On turning into a pumpkin

January 25, 2016 ☞ Pedantry

Your misunderstanding of the mechanics of “turning into a pumpkin at midnight” alarms us. Please know, we didn’t rush to the quill this time. In the same way one considers a bottle of Chardonnay in a dim wine cellar, we hefted. We hawed. We hemmed.

It was the consideration that you may lack parents. Perhaps they were slain in cold blood like the Bat-man’s or maybe they abandoned you at a shopping mall. In either case, no one would have read to you as a child, and that would explain your ignorance of the Cinderella story.

But even orphanages have a few books lying around. So we restocked the Chardonnay in favor of a full-bodied red blend of Truth. To wit:

Cinderella is the story of a young woman forced into servitude by her stepmother after her father dies. She is taunted by her stepsisters who, being basic bitches, won’t even let her go to the Prince’s Ball.

One night in a soot-induced hallucination, young Elizabeth (Cinderella is her slave name, remember) is visited by a fairy godmother who explains in dulcet tones that young Liz needs to fight, for her right, to party. With a wave of her wand she transforms a pumpkin into a coach, some mice into horses, and a nearby potato into an iPhone. She also gives Liz a weaksauce curfew of midnight, when all her spells are rendered moot. Yada, yada, yada… she gets the man, and is eventually able to afford a cleaning lady of her own.

Now that you’ve been schooled, heed this rule: when it’s getting close to midnight, do not announce “If I don’t get out of here, I’m going to turn into a pumpkin.” In the fairy tale, it was the stagecoach that would have reverted to pumpkin form. This rendering of the idiom is woefully inept.

For pedantry’s sake it would be more accurate to say: “If we don’t get home soon, our Honda Accord is going to turn into a pumpkin and a bunch of mice are going to tumble out of the hood.” Or whatever it is you are forced to drive; we prefer black cabs and horse-drawn sleigh.

Bippity. Boppity. Boo.

Sources: Wikipedia, Charles Perrault