Grim(m) Stories: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp – Part I

Searched for and found a fairy tale that is even longer than the Andersen one? Check. Found one where characters are stupid and make everything more complicated by not hurrying the fuck up? Double check. Welcome to Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp. I will have to divide this fairy tale into two posts due to length – and will post Part II next week.

Once upon a time lived a tailor who had a son. Aladdin. Said son is lazy, so lazy in fact, that the father dies of exasperation. I’m not kidding. He really dies. Aladdin is unfazed and continues living his happy life and his mother gets really exasperated, too. This goes on until he’s fifteen – meaning they wanted a kid to act like freaking adult. All this made zero sense.

So, one day, an African magician appears and walks up to Aladdin and says, “Aren’t you Mustapha’s son?”

And Aladdin goes, “Sure, but he’s sort of dead.”

So the magician begins to cry and says that he is the boy’s uncle and had wanted to visit his brother.

Aladdin falls for it, especially since he receives some money and goes home to tell his mother that his uncle is coming to visit. The mother says that she never knew that her husband had a living!brother, and is legitimately confused.

The magician shows up and puts on quite a show, weeping and sobbing all over the place, so the mother figures he must be honest. See what I meant? Stupid.

The magician asks Aladdin about his work and Aladdin gets sheepish, because, you know, he doesn’t work. So the magician says that he has too and offers to give him some starting capital and a shop so that he can become a merchant. Aladdin and his mother are now fully convinced of his honesty, because bad people don’t gift you things? IDK.

So the day after next, the magician and Aladdin take off for a walk through all the gardens and finally end up far out of the city. Aladdin whines a bit about it being too far but the magician urges him on. Finally they reach their goal, and the magician lights a fire. He opens a gate in the earth. Aladdin gets afraid and tries to run but the magician backhands him and then is rather pissed when Aladdin starts to cry. I get confused about the boy’s portrayal, though. Sometimes, he is supposed to be a child, but also supposed to act like a grown-up; now that he is a teenager, he acts like a small child. I don’t understand.

The magician orders Aladdin to get inside and get a lamp. On his way, Aladdin picks up loads of jewels, finds the lamp and goes to climb up again. The magician wants him to hand him the lamp, but Aladdin can’t, because he tucked it under his robes and can’t afford to loosen his grip. So they bicker back and forth about handing over the lamp until the magician is all, “Oh, screw it!” and locks Aladdin inside the cave.

Aladdin starts crying and lamenting about his fate and spends two whole days in there like this. Finally, he decides to pray to Allah and as he does, rubs the ring the magician handed him earlier. Therefore a ghost appears, which makes absolutely no sense either, because from this point, that ghost will appear by rubbing the lamp. So – how does it come out of the ring? #confused.

“What wouldst thou with me? I am the Slave of the Ring, and will obey thee in all things.”

How very Shakespearian of you, Genie. So Aladdin says that he wants out of this place and of course gets his wish granted. He returns home and tells his mother the very lengthy story. I swear, we get to relive it all again, WHY WE JUST READ THAT. Anyway.

The mother says that she has nothing to eat and offers to sell some cotton, but Aladdin says that he’d rather sell the lamp. So the mother goes to polish it and *puff* the ghost appears and is all “What wouldst thou with me?” again. They wish for some food and get it.

Aladdin decides that he’ll now sell the silver plates that he got his food on. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any clue of how much those are really worth and doesn’t get even close to enough money for it. From that day on, he keeps selling the silver cutlery and they live on like this. I swear, this is so dragged out, I don’t even know why.

One day, a goldsmith tells him, “Yo, boy, you sell these plates for far too less.” And from that day pays him a reasonable price for the plates.

As Aladdin is out another day, it’s announced that everyone should get the hell out of the streets, because the Princess Badroulbadour (Jasmine rolled off the tongue a little smoother…) is going for a bath and no one is supposed to see her.
Aladdin hides and sees the Princess Badroulbadour. He’s instantly in love for her because she’s so beautiful. So he goes home and tells his mother,

“Mum, listen, I saw the Princess Badroulbadour. She’s got a horrible name, but she’s really pretty and I want to marry her.”

And the mother says, “Yeah… but you’re not a prince, so that’s not going to happen.”

Aladdin goes on for a while, convincing his mother to ask the Sultan to let him marry the Princess Badroulbadour. They decide that they definitely need a gift and therefore pack a few of the jewels Aladdin brought from the cave.

So the mother goes to the Sultan’s palace and waits to be heard. She’s shy, though, so she won’t speak up and returns in the evening without having made her request. It goes on for a few days like this and WHY THE HELL DON’T YOU PEOPLE HURRY UP!? The Sultan finally remarks her and calls her to him to say what she wants. She’s very afraid and makes him promise not to punish her for her blunt request (GET TO THE POINT). The Sultan agrees to think about it, but he needs three months for it. WHY? Time is money, mate. Shit or get off the pot.

The vizir has a son who he wants to marry to the Princess Badroulbadour, so he convinces the Sultan to forget about Aladdin and his mother.
The vizir’s son and the Princess Badroulbadour marry and Aladdin is desperate. He rubs on the lamp and orders the djinn to kidnap the newlyweds. Thus, they have to spend the night alone in a dark, cold room and seen as they are a vizir’s son and the Princess Badroulbadour, they take that very hard. Next morning, he transports them back to the palace. So it goes on for a few day until the vizir’s son has enough.
“Princess Badroulbadour is really pretty and everything, but that’s just not worth it.”
So they divorce.

Aladdin sends his mother again and the vizir advices the Sultan to just set a very high price for the Princess Badroulbadour so that they won’t be able to pay it. They didn’t count on the djinn, I guess, so that price is no problem for Aladdin.

In Part II: Find out how their marriage turned out and how to prolong a plot unnecessarily.

Have yourself a lovely day :)

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