happy Saturday jerks
today you’re gonna hear a greek myth
another one of those plays by that dude Sophocles actually
because some New York lady who calls herself a classicist
is too lazy to read it herself
WELCOME TO BETTERMYTHS.COM, WHERE I DO YOUR FUCKING HOMEWORK FOR YOU
by Fake Ovid
The Time: Right between the Iliad and the Odyssey
The Place: Lemnos, aka Nobody-Gives-A-Fuck Island
Cast: NO TIME FOR THAT HERE THEY COME NOW!
ULYSSES: Yo Neoptolemus, thanks for coming with me to the middle of bumfuck nowhere on these boats we have
NEOPTOLEMUS: Yeah, why are we here again?
ULYSSES: Cause this is where Philoctetes is at
NEOPTOLEMUS: How do you know?
ULYSSES: Cause i was here with him like ten years ago
NEOPTOLEMUS: Ten years!? Why the fuck is he still here?
ULYSSES: Uh well we sort of ditched him
NEOPTOLEMUS: Well that’s shitty.
ULYSSES: We had to! He stepped on a snake and it bit him
NEOPTOLEMUS: Where’s Tiresias when you need him?
ULYSSES: I know right? And then Philoctetes was all whining and complaining all night and nobody could take a nap or sacrifice to zeus or anything so we just had to leave him.
NEOPTOLEMUS: Still pretty shitty, not gonna lie. So I guess we’re here to apologize?
ULYSSES: Well sort of. I mean really it’s gonna be less of an apology and more of a forced conscription into the greek army
ULYSSES: Dude listen: we have this prophet named Helenus who we stole from the Trojans. He says Troy won’t fall until we get you and Philoctetes there to make it happen.
NEOPTOLEMUS: Well I do want Troy to fall…
ULYSSES: Great! So you’ll go over and lie to Philoctetes so we can prank him onto our ship!
NEOPTOLEMUS: Wait, what? You’re the lying guy, dude. You go do some lies.
ULYSSES: Bro he totally knows me already. Also he is not my biggest fan because of the whole abandonment thing. Point three, he is the best archer in the world and he has Hercules’s old bow so I am not going anywhere near that dude ok
NEOPTOLEMUS: Doesn’t this seem really shitty to you?
ULYSSES: You mean like when I abandoned a dude on an island because he got bit by a snake? Maybe you haven’t noticed, Neoptolemus, but I’m kind of an asshole.
NEOPTOLEMUS: Hey, you’re right!
ULYSSES: Great, I’m glad we’re on the same page. So get on over there and start lying!
NEOPTOLEMUS: Wait, dude, what do I even say?
ULYSSES: Just tell him you’re Achilles’ son and you’re pissed cuz I took his armor instead of giving it to you like I should have.
NEOPTOLEMUS: Hey, that’s not even really lying!
ULYSSES: Yeah the lying part is when you tell him you’re taking him back to greece so he’ll get on the boat and then we take him to Troy instead and make him fight for us.
NEOPTOLEMUS: Still shitty, Ulysses.
ULYSSES: You know it buddy. ULYSSES, AWAYYYYYY!
Ulysses goes away. Neoptolemus approaches Philoctetes’ cave with like a hundred armed dudes.
PHILOCTETES: Whoah, who the fuck are you guys?
NEOPTOLEMUS: Just some dudes who really hate Ulysses. How bout yourself?
PHILOCTETES: Oh man what a coincidence. I hate Ulysses too!
NEOPTOLEMUS: Cool. Wanna go to greece?
NEOPTOLEMUS: Awesome, let’s go
PHILOCTETES: No wait, I’m having a siezure
CHORUS: Oh noooooooooooooo
PHILOCTETES: Quick dude hold my bow, i’m bout to black out for a minute
NEOPTOLEMUS: Shout we … should we just put him in the boat while he’s sleeping?
CHORUS: That sounds like a good i-
PHILOCTETES: HEY I’M AWAKE NOW WHAT A NICE NAP THANK YOU TRUSTED FRIENDS FOR BEING SO TRUSTWORTHY
NEOPTOLEMUS: Shit man I’m sorry
PHILOCTETES: For what?
NEOPTOLEMUS: Remember that dude we both hate?
PHILOCTETES: You mean Ulysses? You could say I remember him.
