1,001 Cray Cray Nights

Last post I talked to you about Disney’s Aladdin and promised to tell you about the original story today.  Some of you said you thought Aladdin was a real jerkwad, which he is, but if you compare him to the original Aladdin he comes off looking like Nelson Mandela in comparison.  No, really.

“Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” is one of the stories from an ancient Eastern fairy tale collection known as The Arabian Nights. The story goes that this sultan kept marrying these girls only to kill them the next morning.  Not sure why, just for giggles I guess.  Anyway, when this  Scheherazade chick gets picked by him, she decides to tell him some bedtime stories and he’s so into them that he keeps letting her live so she can finish them.  She does this for 1,001 nights which means she is either a really awesome storyteller or she was just trying to put the sultan to sleep on purpose.  Considering the number of pointless details to just the story of Aladdin (As Thing One asks, what was the point of making 24 windows in the palace coated in jewels only to leave one unfinished?  why???) I’m going to go with the latter.

Girl:. . . and then it turned out they were in Purgatory all along! Sultan: Now I will kill you.

Girl:. . . and then it turned out they were in Purgatory all along!
Sultan: Now I will kill you.

I got this particular translation from  The Arabian Night’s Entertainments, edited by Andrew Lang.  He informs us that “a great deal that is very dull and stupid was put in, and plenty of verses” but “Neither the verses nor the dull pieces are given in this book.”  If this is the case, I never, ever want to see the book he is referring to, because the crap he left in is both dull and stupid.

But onto the story.  In this version, Aladdin does have parents, but he’s a lazy brat that plays in the streets.  This “grieved the father that he died.”  Wow.  I mean, my kids can drive me up the wall too, but they’ve yet to cause spontaneous death by laziness.  Pretty impressive, Aladdin.  One day this mysterious African magician claiming to be this Middle Eastern kid’s “uncle” shows up and Aladdin’s mom hates him so much she’s like “Hey, yeah, go with him, why not?”  So they travel together and the uncle says “I will show you something wonderful.”

Eh oh!

Eh oh!

It turns out he can open the earth and there’s this cave down there and Aladdin is like “heck with this” but the uncle smacks him, gives him a ring, and tells him to go down and get him a lamp and some jewels off a tree.  The magician wants to kill Aladdin as soon as he comes out, and who can blame him, but Aladdin’s all nuh uh, let me out first and then I give you the lamp, man.  Uncle traps him in there.

So Aladdin uses the lamp to summon Robin Williams right? Nope.  He accidentally rubs the ring that the magician gave him for no apparent reason and out pops a genie of the ring.  He’s all “Yo, what you want, be speakin’ quick homie” and Aladdin demands to be rescued from the cave.  Then he goes to his mom and they rub the lamp and pow, here comes another genie, cause that’s what this little upstart needs is TWO powerful beings serving his every whim.  He orders the lamp genie to bring them fast food and all sorts of crap cause he’s an entitled little creep.

Hey, freaky dude, do what I say!

Hey, freaky dude, do what I say!

Then one day the sultan tells everyone to close their doors cause his daughter’s going to the bath and Aladdin decides to peep on her cause he’s also a pervert.  She’s beautiful of course so he tells his mom he wants to marry her and to her credit his mom laughs in his face. But he threatens suicide if Mom doesn’t do as he asks (our hero), so Mom takes some jewels he got wrapped up in a “napkin” from  Sonic or something and puts them before the sultan.

The sultan is all into the jewels so says Aladdin can marry his daughter. But then he like, forgets, and tells the vizier’s son he can marry her.  So you figure Aladdin has the genie make him a prince so he can compete right?  That wouldn’t be nearly creepy enough, folks.  Aladdin demands that the genie bring him the princess and her bridegroom that night.  So the genie does so, beaming the newlywed’s bed, with the couple in it, to Aladdin.

Please say this isn't happening!

Please say this isn’t happening!

Aladdin has the genie dump the guy out in the cold and the poor princess is all wtf, but Al is all “Hey, babe, I’m your real hubby, let’s snuggle.”  And he sleeps right next to the terrified girl.  And if that’s not enough, he does it the second night too.  No word on whether the married couple has any fun times before, after, or during the time Aladdin is beaming them off in their bed.  Lazy, entitled perv, I mean, our hero.

