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Would You Knock Down Nellie Oleson If You Saw Her?

I once saw a talk by the actress who played Nellie Oleson on Little House On The Prairie and she told a bit of a shocking story.A picture of Nellie Oleson from Little House On The Prairie smiling in a smirking way.

Her name is Alison Arngrim and she said that what normally would be pretty low key experiences for you and I (buying something at the convenience store, walking down a sidewalk) for her could be like going through a mine field.

This was because at any time some random person might recognize her as ‘Nellie Oleson’ and start yelling horrible things at her.

‘BITCH!’ was the most common thing yelled but some people said way nastier stuff, all in pursuit of revenge on the um, fictional tv character.A picture of the adult Alison Arngrim who played Nellie Oleson on as a child.

It’s so amazing to me that people could see Alison Arngrim trying to buy a soda or something and feel like it made perfect sense to yell at her like she was actually the little girl from the tv show.

Could they really have been so dense as to think that she was actually Nellie Oleson and had lived on the prairie? Or did they think since she was on tv that she was somehow fair game to yell rude things at?

Alison Arngrim explained her own theory of why this kind of thing happened in her book ‘Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch’.

She came to the realization of this theory while she was still working on the show. She was out promoting the show or something and had gone to get a bite to eat while still wearing her Little House On The Prairie costume.

Some girls saw her and not only yelled horrible things but gleefully attacked her:

…I fell to the cement and landed facedown. I closed my eyes before I hit, so I wouldn’t get poked in the eye by anything, and my eyes were still shut tight when I heard my assailants giggle in triumph and run away.

As I lay there, feeling the cool cement against my cheek and hearing the footsteps fade in the distance, I thought, ‘Just how the hell did I get here? I mean, I don’t even know these people, and they kicked me in the butt. Really hard. And now they’re happy about it.’

Between trying to determine if I’d fractured my wrist or cracked a tooth in the fall, I slowly pondered the meaning of all this. I had pretended to be someone else on tv. I had pretended to do things that I don’t normally do and said a bunch of really awful things that I didn’t make up and didn’t really mean.A picture of Nellie Oleson in typical Little House On The Prairie costume.

…I had pretended to be a confident, tough bully, when I was really an insecure, shy, frightened girl who got beat up a lot (like now, for instance). I had done these things because it was my job…

And now, it seemed, I had done it so well, pretended so convincingly, that these two girls really hated me.

…I was never, ever, under any circumstances to wear the dreaded costume in public again. It was simply too dangerous. It incited people.

…I also knew this was not just about the dress anymore. My act, Nellie Oleson, had inadvertently unleashed something in people’s psyches. The injustices that Laura faced on the prairie were too much like the injustices they faced in their own lives.

They wanted to have someone to get mad at. And there I was, in all my smug, ringleted, smirking glory. Hell, I hated me.

Alison Arngrim could change out of the dreaded costume but she couldn’t change out of her own face which many people recognized as Nellie Oleson.

Some people pounced on the opportunity to fuse their own life into the tv story and get back at their own personal Nellie Oleson’s, even if it was at the expense of some poor stranger who was just trying to walk down a sidewalk.

What a sad and bizarre situation… for both Alison Arngrim and the crazy people who couldn’t (or didn’t want to) separate fiction from reality.

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02/22/2012
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How The Harry Potter Series Should Have Ended

Maybe you’ve wondered about this yourself… what’s that one item in the Harry Potter saga that could have made the difference in oh I don’t know, everything?

Is there some magical loophole to this that I don’t know about? Seems like if the Time Turner was okay to use to save Buckbeak then it should be okay to use in something as crucial as the epic war between good and evil.

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02/21/2012
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Mystery Of The Old School Fro Solved: Unzie The Albino

Some of you might remember this strange picture from a post a while back:

A picture of Unzie The Albino with white afro when he toured with Barnum and Bailey Circus.

I had randomly run into the picture and wondered what story could possibly be behind this guy in the tux sporting such a crazy afro.

Then the ever awesome reader of this blog Zombirella17 saw the post and quickly tracked down who the guy was. Turns out he was known as Unzie The Albino and his story is even more fantastical than his picture, if you can imagine that.

Unzie was born in New Zealand but was snatched up by the Barnum and Bailey Circus (some even say stolen as a child) to tour around Europe and eventually the U.S. as well.

Barnum and Bailey billed him as ‘The Australian Aboriginal Beauty’ and said that he was an albino Aborigine from the Outback, born into a tribe and worshipped as a sort of god by his own people.

They spun the story hard and even had ads with drawings showing a young Unzie living in stereotypically primitive conditions amongst Aboriginies and kangaroos.

But what’s up with that hair? Zombirella17 said:

A picture of Unzie The Albino with his hair tucked into his top hat.Extremely famous in his day (late 1800′s) and known for being very dapper and gentlemanly. His enormous ‘fro was of such a fine texture that he could tuck it all into his top hat.

During his act, he would joke that he didn’t dare tip his hat to the ladies, lest they think they had witnessed an explosion.

Lol that definitely would get people’s attention! Reportedly his hair grew so fast that it had to be trimmed twice a week, I’m not sure how accurate that is but it sure does make for a great story.

Unzie had quite a successful career touring with Barnum and Bailey, not surprising since who could see a guy in such a proper suit sporting a gigantic stark white afro and not want to stop in to find out more? Through the circus he got to have the experience of traveling the world at a time when most people usually didn’t get to travel beyond the next town over.

However he did drop out of the circus eventually and so dropped out of the history books as well, leaving us to wonder what happened to him.

Did he go to spend the rest of his days back in his home country or live quietly amongst English society with hair perpetually tucked into his top hat?

Some people even theorize that he wasn’t actually an albino but a man with very light colored eyes that bleached his hair, eyebrows, and mustache to get into the lucrative freak show business. And so all he would have had to do to blend back into anonymity is cut his hair and let it grow back into it’s normal color.

Either way and whoever he was he seems like he was a pretty awesome guy with a tight sense of style and showmanship. I doubt anyone who ever seen him ever forgot him ’cause I know I sure won’t!

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02/16/2012