We’re ten days into November, gentle viewers. Ten days into the fury of National Novel Writing Month. Ten days closer to turkey and pie comas. Ten days closer to my looming day of birth. And ten days closer to the next massive festival of political trebuchets. (Kidding. You can continue to ignore politics for the duration of the lame duck weeks.)
It’s a month to be thankful. Thankful the election is over. Thankful that your uterus remains yours. Thankful that Butterball brings turkeys to your local supermarket. And thankful that for at least a little while, none of us have to endure any more Todd Akin.
But today, I’m thankful for other things. Important things. Because if I had to deal with them, I don’t think I’d behave as fortuitously as our fantasy heroes.
Fantasy worlds are great. They gave us the Shire, unicorns, and butterbeer. But they’ve also made it clear that sometimes, living in them would be complete crap.
As much as I adore Taran and Coll and all the lovely inhabitants of Prydain in Lloyd Alexander’s fabulous chronicles, I really don’t want a pig.
They are intelligent, lovely animals. But they are also animals. Farm animals, to be exact. If I had an oracular pig in my apartment, several things would happen: my cat would start peeing everywhere, the dog would think she had a new best friend, the neighbours below would start shooting us through the floor, and the pig would probably root through Spouse’s vinyl collection.
Not to mention the poop.
Just stay away, Hen Wen.
Let’s forget the obvious sexism inherent in Disney making all stepmothers evil when fathers are clearly doting and lovely until they die a horrible premature death and leave hapless daughters to scrub chamber pots for the rest of their lives while their minds deteriorate to the point that they have conversations with mice.
Scenario: your dad just croaked. You’re devastated. His new wife was a little aloof and cold, but hey, Daddy was there, so it was fine. But now he’s gone, and you will never get anything you want, ever. Barring fairy godmother.
And hellooo, how many of us have a fairy godmother flitting about waiting to bibbity-bobbity-boo us into a ballgown and a castle?
You think your beater of a Ford is a pain in the ass? Try getting from D.C. to L.A. in that. Or on a horse. Have you ever had a saddle sore? Have you?
If you feel the need to experiment, go to a honkytonk. Straddle the mechanical bull, and put it on the lowest setting. Now stay there for twelve hours.
Alternately, put on the crappiest shoes you can find. Open your door, walk out of it, and just keep going for twelve hours. See how far you got. I hope you remember the cab fare for your return journey.
Excepting the Wheel of Time where Rand can simply Travel willy-nilly by pulling a Wrinkle-in-Time on the pattern of reality, most of the time folk are stuck getting from A to B with feet. Usually a horse’s feet. Sometimes their own.
Think about that.
Forget the boils Hermione magicked onto betrayer’s faces. And forget Eloise Midgen and the fact that even in a world where they can mend broken spectacles and broken bones with equal facility, she’s stuck with cystic acne and no Accutane.
Just about every fantasy world you find is covered in dust. And aside from the occasional surprised sneeze, everyone seems to be free of allergic reactions to it. Me? I’d earn the nickname of Snot Monster before I managed to walk ten feet.
Sometimes I think this world is hard. Rent’s late, I’m eating gourmet ramen for the eighth meal in a row, interspersed only with Lucky Charms and bagels (I call it the Carbalicious Diet), I should go to the doctor and make sure I don’t have walking pneumonia, and The Vampire Diaries is only on once a week.
But then I think, no one’s tried to kill me lately. In fact, the worst it’s gotten was some dude calling me a Snow Bunny from across the street and two guys making kissy noises at me last night as I walked home. Mmhmm. Not exactly the same as having dark wraiths chase me across the Brandywine River or every orc in Mordor having my face in his Handy Pocket-Sized Book of Who to Kill. No creepy snakes in my dreams, no evil gods with a vendetta against me, and no one setting up spindles in out-of-the-way corners of a castle for me to poke at.
I’ve really dodged some bolts.
What are you grateful not to have this November?
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