Motley Mythos

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Comical retellings of my favorite mythological tales. Or maybe they're just asinine. You be the judge. I was gonna write an anthology of these, but then some asshole beat me to it.

EGYPT #1: BEER SAVES THE WORLD

On any other day of the week, Egyptian cow-goddess Hathor was a peach: loved to dance, was great with kids, greeted everyone with a smile.  She was also the loyal secretary of Ra, Patron of the Sun and Creator of Absolutely Everything Thank You Very Much.  She also had a weird habit of turning into a lioness whenever she got mad.

The day that Ra addressed his pantheon about humanity’s increasing disrespect for the gods, she was already not in the best of moods.

“What’re we gonna do, Boss?” said Thoth.  “Those critters of yours don’t pray to us anymore.”

“And they don’t obey your laws,” added Mayet.  “You gonna take that bullshit or what?”

“No!” said Ra, the insecurity of a doting parent creeping into his voice.  “But what am I supposed to do? How do I discipline them if they constantly ignore me?”

It was here that Hathor raised her hand.  “Sir, if it’s all right with you, I’d like to go down there and set them straight myself.  They’re your children, and like children all they need is a good spanking.”

After careful deliberation, Ra finally replied, “Fine.  Whatever.”

Come the following Tuesday, Hathor the Lioness had slaughtered one-third of the young earth’s human population, bathed in and drank their blood, and kicked down their cities.

“Boss,” said Mayet, “I think you made a bad judgement call here.”

“Yeah,” said Thoth.  “She’s not answering her phone, and when Khnum went down there to reason with her, she beat the hell out of him and chased him off the continent.”

“What’re we gonna do?” cried a panicky Ra.  “She’s completely berzerk! If she annihilates all the humans, we’ll have to scrap this planet and start over from scratch!”

Fortunately Ptah, Patron of Creative Problem-Solving, was present.  He reminded Ra that Hathor always partied hard and couldn’t hold her liquor.  Ra had a spark of inspiration, and Operation: Kegger was a go: gallons and gallons of beer were colored like fresh blood and placed in strategic locations along Hathor’s path of destruction.  Funky dance music cranked to full volume may also have been involved.

Hathor got so piss-drunk she forgot what she was so angry about.  Humanity was saved…all thanks to beer.

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EGYPT #2: THE AWKWARD BIRTH OF ANUBIS

Isis and Osiris were happily married and had a beautiful son named Horus, who would grow up to become the Patron of All Pharaohs and Ultimate Badass of the Egyptian Pantheon.  Meanwhile Nephthys — sister of Isis, who will be referred to as Neffie — was not-so-happily married to Set, the Patron of Aridity, Storms, and Douchebaggery.  As the renowned ultimate hero of the pantheon, Set was a macho douche-canoe who liked to throw his weight around (and undoubtedly slapped poor Neffie around whenever he felt like it), so it’s understandable that Neffie would rather bear a son for Egypt’s Sweetheart, Osiris, than for mean ol’ Set.  The fact that Osiris didn’t have the head of an anteater also helped.

Isis often busied herself with her favorite hobbies: learning magic spells, grooming her pet scorpions, and blackmailing the other gods out of their shares in the “godly power stock market”.  She was off engaging in one or more of these activities one evening; meanwhile Osiris was home alone, having a night cap which, as usual, had gotten out of hand.  When Neffie slinked into his bedroom wearing one of her sister’s sexy form-fitting dresses and acting like a cat in heat, Osiris was too drunk to know it wasn’t Isis.

“Giveth me s’m sugar -hic- Baby,” he slurred as he collapsed face-first into her cleavage.

As a result, Neffie gave birth to Anubis, the jackal-headed Patron of Embalming Corpses For Burial, Believe It or Not.  Neffie feared her husband would question why his son didn’t resemble him at all — an odd thing to worry about, since it was normal for an Egyptian god to lose the “random animal head” lottery — so she gave Anubis to a human couple who couldn’t have children, leading into a spin-off series about the weird dog-headed kid trying to adjust to normal suburban life.

