she does remind me of Ken too, is he still in?…Uh-uh…Well, they tend to keep folk in that place quite a while….public safety y’know.

So Miss Singles if you would care to come back into the office to sign some paperwork… I think some of the guys want to come down off of the scaffolding and rush Joe off to Emergency, no I don’t think it’s the wound , I think it’s the hysteria they’re kind of worried about. They’ll sort it out.

….. Oh no don’t be so formal, not Mr. Nightly, no we use first names…Ah I’m Jay…. Well to be truthful it’s kinda of shortening from Jerkov…..Yeah (laughs) my parents had a thing for East European names…Uh?…..No, they’re not alive. Died in a freak car accident, engine exploded. Yeah (laughs)…Still Life must go on….And if I may say so I think we’re gonna get on just fine……..”

Once again….thank you Bob Newhart.