Drunks and Trolls: A Word on Our Patrons

(Originally Posted 6/8/2014)

As you all know, I’ve been under the guidance of noble Dionysus for quite a while now. The God of Wine has been my near-constant companion, especially on weekends and Tuesday nights when I go to karaoke night at the bar over by the mall.

But the youngest member of the Olympian pantheon does more than inspire us to sing songs that are, like, WAY out of our range; as I delve into the mythology that constitutes our awesome faith, he is there to correct misconceptions and deepen my already almost-adequate knowledge of the source material.

Allowing this level of familiarity is rather uncommon among the rest of the gods, but the proudly self-titled Father of All Winos is almost expected to spend his time slumming it with mortals. So, when my patron approached me at the Steel Panther show claiming that his brother Hermes wanted to have a word, I thought that, best case, he was putting me on.

The worst case scenario would have sent my ass straight to Tartarus, so saying I was a little apprehensive is a bit of an understatement.

(Wait, I’m being sentenced to an eternity of dry skin? That doesn’t sound so b…OH GOD IT ITCHES!)

It turns out that Hermes and Dionysus were at the show for the same reason I was: they’re fans of the band. While Dionysus was busy filling the 21+ crowd with his divine madness, you can bet your sweet ass that Hermes wanted to see his inventions used to their fullest potential. For those who don’t know, Hermes is the creator of the lyre, better known as the great-granddaddy of all guitars. He’s an extraordinarily complicated individual.

After a hilarious evening, Hermes questioned me about the future of the Church. He pressed me on what my intentions are, where I see us heading; replying honestly, I told him that I truly didn’t know. I wanted to revive the Olympian cults, of course, and I wanted to have some fun while I did it; beyond that, I hadn’t really given it much thought.

Hermes smiled, saying that we could be exactly what he’s been looking for. While there are still groups dedicated to worshipping the Olympians in the old ways, their adherence to tradition prevents them from truly adapting to the times. How boring would it be to eat the exact same meal, every day, for thousands of years? And never once take a group trip to a strip club? Even the gods change; so too should their worship.

The Messenger of the Gods offered to add his guidance to that of Dionysus, and requested that we conduct a personal interview to help set us on our path (which is still being edited and will hopefully be available later this week).

I would like to personally respond to the critics who have wrongly assumed that our divine patrons are less than reliable sources. To anyone who might point out the alcoholic tendencies of Dionysus and to Hermes’ role as a legendary prankster/patron of thieves, I can say only this in response:

Yes, Dionysus is almost constantly at some level of inebriation. This does, occasionally, lead to heated arguments-turned-fistfights with inanimate objects, but you have to see the bigger picture: aside from small children, who is more likely to tell the unfiltered truth than a drunk?

(The unfiltered truth is usually “I’ll do anything for attention”, but I digress.)

For the uninitiated, Hermes began his career in god-dom by immediately becoming an adult after his birth. He found Apollo tending some cattle, and decided to have a little fun at the Sun God’s expense by “relocating” the entire herd to his mother’s cave. He even fitted the cows with bark shoes before stealing them away, preventing Apollo from being able to follow their tracks. When Apollo eventually found where Hermes was hiding, the wily godling turned back into an infant and pretended to be asleep. Oblivious to his activities, Hermes’ mother (Maia) and his nurse (Cyllene) verbally attacked Apollo for having the nerve to accuse an innocent newborn of… well, anything.

Apollo was in a little too deep to back out, so he snatched the boy up and flew to Olympus to formally accuse Hermes of cattle theft. After Hermes (I shit you not) performed a musical number in honor of Apollo, which he played on the lyre he had invented the previous day by stringing a tortoise shell with some cow-gut, all was forgiven and an extremely amused Zeus told Hermes to avoid lying and stealing in the future. Hermes told him that not lying and being truthful aren’t the same thing, and by the way, he’d be more than happy to watch their stuff for them. Zeus then agreed to make the boy his herald and put him in charge of protecting all divine property.

This is an extremely simplified version of the events, of course, but it illustrates my point nicely: Zeus, the most powerful being in existence, ordered him not to flat-out lie, and Hermes responded with what I can only interpret as “yeah… no promises, Dad”. That’s a level of honesty that hasn’t been seen since George Washington’s cherry tree incident. And if anyone wants to suggest that perhaps pairing a notorious practical joker with his drunk younger brother might encourage them to mess with our heads a bit… well, Zeus trusts them, and that’s good enough for me.

Actually, the only legitimate claim against our sources is that, as the youngest of the gods, they have the least amount of firsthand knowledge of what actually happened. That’s technically true, but they get their knowledge from the older gods. If you’re accusing Zeus of making history up to suit his needs, you have bigger concerns than your own ignorance… I’d suggest staying indoors, just in case.

-Jack

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