At times like these, Abby needed princesses.
She opened her desk drawer and found her collection of animated princess films, all produced by Carruthers Brothers Amalgamated Studios, the parent company of Wombat World.
Abby thumbed through the plastic DVD cases. There was Princesses Forever, The Happy Princess, Princesses vs. Unicorns, Sally Sloane: Undercover Princess, Princess Force, Princess Power, The Puppy Princess, The Princess of Vamagaroon and Princess Party, just to name a few.
The Princess and the Witch was Abby’s personal favorite. She took the disc out of the case, popped it into her computer, and put on her headphones. The library was still using those big oversized ones from the 1980s.
An instrumental number played over the credits as an old fashioned 1930s era announcer read them allowed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the Carruthers Brothers are proud to present, The Princess and the Witch, now in fabulous technicolor!”
The opening scene featured a bright eyed blonde princess in a pink dress brushing her hair in front of a mirror. She looked rather sullen and spoke in a Marilyn Monroe-esque baby doll voice.
“Oh, I’ve been ever so lonely ever since that nasty old witch locked me away in this tower! Perhaps if I sing loud enough my friends will come visit me.”
The princess stood up, walked over to a window and began to sing. “Tra la la la la, tra la la la la! Animals of the forest, how I miss you!”
With that, a flock of adorable chirping blue jays flew through the window, carrying Chester Chimp and Ferdinand Ferret with them.
Chester Chimp wore a yellow plaid coat and an orange bow tie, but no pants. Ferdinand wore a pair of trousers over the bottom half of his elongated body, but no shirt.
“Lord have mercy,” Chester Chimp said. “Princess Paulina, did that dirty old witch lock you up again?”
“She sure did Chester,” Paulina said. “What ever will I do now?”
“Probably just sit here until you rot,” Ferdinand said. “Everyone knows that dames are useless.”
Abby frowned but then she remembered this was a 1930s film and powered through it.
“Perhaps if you call upon your fairy wombat,” Chester said.
“My fairy wombat?” Princess Paulina asked. “What’s that?”
“He’s not a what,” Chester said. “He’s a ‘who.’ Everyone has one and yours will help you.”
“Well,” Princess Paulina said. “How do I call him?”
Chester pulled a violin out of his pocket, which made no sense, seeing as how his pockets weren’t big enough to hold a violin. He then broke out into a musical number.
“If you’re face has a frown, and you’re feeling down, call your fairy wombat…”
“My fairy wombat?” the princess sang in response.
“Oh if you’re locked up by a witch, who is a big stupid…meany…call your fairy wombat!”
Princess Paulina smiled. “My fairy wombat!”
Ferdinand pulled a flute out of nowhere, tooted it, then joined in. “If you’re down for the count, and your woes are starting to mount, call your fairy wombat!”
Chester brought the diddy home. “If you’re up against the wall, there’s no one better to call than your fairy wombat!”
Poof! A gust of smoke swirled around the center of the room then disappeared to reveal a rather goofy looking character – a chubby little googly eyed fur ball with a set of wings that had been stapled onto his back and a cone shaped hat on his head.
“Did somebody call for a fairy wombat?” the little guy asked.
“I did!” Princess Paulina said as she raised her hand.
“Glad to meet you, princess,” the wombat said. “Willy the Wombat’s my name. Getting folks out of a jam is my game. What can I do you for?”
“A mean old witch has locked me in this tower and I’ll never be able to get out on my own,” the princess said.
“Of course you won’t,” Willy said. “You’re a woman and as we all know, the only thing slower than a woman is a bag of molasses in January.”
Abby winced but kept watching.
“Sister, what you need is a man,” Willy said.
“A man?” Princess Paulina asked.
“A big strong handsome prince to do all the thinking for you on account of your feeble female brain.”
“Ugh,” Abby said.
“A handsome prince?” Princess Paulina asked. “Your really mean it?”
“I really do,” Willy said as he waved his magic wand. “Abracadabra, hocus pocus, hippitty dippitty do, a prince I present to you!”
Poof! Another smoke cloud. This time it disappeared to reveal a handsome prince with an impressive physique and a walnut cracking jaw.
“Did someone call for a prince?” the prince asked.
“Me!” the bubbly princess said. “I did!”
“Princess Paulina,” Willy said. “I present to you, Prince Handsome. He’s a super rich stud muffin who will do all your thinking for you from now on.”
“Oh thank goodness,” the princess said. “I so hate to think.”
“Princess,” Prince Handsome said. “You are by far the most beautiful princess in all the land but tell me, why are you so sad?”
“A witch has locked me in this tower and I can’t figure out how to escape,” Princess Paulina said.
The prince walked to the door, turned the knob, and sure enough, it opened.
“Now why didn’t I think to do that?” Princess Paulina asked.
“Because you’re a woman!” Chester declared.
All the characters grabbed their bellies and laughed and laughed and laughed.
“Hoo wee!” Willy said. “Broads sure are dumb.”
Abby turned the movie off, ejected the disc, and put it back in its case.
“They really need to update this.”
Abby’s cell phone buzzed. She looked at the screen. It simply read, “My Prince.” It was a pet name she’d listed husband down as in her phone contacts during happier days.
Abby felt her heart flutter. Scott had moved out a year ago. They kept in touch once in awhile over stuff involving the kids but Abby hadn’t heard from him in a month.
“Not much,” Abby said. “What uh…what’s up with you?”
“Nothing,” Scott said. “You good?”
“Me?” Abby asked. “Oh yeah. Real good.”
“Kids?” Scott asked.
“They’re good,” Abby said. “They’re looking forward to Wombat World.”
There was a long pause.
“Oh I forgot about that.”
“Yeah,” Abby said. “Umm…you know…”
“What?” Scott asked.
“I mean we planned this trip so long ago and your park pass is non-refundable so if you wanted…”
“Ahh no,” Scott said. “Can’t, babe.”
“OK,” Abby said.
“Still need my ‘me’ time, you know?” Scott said.
Abby sighed. “I know.”
“Cool,” Scott said. “What’s up with this orthodontist bill you sent me?”
“Oh,” Abby said. “You said you were going to help with the kids.”
“Five hundred bucks?” Scott said. “Shit, I could just go at Paige’s teeth with a pair of pliers and a wrench for free.”
“That’s….not really that funny,” Abby said.
“Yeah,” Scott said. “Well, I don’t know babe but I can’t help you with this. I’m broke.”
“You’re broke?” Abby asked.
“Yup,” Scott said.
“That’s funny because Dylan said when you picked him up and took him out for the day two months ago you were driving a fancy new sports car…”
“Abs, you’re really harshing my mellow…”
“I’m sorry,” Abby said, reflexively.
“Every time you get like this I feel like I need more ‘me’ time, you know?”
“You can’t really expect me to find myself while you’re always nagging me, can you?” Scott asked.
“I suppose not,” Abby said.
“Cool,” Scott said. “OK babe. I gotta run.”
“Scott,” Abby said.
“Do you think you’ll be finding yourself anytime soon?” Abby asked.
“I don’t know, babe,” Scott replied. “Its a whole process. Later.”
Abby went into her contacts and changed Scott’s pet name from “My Prince” to “Assface.”
“My prince my ass,” she said.