February 23, 2014

Parody: Theseus and Ariadne's trip to Naxos

One last Straussy post before we tackle Carmen...

Admit it: having seen Virginia Opera's beautiful production of Ariadne auf Naxos (and by the way, if you didn't.....  we need to talk), and thus having learned all about her story from Greek mythology, you have probably concluded that Theseus was a BIG FAT JERK-WAD.

I understand. After all, he owed his very life to the Princess Ariadne. If not for her help, he'd never have found his way out of the labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur. And he appeared to be all into her, scooping her up and sailing away from Crete to take her back to Athens.

So how come, halfway home, he unceremoniously DUMPS her on the island of Naxos and sails away by himself? The unmitigated GALL! The NERVE! The SHAMELESSNESS!

Oooo, men: can't live with 'em, can't sing duets without 'em, am I right, ladies?

Yeah, worst boyfriend in history. It's not like he knew that Bacchus would come along and rescue her, either. For all Theseus knew, Ariadne is stuck on a barren, uninhabited island, with nothing but sand, trees and salt water for company. (No comedians - I'm talking about the original story here, not the opera.)

Also, let's not assume that Jerk-wad was under the impression that Naxos was the modern island paradise tourists know today as shown on this website devoted to Naxos Tourism from tripadvisor.com. No golf courses for our girl; no boat trips with "Captain Panos Sailing Day Tours"; no airport with daily flights to Athens; no comfy digs at the Hotel Grotto in Naxos City. No nothin'.

What possessed him? How could he be so cruel? What the hell happened?

The back of my piano.
Gee - I wonder what ELSE is back there??
Well, few people know that, in addition to being a distinguished musician and world-class blogger (cough cough), I am also a forensic literary historian as well. I, Your Humble Blogger, have unearthed a transcript of actual dialogue between Theseus and Ariadne during the 178 mile trip from Crete to Naxos. He must have recorded this in his ship's log, I reckon. I found it on the back of my piano while looking for some music. Now how do you suppose it ended up there, of all places? If that ship's log could only talk...

Anyway, I think you'll agree this explains a lot.

ARIADNE:
*BARF* *HURL* *BARF* Golly, sugar-doodle, who knew I would be so seasick, right? I can't seem to keep anything down!

THESEUS:
I noticed.

ARIADNE:
Give me a big ol' kiss, you big hunk of Grecian beef!

THESEUS:
There's some mouthwash in my quarters down below. How about you go rinse out your mouth first?

ARIADNE:
Aaah, there's no point. I'll just puke again! Are we there yet?

THESEUS:
I told you, Athens is a long journey. Several more days, and that's if the weather holds.

ARIADNE:
How much longer, though?

THESEUS:
(gritting his teeth) Like I said. Several more days.

ARIADNE:
I think I have pretty feet. Do you think my feet are pretty?

THESEUS:
Yeah.

ARIADNE:
Look at my feet! Look at my feet!

THESEUS:
I see them.

ARIADNE:
When I was a little girl, my Daddy the King used to have this cute little poem he made up: "The prettiest feet are found in Crete." Isn't that cute? Don't you just love that?

THESEUS:
Cute.

ARIADNE:
Remember when I helped you get out of the labyrinth?

THESEUS:
Yes, I remember.

ARIADNE:
I really helped you, didn't I?!

THESEUS:
Yep.

ARIADNE:
That ball of yarn was a GREAT idea, wasn't it? Wasn't it?? Theseus, didn't you think that ball of yarn was a great idea? Huh?

THESEUS:
...umm-hmm...

ARIADNE:
I couldn't even believe I came up with that, you know? It just kind of came to me, you know? I was like "Wow, dude: you know how you could find your way out of the maze thingie? A BALL OF YARN, THAT'S HOW!" Can you even BELIEVE I came up with that?

THESEUS:
Nope.

ARIADNE:
I mean, no one EVER thought of that before! I just come up with the weirdest cool ideas sometimes! Do you like having a girlfriend who comes up with weird cool ideas? Huh? Do you?

THESEUS:
...mmmm...

ARIADNE:
Are we there yet? How much longer?

THESEUS:
What did I just say?

ARIADNE:
Oh darn, I'm gonna PUKE again... *RETCH* *CHOKE* *BARF* Whew, I can't WAIT til I am off of this BOAT!

THESEUS:
(quietly) Sounds good. Sounds reeeaaally good.

ARIADNE:
Hey, lover, would you come massage my feet?

THESEUS:
I'm busy with sailing the ship.

ARIADNE:
I'm bored. Are you bored?

THESEUS:
You can't imagine...

ARIADNE:
Is that Athens up there ahead of us?

THESEUS:
No. That's the island of Naxos.

ARIADNE:
Can we stop there? I need to pee. Will there be a little girls' room there? Oh, and do you think they'd have Diet 7-Up there? It might help settle my stomach. Can we stop?

THESEUS:
Absolutely. I'm heading there now.

ARIADNE:
*HURL* *BARF* *RETCH*

It's wise to remember that, when a relationship breaks up, there are alway two sides to the story. I'm just sayin'...

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