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The Princess and the Pea - The Modern Day Version

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In a kingdom over the hills and far away, there lived a young prince who was very full of himself. He was healthy, relatively handsome, and had had more than his fair share of happiness and comfort growing up. Yet he felt that he deserved something more. It was not enough for him to have been born into a life of parasitical leisure and to keep the masses firmly under the heel of his calfskin boot. He was also determined to perpetuate this undemocratic tyranny by marrying only a real, authentic, card-carrying princess.

His mother the queen encouraged her son's obsession, despite the obvious risks of haemophiliac or microcephalic grandchildren. Many years earlier, after a period of inadequate wellness, his father the king had achieved corporal terminality. This lack of a strong male presence gnawed at the prince on a subconscious level, and no amount of weekend retreats and male bonding with other young dukes and barons could relieve this anxiety. His mother, for her own co-dependent and Oedipal reasons, did not bother to change or correct his selfish notions of unattainable perfection in a spousal lifemate.

In his quest for the perfect partner, the prince travelled far and wide, looking for someone to enslave in matrimony. Astride his trusty equine colleague, he went from kingdom to queendom and from dukedom to duchessdom, asking for names and phone numbers. Heavily or lightly pigmented, vertically or horizontally challenged, cosmetically attractive or differently visaged he cared not a whit. His only criterion was the royal authenticity of a woman who could share his regal delusions of privilege and personal worth.

One rainy night, after a long journey to many far-off bioregions, the prince nourished himself with a bowl of lentil-curry stew and confided his fears to his mother: "I don't think I'll ever find a genuine princess with whom to share my life, Mummy."

"Well, Son," the queen reassured him, "don't forget the many benefits of the single life. Don't let society and the church pressure you into a lifestyle for which you might not be suited."

"Perhaps I should widen my scope a bit," he mused.

"What? And throw out your standards?"

"No, Mummy, perhaps I have fallen into a trap of the orthodox heterosexualist majority. Maybe there is a fine young prince out there for me. It's at least worth a try."

Before his mother could answer, there was a knock on the castle door. The servants pulled open the heavy portal, and out of the rain stepped a young woman, who was moisture-enhanced from head to foot. She was certainly attractive to the eye, if you're the type of shallow person. who attaches value to appearances. Luckily for our story, the prince was not one of those types. He had one standard, and only one standard, classist though it may have been.

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