Monday, May 6, 2013

The restaurant's speciality is Steak Tartarus, which is very tasty and hangs just out of reach

This month at the Riddled Book Club we've been covering The Myth of Sisyphus to improve our understanding of Existential Threats. Discussion is thirsty work requiring any number of pints. One can only speculate who came up with the concept of making the book more memorable by re-enacting the whole uphill boulder-rolling business, with the last pint of Spiced Parsnip Scrumpy held in reserve for the winner of the race. Not a smart idea but arguably better than the time we were discussing Sartre's La Nausée.

As one of the worst offenders of classical mythology, Sisyphus is housed in the Tartarus Detention Centre. Other inmates there include Ixion, who slew his father-in-law in violation of the unwritten code of hospitality, and then had sex with a cloud while visiting Olympus...*

and the 50 daughters of Danae, who slew their husbands en masse on their simultaneous wedding night to in a protest against their forced abandonment of careers as models for J. W. Waterhouse. They may have hoped that the publicity about the slaughter would elevate them to stardom in a reality show.

Tantalus was mainly guilty of crimes against cuisine. The correct wine to serve the gods at a banquet when your own child is the main course is -- as any fule kno -- a dry white Hippocrene.

Another Kiwi reckons that he personally inspired Greek poets with the concept of Tartarus by telling them the Aristocrats joke, having dropped in on a symposium in the Riddled time machine to pick up some cheap ouzo. The vagaries of the automatic translator device are such that it's possible that in fact he was explaining to them about Guantanamo Bay.

But what the feck is Ocnus doing amongst those blasphemers and monsters and traducers of all the laws of decency? His crime, we read, was to maintain a profligate wife who spend money as fast as could earn it. This might well have caused embarrassment and status anxiety among his peers, but it seems an over-reaction to condemn him to an eternity of weaving a rope out of broom fibre while a donkey continually chews away at the other end of the rope.**
Moral: A diet of Jagdwurst
will make your ass look big
Instructional guides are available
In his position I would be all 'Bugger this for a game of soldiers; that sodding donkey can find his own sodding fodder from now on -- I'm outa here. What the feck do I want with a rope, anyway?"

Perhaps it was a clerical error and everyone accepts that Ocnus is an innocent man, but he remains in custody because the administration can't find any other afterlife willing to accept him.

Perhaps they've told him repeatedly that he's free to go, but his response is always the same: "What? And leave show business?"
* Thereby begetting an entire species of annoyingly vague entities, half-human and half-cumulus.

Illustration of amorous dust-bunny cloud-creature misbehaviour.

** I am skeptical as to this part. If donkeys considered rope to be a food group it would be hard to hold them captive.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That looks like a bunch of people rolling POOP up the hill.

Perhaps they are Scarabaeinaenians?

Smut Clyde said...

Sisyphus scarabaceae for ITTDGYA.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

What the feck do I want with a rope, anyway?

He wants it for autoerotic asphyxiation, a transgression by which he hopes to garner a better punishment.

Smut Clyde said...

As opposed to autoerotic asphynxiation, which was Oedipus' speciality.

Substance McGravitas said...

There has been an immense improvement in autoeroticism since the smart car.

Another Kiwi said...

Ha ha not so smart car. Doesn't check for a condom.