The Iliad for the Rest of Us, Part 2

Went to a wedding last night. It was a lovely, relatively stress-free event (aside from the whole finding a dress thing); I got to wondering how women (and I guess some men) can flip out so very badly over what usually boils down to a three-minute ceremony and a three-hour boozefest.

(This isn’t counting religious ceremonies, which I understand have all kinds of steps and prayers and unity candles and bridesmaids falling asleep with their eyes open.)

I mean…you go stand in front of an officiant. You say a few words–usually repeating after the officiant–and kiss your spouse, and then you go drink and dance! Why do we make this so difficult for ourselves? In light of this, I have decided that if I ever get married, we are eloping. No ceremony, no bridesmaids, no pain in the ass preparations. We will have a fabulous party afterwards with plenty of booze and cake. Because that is all you need for a good wedding, really.

Happily, I was not overly hungover post-wedding (I cannot say the same for my father and brother, unfortunately), but the gardeners were very, very busy this morning, and let me tell you…waking up to plugged sinuses is every bit as bad as a nasty hangover. Zyrtec and coffee, my friends. Zyrtec and coffee.

In lieu of more entertaining/informative content, I give you the second entry of The Iliad for the Rest of Us…breaking down the action and epic poetry into something a little less pretentious for the Facebook crowd. It’s mostly to help myself remember who’s yelling at who in the midst of all this epic prose. So far, Iliad has been straightforward. Aeneid looks downright nightmarish.

ZEUS: You know, this war has gotten boring lately. Minion, go give Agamemnon a dream. Tell him he will win a great victory and let’s see what he does.

AGAMEMNON: I have had a marvelous dream of victory! Rather than commanding us to race into battle, I’m going to pull a King Lear and test my soldiers’ loyalty. Gather the troops!

[troops gather]

AGAMEMNON: Men, it’s been a long, sucky war. LET’S GO HOME!


[soldiers stampede back to the ships]

HERA: OH HELL NO. Athena, go tell Odysseus not to do that.

ATHENA: Odysseus, too many Greeks have died for y’all to just split. It would not be HONORABLE.


[Greeks quiet down]

THERSITES: Yo, king, this is not cool. You are a total asshat, keeping us here for ten years! You’ve also managed to piss off Achilles, who, let me add, can KICK YOUR ASS any day of the week. Can you all tell I’m the insult comic of the group? Triumph the Insult Comic Dog should play me in the next adaptation.

ODYSSEUS: Dude, quit being a dick.

[He slaps Thersites around and makes him cry.]

GREEKS: Hey, look how Odysseus handled Thery over there.We should listen to him.

ODYSSEUS: I am going to use a lot of words to say very few things. In the future, this will be referred to as “subtlety.” Guys, we can’t leave yet. Our psychic told us we would win after ten years, and ten years is almost up. Victory is near!


AGAMEMNON: Y’all are right. Maybe if I had SMARTER COUNSELORS, Troy would be sacked by now. All right, kids, here’s the deal. We are gonna take this city, and anyone who tries to bolt is gonna get my sword up their asses. Capice? Now let’s make a sacrifice and fight!

HOMER: And so the long-haired Greeks headed into battle again…ah, shit, I don’t want to describe a fight scene right now…so here’s a laundry list of all the countries that sent ships and men. I copied and pasted it from an old Linear-B tablet. Enjoy!

Readers: [eyes glaze over]

HOMER: Okay, fine! Here, let’s introduce the enemy in this epic poem — behold THE TROJANS! Pitching tonight is HECTOR OF THE SHINING HELM, described as quite the stud muffin, ladies; AENEAS, who will apparently go on to found Rome and Britain in a roundabout way; other people you don’t care about! SARPEDON and GLAUKOS, who have their own buddy comedy going throughout! AND…let’s end it on a cliffhanger. HERE COMES THE FIGHTING!

*”Let no man be urgent to take the way homeward until after he has lain in bed with the wife of a Trojan to avenge Helen’s longing to escape…” (Ick.)

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