I Do!

I am going to marry Wendy’s Fix & Mix Frostys with M&Ms.  I love everything about them.  There’s chocolate.  There’s cold creamy goodness on your tongue.  There’s hunks of M&Ms.  It’s soft, it’s lovely, it’s delicious.

I would write it a little love poem like this:

Oh Fix & Mix Frosty, you’re for me.

I love you more than a cat loves a tree.

I love you more than men like to pee.

Oh, Fix & Mix Frosty, you’re for me.

And I would set that poem to music and sing it for Fix & Mix Frosty every night just before it drifted off to sleep.

I have a question, since we’re talking about unnatural urges and food, and I’m guessing that between Coble, NM, and Bridgett, one of you is going to know.

You know Peter, Peter Pumpkin-Eater (Peter, Peter Pumpkin-Eater.  Had a wife and couldn’t keep her.  Put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.)?  Is it true that this is a nursery rhyme about a man who enjoys oral sex, but eventually finds that knocking his wife up is the only way to keep her from running around on him?

Just wondering.

19 thoughts on “I Do!

  1. Ha! Ok, I’m game and I’ll tell what I know, hoping that others will add on. This is an American rhyme (not English…no pumpkins in England until 1700s) and has a lot of different verses beyond the one you cite. “Peter” (or “Peter Pauper”…not “Peter Piper”) figures in colonial doggerel as a general loser figure. If he’s a pauper, of course he can’t “keep” (provision…the old word for “shelter”) her. Ergo, the pumpkin shell. Pumpkins were widely used as cattle fodder and were associated with indigenous people (it’s a dietary borrowing), so this would have been a humble abode. An interpretation farther afield would see this as a prescription to curb the gadding of a wife (also a big colonial American concern) — which is to lock her up or otherwise keep her employed in the home.

    The other verses have to do with the various strategies that Peter has to undertake to win the love of other women — become literate, get a horse, harvest a crop, etc — so I think it might have been more a rhyme that connected increased male economic power to greater control over the household (a component of that being sex) and less just about sex. Given the myriad threats to a strict gendered division of labor in many places and the widespread dependency in colonial British America, you can maybe see why this would have been an anxiety.

    I’ll go check with my peeps in folklore studies and get back to you.

  2. “Is it true that this is a nursery rhyme about a man who enjoys oral sex, but eventually finds that knocking his wife up is the only way to keep her from running around on him?”

    Ow. Brain … hurts.

    I am aware the most fairly tales and nursery rhymes are incredibly visceral but damn. I wasn’t ready for this.

  3. Speaking of which, I remember a fantastic book from college wherein someone took so well-known fairy tales and brought out all the lurid elements but cannot remember the name of hte book nor find my copy. Any idea what that book might be? Someone here is bound to know.

    Apologies for using your blog, Aunt B., to augment my sieve-like memory.

  4. Fascinating information regarding the nursery rhyme. I learn way too much from this blog.

    I do have to say though that I think Fix & Mix frosties are kind of a rip-off. I mean, couldn’t they at least mix it for you? McDonald’s does it, Arby’s does it (or at least they used to), Jack-in-the-Box does it. But when you get it from Wendy’s, especially if you’re going through the drive-thru, which I most often am if I am at Wendy’s, then you have to try to mix the topping into the frosty without getting it all over the place. I feel like the least they could do is put the topping ON the frosty, within the same cup, not some separate container that you have to then open and pour into the frosty cup.

  5. Colleen, I hear you and I know in some way what you’re saying makes logical sense, but I consider that to be my special time with the Frosty. “Ooh, baby, scoot around here and make some room for the shower of M&Ms I am about to bestow on you.”

    I might need therapy…

  6. I have nothing to add to Bridgett’s analysis of Peter Pumpkin eater. I’ve heard various interpretations over the years, most of which have to do with some form of sexual misconduct on the part of Mrs. Peter.

    This, however, is the nastiest, most visual interpretation I’ve ever seen.

    I never ever assumed that by “kept her very well” the rhyme meant “murdered”…I guess my mind needs stretching.

    As for the Fix & Mix frosties, I prefer those now that I’m older. You can add the M&Ms gradually, which means they don’t freeze and you don’t crack your tooth on a frozen M&M. (Which, of course, has happened to me….)

  7. Oh, and to answer Jag’s question about Fairy Tale interpretations, there are several different books, depending on if you want a Jungian version, a Freudian version or a literary mash-up version.

    Marie Louise von Franz is the keynote figure for the Jungian version. Her books are the gold standard, but they deal more with the Jungian Archetype analysis.

    Bruno Bettelheim wrote the book I studied in one of my courses, The Uses Of Enchantment. He tended to be more Freudian, and therefore more sexual.

    This website is one I have used often, as it provides a large scope of reference to various styles of interpretation, including Feminist.

    With most popular fairy tales there is no actual concrete origin, as they sprung from folkways of Middle Europe. So they’re fertile ground for all types of analysis.

  8. Sorry. I think WordPress may have a link limit that makes it think my last post was spam. So I’ll type it out again w/o all the links. I apologise because it would have been easier to follow each link.

    Basically there are many ways to analyse fairy tales, because they were written out of folkways. The three most popular are Jungian, Freudian and Literary.

    Books by Marie Louise von Franz are the best sources for Jungian Archetypical interpretation.

    Books by Bruno Bettelheim are the best sources for Freudian Psychosexual Interpretation. Bettelheim’s “The Uses of Enchantment” was the book I studied in one of my college courses and seems to be the most popular texts for literature teachers to use. That one is chock full o’ the sexxxy.

    This website is one I’ve referred to a lot, as it gives a very wide bibliography for the various types of fairy tale analysis, including feminist analysis and breakdown by cultural group.

  9. I also have nothing to add to the Peter Pumpkin eater discussion, except to note that given usages at the time, it must (as Bridgett says) refer to the ability to support a wife financially. When I was a kid, I was unaware that eating pumpkins was a signifier of poverty, so I worked out for myself that he was too poor to marry because he spent all his money on pumpkins (I imagined this guy who was always chowing down on Thanksgiving food), so I thought his figuring out how to use the rinds to build a house was very clever and I admired him intensely.

    You, however, B, do need an intervention.

  10. Oh, and I don’t suppose that all you hip people know of any place in town that sells bubble tea? No, I thought not.

  11. Bubble Tea rules! It’s few and far between in Nashville, but you can get it on weekends with the Traditional Chinese Buffet at Gold Coast on West End. I have heard rumors that it is available in many flavors at Ken’s Karoke Box-but I haven’t been there, Parco Cafe had it when they were at the Farmer’s market location and might still have it at their downtown location.

    Or you can buy your own bubbles/pearls at K&S market off Charlotte Pike out west of town and make your own. I snagged some good Jasmine tea and fat straws from TenRen tea on line and we have it quite often at my house.

    Nyah, Nyah hipsters.

  12. I love your interpretation! Hilarious. . . I never *read* it this way, but now that I read your *version* – totally agree! You should interpret nursey rhymes for adults. You’d make a killing.

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