A Time Travel Clyde Mini-Epic!
THE IDIOCY AND THE ODDITY
(with apologies to Homer, the ancient Greek Gods and Heroes,
and lovers of great literature everywhere!)
--Part I --
The IDIOCY: A Really Epic Tail
THE ROSEY-FINGERED DAWN OF DESTINY
The FATES control all, even the Gods, and they decided to intervene in Clydesseus' situation. They didn't have any activities planned for the next few years and decided that some mischief was in order. Anything to irritate the Gods always delighted them, because they knew the Gods could do nothing about it! That's teasing for you. So, they began to weave a complex puff-ball of events sure to create a solution to the problem... eventually. They wanted to have some fun because they were pretty bored.
Hissica had long had a marketing arrangement with the neighboring island of TOY, from which they got all their puff-balls.
Toy was famous for the production of entertainment and objects of amusement (i.e. puff-balls) as well as long robes called "togas". These togas were the ultimate fashion rage, and everyone was wearing them. They sort of looked like oversized T-shirts. These garments were so popular that the inhabitants of Toy were nicknamed: Togans.
Tyie and Tia sport their fabulous togas!
As the Fates would have it, the Island of Toy was being boycotted by the CREEPS, who were the sole providers of catnip the world over. Thanks to some clever marketing strategies, Clydesseus had a great alliance with the Creeps and had amassed a large quantity of the magical herb in the Royal Treasury on Hissica.
That didn't help the Togans, who needed catnip for their amusement products. As everyone knows, no matter how well you are dressed, any toy that does not have catnip associated with it isn't worth bothering about.
So the Togan economy was in big trouble.
They tried to find a way to overcome the boycott, and came up with the idea that the best way to solve an economic problem is to start a huge and pointless war. This is never a good solution to anything, but the Togans were desperate, and figured that if they actually won the war (highly doubtful), they'd have the catnip market cornered.
Queen Helpmeout, of Toy, held a beauty contest that only she could win. The Creeps were the only ones invited to participate. Since no Creep ever wins anything, this trick was sure to work. Or, so they thought. It started out well enough. The Creeps, who had paid dearly for tickets to the beauty pageant declared war on the promoters when they realized they had no chance of winning, and the conflict began.
The Togans won the first volley by tricking the Creeps into leaving their city. They told the Creeps that if they went down to the sea, their patron God, Poseidon, would be happy to refund their money. The Creeps amassed themselves on the beach outside the city walls and filed a complaint in triplicate, on seaweed parchment. Poseidon ignored their complaints completely. Since the pageant had been held inside the city, and the Creeps were busy on the beach outside the city walls, the Togans could lock them out. Which is exactly what they did.
The Togans celebrated their cleverness and planned their next move, an attack with long range weapons.
Unfortunately, the Togans chose as their principle weapon the famous and irresistible puff-ball (they had mistakenly done an overproduction run, so they had a massive surplus of the things). Little did they know of Clydesseus' skill at puffery!
This ironic circumstance can only be attributed to those scamps, the Fates.
The Creeps called in favors from their neighbors, and Clydesseus (who had that nice stash of catnip in the royal treasury), had to go to their aid. Also, one of the Gods appeared to him in a vision and told him to do it. After the unfortunate Poseidon affair, Clydesseus was a bit more cooperative with the Gods.
Penelopuss was beside herself with sorrow. In those days, wars took a very long time, and the traveling from island to island was even worse. She would miss her dear husband and friend terribly. Besides, she couldn't figure out how Clydesseus could manage to go to war with his allies on Toy, even if he owed allegiance to the Creeps.
This was a sticky situation which would demand all of wily Clydesseus cleverness. But, after the incident with Poseidon, Clydesseus was too exhausted to think of anything clever, and decided that the catnip was more important than the catnip toys (he may have had a point there), so he decided to aid the Creeps. And, that vision from the Gods clinched it.
At the dock, by his magnificent ship, Clydesseus bid a sad farewell to Penelopuss and Telephoneus. He told them that his ship would unfurl a white flag if he returned victorious, a black flag if he had died, a red flag if he had found some tomato juice, a yellow flag if he was bringing home lemonade, a green flag if he had found catnip, and..well, by the time he got through, the whole idea had to be canned because there wasn't enough room in the boat for all the flags.
Clydesseus got into "Roe" (it was named after fish eggs), his beautiful pea-green boat (as later noted in the poem, "The Owl and the Pussycat") and crossed the wine-dark sea to join the Togan War.
As Clydesseus sailed away in Roe Boat, Queen Penelopuss sat on the buff cliffs of Hissica and sadly wailed. This came to be known as "Penelopuss' Lament".
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