Ten Stories About Prince that are better than fan fiction
Another fictional representation of Prince from the January 21, 1981 issue of our old paper, Sweet Potato.
"Oh, you live in Minnesota? You must know Prince." This post is for anyone who has fielded an asinine inquiry like that one at some point. Minneapolis resident Charlie Pauken had heard enough ludicrous questions about his relationship with the Purple One from friends back in his old home of Bowling Green, Ohio. So he decided to do something drastic about it.
Last August he launched Stories About Prince, a 23-chapter-and-counting blog featuring hilarious hand-written accounts of very fictional interactions with the pop impresario. There's a lot of fan fiction on the web. Heck, OneDirectionFanFiction.com has logged over 300 million(!) words of made-up stories about the British boy band. But these stories aren't steamy tour bus fantasies with Carmen Electra. (Read our interview with him here.)
Much like witnessing Glenn Danzig with cat litter, these stories (again, obviously untrue) portray Prince as a normal hip Twin Cities resident who washes the New Power Generation's clothes at the laundromat and eats too much KFC when he's depressed. He still runs into his "arch nemesis" Morris Day in this universe, but it's at Lu's Sandwich in Whittier. Here are our ten favorite Stories About Prince.
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10. Prince Goes to the Laundromat
Summary: Picturing the notoriously diminutive Purple Yoda hauling around some big bags of laundry is a great image to start with. The fact that he's helping out both the Revolution and the New Power Generation shows he generous, but in a real-life way. Plus he owns cats. Here is also an instance of a running gag about Prince handing Charlie a dollar and sending him to buy a cheap snack for him -- in this case, a Frosty from Wendy's.
Summary: Kramarczuk's Sausage Company provides the setting, but it's really just a jumping off point for an extended joke about the utilitarian origins of the song "1999." Imagine Prince working in an episode of Party Down, if you wish. Also, the last line has a disorienting Raymond Carver feel to it.
Summary: In another episode, we discover that Prince has a balcony garden at his brownstone in Stevens Square, but here he's playing host to a last-minute taco party. Instead of a mansion overflowing with guests, however, this is "clearly not a 1999-esque affair." At least Wendy & Lisa showed up. We all know how it is on a school night, after all.
Summary: This scenario goes even more meta because it's likely that people like Prince Fielder have to suffer through dumb "Diamonds and Pearls" references as much as anyone. Here, we get a dig at the USPS for mixing up which Prince mail should go to which recipient. Plus, an invite to the Royal Wedding!
Summary: In a way, these stories echo the way everyone talks about someone they know that you don't. Immediately the mundane details of said unknown person become fascinating -- to the person telling the story, anyhow. A tortilla run -- not for a taco party, mind you -- turns into a discussion about quitting smoking. No spoilers.
Summary: Yes, Morris Day is just as much of a conceited pinhead in Charlie's universe as he was in Purple Rain. Day's bullying character in the sandwich shop scene is reminiscent of Back to the Future villain Biff Tannen. All swagger, but little substance.
Summary: We are only heading further down the rabbit hole. At this point, it almost seems plausible that Prince is killing a whole afternoon with some British comedy and some errands. Key difference from the commonfolk? He's got to help David Z. track down Bobby Z., who left his phone on silent.
Summary: Again, saying this particular story is like an episode of the Twilight Zone means that it's even moreso than just a simple taco party at Prince's pad. The Purple One is getting on his altruistic tip and helping with Habitat. But first, he needs a reference, and Charlie's apparently the most respectable guy he can dredge up. Once former U.S. president Jimmy Carter enters the scene, the plot thickens and tangles.
Summary: In this latest "just like us" moment, even Prince eats too much KFC and listens to the Smoking Popes' "Need You Around" when he's bumming out. For the most part, these stories have a lift at the end, but this one's pretty devastating. Plus, The Ramen Girl seems to be a nice foreshadow for...
Summary: The title reminds us of James and the Giant Peach. There's something borderline psychedelic about this tale, and anyone with a shopping cart with 50 or 60 packages of ramen in it is irresistible. Charlie's up to his lyrics-skewering best here ("I asked him how it felt when doves cry"), and it concludes much like any row at a grocery store must end. Now, you don't know the actual Prince any better than you did before, but who knows when you might run into the fictional one at Caffrey's?
From Stories About Prince:
DISCLAIMER: The stories on this site are works of fiction featuring a satirical characterization of Prince Rogers Nelson, whom I have never actually met in any capacity, and should not be read as attempts to discredit his reputation. The satirical characterization of Prince featured here is the antithesis of the highly publicized mythology that surrounds the real Prince. This Prince goes to the laundromat, goes to the grocery store, has work in the morning, and his day-to-day routine is generally as mundane as any non-public entity. He is friendly, outgoing, community-minded, and can generally go anywhere in the Twin Cities he pleases and nobody pays him any more attention than they'd pay anybody else. Any factual representation of Prince appearing here is purely coincidental.
Read the rest of them here.
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