Sunday, August 9, 2009

Miss Trunchbull -- She's A Lady...

Every once in a while a fictional villain comes along who is so wonderfully wicked, we dislike and fear her with glee. In the children's book, "Matilda" by Raold Dahl -- who understood the world of children better than anyone else -- Miss Trunchbull plays a key role. She is the yin to Matilda's yang. The story revolves around Miss Trunchbull's delightful wickedness.

Miss Trunchbull is known for her skills in the hammer throw and shotput. Although she is a woman, there is no mistaking her for feminine, and any resemblance between her and a member of the female sex is purely coincidental. "Miss Trunchbull, the Headmistress, was something else altogether. She was a gigantic holy terror, a fierce tyrannical monster who frightened the life out of the pupils and teachers alike." ... Raold Dahl

Occasionally in my life I have to deal with tyrannical people like this. Fortunately, they are few and far between -- however -- I am currently dealing with a "Miss Trunchbull" on a daily basis. She is a wonder to behold. She is loud, coarse, masculine, rude, vulgar -- you should hear her sneeze -- and worst of all, she is a tyrant of the worst kind. She has ingratiated herself with people in high places, as all tyrants do, so there is no recourse for her tyranny -- all but one, that is. The best recourse in dealing with a tyrant is the same one used by Raold Dahl: Laughter. Make the tyrant an object of humor. It's like sticking a pin in a balloon. Suddenly, instead of being a threat, the tyrant looks ridiculous. It works wonderfully. So, here, in all her glory, is our Miss Trunchbull.



How do you deal with the villains in your life?

21 comments:

flowrgirl1 said...

kill with kindness and humor. seems to work.

I love that movie. They did such a great job with it i thought.

greenpanda said...

TALLY-HO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God, I love her.

The villains in my life, I don't deal with them as such, because I was taught to be kind to stupid creatures that don't know any better.... :P

Pouty Lips said...

Jo, it is amazing to me how these themes run together within my blogging 'community.' I blogged about a similar Miss Trunchbull character only Arizona style. I was interviewed last week and I said that the amazing thing to me about blogging is the parallels that exist between what I think about and what other bloggers write about. There really has to be a stream of consciousness at work.

ivan said...

Those viragos have not gone away.

I returned to the work force two years ago, and whom do I meet? Miss Trunchbull. Organized everything for me. Even when to go to the bathroom. I had taken a lowly, temp position just to have the income. I could not talk back much. She had the power to hire and fire. She assumed I was an idiot. Frustrated, annoyed, tired of having the cellphone thrust into my hand so she could monitor my every move, I wrote a tirade against Big Nurse out of Kesey, got it published and put it up on the bulletin board. This somehow unnerved her. Made her trip.
She had a flat tire on the parking lot outside, got under the car, tried to fix, but the jack sprung and the car's differential joint fell on her foot,breaking it.
I was rid of her for a long time.
Heaven forbid that my karma could have taken strange forms.

Patty said...

Love flowrgirl1's answer. But you'll find one in almost any work place and because they are unhappy, they try to make everyone around them also unhappy.

When I was around 11 or 12, we use to have an old lady that lived on the corner in a big old house, alone. If kids roller skated on her sidewalk, she would run out onto the porch and yell at them to stay off. Myself, I did, I was afraid of her. But some of the braver ones, didn't and they would yell back at her.

My parents had a baby when I was 11, I already had a sister 4 years younger than me and a brother 7 years younger. They had another boy, and I would take him for walks, by pulling him in a wagon with a big old quilt folded, and he would be sitting up, he was around 1 year old or older by the time I started taking him for walks in the evenings, after his bath. Usually this would put him to sleep. Well one evening the old lady hollered to me to come up and set on her swing, so I did, with my baby brother and we set with here for a while and we talked. She even held him a few times. From then on she was a lot nicer to the kids that roller skated on her sidewalk. I think she was lonely.

But then again, there are just some mean nasty people out there. LOL

Owen said...

Love Mathilda, the book and the movie, so many good memories there. I'd rather think about how wonderful Miss Honey was than how horribly Miss Trunchbull behaved.

Nancy said...

I loved that movie! The book too, of course. As for dealing with bullies - you're right about laughter. It does take the starch out of the shirt, so to speak.

Meggie said...

I think I truly hate bullies. It is true they are usually unhappy, but sharing the misery??? argghh.

The Bug said...

I don't handle bullies very well - but fortunately I haven't really had to work with any directly. In HR I had to deal with some, but fortunately they needed my help most of the time so I was able to work with them. But the ones who were mad about something & started talking to me as if it was my fault - I usually started raising my voice right back at them. That doesn't really work. My boss would talk very slowly & quietly - & that would defuse them for a minute.

B said...

Such a wonderful book and movie :)

Brenda said...

I do almost exactly what you do. I change the situation around in my mind to be humorous. Laughter really is the best medicine...I say.
I can't always react that way...many times I react with anger and tears, but laughter feels so much better.

robert said...

Seems as if one further book should be added to my list, as until now I did not know about it.
With regard to villains, those met sofar, I fought with patience, endless friendleness and all of a sudden they hadn't anything more to hurt.
Please have a nice start into the new week.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm afraid I take the villains in my life too seriously. I should definitely laugh more at them.

John said...

Villains...I try to avoid them! When it's not possible I will give them the silent treatment (drives them nuts)!

I always heard though, "you can catch more bees with honey..." but let me add, sometimes you just don't want to catch ANY bees!

And on a happier note..that movie trailer was hilarious and makes me want to see it, so thanks!

lovelyprism said...

You deal with this on a daily basis? Yikes.

A.M. said...

I have a hard time dealing with people who are like Miss Trunchbull. I think flowrgirl1 said it best "kill with kindness and humor" this is your only defence against the Miss's Trunchbull's of the world. Thanks for posting this. I really had a good laugh ;o)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Laughter truly is the best medicine. Well, along with that on-going dialogue in my mind......

PhilipH said...

I detest all bullies. I hate them.

Cannot laugh when I see bullying. It makes me angry. A red mist thing; can't help it.

I was about 12 or 13 at Lanfranc Boys' School in Croydon. Saw this snotty-faced lout pushing and slapping a new boy, much younger and smaller.

I intervened; take on someone your own size I shouted. He did. After cricket we slugged it out, toe to toe, in the way we did then.

Got home, face cut, bumps arising, usual bruises. Dad was astounded.
I said it was a cricket ball accident. He knew better. Dragged me to school next day. Face looked worse now. He demanded to know how such things were condoned. He embarrassed me. He was angry; like father, like son!

Can't abide bullies!

Paula Slade said...

Jo, I am so sorry you are having to tolerate a "Trunchbull" on a daily basis, which is incredibly draining! I have had them in my life as well, and time has shown me that if I put them in a different perspective - feeling sorry for them (if you will) it takes much of the sting away. Behind their facade, generally, is a basically insecure person - IMHO.

Jean said...

I have a very low tolerance level when it comes to bullies and tyrants. I've quit three good jobs because of that fact. I feel life is too short to spend it in constant fear and turmoil of what this person may do to you next. Like, Ms. Slade I do believe these people are insecure and have very low self esteem and wish to make everyone around them as miserable as they are. It's my choice whether to stay and take it or get out of the way. It seems to me that their numbers are growing these days.

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