December 21, 2004

Rumpelstiltskin 2: The marriage cauldron goes bust

... Life has certainly been unkind to Ingrid’s father. But he had not always been poor. It was only a little over two decades ago when he was a man of importance - a big businessman, a wheeler and dealer, a man to reckoned with. He had amassed a small fortune by manufacturing fish hooks and selling them to nearby villages. His astounding success in this venture could be attributed to the fact that during that time, fishing was seen to be one of the more exclusive pastimes, indulged only by members of the upper class who had indecent amounts of time for frivolous activities such as painting teacups, arranging flowers and knitting ill-fitting sweaters for their poodles.

It was during this boom period that Ingrid’s father met her mother. A viciously materialistic woman, Ingrid’s mother had fallen head over heels in love with her father after she had been unceremoniously dumped by her previous oil tycoon lover. Everybody had warned her father against pursuing such a shameless gold-digger but he had been too smitten to take heed for Ingrid’s mother possessed what they called a devilish beauty - one that could reduce a strong intelligent man into a bumbling fool in mere seconds. Seeing that Ingrid’s father was neither strong nor intelligent to begin with, one can only imagine the effect her beauty must have had on him.

It wasn’t long before the star-struck couple decided to tie the knot and it was from that moment on that troubles began to brew in the marriage cauldron.

Ingrid’s father had become too besotted with his new bride to pay much attention to his fish hook business. It was during this time too, when the upper class began to shun what they’d previously considered to be an elegant pastime. This was because an increasing number of lower class folk were beginning to express interest in fishing (their reasons were purely for survival and not for indulgence - a fact that the rich had failed to see). And not only were these new fishing enthusiasts quite adept in the activity, they were able to produce their own fishhooks as well. As a result, Ingrid’s father’s business took a nosedive and plummeted to the depths of bankruptcy ...

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