Throwback Thursday: Life Lessons from Roald Dahl’s “Revolting Rhymes”

When I think about reading books as a kid, my memories are heavily influenced by Roald Dahl. This could be due either to the fact that I read so many of his books or the fact that I read his autobiography in 4th grade and dressed up as him for a class presentation.

Photo of me in 4th grade not available  because fuck you, that's why.
Photo of me in 4th grade not available
because fuck you, that’s why.

Moving on . . . I revisited Roald Dahl’s 1982 collection Revolting Rhymes, a reimagining of classic fairy tales in a, shall we say, revolting fashion.

Pictured above: you, because I'm that hilarious.
Pictured above: you, because I’m that hilarious.

In case you’ve forgotten these stories or you never read them because you were busy making friends instead of reading books all day with your cat, here are some life lessons you can take away from this collection:

1. Cinderella: Rich People are Crazy and Will Murder You
The tale of Cinderella is fairly true to form until one of the stepsisters switches her shoe with the one left at the ball by her poor, abused stepsister. This is less traumatic than the original version of the fairy tale in which both of the stepsisters carve their own feet to fit Cinderella’s slipper until, in Dahl’s version, the prince decides to murder Cinderella and her stepsisters.

Murder seems like a disproportionate response to shoe swapping but okay, whatever.
Murder seems like a disproportionate response
to shoe swapping but okay, whatever.

Just before she’s murdered by a psychotic prince, Cinderella wishes to be married to a decent man so her fairy godmother, who is apparently just sitting back and enjoying the carnage, waves her wand and Cinderella is married to a simple jam maker.

Preserves > Dismemberment
Preserves > Dismemberment

2. Jack and the Beanstalk: Bathe or Die (or Bitches Get What’s Coming to Them)

Rather than going the traditional route of stealing the giant’s goose that lays the golden eggs, Jack notices that the leaves at the top of the beanstalk are gold. He’s about to pick some leaves when he hears a giant threaten to eat him after he smells him so Jack makes the rational decision to GTFO. When he gets home and tells his mom what happens, she yells at him for selfishly avoiding death and climbs up to pick the golden leaves herself. However, the giant then smells her and eats her because karma.

I'm not responsible for the poor punctuation, this is just from a Google search. Still relevant.
I’m not responsible for the poor punctuation,
this is just from a Google search.
Still relevant.

Jack then bathes himself and climbs up to the top of the beanstalk and picks the golden leaves, undisturbed by the giant because Jack apparently no longer smells like an outhouse. Jack then resolves to bathe every day so he can continue his life of crime undetected.

3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Gambling Addiction is Fine as long as You Win

After the huntsman spares her life because she’s a hot teenager, Snow White takes a job as a cook for the seven dwarfs, who are actually jockeys. The seven jockeys are also compulsive gamblers who are terrible and continually lose money although you’d think that since they’re the ones riding the horses, they could fix a race or two.

Then again, maybe not.

Snow White decides that she can’t handle living with seven losers after being a princess so she steals the evil queen’s magic mirror. The mirror then correctly predicts the outcome of every race and makes Snow White and the seven jockeys millionaires because, as the book says, “Gambling is not a sin/Providing you always win.”


4. Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Bitches Should Get What’s Coming to Them

This story essentially spends the whole time with the narrator breaking the fourth wall and talking about how awful Goldilocks is and how it would’ve been a much better story had she been eaten by the three bears. I may be off base, but considering the morals of this story and “Jack and the Beanstalk”, I’m guessing Roald Dahl was mad at some bitches at the time of this writing.


5. Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf: Crazy Bitches Pack Heat

After the wolf eats Red’s grandmother, Red arrives and pulls a pistol out of her underwear and shoots the wolf in the head before turning him into a coat. I live in a town with a big hunting population and although I don’t hunt, I have friends and family who do. However, if I found out any of them kept a pistol in their underwear I might seriously reconsider our friendship because what sort of person keeps a gun that close to their junk?


6. The Three Little Pigs: Crazy Bitches Will Kill You

After his two brothers are eaten by the wolf, the third little pig hires Little Red Riding Hood to deal with his wolf problem. Red shows up, turns the wolf into a second wolfskin coat for herself, and then turns the gun on her employer and murders him in cold blood, turning him into a pigskin carrying case.

revolting rhymes4
She’s like the love child of
Ed Gein and Patrick Bateman.

If that isn’t an argument for better background checks for gun purchases, I don’t know what is.

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