Almost Famous, by Ciarán Grumley


Written by Ciarán Grumley
Photo: © KKulikov

Misto Prepuce is optimistic.

More so than your average jingle fairy.

He has a good feeling about today’s submissions.

Today had the potential to be THE day.

It has been an interesting millennium so far.

True, it could be said that Misto was not the most successful jingle fairy (full title “Mystical Composer of Childhood Nursery Rhymes and Jingles, Third Class,” “Jingle Fairy” being a somewhat derogatory term adopted in the Middle Ages by a disenfranchised wood nymph that somehow stuck) in all creation. In fact it would be true to say that Misto was the most unsuccessful jingle fairy in all creation, certainly among the more than 50 fairies currently working in the Composing Unit of The Department of Childhood.

It is their job to create the nursery rhymes and jingles that human children learn in their early days. Now, you would think that this joyful mission would encourage collaboration and a happy, creative working environment but sadly no, being a jingle fairy is a cutthroat, thankless occupation with a high suicide rate.

Because of the lack of regulation and oversight, the whole system is rife with corruption, cronyism and perhaps most sadly, hemorrhoids given the extended hours hunched over a desk. The added misfortune here is that fairy hemorrhoids are the second-most gruesome in all of the mystical creatures (giants’ hemorrhoids are worse, given the actual size and weight and the extreme danger to all creatures and buildings that happen to find themselves beneath their downward trajectory).

Still, thanks to some witch hazel and a “when life hands you lemons be thankful they were not limes” (limes are fatal to fairies) attitude, Misto sent his latest compositions off for review.

He has never had any of his submissions accepted and sent off to the human realm, however. His immediate supervisor, Pickle Mushroomtop, is a superstar in the department and has no less than fifteen all time greatest hits to his name.

It was not quite an insider secret that all of Pickle’s hits are more than a little similar to ones originally composed by Misto, but there’s nothing in the rules to say that a submission cannot be altered, even slightly, and resubmitted as a new composition by one’s supervisor. That is just, as the trolls say, how the snot falls. Trolls are rather crude.

Misto is not one to complain and has a deep satisfaction knowing that he created, among others, “Moo Moo White Cow”, “Brooklyn Bridge is Greyish Brown”, “Mary Had a Little Mam”, “Little Miss Rough It”, and “Polly Pulled a Metal Con”, even if no one else would ever hear them.

And after all, isn’t that what life is all about? At the end of the day, being able to say you had a creative, fulfilled time and that you can sleep soundly knowing you made the most of every second and you get to do it all again tomorrow?

Misto truly believed this, in site of the fact that everything he has ever written has been usurped, his obstructive sleep apnea—a rare malady given that fairies breathe through their navel—has become more burdensome of late, he just went through a terrible breakup with the tooth fairy who he accidentally outed at the recent Christmas party (everyone knew but even so), and the final indignity, limp wing syndrome.

But today was a day for optimism.

Today was going to be a creative day.

Today was going to be a good day.

Today was going to be THE day.


This piece is dedicated to the memory of Milo Prepuce.


 Ciarán Grumley was born in Dublin in {REDACTED} and moved to the US in {REDACTED}. He has dabbled in sketch and improv performance after catching the acting bug at a young age. This bug later turned out in fact to be {REDACTED} but a large dose of penicillin took care of that and he {REDACTED}{REDACTED}{REDACTED}. Mr Grumley can be frequently found in Irish bars in the Cambridge/Somerville area but eye contact is not recommended due to {REDACTED}{REDACTED}{REDACTED}. He has said his main life goal is to {REDACTED} John Stamos. Mr Grumley went to great pains to state he is not nor ever has been, a spy.