Thursday, October 08, 2009

As Opposed to a Wrestler

I'm pretty sure that the toilet paper in the bathrooms on my school's campus is made out of shards of glass. I kid you not, that shit is like sandpaper, and I'm reasonably certain that my labia is half an inch shorter now than it was in July.

My Brit Lit class is studying book I of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene at the moment, and there's this chick named Una who rides behind the knight named Red Crosse on a "lowly ass". She's got this lamb on a leash and she's kind of dragging it along with her (apparently NOT for dinner, which was my guess), and the whole ridiculous band of travelling beatitudes is rounded out with a dwarf who walks behind Una's ass. Her donkey, not her ass. But I guess also her ass if he's behind her, since we're getting technical here.

So there are all these one-to-one parallels between Una and Christ: she's riding a donkey, Christ rode a donkey. She's leading a lamb, Christ is a "shepherd of men". Her name (more or less) implies "truth" or "singularity". Christ was "the way, the truth, and the light," or something like that. Forgive my botched Biblical references, I've spent the last 10 years trying to scrub that shit out of my brain folds.

But then there's this dwarf.

What the fuck is the dwarf doing there? If the lamb wasn't dinner, I hope to god that poor misshapen dude wasn't scheduled for braising, although that might have made the story a little more appetizing...(see what I did there? appetizing? god I'm good) Was he busting into Mini-Me sketches every 20 miles to keep up morale? Was Redcrosse into some kinky shit when the sun went down?

That poor, shrunken man seems to be some kind of hand servant to Una, and scholars conjecture perhaps he represents Una's bodily needs - the pooping, the eating, the sleeping - all of those things that aren't spiritual, but are necessary when one is trapped inside a human body. I'm not sure who decided that the dwarf represents the shittiest things about humanity, but whatever. This was the 16th century and nobody ever accused those pigs of being politically correct.

Spenser describes the dwarf as lazy because he's always pulling up the rear, and I'm thinking to myself, "Ok, so Redcrosse is on a horse, Una's on a donkey, and the dwarf is using his tiny little stumps of legs, endlessly running to keep up with them. He's hustling as fast as he can go, all over the fucking kingdom, chasing this crackpot knight who appears to be accomplishing nothing other than LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, nobody listens to his advice, nobody asks his opinion, for for the love of god why can't he just ride the damned sheep already?!

And he's the lazy one. Um, sure that makes perfect medieval sense.

Anyhow, the class was debating the dwarf's possible symbolic meaning when one guy piped up and said, "Sometimes a dwarf is just a dwarf."

I'm pretty sure I heard the angels in heaven at that moment because truer words have never been spoken, and now I have a new personal mission statement because DAMMIT! Sometimes a dwarf IS JUST A FUCKING DWARF.