Such modern perils as computer viruses and man-eating lightning might endanger the lives of today, but they can’t hold a beef-tallow candle to the terrors of yesteryear. If you find yourself transported back in time by a bolt of radioactive lightning or trapped within the pages of a cursed children’s menu, consult these timeless tips for fairy-tale survival:
Do not become a father: Fairy tales are killing grounds for biological parents, especially single fathers. If you do find yourself in the role of unmarried progenitor, remarry immediately—children need a stepmother figure in their lives to help them step in the right direction. Consider asking out that woman from deep in the woods, the one who’s always clutching a glistening too-red apple in a halo of green smoke. Her constant cackling is sure to warm any heart and home.
Do not reveal your name: In the fairy-tale world, as in junior high, having an embarrassing name robs you of all your power—just ask Rumpelstiltskin, who gambled his secret identity as collateral to win a newborn. To avoid eventual discovery, embarrassment, and spontaneous explosion from stomping your foot, try acquiring a fairy-tale baby the old-fashioned way—by looking on any doorstep, riverbank, or oversize toadstool. But remember the axiom—babies are cooing, 8-pound death warrants.
Do not talk to animals: Even the ones that claim to grant wishes are just messing with you. Besides, your first and only wish would probably be to eat a wish-granting animal anyhow.