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Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

DECEMBER 13, 2010


Everyone is familiar with Aesop's Fables, many of which have become part of our collective culture. Stories such as The Fox and the Grapes, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Ant and the Grasshopper are known and loved throughout the world and have taught generations many valuable lessons.

Aesop may have been the Stephen King of fables, but he wasn't the only one churning them out back in the day. There were several fabulists who plied their trade with varying degrees of success and fame. There were Pyorrhea the Greek, Polyp of Thebes, The Gaul Gall to name a few, but none save Ignavus could match the storytelling skill of Aesop. Ignavus, who lived in the Roman Province of Diphtheria between 637 and 588 BC (he was thought to have lived in Macedonia, Sarcoidosis and Mitochondria, but records from the time are sketchy. All that is known is that he was popular at parties) was known throughout the ancient world and was a favorite of King Pleistocene, a veritable Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval in the Ancient World. Anyway, who can forget such classics as:

The Slave and the Ham

A slave named Giardia stole a ham from the ham loft of his master. The master found out and had him executed.

The moral: It sucks to be a slave.

The False Gods

Word got back to Olympus that the Lymphocytes were worshiping false gods. Zeus had Gracchus, the God of Oatmeal (who was pretty low on the god list) go amongst their numbers in human form to see if it were true. While wandering through the town of Agoraphobia he was hit by a chariot, which, his being in mortal form, wasn't covered by his health insurance.

The moral: If you're going to be a god get in line early to get a good assignment, like the God of Wine or the God of Nymphomaniacs. Also, it's good to get supplemental insurance when you travel.

King Leonidas and the Wombat

This fable has been lost to antiquity, which is too bad, it sounds like it was interesting.

The moral: Always make back up copies.

The Jewish Peddler

There was once a Jewish Peddler in Rome named Mordecai the Peddler (not by coincidence; he wisely registered the name early in his career on the advice of his cousin, Menachem the Wise). Being Jewish he faced discrimination and being kosher he couldn't eat Roman delicacies such as hummingbird tongues and ocelot spleens. Outraged at the injustice of it all, he called upon Yahweh to smite Rome. But Yahweh wasn't in a smiting mood that day so he sent a rain of wine and manna, which made the Romans happy, but sticky. Feeling abandoned by Yahweh, Mordecai converted to Espicopalianism. Yahweh, not too thrilled about this, smote him mightily, turning his water into even more brackish water with those nasty little bits floating in it and his oxen into poodles.

The moral: Don't piss off Yahweh.

The Man Who Would Be King

It was a time of great leaders; Mastoid of Antioch, the Roman Emperor Phallus; Sheik Alleg, leader of the Ablah Tribe; Sheena of Aleppo, sometimes called Xena, sometimes Chuck for some reason; King Turpis of Selenium... you get the point. A humble shepherd wanted to be a great king, too, so he declared himself the king of his small island and ruler off all its inhabitants. He was thought to be touched in the head so he was widely ignored, especially by his wife.

The moral: Don't be an idiot.

The Boy Who Inadvertently Cried Wolf

One day a boy named Timmius was playing near the old well when he fell in for the seventh day in a row. His loyal dog Lassius was getting pretty sick of going for help, and was busy gnawing on a ham bone she got from a slave named Giardia. So, she asked her friend the wolf to help out. When Timmius saw the wolf he cried out "Wolf! Help!" The townsfolk, who had all read "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" ignored him and he drowned. In all honesty, they were getting sick of hauling him out of the well, too, so no one saw it as a great loss.

The moral: Darwin's Law was in effect long before he was born.

The Gatekeeper and the Kraken

Catarrh, the gatekeeper of the The Carpal Tunnel, would let no one pass until they answered three questions, mostly relating to his tax return. Those who failed to answer correctly had to face the Kraken. One day the Kraken got loose into the aqueduct and made an awful mess.

The moral: Krakens make lousy pets, especially if you live in a small apartment.


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Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
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The Cartoonists ..In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . .Number 9