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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Quicksilver

Posted on March 11, 2012. Filed under: Humor, language, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I suspect that recognition of his tattle-tale talents took all the fun out of it for Hermes, so he loaned those winged boots and caduceus to Mercury, his Roman cousin (face it, they had to be related in that little Peyton Place) and let him take all the press as messenger of the gods.

And that explains how the winged Mercury (Quicksilver to his buds) became so intertwined with the messenger business…   that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

But, it doesn’t explain why you were subjected to this strange little stroll through ancient mythology.  Pleas, let me count the ways:

  1. I truly was stranded just short of inspiration for the next segment of this cruise.  What I needed was a segue (single syllable) between Mercury (the god) and the Press/Media (self-proclaimed gods).
  2. The 9 Muses ploy did get me moving on a train of thought.  I didn’t even know about Hermes, or who the heck all those muses were, until I punched in “mercury” on my smart phone.  So, none of this was really my fault; blame Wikipedia and Mobil Britannica.
  3. It was basically just a lot of fun stringing all those thought snippets into a story of sorts.
  4. Now, really, aren’t you glad you came along for the ride?

Mercury, a lesser god, enhanced his stature by being a go-between for the big gods.  As we continue our cruise, I will use that relationship as a metaphor for present day media-expert relations.  You are in for a treat, because, in this pursuit, we will encounter such terms as litigation, pismires, journalists, reporters, pismires, yellow journalism, pismires, lawyers (yucca-pah-too-ee!  Sorry.  That was a reaction, not a noun), and even pismires, all of which put the itch in my woolen long johns.

Next up:  Ship’s itinerary – a quick review.

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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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Mercury, The Winged One

Posted on March 8, 2012. Filed under: Humor, Mythology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

(Roman god of commerce and rhetoric)

I’m not going to blather on about him just yet.  I only stuck his name up there ’cause he got lots better press than his Greek cousin, Hermes.  But, trust me, Hermes is where all the action was.

Maybe I sold the a-musing chicks in the previous posting a little short, because Mercury (the planet) has been orbiting around in my mind all night while I tried to think up something fairly trite to go on about in this post.  (With just a little effort, I could have made that sentence a bit longer.)  I guess, maybe, Urania the misfit, figuring I would pick up on the Mercury-Hermes connection, just wanted to get her brother a little press…   Oooh, yeah!  Her brother.

Ah, those Greek gods were really into that procreation thing.  This time around, that old dog…   uh, god…   Zeus hooked up with Maia (I’m not one to start rumors, but, I’ve heard she was a Pleiad) and their dalliance culminated in the form of Hermes, the common man’s god for all seasons.

Commerce and trade, in those ancient times, was exemplified by the farm industry, so Hermes first godly gig was to watch out for herds of cattle and sheep.  “The sixth sheik’s sixth sheep was sick” was a verbal sobriety test he gave to lonely, stoned shepherds out in the pastures.  He did not tolerate drunk (herd) driving.  Bad for commerce, you know.

Those ancient pastures were really dark when there was no full moon.  Where the woodlands started, that’s where you could find the satyr-like Pan chasing after a whole slew of nymphs…   chicks in today’s parlance.  Hermes was a strapping young god, and he liked hanging out with this crowd.  After all, like father, like son.

In connection with the commerce and trade thing, Hermes also got the post of commissioner…  make that diety…  of roads and doorways. We all read the news these days, and we know what kind of off-the-book perks this gig offers.  Did Hermes indulge himself?

Next up: Wealth:  Hermes was not concerned with the “how”

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