Hell t' pay

>> Friday, June 22, 2012

The most carin' guy in all of Greek mythology was the fellow, piloted the ferry 'cross the River Hades. Nobody thinks it, but it's true.

Folks mighta realized if he'd said more. They figured, quiet guy, takin' his pair of coins an' gesturin' 'em on an' off his boat, how nice could the fella be? Circumstances prob'ly didn't help: you're dead an' on your way into The Underworld, you're prob'ly not too sensitive to the compassion of others; you're thinkin' 'bout ev'rybody you left behind, worryin' 'bout whether you're headed to Elysium or to Tartarus, thinkin' you shoulda gone potty before you got on the boat. It's understandable you might miss the mournful look in the ferryman's eyes when he's beatin' you with his oar to getcha on board 'cause he's got deadlines, deadlines all the way from the pier up to the top o' the hill, an' this bein' way before anyone thought to put up one of those velvet ropes t' loop ev'ryone round an' round an' organize it. Maybe if he'd apologized while he was beatin' somebody with his oar, sayin', "Hey, sorry, bra, gotta getcha on this boat."

Lemme tell you, all those coins he collected? Charity. Shoes for puppies, umbrellas for orphans, all sortsa things. Maybe you're thinkin', "What else he gonna do with all that money?" Maybe you gotta point: multiply all the dead people in the world by two an' that's a lotta gold in your pockets, an' those ancient Greeks were always havin' wars an' people stabbin' their daddies by the roadside an' drownin' an' stabbin' their husbands in the bathtub an' crawlin' up into carpentry farm animals so they could stab strangers in their sleep--the ancient Greeks were a stabbin' people, I gotta tell you if you hadn't heard. An' it wasn't like they had banks where you could invest those coins in a stable, conservative yield or nothin', an' it's not like hootch was so expensive you'd drink your fares up; so maybe he was charitable 'cause he had to get rid o'them piles of gold one way or 'nother.

But I'd like to think it was 'cause he was a nice guy. Hadta be, keep doin' that job. I know, I know: sounds strange, dunnit? But you gotta figure him up there in front of that boat, lookin' back at all 'em stabbed Greeks an' maybe one or two of 'em dieda old age--not to mention all 'em Spartan babies left out in the rain 'cause their eyes was funny or one leg's shorter than t'other. There he is, in the fronta that boat, lookin' back, day in, day out, at all 'em people he's gotta take 'cross the rivers. One way; the other way he's gotta lotta time t'think 'bout how short an' terr'ble life is, allaem pe'ple dyin' an' almost nunnaem for any good reason. An' so he fishes 'round his pockets, his purse, whatever's got to hold his money in, an' he puts a coupla coins in the bin for buyin' teeth for toothless kitties or teachin' blind widdas how to fish. 'Cause all he knows's how damn sad life is when all you got on one enda it is bein' seasick on a little ol' boat bein' steered by some asshole, an' you never goin' nowhere again. An the only reason you gonna keep doin' that is 'cause, one, you just feel too much for 'em poor bastards in your boat, or, two, you just feel too bad for whoever gonna hafta take your place if you quit.

That's my theerie. Anyway, I know for a fact how much he gave away; seen his tax papers one time.


John Healy Friday, June 22, 2012 at 1:29:00 PM EDT  

The way population figures keep going up, I have to figure he was always saving for bigger boats.

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