Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Never Again - or the WI Christmas Party.

A few years ago I wrote a piece called Der Kinderfresser. It was based on the German story behind the real St Nicholas - the patron saint of children. In the folk story St Nicholas rescues some children who have been salted for meat and calls upon an angel to bring them back to life.

I came across this tale when I was researching for my 98 Reasons book. One of the stories in Struwwelpeter is about three boys who are punished for laughing at a black boy by being plunged into a pot of ink by a scribe. In the German version the scribe is clearly St Nicholas. Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann was no doubt inspired by pictures of St Nicholas rescuing the three boys from the salting pot which looks something like a cooking pot...or indeed a pot of ink.

Anyway, this story about the original St Nicholas appealed to me and I wrote my own version.
You can read it here (although I wouldn't advise it).

So...this afternoon I was just writing away, blissfully occupied, when I suddenly remembered that I was going with a group of friends to give readings at a local Women's Institute's Christmas party. Hurriedly searching through my little collection of short stories for one of suitable length I came across this one which was obviously the right sort of length and which I also vaguely remembered was about St Nicholas - and therefore ideal for a Christmas party.

Unfortunately, I didn't also remember how very gruesome it was until I was half way down the page in front of my audience...
'That's sick!' said someone quite audibly.
Which was when I wished that StarTrek was true and that mobile phone in my bag would connect me to the Starship Enterprise because King Kabs, quite obviously, were not going to be able to take me far enough.

I finished it rapidly - leaving out yet more gruesome parts as I read and sat down quickly.
'I think you upset some people,' my neighbour observed (fairly redundantly).

For the rest of the season I just want it to be known that I am retreating into my shell. Someone please tap on the walls when it's over.

Word Count: 11 300


Blogger wyndskald said...

Dear Frau Deidmoon

re:For the rest of the season I just want it to be known that I am retreating into my shell. Someone please tap on the walls when it's over.
I dink its called a-faestivation!
There is a snailly pun coiled in there, somewhere.
Merie Angstmass!

Wed Dec 05, 08:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Merie Angstmass to you too, Wyndskald! That is excellent. I love it.

Wed Dec 05, 11:35:00 pm  
Blogger Anne S said...

Very funny!

Loved your description of the Women's Institute Christmas party gaff. Reminded me of the unfortunate hero in that BBC TV comedy "The Worst Week of My Life"

Thu Dec 06, 05:40:00 am  
Blogger jem said...

I think that sounds like a great reading - you're sure to have shaken up their tidy little worlds - and they won't forget you in a hurry. And all round success in my opinion ;)

Thu Dec 06, 11:29:00 am  
Anonymous Clare said...

Anne - yes, I now know exactly why people use the term excrutiatingly funny!

Jem - thank you - yes, that's what everyone was telling me afterwards - they'll remember you...uuuurgh.

Thu Dec 06, 12:21:00 pm  
Blogger jem said...

I have now read the story in question - I love it, but then I have a self-acknowledged sickened mind!

From here on I want to draw Hannibal Lecter masks on all the Father Christmas cards!

Thu Dec 06, 02:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Jem: good - I am glad I've found a like mind. Hannibal Lecter on Christmas cards sounds like a fine idea to me. Merrie Angstmass! (Ta, Wyndskald).

Thu Dec 06, 08:39:00 pm  
Blogger j.white said...


So many currently sanitized 'folkloric' pieces and characters are really pretty rough stuff in their original forms. Eh, people should know that.

Sun Dec 09, 02:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Thank you J. White - just looked on your blog - some wonderful images there...

Mon Dec 10, 05:19:00 pm  

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