ULYSSES: WELL I’VE BEEN HIDING IN THESE BUSHES THE WHOLE TIME! COME ON BITCH WE’RE GOING TO TROY
PHILOCTETES: SHIT. WHAT THE FUCK NEOPTOLEMUS
NEOPTOLEMUS: Oh my god I feel like such a jerk
ULYSSES: Yeah, feels good right?
NEOPTOLEMUS: Not really no
PHILOCTETES: YOU GUYS BOTH SUCK AND I’M NOT COMING WITH YOU
ULYSSES: That’s fine dude. I’m pretty sure we just need your bow.
Ulysses and Neoptolemus leave
CHORUS: Hey Philoctetes, how you feelin?
PHILOCTETES: Dude I have a snakebite on my foot and my sole means of survival just got jacked by the only friend I’ve made in ten years of island-bound loneliness. I feel like a million butts.
CHORUS: Well you could just go with them you know. You’d get to be a hero and shit.
PHILOCTETES: I have two words for you: FUCK
PHILOCTETES: NO. I’d rather stay here and die
CHORUS: Alright dude whatever
ULYSSES: Whoa whoa neoptolemus what are you doing
NEOPTOLEMUS: I’m going to go give this bow back to Philoctetes
ULYSSES: What, why?!
NEOPTOLEMUS: Because this is shitty and you are shitty
ULYSSES: That has literally never stopped me from doing ANYTHING
NEOPTOLEMUS: That’s sort of my point man
ULYSSES: I’m gonna stab you if you do this. I’ll totally do it. Look, my hand is on the hilt of my sword.
NEOPTOLEMUS: Oh hey what a coincidence, my hand is on the hilt of my sword
ULYSSES: Hey I just decided I don’t want to die today.
Ulysses goes back to hiding in the bushes
NEOPTOLEMUS: Hey Philoctetes I brought your bow back
PHILOCTETES: What the fuck is even happeningggggg
NEOPTOLEMUS: I fell bad so I brought it back. I still think it would be cool if you would go to Troy with us though
PHILOCTETES: You know what would be cool is if you would go fuck yourself
NEOPTOLEMUS: Alright dude, if you really want me to I’ll give you a ride back to Greece instead
Ulysses jumps out of the bushes again
ULYSSES: I WON’T ALLOW IT
PHILOCTETES: BITCH YOU BEST STEP OFF BEFORE I PUT AN ARROW RIGHT THROUGH YOUR WISDOM
Ulysses runs off yelping like a kicked puppy. Ulysses is a chump in this play.
PHILOCTETES: Alright, so are we going to greece or what?
NEOPTOLEMUS: You know, if we go to greece then the whole greek army is going to come kick my ass for betraying them.
PHILOCTETES: Yeah whatever. You have my bow.
NEOPTOLEMUS: Ok sure, but this is kind of a selfish decision you’re making buddy.
Philoctetes and Neoptolemus go to leave. Neoptolemus is surrounded by assholes.
HERCULES: STOP! EVERYBODY STOP BEING ASSHOLES!
EVERYONE: Hercules! Where the hell did you come from?
Hercules came from SPACE, where he lives. He did this because Sophocles has written himself into a corner.
HERCULES: Listen guys, I know everyone basically hates everyone else right now, but Philoctetes you seriously need to get over your shit and go win the Trojan war. You can trust me on this because I’m Space-Hercules.
PHILOCTETES: Hey, you’re right. Thanks, Space-Hercules!
HERCULES: No problem dude. HERCULES AWAYYYYYYYYY.
CHORUS: The moral of the story is that you can be a huge asshole all the time, but only if you’re Ulysses!
missed a closing tag
the whole homepage is in italics
thanks! Fixed. Also, the comments get echoed to my email in plain text, so your joke was originally ruined for me 🙁
In 9th grade English, we had to write an essay about whether we send Odysseus to Tartarus, Hades, or the Elysian Fields if we were the Judge of the Underworld. Even my callow 9th-grade self sent him straight to Tartarus. I’m glad I’m not the only one who recognizes his assholery.
Thanks for the myth, and hope your theses are treatin’ you better! As an overworked grad student myself, I feel your pain.
YAAAY YOU DID PHILOCTETES
I remember reading a journal article back when I studied this at uni, in which the author pointed out that Heracles is played by the same actor as Odysseus and it’s possible we’re meant to read ‘Heracles’ as ‘Odysseus in a wig’. Which sounds like the sort of mad shit Odysseus would pull if things weren’t going his way and also makes the ending makes more sense.
And it still fits your moral! Everyone wins.