Around this time, Set murdered his brother for his territory, dismembered the body, and mailed a piece to every city in Egypt, all while retaining his “perpetual Employee of the Month” facade.  Given Isis’s reputation as a scheming hussy who couldn’t be trusted with a nickel, nobody believed her accusations, so she made plans for a long, dreadful journey to reassemble her hapless husband and bring him back to life.  Neffie, the Patron of Awful Timing, chose this moment to bring up Anubis.

“I didn’t know you had a son!” said Isis.  “Why didn’t you tell me? I coulda hosted your baby shower!”

“Ah, yeeeah, about that…” said Neffie, fidgeting, avoiding eye contact.  “I kinda dressed up like you and bumped uglies with your Ozzie while he was drunk.  Then I got preggoes.  Then I gave birth to Anubis.”

“Oh,” said Isis.

“I’m so glad you’re taking it so well!” said Neffie when Isis didn’t immediately blast her to component atoms.  “Say, while you’re on your travels all over Egypt during the next decade — y’know, reassembling Ozzie and all that — why don’t you pick up Anubis from school and take him along on your trip? Then you can get to know your stepson better!”

“Oh,” said Isis.

Thus Osiris became King of the Underworld and Guardian of the Dead, rather than explain to his terrifying super-wizard wife how he could possibly mistake someone else for her during sex, drunk OR sober.

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NORSE #1: THAT ONE INCIDENT THOR NEVER TALKS ABOUT

As the Norse Patron of Thunder and Ass-Kicking, Thor was never one to pass up free beer.  He was happy to accept Thrym the Giant’s invitation to dinner, even though Thor made it clear that there’d be fightin’ to the death afterwards, hard-working giant-slayer that he was.  The cunning giant then swiped Thor’s prized hammer, Mjolnir, beat the ever-loving shit out of him with it, and sent him home to explain how a dumbass giant had put one over on the Ultimate Badass.

The insulting emails made things worse.

    to Johnny No-Hammer: Planning to move my brood into Odin’s house Friday, looking forward to making you all my servants, PS thanks for the awesome hammer, looks great next to my Precious Moments collection.  XOXOX Thrym.

    to Thrym: give hammur back plz kthx.  Sincerely, Thor.

    to Fuckface: Trade ya for it.  Is Freyja still the goddess of beauty? Gimme her hand in marriage and we’ll talk.  XOXOX Thrym.

Asking for Freyja’s hand in marriage was the last straw.  Naturally any warrior worth his salt would be nauseated by the idea of such a disgusting trade: he would defend the honor of his lady by angrily charging the giant’s gates, cursing him and his kind, prepared to slay them all to the last, Super Death Hammer or not.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

“What do you want, Thor?” said Freyja when she opened her door.

“We, ah…got a bit of a situation.  I need you to come with me to this giant’s castle.  To help me, ah, get my hammer back.”

“Oh?”

“And I need you to put on this wedding gown before we leave.”

SLAM! said Freyja’s door.

“Odin’s balls,” said Thor.  “What the hell do we do now? This asshole is gonna walk all over us if we don’t get Mjolnir back!”

“Well,” crooned Loki, the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak to the Norse gods’ Strawberry Shortcake, “I have a wonderfully crafty idea…”

An hour later, Thor found himself standing outside the gates to Thrym’s keep, wearing a beautiful white wedding gown and veil.  Loki stood beside him, dressed in a lovely pink bridesmaid dress.

“If we get out of this alive,” snarled Thor as the gates opened, “I’ll strangle you with this itchy garter.”

“But you look so fabulous!” said Loki, batting his eyes.

The ruse worked, thanks in part to the general stupidity of giants in those days (though giant scholars argue this was a recurring prejudice in the Prose and Poetic Edda), and Thor and Loki were admitted to Thrym’s dining hall, where drunken debauchery quickly commenced. Insisting on remaining veiled until after the wedding, “Freyja’s” true identity went undiscovered for hours.

“What strong legs you have, my dear!” slurred Thrym through a dizzying haze of mead, patting Thor/Freyja’s thighs with relish.

“Why thank you, dear,” snarled Thor/Freyja as the giant sat him upon his lap.  He pointed to the pilfered Mjolnir, which sat on the table in front of Thrym, and said as coquettishly as he could manage, “What…uh…What a magnificent hammer you have!”

Thrym beamed through a cavern of greenish teeth.  “It is, ain’t it?”

