Classic retellings

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain flowed from the gargoyles overlooking the central square, dripping over their bulbous noses into the metal gutters installed around the first floor, gushing through the plastic pipes into the ground under the cobbled streets where it would meet the city’s sewage system and venture out into the canals and then to the water treatment plant where it would, after a circuitous route, find itself in a glass of a woman who opened the tap at the fortuitous moment.

The child stuck her tongue out and in one fell swoop, cut out the middlemen. Her mother smacked her on the arm. “Don’t drink the rain. Who knows where it’s been.”

***

Call me Rumpelstiltskin.

***

I am an invisible man. Like other invisible men, I sit in my grey cubicle on the 34th floor of a drab building in the unfashionable part of London from 9 to 5. You might also have met me in the Tube, or the Pub down the road or in the elevator to nowhere. But you can’t have. Seen me, I mean because I am just another invisible man in an invisible crowd.

***

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a mad doctor in possession of a sturdy castle with a High Voltage transformer, a few dozen cadavers on ice and a maniacal laugh must be in desperate need of a trusty man-servant named Igor.

The doctor placed the ad in Sunday’s TOT (Times of Transylvania). “Wanted: Manservant and sidekick for electro-genetic mutation experiments with new fangled electric contraptions. Must have high resistance and low impedance to progress. Annuity will include lifetime’s supply of pomade and hair oil along with some hay to lay down in the attic. Individuals with sharpened pitchforks need not apply. Please route all enquiries to Dr. Frankenstein, I. Des of March 666, Transylvania.”

***

It was love at first sight. The first time the Tramp saw Lady, he fell madly in love with her. That night his dreams featured spaghetti, meatballs and Lady laughing at him from the other end of the now short pasta strand.

It was quite a pity that he was a dog and that such anthropomorphic tendencies went unnoticed.

***

Somewhere in the deepest recesses of space, in a swirling crustacean nebula whose name I do not care to remember, a two-headed gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a heart of gold and the recipe for the most potent drink in the world and keeps a skinny nag and a depressed robot for company.

And, he tilts at bowls of petunias for fun.

***

My neighbour’s brother-in-law’s wife’s cousin’s mother died today. Or yesterday. I don’t remember. But I was profoundly affected by the news.

***

Prometheus, light of our life, firegiver to all mankind. Pro-me-the-us: a four syllable word that brought the me to us in a thoroughly professional manner. Pro-me-the-us, whole in the morning, liver-less by evening. Titan among Men, how did your digestive system work?

***

In the beginning, He created everything. It was a good day. Then He took August off since he was French.

***

The Time Traveller was expounding a recondite matter to us. It took us more time than we bargained for because we had to go back to search the Oxford English Dictionary to understand what recondite meant. A few more centuries passed before the Super String Theory was completely explained. But what’s time to a Time Traveller?

***

All children, except one, grow up. I married that exception.

***

The Trivandrum Mail was on time. This was a rare event and the engine driver was hailed as a hero in the next day’s Malayala Manorama. Old men discussed the happy event over the beef fry and toddy in the afternoon in the most literate state in the country.

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