The Hot Potato Pass

Posted on March 26, 2012. Filed under: History, Humor, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Okay, everybody enjoy those Spam sandwiches while we continue our cruise through historical straits.  Don’t worry about running short on those delicacies, cuz I got a storeroom full of them. 

It’s quite a legacy Gutenberg and his tryst with Pandora left to us.  On the one hand, we have teeming variants of that original pP fungus while, on the other hand, we are tethered to mind control devices that delude us into thinking that other peoples’ thoughts are actually our own.  Sort of a Terran version of the Vulcan mind-meld. 

(I’m still a little miffed with Sydney ’cause I had to scratch my crotch-rot (the word) as a fungal ailment from my Little p Big P post.  She got out there ahead of me with her “firecrotch” bit.   On another note, it is still a mystery how those mountain folk got their hands on that Thor’s Thunder Juice recipe, which — after a few modifications, and more than a few hair-of-the-dog mornings — they dubbed white lightning.)

Back at Olympus (the mountain), we learn that our old friend, Hermes, was a pivotal player in today’s run-amok social intricacies.  At one of their get-to-gathers, the gods thought it would be a ripping good joke to drop a ton of misery and other ill-fortune on all too mortal humanity.  Since guys sort of ran things, it was decided that loosing a clumsy, misfortunate femme-fatale among them would liven things up.  Hermes suggested equipping that body by Zeus with a little box that had a trick lid, sort of like a jack-in-the-box.  The others went for it, and, as the box was passed around, each put in his own little joke:  Ted Koppel, the pox, litigation attorneys, plague, instant messenger, a-bombs, Meet the Press…  Oh, yeah!  Now this was gonna be a hoot.  Hera suggested the name “Susan” but Hermes won the day with his “Pandora” entry.  Hera would have to wait until the 21st Century to see it her way; she hasn’t missed a single episode of Desperate Housewives.

We already found out that Hermes had dumped that big drag — that gopher-of-the-gods thing — onto Mercury.  That gig got old for Mercury, too, and when he saw  a new species of god emerging (that would be a branch of the Great Learned called “experts”) he groaned and then looked around for a suitable patsy…   protegé…  a suitable protegé.  As luck would have it, on one of his courier runs to the Underworld, he passed a back alley where some local drunks were ardently involved in a contest of whose-puddle-has-the-highest-foam.  He started to rush away in disgust when he realized these bozos had Yohan’s recent improvement on the gossip machine, and — in an epiphimous flash — shouted, “THESE are my BOYS!”  And, just like that, the god-like power of the messenger gig was pissed…   er, passed…   passed on to these fresh, wide-eyed…   street drunks?…   who were all caught up in themselves.

Wikipedia thanks me very much for not mentioning them at all this time.

Next up:  The Merger

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Hermes: Get It Any Way You Can

Posted on March 9, 2012. Filed under: Humor, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Now, where were we?  Oh, yeah…   wealth…   filthy lucre and all that.  Our boy, Hermes, really cornered the marked on departmental titles.  He didn’t just run lust…   loose…   run loose in the woods and meadow lands, but, he even got a gig overseeing dreams (maybe this is where that caught-in-public-in-your-undies-or-stark-naked dream got its start), and, (big surprise) ran the national fertility clinic; you know how your Greek gods are.  And, shades of your Irish leprechaun, he dispensed any good fortune you came across, be it a fortunate windfall, treasure that “fell” from a passing wagon, or something you found behind an unlocked door not yours.  Are you ready for this?  That old hustler even ran a hearse service transporting passengers from the Here and Now to the great unknown of the Underworld.  No doubt he collected fares.

There were downsides to his business…   like with the deity of highways gig.  To be relevant to humans, since gods didn’t really need to use roadways, he had the job of protecting travelers, also.  Those would be the same people who worshiped him and celebrated his birthday with him on the fourth of the month — every month.  So, if, after a long chase, he cornered a reluctant nymph out in the dark woods, and, at the same time, a wayward traveler called out in distress, decisions had to be made.  What takes precedence — hard-won rewards of a long chase or a careless human who shouldn’t be out in the dark in the first place?  It’s a bureaucrat’s worst nightmare:  perks vs. duty.

Just how did Hermes get all these assignments?  My guess is he was a suck-up.  Take that messenger-of-the-gods thing.  I can just see a juvenile Hermes sneaking around Mount Olympus listening to the gossip, then high-tailing it over to another god’s digs and telling all.  Hermes was the son of a god, but not just any god; he was a prince among gods.  So, what can you do about it?  Shrug, and go with the flow.  Hera spots Hermes skulking around in her sunroom listening to her diss Maia.  She whips out an RSVP note for an upcoming party, and calls Hermes over and says, “Look, kid, since you’re going over to Maia’s anyway, take this note for me.”  A prompt reply was required, so she issued a neat set of winged boots for Hermes to wear for ASAP delivery, “and wait for a reply.”  Yet another departmental title racked up.  That Hermes really had the moves.  Did I mention he also had a silver tongue?  As the god of rhetoric his gift of gab served him well. 

Next up:  Hi-yo Quicksilver.  Awaaayyy!

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