“It’s so biiig…” cooed Thor/Freyja.  “Can I hold it?”

“Nobody wields this hammer but me!” boasted Thrym.

“I’ll give ya a great big kiss if I can hold it for ten seconds,” said Thor/Freyja, straining to get the words out without vomiting.

“Why Coitenly!” said Thrym with a nyuk-nyuk-nyuk.

With Mjolnir in hand, Thor removed Thrym’s head on the third nyuk and sent it bouncing across the table.

Thus Thor retrieved his mighty hammer Bugs Bunny style, and Thrym and his pals rather messily checked out of the mortal world.  Of course, now that Thor has his hammer back, nobody dares recount the tale except Loki, and only when Thor is safely in a drunken coma.

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NORSE #2: THE HILARIOUS DEATH OF BALDUR

Baldur was the Fonzie of all the Norse gods: he was super gorgeous, super cool, super talented, and everybody loved him.  Men wanted to be him, women wanted to do him.  Even the douchey-est of giants wanted to hang out with him.  So naturally, when the gods started having nightmares about Baldur being dragged into the hellish underworld, they panicked just a smidge.  To better understand these terrible omens, Odin brought an old oracle back from the dead.

“Whaddaya want at this late hour?” the oracle croaked.

Odin had blessed humanity with the gift of poetry, so he always spoke in rhyme:

“Sorry for bringing you back from the dead,

But we’re having nightmares that fill us with dread.

Help us to see

What their meaning could be,

And I’ll let you go right back to bed.”

“Baldur’s gonna die soon.  With his death comes Ragnarok, the end of the world.  Now shove off.”

The gods upturned tables left and right, so distressed were they: it wasn’t just Baldur’s life at stake, it was EVERYBODY’S! Baldur was especially worried, shedding manly tears and sobbing manly sobs of terror.  Fortunately, Baldur had a devoted mother and father in Frigga and Odin, who concocted a magic ward that made Baldur absolutely un-killable by all substances across three worlds.  The gods then thoroughly tested the ward’s effectiveness through weeks and weeks of calculated scientific experiments, which were conducted as follows:

1) Chug a mug of mead.

2) Huck an increasingly dangerous object at the terrified Baldur’s head.

3) Laugh obnoxiously as the object miraculously misses its mark.

4) Pass the mug and repeat.

It was all fun and games until Loki, Patron of Tricksters and Shitheads, figured out that Frigga hadn’t included oak in her precious little ward.  He giggled endlessly as he whittled an oak arrow, and wondered how surprised Odin and his stupid friends would be when they shot the arrow into Baldur’s stupid face and killed him.

Turns out they were so surprised that they tortured Loki and murdered his kids in front of him.  Then the world ended and everyone died.

C’mon, it was kinda funny.

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NORSE #3: HUSBAND AND WIFE SWAP PLACES, DISASTER ENSUES

Reggie was a Norse farmer, married to a sweet ol’ milk maid named Esther.  Esther was terrible at housework: she couldn’t cook worth a damn, she couldn’t keep the house clean and free of clutter, and she was the slowest cow-milker and butter-churnerer in all of Midgard.  Reggie made sure she knew it, too.

“By Odin’s beard, Esther!” he was oft heard shouting.  “You can’t cook worth a damn, you can’t keep the house clean and free of clutter, and you’re the slowest cow-milker and butter-churnerer in all of Midgard!”

One day Esther politely threw down her apron and said, “All right, tell ya what we’ll do: we’ll trade places.  Tomorrow, you do the housework while I harvest the wheat.”

Reggie agreed.

The following day, Reggie tried his hand at simultaneously churning butter, milking the cow, grinding and boiling oatmeal for breakfast, keeping the baby from rolling out of the crib, and keeping the pig from tracking mud in the house.  The result was like something out of a “Mister Bean” episode as directed by Quinton Tarantino: the butter got knocked over, the pig got kicked to death for licking up the butter, the house was wrecked, the milk bucket got spilled, the baby went MIA, the cow somehow ended up dangling from the roof of the house, and Reggie himself got stuck upside-down in the chimney, his head submerged in the boiling oatmeal pot.

Presumably the wife burned down their crops trying to figure out how a scythe worked.

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Written by Mike MacDee

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