Trumplestilskin: a short story

19 December 2019

To commemorate Trump’s impeachment, read a very timely story from the book that could save your sleep this Christmas: Stuart Heritage’s Bedtime Stories for Worried Liberals.

‘The funniest book I’ve read this year’ Will Storr
‘The perfect Christmas present’ The Herald

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bedtime stories for worried liberals


Once upon a time there was a miller who had a daughter. A beautiful daughter. People said she was the most beautiful daughter you’ve ever seen. I mean, she was a total knockout; a real ten, that one. If I weren’t the narrator, I’d want to kiss her. I would. I would.

Now, this miller was a real loser. A real loser. It was a shame. He went to visit the king – who is a great friend of mine, does a wonderful job, great guy – and he said, ‘My daughter can spin gold out of straw’. She couldn’t. Total fake news.

The king believed this guy, though. Lyin’ Miller, I called him. So Lyin’ Miller said ‘My daughter can spin gold out of straw,’ and the king – a terrific man in many ways – said, ‘Great, bring her to my palace tomorrow.’ And that was smart of him. Really, it was. Because if she can spin gold out of straw, that’s great. Lots of gold for everyone. But if she can’t, he’s got a pretty girl locked up in his palace forever. And I’m not saying he’d do anything to her. I’m not. If I was the king, who knows, but I’m not. I’m just the narrator. That’s all.

So the next morning, Lyin’ Miller brings his daughter to the king’s palace – beautiful place, very nice – and she gets taken to a room filled with straw. ‘What am I doing here?’ she asks, and the king says, ‘Your fat pig of a father told me you could spin gold out of straw.’

Listen, you should have seen her face, I’m telling you. She was all ‘No, no, no,’ and ‘My dad’s a gross old phony’, but it was too late. The king wanted gold, so he gave her a spinning wheel and said that he’d kill her if she hadn’t spun any gold by the next morning. A good man, the king. Very, very tough. Sometimes you’ve got to be tough, you know? Gotta be tough.

The daughter sat down on the straw and cried. ‘My father is frankly a huge disgrace,’ she whined. ‘I might be just about the hottest thing anyone has ever seen, but I can’t work magic. Oh no, I’m gonna get killed. What a waste of this beautiful body.’

But then this little guy walked in. Strange little guy, very small, weird looking guy. I don’t like to talk this way about people, you know, but you brought it up. I don’t bring it up. I could say I have no comment on how he looked, but that’s not me. Ugly. He was ugly. Grotesque. But you shouldn’t have brought it up. It’s your fault.

This guy said, ‘Why are you crying?’ and the daughter said, ‘I have to spin straw into gold or else I’ll be killed, but I don’t know how to spin straw into gold’. The guy said ‘Why not?’ and the daughter said ‘Because I’m only fifteen years old’. I mentioned that she was only fifteen, right? No? I meant to.

This put the guy in a really terrific bargaining position, because he held all the cards at this point. Very, very smart. He waited until he had all the cards. ‘What will you give me if I spin straw into gold for you?’ he asked.

‘I have nothing to give you,’ she said. ‘I have no possessions in the whole entire world, because my father is a fat loser.’

‘Then give me that ring on your finger’, said the guy. This was very smart, because she had no choice. All the cards. Very smart.

So, the daughter gave the guy her ring, and the guy sat down at the spinning wheel, and he started spinning gold. The girl was blown away. She’d never seen anything like it. Nobody had. Unbelievable.

Now, a stupid guy would have spun all the straw into gold right there and then, but not this guy. He was a real high-quality guy, a great negotiator. He filled bobbins with gold, said goodbye and then walked off with the ring.

The next day, the king – very nice man, very smart, pretty good golfer, not as good as me – came in and saw the gold. ‘Great, good, OK’, he said, ‘But where’s the rest?’

‘What do you mean, the rest?’ said the daughter. She was beautiful – very sexy, very hot, fifteen-yearsold – but maybe not the smartest. The king said ‘Make me more gold, or I’ll chop you up and feed you to my pigs.’ And sometimes that’s how you’ve got to be, OK? It’s nothing personal. It’s just business.

