Original fairy tales mete out the very best punishments for character flaws.
In The Three Little Pigs the first two pigs import cheap Chinese building materials with which they build their houses. They get eaten by the Great Canadian Wolf, ravenously unhappy with ongoing NAFTA negotiations. The Wolf, thinking the third pig has foolishly imported bricks from Mexico, is eventually trapped in an American-made cast iron pot and is himself devoured. Lesson: Don’t be a glutton. When it comes to bacon, leave the third pig for someone else.
In the original Rapunzel, a nameless Prince climbs the tower using the hair of the woman he loves. As he ponders why he didn’t use the stairs, Dame Gothel leaps forth from behind a curtain:
“Your Rapunzel was rescued not an hour ago by Prince Chad! But I would be thrilled to be your rescue–ee, sweetie!” Wink. Wink. Cackle-Flem-Hack. Big Toothless Grin.
Nameless Prince leaps from the window, landing in a tangle of blackberry bushes. Thinking it will ease the misery of seeing the hideous crone without her makeup, he blinds himself with the thorns. As he staggers off into the wilderness, he now ponders why he didn’t drink a bottle of cheap scotch instead. Lesson: Sometimes the second mouse gets moldy cheese.
The most valuable life-lesson comes from Cinderella – Aschenputtel, in the original German – by the Brothers Grimm. The eldest step-sister (let’s call her “Allison”) has a college education and reads the most fashionable magazines. She knows what she likes, and she likes fancy dresses, fancy shoes, fancy mansions, and flawless maid service. She knows how to coerce others to provide those things for her and she deserves them. Isn’t she the one atop the highest pedestal?
Allison manipulates her mother, her poor migrant step-sister, and the prince who’s selling expensive glass slippers. The prince negs her by mocking her gigantic cloven hooves. She shows him! Grabbing an axe, Allison chops off her toes.
“Hah! The fresh blood will provide the lubricant I need to slip these past my misshapen Cuneiform bones!”
It doesn’t. Lesson: If you want to end up completely crazy, go to college.
In the spirit of these old tales, we’ve come up with an old-school punishment for our miscreant cartoon characters: the Weed Killer Stick. We’re not sure what the poor radish in today’s comic did to deserve his suffering, but rest assured it tastes terrible. It is also perfectly safe. Neither the FDA, the EPA, nor CIA would ever approve of a product for use by the public that wasn’t fully tested, vetted, imported, and marketed, would they?
He is also building up his immunity to the poison.
Astute readers may have spotted a contradiction in our Weed Killer Stick. You are clearly not Churchians.