Issue # 62
November 30, 2001
A Fishy Cinderella Story (Featuring Superheroes!)
Part 1

By Rich Wilhelm

I don't have Clue One as to how this started, but everytime we have fish for dinner, Jimmy asks me to tell the story of Cinderella. This has been happening for months now. Apparently, he asked me to tell the story at dinner one night when we were having fish and then, the next time we had the same meal, he flashed back to the previous dinner and the Cinderella story and thought to himself, "Wouldn't it be cool if Dad told the Cinderella story again?"

So now it's become a Thing: Our Weekly Fish Dinner With The Cinderella Story. Actually, we start with Cinderella, but we often move on to both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty by the time dinner is over.

Up until recently, I've pretty much told the story the way Mr. Disney told it. Of course, I probably embellish and/or improvise a little bit, but the cast of characters has stayed true to the movie. However, this week, Jimmy wanted to throw Batman, Robin, and Superman into the mix. Again I don't have Clue One as to why he wanted these particular characters added; you'd have to ask Jimmy, and I doubt you'd get a straight answer.

So now, I would like to present, "Cinderella Meets Batman, Robin, and Superman." This is, as I hope you'll see, not exactly the version I told Jimmy, but rather, a logical extension of where the story was headed.

(By the way, if you need to get a four-year-old to laugh, say "Poppa Ow Mow Mow." I guarantee that saying this, or some variation of "Poppa Ow Mow Mow" will get a kid to laugh.)

Once upon a time, in the land of Poppa Ow Mow Mow [insert huge belly laugh here], there lived a beautiful maiden named Cinderella. Cinderella lived with her wicked stepmother and her ugly/wicked/wacky stepsisters, Druzilla and Anastasia. The stepmother and the ugly/wicked/wacky stepsisters were very cruel to Cinderella, making her serve them breakfast in bed everyday, in addition to forcing her to wash their dirty laundry, continually clean their beautiful home, and, most heinous of all, making her listen to Michael Bolton's Time, Love and Tenderness CD over and over again. Cinderella's only friends were the animals that lived in and around her house: a lazy, old dog, some horses, a few mice and some birds, who were probably mostly just interested in the birdseed Cinderella threw at them. A cat named Lucifer lived at the house also. Judging from the cat's name, you can probably guess whose side it was on regarding the Cinderella vs. Wicked Stepmother issue.

The house next door to Cinderella was Stately Wayne Manor, home of Gotham City (Gotham City being the capital of Poppa Ow Mow Mow) Millionaire Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward, Dick Grayson. Of course, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are the secret identities of Batman and Robin so this meant that, unbeknownst to Cinderella and her highly dysfunctional housemates, they lived next door to the BatCave, or rather, ON TOP of the BatCave, since it extended, deep underground, from beneath Stately Wayne Manor to Cinderella's house. In addition, Bruce and Dick's good friend, Clark Kent (a.k.a. Superman) had moved into Stately Wayne Manor to nurse a broken heart after his girlfriend, ace Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, ran off with some photographer named Peter Parker.

Batman, Robin, and Superman tried to mind their own business, but they couldn't help noticing (in much the same way that acclaimed pop/folk songstress Suzanne Vega noticed that kid named Luka) that Cinderella was treated very poorly by her "family." So, one night, long after Cinderella had retired to her spare, lonely room, where she could listen to her Belle & Sebastian CDs in peace, Batman, Robin, and Superman appeared in the parlor of Cinderella's house, where her wicked Stepmother and her ugly/wicked/wacky stepsisters had gathered to plot their next day's cruel pranks/Michael Bolton CDs to play on/play for poor Cindy.

The three women were indeed surprised to see three superheroes suddenly standing in their parlor, but, after they recovered from their shock, the ugly/wicked/wacky stepsisters began to come on to Batman, Robin, and Superman, which pleased the Old Bat Stepmother, who was always trying to hook her daughters up with the rich, eligible men of Poppa Ow Mow Mow.

The Superheroes, however, weren't interested. "We're just here to tell you one thing," said Superman, "Start being nice to Cinderella or we'll give you "what-for" the next time we drop by. Capeche?" Batman said, "Believe me, you don't want three major superheroes to give you "what-for." With that, Batman, Robin, and Superman vanished from the parlor...

What happens next? Will the Superhero Visitation have any effect at all on the Wicked Stepmother and the Ugly/Wicked/Wacky Stepsisters? And what's to become of Cinderella? And how come nobody ever recognized that Superman's secret identity was Clark Kent, seeing as he didn't exactly wear a mask? Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to Cinderella Meets Batman, Robin, and Superman

(Please feel free to email to others who may be interested or to print a hard copy for them but remember: The Dichotomy of the Dog is copyright 2001 by Rich Wilhelm. If you plan on making a bazillion dollars from this piece of writing, please let me know so I can sue you or something.)