Hey I was at a convention all weekend
it was in Indianapolis and it was called Gen Con
maybe some of you were also there.
While I was there I got to play a really great round of a really great RPG
run by a dude who turned out to know MORE ABOUT MYTHOLOGY THAN ME
(he has a cool tumblr that you can read)
after rapping a good portion of the Odyssey for me
he told me about a mythological baddass I’d never heard of
whose tale I must now pass on to you.
This dude is known as THE BLACK BEETLE.
But for the purposes of this post
we are going to call him by his non-anglicized name, Besouro
because when you try to search THE BLACK BEETLE on google
you end up with this clown
and he has absolutely nothing to do with our story.
So Besouro gets born in Brazil in the 1890s
and his parents make the HUGE mistake
of being black in Brazil in the 1890s
which means that Beouro also turns out black
which means that as far as the colonial government of Brazil is concerned
his main job is to do things he hates
in order to make other (not black) dudes rich
normally this would be called slavery
but Brazil just officially outlawed slavery
so it’s just …
a really bad deal?
Besouro is not a dude who is down with really bad deals
so he gets an old ex-slave dude to teach him Capoeira
(the art of dancing people to death)
and then when he is old enough
he takes justice into his own hands
also his own feet
mostly his feet, actually
Capoeira is mainly kicks
Now, normally one mostly-naked lord of the dance
would have trouble humiliating the entire Brazilian police force
but Besouro has a secret
a secret which is buried in his INCREDIBLY SWEET NAME.
See, the reason he’s called “Besouro” (aka “THE BLACK BEETLE”)
is because he can turn into a black beetle when he’s in trouble
and just fly away.
beetles are pretty slow at flying though
(prolly would have been better if he’d called himself BLACK FALCON or BLACK JET PLANE)
but he also has a last name
which means “Totally immune to bullets.”
EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO CHANGE MY LAST NAME
But it’s not as easy as just changing your name, my friends
in order to net this sweet bullet immunity
Besouro had to make a deal with Eshu himself
yes that’s right
THE CIGAR-SMOKING DICK TRAIN WHO LIVES SOLELY TO FUCK WITH PEOPLE
IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.
So yeah, Eshu hits up Besouro one day and he’s like “dude
I would love to see some crooked cops get kicked in the mouth
bow down to me and I will make this shit happen.”
and Besouro is initially a little wary of making this deal
but then Eshu hands him his ass in a fight
and Besouro is like “Okay fine
but only because I really like kicking crooked cops in the mouth.”
and Eshu is like “Awesome.
Here’s what we’re gonna do:
me and my pals
– that is, the other Orisha –
are going to give you what is called a closed body
the reason bullets go into most people’s bodies
is because those bodies are like ‘hey, door’s open, come right in.’
whereas your body is gonna be like ‘hell no, go away’
it is what we like to call
THE ORIGINAL LIFE HACK.”
So for about seven years
that’s all Besouro roams from town to town
humiliating the constabulary with his invincibility
and then turning into a beetle when shit gets too real.
Like, they send a dozen cops after him
and he just takes all their guns
and then shows up to the police station later
with a shopping cart full of guns
like “Here you go guys
I figured you might need these
for arresting someone who is NOT IMMUNE TO FUCKING BULLETS.”
The police don’t really believe the whole bullet immunity thing
because let’s face it, it’s kind of a ridiculous thing to believe
but years go by
and Besouro is just stomping sternums with impunity
and black people are getting disconcertingly independent
and this whole time nobody has hit him with any bullets
so finally the police are like “You know what
we’ve been firing our guns constantly at this guy
for like half a decade
not even Imperial Storm Troopers are this inaccurate.
Maybe … we should use magic?”
So this arch-dickhead named Doutor Zeca talks to a wizard or something
and finds out that whereas Besouro is immune to bullets
the protection does not extend to wooden knives
so he calls up Besouro
and … asks him to deliver a letter to another dude.
So Besouro delivers this letter
which basically says “Dear other dude:
please kill the guy who brought you this letter
he is weak against wooden knives
Love, Doutor Zeca.”
Okay, I may be missing something
but WHY ARE EVIL DUDES ALWAYS SENDING LETTERS LIKE THIS?
It happens in Hamlet
it happens in Greek Mythology
are kings just super nervous about getting their hands dirty?
if so, wouldn’t the kings they’re sending these dudes to be just as murder-averse?
maybe every king has one really violent friend
and that’s the dude they send all their enemies to.
the point is that Besouro can’t read
so he doesn’t know what he’s getting into
and then his host buys him some sex
(because Besouro isn’t invincible if he gets laid right before a fight)
and then kills him with like 40 dudes
some of whom have wooden knives.
but at least he gets a couple songs named after him
also, slavery eventually ends for real
Anyway, the moral of the story
is always bring a wooden knife to a gunfight.