So again the daughter started crying and crying. It was embarrassing, quite frankly. But then the guy showed up again. Very smart. Not as smart as me, but very smart. ‘What will you give me if I turn the rest into gold?’ he said.

‘I don’t have anything,’ she replied. ‘You already took my ring; which, by the way, is a very bad ring, not good quality, it sucks, my fat, dumb, loser dad gave it to me, it’s a shame.’

‘Then I’ll marry you,’ said the guy.

The daughter didn’t want to get married to the guy, because he was gross. So ugly. The worst. I hate bringing it up, but you asked me about him. She could do so much better than him – she could stay in all night and kiss a handsome narrator on the lips like a good girl maybe – but she didn’t have a choice. He held all the cards. Very smart. So what could she do? She agreed to marry him.

The guy sat at the spinning wheel and span gold all through the night. It was incredible. By morning the room was totally covered in gold. The place looked spectacular, like how a poor person would imagine a rich person’s house. Very, very classy.

The king saw all the gold, and he was very happy. Very happy. ‘Look at all this gold!’ he said. ‘I could make something real classy with this, like a toilet paper holder shaped like a swan.’ And he let her go, which was a bad move if you ask me because there’s always more straw, you know? It isn’t what I would have done. The king was a nice guy. Maybe too nice. Who knows? I don’t know.

So the daughter goes home to her fat, lazy father, and she says ‘Hey, Lyin’ Miller! How could you do this to me?’ and she shoots him, and he dies, and maybe it’s a good thing. It’s not pretty, you know, but now he’s out of the picture so everyone’s happy.

Happy ever after, right? Wrong, because then the weird-looking guy came back again. ‘Remember you said we’d get married?’ he said to the daughter, and the daughter started crying again, and that was a shame because crying made her much less sexy. The guy looked at her, face all ugly and scrunched up, and he thinks ‘Wow, this girl’s only a six when she cries,’ so he tries to back out of the deal by asking her an impossible question. Sensible guy. Maybe he could marry someone younger and less emotional instead. Who knows?

‘Listen,’ he says. ‘I know I said I’d marry you – and I still could marry you, because we had an agreement, remember? There’s nothing in the law to stop me from marrying you – but if you can guess my name, I’ll let you go free. You can have three guesses.’

‘Is it Rumpelstiltskin?’ asked the daughter.

‘No, it’s Paul Manafort’, said the guy, who frankly always had a problem keeping his mouth shut if you ask me, not that it proves anything. No collusion. No collusion. Total no collusion witch-hunt hoax.

‘Oh, so you’re Paul Manafort. So now I know your name and I don’t have to marry you,’ said the daughter, who could actually be pretty smart for a woman sometimes, as she skipped away.

‘Not so fast,’ said Paul Manafort, who was having a very, very tough time and I felt very badly for him. ‘Didn’t you see who the king was? Didn’t you recognise him?’

The daughter thought about the king. She thought about his kind eyes, his gentle smile, his huge bulging muscles, and the penny finally dropped. ‘Oh wow,’ she said. ‘That was Vladimir Putin.’

And it was. It was Vladimir Putin, who I have a great relationship with, maybe the best relationship that anyone’s ever had. He’s a nice guy. I like him. America first.

The daughter was confused. ‘So what does that mean?’ she asked.

So Paul Manafort – who, really, was a marginal figure in my life, I barely even met the guy – explained that the whole gold/straw deal was part of a widespread scheme to launder money obtained illegally from the Russians, and he’d flipped to the feds, and now she was implicated, and he was going to take her down with him. And that was smart. Sometimes you gotta throw people under the bus, am I right?

And so Paul Manafort went to jail for multiple felonies, and so did the daughter. But I didn’t. Why would I? I’m just the narrator here. You can’t pin me to any of this. No collusion. Total witch-hunt. MAGA.

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