The Pent-Annual Princess Jamboree was in a week, and Princess Poot couldn’t bear to win the “We Kindly Suggest-eth Thy Live with the Mole People” Cup. Not again.
Back in the days of Yore (“Yore” being a demonic cheerleader from the third circle of damnation sent to bedevil people who use numbers as letters), there lived Princess Poot. She was a very shitty princess.
Having recently friend-married her buddy Agnes in a celebration made notable for the number of times the brides lip-synched to Fleetwood Mac, Poot decided that she should develop an Official Princess-y Skill, as outlined in The Princess Encyclopedia from P to P:
Upon being born a princess, the blonde female in question must acquire a Princess-y Skill, the better to be immortalized in a moving picture for children and to attract a prince. Once mastered, the accomplishment should entice minions to bask in wonderment. If basking shall be substandard, please refer to the Minions’ Companion, Chapter Three: Grotesque Executions.
Dismay marred Poot’s already-marred features, for she was only flawless at her flaws. Let us not speak of her hair, which was not blonde in the least. The color was not light, it being vastly mousey, like dead leaves that are bothersome to pick up in the fall. One could not call the mop atop her head flaxen, or platinum, or tawny temptress, or yummy ’n’ yellow. It was brown, okay? Brown — the absolute worst color for princess hair, except for blue, a look which only worked for Marge the Longsuffering.
Poot needed an atypical princess skill to invite minion basking, and quickly, too. The Pent-Annual Princess Jamboree was in a week, and she couldn’t bear to win the “We Kindly Suggest-eth Thy Live with the Mole People” Cup. Not again.
Her first inclination was to display her skill at lancing boils. This hope died, however, when she tracked down Sir Lance-A-Lot, who was, sadly, extremely clear-skinned.
She decided to try one of the Minor Princess-y Skills: Acquire an Adorable Anthropomorphic Animal Ally, or AaAAAA. She and Agnes tried a bear (hard to catch), a lion (bad at sewing dresses), a slug (stereotypically lazy), and a bird (recited insulting Limericks).
Poot abandoned her efforts and fled to the solace of the nearby all-you-can-eat loaded potato skins cart. Cheesy tub of deliciousness in hand, she retired to the moat to sit alone, and eat, and reflect, and eat. Potatoes solved almost every problem, except that they couldn’t be used as a princess-y skill.
“Yes, they can,” said a deep voice behind Poot.
I haven’t spoken aloud! thought Poot.
“Whoops,” replied the voice.
She turned to find the moat’s medium-sized squid resting its tentacles on the sandy bank. “If you share your potato skins with me, I’ll be your pet.”
“Can you perform any tricks?”
“Um, I read minds and talk.”
Poot shrugged and nodded. “You’re already better than me.” She handed over the tub, and the squid squishily began chomping…or however squids eat. “I guess you’re lonely out here by yourself, huh?”
He flopped his great head to the side and swiveled one eye to her; it was the most indignant look she’d ever received from a medium-sized squid, but not the horniest. “I’m the pet of sixteen different castle denizens, and am president of the county’s Severance Fan Club.”
Even Squid was much, much more sought after than Poot. Not surprising — Poot had once lost an online popularity poll against clowns. She picked up a now-moat-watery potato skin and popped into her mouth. “Can I purshuade you to help me in my contesht?”
Squid narrowed his eyes and leaned forward to whisper in her ear.
Poot said, “That’s my neck growth. My ear is the other thing with hair in it.”
He proceeded to detail his demands.
The next day, Poot told her father, King Handsome, that she would hang out at the kingdom’s front gates wearing a “Most Beautiful Woman in Kingdomville” sash for a whole week unless he gave medium-sized squid an inside tank.
King Handsome was moved at once. He usually was moved by Poot’s threats, but today no bowels were involved. The last time she pulled that sash stunt, UPS had refused to deliver for a month. Besides, Handsome dearly needed Poot to succeed at something; the other kings mocked him at their annual King Wing Ding.
He ordered an enormous tank for Squid, the better to help Poot not be disgraced at the Princess Jamboree. Maybe they wouldn’t have to fish her out of the sewer this time. Those other princesses were stronger than they looked, and “Toss the Shit(tiest Princess)” was a popular post-Jamboree revelry.
The day of the contest arrived. Royals from hither and thither and zlither assembled to watch their young women compete for the drooling approval of the unwashed masses. What else are women for?
Poot placed last in Flat Ironing, the Thigh Gap-A-Palooza, and the Laughing at Men’s Sports Observations Titter-Off. She did get second in the What Type of Cheeze-It Iz It? taste test. With that near-win (damn Princess Nostril the Dog-Like!), Poot could squeak out a second-to-last finish overall if she won the animal contest. Dare she dream of an existence in which she wasn’t dumped into a river of offal?
Agnes strapped Squid’s tank to Poot’s back, and the princess lumbered up the steps to the stage. Squid swished from side to side as Poot’s uneven butt swayed, his tentacles wafting like a clutch of sexy synchronized swimmers.
The audience sat up straighter.
The time had come. Agnes hit the play button on the boom box. Poot twisted her body into a contortion so unusually attractive, one slightly-drunk under-Duke in the crowd sparked a single unchaste thought about her. Thusly began the kingdom’s most legendary rendition of “YMCA” ever performed by princess and cephalopod. Six of Squid’s tentacles swayed. Three of Poot’s nipples hardened. When Poot began burping in harmony to Squid’s resounding baritone, the spectators went wild!
The musical duo of Disgusting Creature and the Awesome Squid won sixth place!
The heavy weight of the sixth-place medal weighed heavily in Poot’s hand. She peeled back the shiny green foil and bit. Yum — white chocolate, the bird crap of chocolates. A strange feeling of non-failure settled over Poot’s shoulders. Was there even a name for that?
Soon the other princesses hauled her to the sewer and tossed her in. But Poot could tell, as she slashed desperately against the crap tide to find air once again, that their attitudes contained a slight whiff of respect. She broke through the surface and took a deep breath. Yes, that’s what she smelled. Respect.