So the princess tries to tell Dad what’s happening but he threatens to chop off her head cause all the men in this story are jerks.  Then her husband confirms it, and asks if he can have a quickie divorce cause Aladdin creeps him the heck out.  But Aladdin’s happy, and gets the genie to pretty him all up with lots of slaves -white and black! – to attend him and then he has the genie make a big freaking palace cause what else was the genie doing, and then he marries the lucky, lucky girl.

He must be important, dude's got multicolored slaves!

He must be important, dude’s got multicolored slaves!

Then suddenly the story talks about how Aladdin is gentle and modest and courteous and wait is EL James writing this because the main character is none of these things.  Anyway, the evil uncle magician comes back and hears about Aladdin’s palace and tricks the princess into exchanging an old lamp for a new one.  Naturally she takes the magic one that Aladdin never bothered to tell her about cause, duh, woman.

And the magician spirits her and the castle off and the poor girl has yet another jerk to contend with, and he’s apparently so bad he makes Aladdin look good in comparison, cause she’s actually happy to see him when he rescues her.  And THE END oh but WAIT the magician had a brother and are you freaking kidding me?   Even the genie is ticked about this and tells Aladdin quit being a jerkwad, the magician’s brother is here dressed in drag (don’t ask) so kick him out.  And then it is finally THE END.

Now don’t you think the Disney version is great now?

22 responses

  1. So the the magician’s brother was a drag queen? Like RuPaul?
    And it was a flying bed not a flying carpet?
    Jesus! This things get weirder and weirder.
    I’ll stick to Popeye’s version, which isn’t any better:

    1. Have not had a chance to watch this yet, but since it’s Popeye, I can only assume that it is a very classy version of this ancient bizarro tale. I think the magician’s brother snuck into the palace by disguising himself as a woman and Aladdin and his wife were dumb enough to fall for it but by that point I’d been reading for so long I just didn’t care.

  2. Those silly Arabians.

    1. So silly with their jerky perverted heroes! I think Aladdin would make an excellent politician were he alive today.

      1. Excellent or typical politician?

        1. Excellent example of a typical politician. Pervy, entitled, obnoxious jerkward.

  3. Maybe the sultan killed all those women in the morning because they wouldn’t stop talking when he politely and repeatedly asked them to. Ever think of that?

    Was the genie from Bedford–Stuyvesant? Sounds like it. Does he wear a big purple hat?

    You should read the original Grimm Fairie Tales. They’re gruesome! Very Germanic.

    1. I dunno, if I was married to that psycho sultan, I think I’d actually be quiet for once. Not sure where the genie’s from, but I wouldn’t mess with him. And yeah, I’ve read Grimm and it’s . . . pretty Grim. I mean, the wolf eats Little Red Riding Hood – THE END! Sweet dreams!

      1. That’s one way to shut ’em up. Eat ’em. I’ll bet Red learned her lesson but good.

  4. Eh. Prince of Persia – The Sands Of Time is a better way to experience this world.
    Even though it has nothing to do wit 1001 nights…

    1. Probably BECAUSE it has nothing to do with 1001 nights.

  5. Imagine E.L. James had to tell stories to save her life…. I have some doubts if the Sultan could bear that for 1001 nights….think 5 minutes are more than enough :o) Thanks for a great post!

    1. Yeah, pretty sure the sultan would kill her and then possibly himself.

  6. And now I know why I’ve never bothered to read 1001 Arabian Nights!

    1. 1,001 hours too long! And that was just one of the stories . . .

  7. Thanks for taking one for the team. These were the best Cliff’s Notes ever!

  8. The entire time I was reading this, I had that blasted song in my head….you know the one…um, sorry about the blood, my ears were bleeding. Allybababoo.

  9. Spontaneous death by laziness is likely how I’ll go out.

  10. This is actually one of the LESS fucked up stories in this series, believe it or not.

    I think about 98% or so of them involve SexyTimes, with Great Prose like a couple being described as playing “the close-buttock game”.

    It also has a really weird tendency for the characters in a story to suddenly start telling a completely different one, so we’ve got some serious Inception shit happening, too.

    You’d probably have a field day with The Fisherman and the Genie.

  11. I can see Aladdin growing up to be the kind of sultan that sleeps with a new girl every night and kills her in the morning.

    1. He’s certainly creeper enough, that’s for sure. Then that sultan that started this whole mess of tales was his descendent – so he’s doubly to blame.

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