Once upon a time there was a princess. Her name was Jasmine. She was born in a land of hot dry winds and sand in the streets, and her one desire was to grow up to kick ass and take names.
I bet you were the most badass toddler in Agrabah.
No, there isn't a word for badass in Arabic and I wanted to be an astronaut. But it's a story, shh.
Her mother had died when Jasmine was very young. Her father was very good at some things, like comforting his daughter when she fell, but not as good at others. He did not understand that she did not share his ambitions for her. And so when the time came for her to be married -
Shit, you were married?
Yeah. It was expected.
I hate to say this but – had your dad ever, uh, met you? Because that seriously makes me wonder.
Yes, but Agrabah had, like, no gay scene at all... well, okay, it had a gay scene. But not much if you're a teenage girl, and one bar just had this guy sat there smoking a shisha pipe the whole time and stared at everyone who walked in. At least when I was fifteen, I was pretty sure I was the only dyke in the kingdom.
Anyway. When the time came for her to be married, Jasmine found a nice guy who liked animals, and wasn't creepy like more than one of the other guys her dad introduced her to. He also had a way of prat-falling off buildings that made her laugh. So Jasmine had her hands painted with henna and sat in the wedding chair, and figured she'd made the best of it.
Was he awful?
No! He was nice, really. He didn't expect anything of me I wasn't okay with – it was a practical decision for him, too.
Aladdin didn't make her burst into song, but that was okay. He was cool with her going to school to learn how to fix the magic carpet, and with her best friend-slash-pet tiger, Rajah. Plus, he definitely had something weird going on with the carpet, a genie, and his pet monkey.
I didn't think this was going to be that sort of story!
I'm saying nothing.
Remind me to tell you about the caterpillar and the dormouse sometime.
I'm barely over the rabbit thing you told me about.
Yeah, I still don't know why he was apparently taking fashion advice from Flavor Flav.
Their life together was quiet, for a time. Jasmine was quite used to sneaking out into Agrabah, and finding places to go was not difficult, especially now she was a bit older. But none of them seemed to be what she wanted. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she started to think that if Agrabah was not filling the space in her heart, even though it was part of her, then maybe somehow she would find what she was missing somewhere else. She also looked around and saw her friends who did not feel this lack, and who did not understand. So she did not confide in her husband, but instead went searching.
I can't actually think of anything sarcastic to say about that. You broke my sarcasm.
You would think that this would be obviously bad, like rotten fish or Prince Eric's taste in clothes. But to Jasmine, it was her life. It was only when her husband started singing mournful, yet tuneful, monologue songs to the local wildlife that she realised it was time for things to change.
Jasmine knew her husband was a good man, and she had spent time thinking about the reality of leaving someone whose best friend was most often fifty foot tall, bright blue, and able to literally flick you into next week with his little finger. She also had no desire to hurt her father, who she knew meant well. So, she suggested to her husband that they move to Los Angeles.
It was the only place I could think of where people wouldn't even blink at the idea of a sentient pet tiger.
However, her husband, luckily for everyone, realised that she said this out of concern for him, not a desire to make a life together. And being a kind man, he saw how Jasmine longed for freedom and agreed that he would help her move to America, while he stayed in Agrabah working to help exploited genies. And so it was that after a lot of waiting and a lot of fucking awful phone calls to immigration officials, Jasmine stepped off a plane at LAX.
That sounds like you just skipped a lot of the story, there.
Oh yeah. The boring stuff. Getting a green card isn't easy. Especially if you're also trying to import a tiger.
That reminds me: does it count as kinky if it's a tiger who's watching you?
I think maybe that's a philosophical question that should have come up before last night. And anyway, shh! We're getting to the good part!
Am I in it?
You'll have to wait and find out.
Jasmine wasn't sure what she thought of LA. On the one hand it was as though a thousand worlds had opened up before her at once, just waiting for her to choose.
Worlds literally opening up in front of you should really be as fun as that sounds.
On the other, it wasn't at all what she had been half expecting from watching Angel and Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Thank god. Although actually, it IS a bit like Fresh Prince. Except for Carlton. Most of the time.
Jasmine found an apartment with a nice view and a toilet that was only sometimes a portal to another dimension. It took a while, but she started figuring out the weirdness of living in a world where people sometimes hold finger-snapping gang fights on the freeway. She started to get to know people, and one of them was Belle.
Is this next bit going to be about how hot she is?
She is pretty hot, but no.
Belle at that time was an activist and leader who helped victims of involuntary bodily transformations get compensation. Belle introduced Jasmine to things that she hadn't known about before, like that one of the bonuses of air pollution as bad as LA's is really gorgeous sunsets. She also learned of the existence of the French-dipped sandwich and the fabulousness that is a whole house dedicated to waffles.
Belle took Jasmine under her wing. Jasmine told her about Agrabah: about the people she still missed, about how torn she felt that her love for her home had still not brought her happiness, about how she wished to change the world. Belle sat her down in a sandwich shop with a woman called Mulan, and very soon found herself working on a project Mulan was running that supported victims of discrimination in the military. Between Belle and Mulan, Jasmine found a lot of hot women who didn't mind if Jasmine didn't want to stay the night after she'd kissed them.
Or had sex in the club bathroom!
Or had sex in the club bathroom. But then Mulan scored an invite to Prince Charming's fundraiser ball dance party, and as part of that, so did Jasmine. And there Jasmine met -
A really hot English girl?
A really hot English girl called Alice. Who was beautiful and fun and told far too many stories about spending time with old British queens for her own good, but who gave really great head in the bathroom.
So how does the story end?
With us singing 'If You Like It You Don't Have To Put A Ring On It (If You Show A Little Respect)'?
How about 'and they lived happily ever after'?
That works for me.