“You ever heard of Cinderella?”
This is literally the last thing I ever expected Big Country to ask me, so much so that I’m concerned for my safety. I mean, where could he possibly be going with this? Is he talking about the 80’s hair metal band? Big Country’s on par with Yoda when it comes to sage-yet-awkwardly-worded life coaching, but the man was bragging the other day about making stew from roadkill: I can’t imagine a fanciful story about unjust oppression and triumphant reward playing into his narrative. Or maybe it does, like, REALLY does, and BC’s about to peel back layers of his pickled-in-moonshine onion, laying to waste stereotypes promoted by my lefty-democrat bubble. Whatever the case, my last sip of coffee spills from my agape mouth as the reality sinks in that I actually have to answer this question.
Yes. Yes, I have heard of Cinderella, I reply with every ounce of musterable courage.
“Shit, I know ain’t no Cinderella from Tennessee.”
In this, Big Country’s correct. The earliest variant of the Cinderella story can be traced back to Ancient Greece, with the most popular version published by the Brothers Grimm (German dudes) in the 1800’s. I only know this because when your 6’4”, likely criminal, clearly bat-shit nuts hillbilly neighbor - who’s wearing overalls with no shirt in 20 degree weather - asks if you’re familiar with a children’s story, well, that’s the Universe telling you to Wake the Fuck Up. There’s something here, ya ding-dong, and you're missing it. So, you better believe I Wikipedia’d the shit outta Cinderella.
Why? Why wouldn’t Cinderella be from Tennessee?
“Shit, flip flops are the glass slippers of the South.”
This one’s clearly been in the chamber for a while - god knows why - and Big Country, guffawing maniacally, drops his chipped coffee mug, as if dropping the mic.
I’m left questioning everything, a shell of a man, like the remains of a lobster dinner.