Stupid Tuesday questions, Franz Kafka edition

Not so long ago, a certain best friend visited Disney World with her family.  (If you missed her posts about that trip, you should go read them now.)

I have not yet visited Disney World with my husband and children.  I’m sure that day will come, it just hasn’t happened yet.  However, we have traveled as a family, and I know how much work said trips can be.

As is clear from her posts on the subject, Rose clearly had to do a lot of preparation for the journey.  Much of that preparation involved looking through a lot of information provided by Disney about the services and accommodations at their parks.  In so doing, she came across a disclaimer from the company that characters on hand at Disney World are subject to change without notice.

What this obviously means is that you can’t visit and then demand a refund if your kids never meet Pluto.  Maybe it’s Pluto’s day off.  There are scads of characters from Disney’s vast hoard of intellectual property roaming around and populating the stores and eateries, but there’s no guarantee which one will be where at any given time.  You may have to make do with Belle when your heart’s set on Princess Jasmine.

However, when she mentioned this disclaimer in another social medium, she went on to jokingly suggest that it meant characters would spontaneously transform before your eyes.  One minute you’re getting served tea by Cinderella, then boom — it’s Madame Bovary.  I then commented on how startling it would be if your kid was posing with Goofy, only to find himself on the lap of a post-metamorphosis Gregor Samsa.

This, of course, led to a back-and-forth of texts where the two of us tried to one-up each other trying to come up with the most outlandishly inappropriate and unsettling character from literature to suddenly appear at Disney World.  Since games of this ilk are precisely where I first got the idea for Stupid Tuesday questions, it seemed a perfect idea for a new one.

So that, of course, is this week’s Question — which character from literature would be most heinously out of place standing where Winnie-the-Pooh just was?  (I’m going to restrict your choices to literature, because it’s too easy to pick a random horror movie boogieman.)  I happen to think I’ve already texted Rose the best answer to the question when were playing our game, but I’m going to hold off and see if anyone else comes up with it.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
Share

61 thoughts on “Stupid Tuesday questions, Franz Kafka edition

  1. Don’t know how it goes downhill from Humbert Humbert, unless we’re going for someone who would be more startling. Is Watchmen considered literature? Because a giant blue glowing penis guy would be very disconcerting.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  2. The child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would be both “of genre” and wildly inappropriate at the same time.

    Come to think of it, why Disney doesn’t tap the Villain’s List for Halloween has long made me wonder.

    Off-childhood lit genre, you can always toss in a vote for Cthulhu.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  3. Although it’s not really a character per se, the bear from “A Winter’s Tale” would be an appropriately inappropriate ursine counterpart to Winnie.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction.

      The Winter’s Tale is my favorite play by Shakespeare so it makes me a bit sad that most people seem to know this stage direction from the play and little else. It is good but only a small part of an entirely wonderful and entirely strange and not frequently produced play. The geeky love for the stage direction does the play injustice.

        Quote  Link

      Report

      • I must admit that although I actually did read the play in college (or maybe I just skimmed it), the only thing that stuck with me was the stage direction. I suspect that I was focusing more on my engineering classes when we covered the play, but it may have also been during one of the semesters when I was just lazy.

          Quote  Link

        Report

      • The only really evil ones are the latter ones. Torak was the antagonist in David Eddings’ The Belgariad, a mad God that demanded devotion in the form of horrific human sacrifices. He wore an iron mask to cover his deeply scared face. Cthulick, Zedar, and Urvon were his disciples. Taur Urgos was a berserk mad man that delighted in battle and dipped his armor in red gold to make it look like he was covered in blood.

        Elric, Ffard, and the Grey Mouser are anti-heroes and very self-interested but aren’t exactly evil. Still not kid appropriate.

          Quote  Link

        Report

      • Ah. Melmoth was sort of the devil’s errand boy. He’d sold his soul to the devil for immortality and certain supernatural powers, and the only way he could get rid of his curse was to get someone else to take his place, so he traveled around trying to convince people who were down on their luck, say, to sign the papers. The problem was, the moment he stepped into town, everyone knew he was the embodiment of evil, and they shunned him.

        The book is wonderful, though.

          Quote  Link

        Report

      • “The name is Fafhrd.”

        “Fafrd?”

        “No, there’s a silent ‘h’.”

        Chris, if you don’t know Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, that’s more books to buy. At least find collections that include Ill Met in Lankhmar, Lean Times in Lankhmar, and The Bazaar of the Bizarre. I wrote about the F&GM stories here.

          Quote  Link

        Report

  4. I think nobody mentioned the obvious answer. The most disturbing change would be to replace the Disney versions of characters with the actual literary characters that they are based on. Get rid of all the bowlderization that Disney needed to do to make these stories child friendly for today’s kids. Disney Hercules becomes the more violent and randy badass Heracles. Cute, cudly Quasimodo becomes the more tormented Victor Hugo one, etc.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  5. First thing that came to mind is Frankenstein’s monster, though I’m not sure how desensitized kids are these days to him.

    From a different angle, my non-literary choice would be Richard Stallman.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  6. You go to Cinderella’s castle, but find Cersei and Joffrey holding court there. You turn to flee, and the clown selling balloons outside the portcullis trips you with his giant shoe.

    He’s Pennywise.

      Quote  Link

    Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *