Rick Gauger



Posted on | April 10, 2017 | No Comments

Mogo crossed paths with the Odyssey. As he told it to me, he was sleeping on the beach at Sheria with his theatrical troupe — they were on their way to the festival in Corinth — when Captain Odysseus’ ship crunched into the offshore rocks, all hands lost (again) except great-hearted you know who.

Odysseus was emerging from the woods to seek help from Princess Nausicaa, who had come to the beach with her girls to do the palace laundry. and he stepped on Mogo’s face as he (Mogo) was sleeping under a myrtle bush.

Even in those days it wasn’t often that a stark naked — that night Odysseus had survived his third or fourth shipwreck — middle-aged war veteran steps on your face while you’re sleeping on the beach.
“Excuse me, peasant,” said far-travelled Odysseus.. “I was looking at all those scantily-clad girls. It looks like a painting on a Grecian urn or something over there. I intend to throw myself on their mercy.”

Mogo instantly grasped the situation. “You’re about to wave your shaggy bum in the face of her exaulted princesship Princess Nausicaa’s face? Get real, your lordship!”

Cunning Odysseus, man of many strategems, shrugged and made several other Greek-type gestures indicating that he was without any particular strategem at the moment.

“Sire,” said Mogo. “You need to look more great-hearted and stuff, know what I mean?”

“What can I do, ugly lower class person? I am naked. I have no kingly raiment. I lost it all in the second or maybe the third shipwreck.”

“Naked isn’t the problem, sire,” said Mogo. “It might even help. No, sire, what you need is some makeup. Let me call our troop makeup lady.” He turned and shouted toward the troupe ship: “Athena! I got a job for you!”

Athena brought her box from the ship and it only took a minute to dye the Mastermind of War’s grizzled hair black, to give him a scrapedown with a real professional strigal, a Man-Tan treatment, and to change his olive oil. When Odysseus went out on the beach and gave his suave greetings to Nausicaa, he was a real knockout, really godlike, as she wrote in her diary that night.

I asked Mogo if he had heard the bardic performance of the story afterwards. “No,” he said, scratching his beard and looking off into the distance, “but I heard a lot about it. I didn’t read the book either.”

I was appalled. “In the name of the gods, Mogo, why not?”
“Aw, I was waiting for the movie to come out.”


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