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History according to GOF; Tutorial 102

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HOMER and the TROJAN WAR

On a balmy summer evening in 799BC, Constantine Theodorakis,
a myopic Greek chicken farrier and failed astronomer, decided to celebrate his first wedding anniversary by taking Mrs T to a concert in the park on top of the city eminence which, 300 years later was to become the site of the Acropolis.

Both of them were disgusted at the quality of entertainment.

Rambling minstrel Mikos Jaggerius spent two hours
strutting to and fro like a demented turkey, whining
through a mouth endowed with astonishing amplitude, that he
‘caint  git  no  satis  faction’ …..an ancient Latin canticle
bemoaning the absence of unified political parties.

Constantine complained bitterly to the promoters, and was rewarded with a free double pass to see Homer perform ‘Iliad’ the following week.

In the late Bronze Age, Homer was equally as popular as Elvis Presley became in the twentieth century AD, even though he didn’t own a single electricity guitar, neither of which had been invented yet.

Nor had books been invented. Or Hellenic Radio.
Or indeed television, although Pannasonikus had once chipped out a square box from a lump of granite when he was nineteen, and spent the remainder of his long life trying to work out how to get some moving pictures inside it.

History was passed on through the generations orally. Often it was in poem form delivered by entertaining bards like Homer, who became famous for his ‘Iliad”…..an account of the Trojan War 400 years previously (around 1200BC), and audiences were spellbound every time he began;
‘The wrath of Achilles is my theme…….”

Now, be that as it may;

Human conflict can always be guaranteed to involve one or more of the following five things.
A God.
A piece of real estate.
A hot-to-trot woman.
A horny man.
Some other item of commercial value.

The Trojan War incorporated three out of five.

Hot-to-trot Queen Helen, overlooking the minor detail that she was married to Menelaus the King of Sparta, allowed herself to be carted off by Horny Prince Paris, the son of the King of Troy, back to his luxuriously appointed bachelor pad located in what is now Turkey.

This act of impropriety was excused by Wankerius, Senior Government Psychologist and advisor to King Menelaus, who somewhat unwisely proffered;
“Your Majesty, it is perfectly understandable that a deeply compassionate woman like the Queen would want to nurture and comfort a man who suffered the childhood indignity of being given a girls name.”

King Menelaus immediately went and shoved a bright yellow tennis ball down Wankerius’s throat before unanaesthetically suturing his lips shut with fishing line and a rusty awl. Then he ordered 1000 boats from Ships R Us, filled them with 100,000 warriors and laid siege to Troy in order to get his Queen Helen back again.

For the next nine years the warriors mostly sat around playing cards and monopoly (the Greek version) and dreaming about Miss Olympia 800BC, because no matter how they tried, they couldn’t breach the perimeter walls of Troy which were 16 feet thick and 20 feet high.

During the tenth year, warrior-god first-class Odyssius, after smoking a particularly potent batch of Trojan Grass suggested;

‘Why don’t some of us sneak into Troy by hiding inside a giant
hollow wooden horse with a secret trapdoor where it’s arse should be?

Thus, the Trojan Horse idea was born.

The Greeks built the Trojan Horse and left it on the beach sardinely stuffed with soldiers, before the remainder staged a fake maritime withdrawal.

The Trojans couldn’t wait to get their hands on a discarded large Greek wooden horse with a secret trapdoor where it’s arse should be, so they knocked down part of their own city wall in order to drag it back inside, despite the prophetic warning of Laocoon the wise old Priest who repetitiously bored the pantaloons off everyone by going around mumbling;

‘Beware of Greeks, even when they bring gifts’.

And so it proved to be, shutting a very long story cort, as the Greek soldiers sneaked out of the horse’s arse in the niddle of the might, brought in all the reinforcements, then milled most of the ken and took the women and children hostage, before backing and surning the entire city of Troy.

Greek supporters immediately cheered the ‘massacre and total destruction of Troy’, whilst the Trojan Secretary of State denied all the ‘unfounded and malicious rumours’ before announcing that there had only been a ‘minor fracas’.

Queen Helen, now older and somewhat less hot-to-trot, was returned to Menelaus who was verily pleased to have her back in the house to show him which kitchen cupboard the tin opener was stored in.

All the Greeks lived happily ever after…..except for Mikos Jaggerius who faded into obscurity and died a pauper.

Any twit with half a brain could have told him that there would be no future in show business for someone with a name like that.

.

Copyright GOF University Press 2011

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

24 responses »

  1. What a lovely start to the week, GOF. I always did mean to get around to reading the “Iliad”, but now you’ve saved me the trouble. And I always thought the reason why a face launched a thousand ships was because the king needed to go off to battle to escape the queen’s constant nagging about the neighbour’s house being better than their’s, so he decided to burn it down. Your story is so much more romantic, but, with all due respect to your clearly superior knowledge of history, I still think mine is closer to the truth.

