TO THE MYTH OF THE MONTH
MOMUS BEFORE THE FALL
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"When thy opus
becomes thy onus,
thou art out on
thy anus, Momus!"
MYTH MAN PRESENTS
THE TRAGIC FALL OF MOMUS
& THE COMING OF MYTH MAN
My real name is Momus, not Myth Man. I am the ancient Greek god of
beloved son of mama Nyx, who is the revered goddess of the Night. My father was
said by some to be Erebus (Darkness), but when I was young, mom told me
that wasn't true, and that she bore me alone, sans mate.
Until very recently, I was blissfully ensconced way up at majestic Mount Olympus, home of the Olympian gods. Due to my stupidity, tragically the good life abruptly ended!
I am here to tell you that there is no place like Olympus, anywhere, anytime! The place is beyond description! My only earthly goal is to be allowed to return there some day.
I mean, what's there not to like? Daily I hung out with cousin Aphrodite and her stunning entourage, including the three Graces and the gorgeous Horai, the Seasons.
The nine Muses were never far from my side to provide constant inspiration. The wondrous winged horse called Pegasus - born when Medusa lost her head - was at my behest, always there when I needed to travel to different places, or simply to go on a joyride.
I was best friends with my nephew Hercules (Heracles), the greatest hero that ever lived, and I voyaged with Jason and the Argonauts on the fabulous Quest for the Golden Fleece. Sadly I also was present when that mighty warrior, my good pal Achilles, took a deadly arrow to the heel, near the end of the Trojan War.
Ah, the Trojan War...just wait until the Muses and I sing of the mythical Trojan War!
I am sure that I engaged in way too much merriment with my funky cousin, the mischievous wine god Dionysus, or Danny as I fondly called him. Our journeys across Greece to India and beyond, spreading the art of the vine in the company of his frenzied army of Satyrs and Maenads, are legendary. Surely you will not believe me when I tell you the many wild stories about Danny's fevered Maenads - the greatest party girls ever - but you have my word that they are all legit!
Clever Hermes was my trusted confidant, as was magnificent Apollo, and the mighty Athena was one of my mentors, despite what some sycophants claim. My 'godfather' Zeus made it clear that he counted me among his favorites, and further proved it by entrusting his lightning bolts with me a couple of times. Lots of fun, I tell you!
Listen, some wags will insist that I was booted from Olympus for insulting Hephaestus, Aphrodite and/or Athena. Even Zeus was alleged to have been among the godly victims of my acerbic tongue. Not true - It was Hera, and Hera alone, who contrived to have me banished.
I had it made! My only occupation on Mount Olympus was to be The Chronicler To The Gods - to speak and write glowingly about the Olympians' unmatched wisdom, excellence, beauty and perfection, so that all mortals could admire and worship them throughout the eons.
And that's where I messed up magnificently, leading to my abrupt exile from Mount Olympus.
You see, the gods weren't always perfect, and I wasn't content to simply write what was expected of me - My satirical proclivity often inclined me to poke fun at my fellow deities and their hysterical foibles, sometimes leading to bruised feelings.
I now realize however how very badly I erred when I poked fun at wonderful Hera, magnificent Queen of the Olympians, she of unparalleled beauty, endless wisdom, enormous kindness and enlightened benevolence.
Hera, you are so beyond perfect! And I am so beyond sorry!
I won't reveal just yet what I wrote about lovely Hera, but she snapped. Summoning to the Mountain her cowed husband Zeus, who as usual had been frolicking on earth with the nymphs, she made it clear that "either that cretin Momus is instantly and unceremoniously ousted from Olympus, or else!"
Evidently Zeus was astute enough to know what 'or else' meant. With a heavy heart he called me into his god-cave and broke the news:
"When thy opus becomes thy onus, thou art out on thy anus, Momus!" he said, or some such Latin-sounding profundity. Permit me to translate:
"You're history, Dude! God or not, Hera insists you're persona non grata. I could not convince her otherwise. Apologies, my friend, but you must immediately leave Mount Olympus. You get to pack only one small bag."
Say it ain't so, Jove! Say it ain't so!
And that was that. Next thing I knew I was on earth, looking for a decent place to eat and silently ruing my stubborn insistence on satire. Why couldn't I just conform and stick to platitudes? I'd still be grooving with the Graces in Heaven!
I tried everything in my power, called in every I.O.U. I held, but all for naught. Hera would not hear of letting me return.
Hermes, Athena, Danny, Aphrodite, the Muses, Zeus and more; they all entreated her on my behalf, but Hera had heard enough - "Momus be gone, at last!" she said.
Suddenly, a faint shot at redemption - Iris, the winged goddess of the rainbow and Hera's personal messenger god, arrived bearing a glimmer of hope. Semi-succumbing to the relentless pressure from my persistent advocates, the Queen of the Olympians had agreed to let me return, on a couple of conditions:
1) I had to reside one whole year on earth. During that time, I had to write at least twelve new myths for the mortals, extolling the virtues of the Olympian gods and heroes.
2) Because Hera detested even the sound of my name, I would have to abandon it and instead would henceforth be known as Myth Man.
At the end of one full year, and having satisfactorily completed a minimum of twelve myths, Hera would determine whether I had reformed and would consider lifting the banishment. She would then grant me amnesty as a personal favor to husband Zeus.
Praise be to you, Hera! Did I mention you are perfect, my Queen?
(Thanks, Zeusy! You're my god!)
As my nephew Hercules escorted me to earth to begin my exile, he made a valid observation:
"Hey, look at how that witch tormented me all my earthly life, uncle Mo. It lasted way longer than a year! Check me out today - bigger than life, universally adored, a corner penthouse on Mount Olympus, super-hot Hebe for my wife. Hell, even Disney, the celebrated god of Cinema, has approached me to do an animated feature. Surely your twelve myths can't be as difficult to write as my twelve labors were to perform!"
Thus humbled, here I stand before you - Momus is now the Myth Man, stripped of godly powers and lofty residence, vainly awaiting a flying horse to ride home.
Twelve epic stories shall be written, over the course of twelve months, and at the end I hope to re-mount Pegasus and get my sorry butt back to Mount Olympus where I belong, promising of course to be much more politically correct.
Did I mention that I'm truly contrite, Auntie Hera? I really am! Please grant me amnesty soon! Compared to Olympus, this mortal life really sucks!
(Well, at least I did manage to find a decent place to eat on earth...)
ARE YOU READY TO BE ENTERTAINED?
LET'S GO TO THE MYTH OF THE MONTH!