Erysichthon Gotta Eat

I always love a good Greek myth
and today’s was brought to my attention
by long-time reader Ilya “Not Ilya of Murom” Lastname
and it is about an eating disorder

So you guys know about Demeter, right?
She’s the goddess of fertility and crops and whatnot
her daughter got stolen by the king of hell for sex reasons
it was a whole thing.
Anyway, being as she is in charge of fertility and crops and whatnot
it makes sense that Demeter would have an official forest dedicated to her
with a tree in it that is also dedicated to her
and covered in garlands and shit
one for each prayer she’s answered
so either she answers a lot of prayers
or everybody keeps falsely attributing their success to her
and then showering her tree in the ancient greek equivalent of macaroni pictures
in fact I’m not entirely convinced that Demeter likes these offerings
they seem like fancy trash to me
i don’t know how Demeter feels about littering
but I would wager she does not feel super great about it???
regardless, she does feel pretty attached to the actual tree
seeing as it is a literal extension of her body
which is why she is none too pleased
when this shitty king named Erysichthon decides to chop it down.

It is not at all clear why Erysichthon wants to do this
he doesn’t need the wood or anything
there’s no record of Demeter doing anything particularly shitty to him
maybe he just has really bad seasonal allergies
or he’s trying to erect a strip mall
or he just fucking hates trees
all totally understandable motivations
but Demeter doesn’t see it that way
she sees it the way where some rich asshole is carving up part of her body with an axe
so she makes the tree turn into flesh and start GUSHING BLOOD
and all Erysichthon’s guys are like “dude trees aren’t supposed to do that
this tree is CLEARLY haunted
why don’t we quit while we’re ahead
as in while we are not beset by vengeful ghosts”
but Erysichthon chops down the tree anyway
he gets blood everywhere
crushes a ton of other trees under its massive trunk
it’s a horrible waste
which is what makes it so metal.

Demeter obviously is not impressed by how metal this all is.
Instead she decides Erysichthon needs to get punished
and in the ancient Greek tradition
of punishments having fuck all to do with the crime
she decides to make him perpetually hungry.
Here’s the problem:
making people hungry is the exact opposite of what Demeter can do
she is straight up the goddess of feeding people
she is the concerned jewish mother of the Greek pantheon
so she has to ask Famine to do this thing for her
which is complicated by the fact
that Demeter and Famine are NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO HANG OUT
so Demeter has to send a go-between to the fucking Eurasian steppes
to find Famine on the tundra
with her ribs all exposed and her eyes all sunken
guts all visible through the skin
doing a photoshoot for Chanel
and the go-between is like “psst:
Demeter wants you to fuck a dude up.
Climb down his throat and shit a black hole in his stomach
please and thank you.”
and Famine is like “Sure whatever
I wasn’t doing anything this evening anyway.”

So Famine flies to Erysichthon’s house and gives him The Hunger
which is like if every food item in the world
was suddenly Subtraction Soup from the Phantom Tollbooth
everything he eats just makes him more hungry
he’s hoovering down food like a tyrannical Guy Fieri
he’s sitting at dinner like “mm this bucket of fried chicken is good
you know what it would go great with?
He cleans out countless all-you-can-eat buffets
he even goes to Sizzler
his stomach is a void
his a mouth is a portal to the Other Side
he is Galactus
it’s super inconvenient

he sells everything he owns to buy more food
and then when he runs out of things to sell
he starts selling people
namely his daughter Mestra
he sells her into slavery for a cheesy crunch wrap from Taco Bell
but for some reason she doesn’t want to be sold into slavery
so she prays to Poseidon
who she boned once
and he’s like “Ugh, fine, you get one favor in exchange for riding my trident
you are now a shapeshifter”
so she turns into an old fisherman
and when the slaver shows up like “hey, have you seen any hot dames around here?”
she’s like “Uh nope. Just fish. I am a fisherman. Yes.”
and the slaver is like “oh well”
and Mestra is like SCORE

but she may have celebrated too soon
because when her dad finds out she can shapeshift
he’s like “SWEET
now I can sell you over and over again to different people
and you can shapeshift to escape
and I can use the money to buy BURGERS”
and Mestra is like “Well i guess you are the adult here”
so they do that for a while
until Erysichthon is like “You know, these burgers are great
you know what they would go great with?
so he eats himself
and then his daughter is like “Fuck yeah no more slavery.”
Then she becomes Mystique and lives happily ever after.

The moral of the story
is don’t tell your dad you can shapeshift.

The end.

8 thoughts on “Erysichthon Gotta Eat

  1. “Demeter obviously is not impressed by how metal this all is.” Title for the next book?

    Also, covering The Phantom Tollbooth sounds like a pretty neat idea, but maybe it’s already a little too weird.

    (Also, is Sizzler-bashing the new Arby’s-bashing?)

  2. To be honest I kinda knew you’d like this one. After all it’s been a while since the last Greek stuff. Thanks for taking the request, man, this is truly awesomesauce.

  3. The version I read as a kid said Erysichthon wanted to chop down the tree in order to build a giant hall solely for the purpose of holding huge feasts for himself and his buddies. It didn’t say whether he wanted the entire grove gone so he could build the hall in its place or whether he just thought the Goddess of Harvest’s sacred tree would be *perfect* for roofbeams or whatever. Either way he was clearly not thinking this through.

    That may have been why Demeter had him turned into Hungry Mungry, though — because he was already a glutton.

    (Reference: )

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