    Reply
    • Thank you Snowy. The boys Technical Schools which I attended during my formal education had no history syllabus, so I am thoroughly enjoying this little later-life learning adventure discovering the real truth which forms the basis for these fanciful compositions.

      Reply
      • I didn’t do history after primary school either, GOF. We didn’t realise then what a huge gap in our learning that was. But then, we did learn to use our hands instead so I suppose that was far more practical use for us to earn a living. And history according to GOF is so much more entertaining anyhow…

        Reply
        • I wish I had started to read more history and philosophy at an earlier age like you did Snowy, but I figure “better late than never”. I guess that meant I worked out my own peculiar philosophies along the way, but I will never regret the practical carpentry/mechanics/plumbing etc skills I learned at school that enabled me to live this partially self-sufficient lifestyle in later life.

          Reply
          • Unfortunately, there’s only so much one can do in one lifetime, GOF. I’ve come to realise that it’s all swings and roundabouts, and it all evens out in the end. A good balance of practical skills along with nourishment for the soul is not a bad mix.

            Reply
            • I think we are both very comfortable Snowy with the mixtures that we have been given, or concocted for ourselves, during our lives.
              There’s no point harbouring any lingering disappointment for what “might have been”.

              Reply
  2. I always thought it was funny that the Spartans could hold off the entire Persian army at Thermopylae, but couldn’t scale a wall at Troy.

    Reply
  3. You need to submit this as a proposal for a movie, GOF. This is better than the last two movies I saw about the Trojan War, and you wouldn’t even need Brad Pitt to jazz it up.

    Of course, my old classics professor, who has long departed this world for the Elysian Fields, would probably rain curses upon your head for destroying what he thought was the pinnacle of ancient Greek literature. But ancient Greece has seldom been known for selling popcorn and movie tickets.

    (Do Australian movie theaters sell popcorn at the snack stand?)

    Reply
    • You can have the lead role as Queen Helen, HG….that’s if you don’t mind playing opposite Brad Pitt as Prince Paris. 🙂

      Australian movie theatres do sell popcorn…..at around treble the cost that it could be bought at any other shop just around the corner.

      Reply
  4. There you go GOFfing up history again!

    Reply
  5. I love it! Excellent re-telling.
    “backing and surning” LOL 🙂

    Reply
  6. A very insightful theory on war, GOF.

    If they had managed to add religion into the mix they could have managed a 100 year effort. Long past the “hot-to-trot-edness” of Queen Helen.

    Can I claim to have co-invented a new word and how would it look in text speak?

    Perhaps something like 😉

    Reply
  7. Tour de force, GOF! You rule, guy.

    Actually, your reputation is getting so out of control that people are starting to, ahm, hyperbolize[1] about your, ahm, oratorical prowess[1]:

    My friend, GOF, wrote a paper for his high-school dissertation, (or could have), entitled Mini-skirts lengthen daylight hours in Queensland, boost summer temperatures, yellow curtains and cause a spike in maternity ward activity in the following spring.

    [1] bullshit 😉 🙂

    (with apologies, and I won’t cite the reference… 🙂 )

    Reply
    • Well thank you K9….I’m not quite sure what I rule, and you need to be careful hanging around people who write (or could have written) dissertations about mini-skirts…..they should leave that subject to knowledgeable scientific authors like K9 and GOF. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Mikos Jaggerius must have had some amazing Greek medicinals as he is still alive and strutting his demented turkeyness on stages to this day.

    Reply
  9. My knowledge of history is seriously lacking … if only I’d known it was so much fun I might’ve paid attention years ago.

    Reply
    • Sadly Emjay, your knowledge of history is unlikely to be improved by reading this rubbish, but if occasionally you find something to smile at, then my job is done.

      Reply
  10. A good poem..:-)..I know of the procrastinating cat..then there is the one of long demand..who knows I will not raise a hand..yammer hard and does not stop..punctuate cat ‘puddy pop’..all in her age doing well..with love no human ever tells’..thanks for the poem..In some embarrassment I just found I am commenting erroneously..what is the penalty? what is the crime?..nothing and nothing..the Greeks definitely had something going on..as a modest collector of coin I find their coinage from B.C. to be most enduring..and endearing..if it happens to be gold or silver. It amazes me that high grade bronze coin is still significantly lower in price than the gold or silver in these small beautiful coins..well on to the error coins..more fun than gambling..Peace Tony

    Reply
    • Thank you Tony…..definitely no penalty for “commenting erroneously”….if there was such, I would by now be a very poor man.

      Thank you for the information on ancient coinage. It must coincidentally teach you a lot about history.

      Reply

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