(GK: Garrison Keillor; KM: Kate MacKenzie)

BOTH: We fell in love at the dance at the castle,

We waltzed in a pure paradise.

KM: I ran down the steps / to go home at midnight

In a pumpkin with a couple of mice.

GK: I found her glass slipper there on the staircase

And searched for the lady it fits.

I asked her---

KM: We married

BOTH: It seemed to be perfect

But soon it turned into the pits.

GK: We came home from the honeymoon, climbed that old staircase

KM: And I saw the dust on the floor.

There were dustballs and hairballs the size of a rabbit,

And the bathroom was hard to ignore.

GK: Weeks went by, months, and the place was a pigsty.

KM: And I knew--- Oh I knew --- what he'd say.

BOTH: Why can't you keep this place clean, Cinderella?

Why must we live this way?


KM: Why can't I keep it clean??

GK: It's disgusting. Look. Chicken bones on the floor. Broken glass from your slippers. Dead flowers.

KM: Do I live here alone Is there anyone else living in this room? Huh?

GK: Those aren't my big tufts of golden hair in the bathtub drain. That isn't my makeup strewn from one end of the bathroom to the other.

KM: I'd be more than happy to discuss a system of sharing the cleaning responsibilities, if that interests you.

GK: Sharing!

KM: You never heard of sharing?

GK: I'm a prince

KM: I'm your princess.

GK: Yes, but --- before you married me --- I mean after all I did for you --- your had nothing--- you were a slave---

KM: So--- I don't want to be one again. Okay?

GK: Look. Cindy. You're good at cleaning. Your cleaned your stepmother's place. You're a great hearth sweeper and cook and --- I don't know how to do those things. I'm basically good with swords and I'm a terrific dancer.

KM: (You could) set an example for all of your subjects

If you'd pick up a pail and a mop.

Maybe they'd sweep up the streets and the highways

If some sweeping went on at the top.

If royalty stooped down to pick up a dustmop

Cleaning might gain prestige.

Why don't you be a real prince, Mr. Charming?

Where's your noblesse oblige?

GK: Somehow I never imagined that a fairy tale would turn out like this. Show White didn't do this, did she?

KM: She had dwarves.

GK: The Little Mermaid?

KM: She lived underwater. The currents took care of it.

GK: It was so great falling in love with you, I never stopped to think about housekeeping. What are we going to do? Get slaves? Slaves are hard to get.

KM: Look, Charming--- cleaning is not that hard--- I'll teach you---

GK: Your fairy godmother couldn't - come in a couple days a week---

KM: Nope. Gone.

GK: Gone?

KM: Fairy Godmothers are in big demand these days. She went into management.

GK: Oh.

BOTH: We fell in love at a dance in the castle,

We walked up the aisle side by side.

And now time has passed, and the royal apartment

It smells like royalty died.

The closet's a swamp and the kitchen's a mess

And the bedroom's a shame and disgrace.

The romance was lovely. Last night was a ball

Now it's time to clean up the place.

© 1998 Garrison Keillor