Week Twenty-Seven: Iliad 23.226-739

Alex: Previously! Previously, on the Iliad, Hektor died, and Patroklos is burning somewhere over there, so I guess just enjoy week 27; Lynn: now the morning star rose, the morning star that brings light across the whole land, and it’s the yellow-dressed Dawn that follows it, rolling across the salt sea; and now all of the fire on the funeral pyre went out; the flames stopped, and Achilles, Achilles laid down on one side of the pyre; he was exhausted, and sweet sleep took him; but all the men were gathered around Agamemnon, and they all decided to come to Achilles right now, and they made a lot of noise, and they were stomping their feet, so Achilles woke up right away, and he sat up, and with straightness said to all of them: “son of Atreus, and all of you who are the best men of the Pan-Achaian force, now, now it’s time to pour the fiery wine over the fire of Patroklos’ funeral pyre; make sure the last of the flames are out, and then go and collect his white bones; it should be easy, I mean, they–they’ll–stand out; they’re all in the middle; it’s all the other horses and men that are all the way around the edge; and then take his bones and wrap them in a double fold of fat, and put them in a golden jar at least until I myself can enfold him down in Hades; and then I want you to build him a burial mound; now, I don’t want it to be too big, just, just right for what’s now; later those of you Achaians who are left beside the ships with all their many benches, those of you who are left here after me, can make the mound bigger and taller”; so that’s what he said, and the men right away went, and they listened, and they poured the fiery wine so that the last of the flames went out wherever the wine hit it, and heavy ash fell; and then they collected all of the white bones of their friend as they wept, and they wrapped them in double folds of fat, and they put them in a golden jar, and then they put them inside Achilles’ tent and covered it with fine linen; and that’s when they marked out how the burial mound would work and dug up a foundation and poured all of the loose earth over so they had built up a whole burial mound; that’s when they came back to Achilles; now Achilles would not let them go, but instead now all of the wide people sat in assembly, and that was when (we wait for a sound cue) that was when he brought out the prizes for Patroklos’ funeral games; they all came from Achilles’ tent: tripods, cauldrons, horses, half-asses, cows with strong necks, women who know how to do a lot and pieces of iron; so now Achilles he lined up all of the prizes that were going to be for the first contest; this was the chariot-racing contest; now let me tell you, today, for first prize, we have a woman; that’s right, she knows all of the blameless work; and that’s not all, my friends, but we also have a tripod, and it holds

22 measures of whatever you want to put in a tripod; in second place, the prize we have for today: a cauldron; it’s never touched the fire, it’s shiny, it holds 4 measures (that was totally not second place; Alex: the horse!); the horse was second place! what kind of horse, you ask? well, she’s unbroken, six years old–no she’s not–and she’s pregnant! with a half-ass! Fourth prize (we’ve got it straight now), in fourth, two talents of gold (everybody remember what a talent is? a whole body weight of gold; seems kinda awesome for fourth place, huh?), that’s right, and in fifth, for the fifth prize, we’ve got a two-handled bowl; now when all of these prizes were laid out in some order, that’s when Achilles stood up amongst them all and said: “son of Atreus, and all you Achaians now with your very nice shin guards, now all of you know that if it was for any other man that we were now having the funeral games, I would be the one who would take home first prize because you all know how much more awesome my horses are than all of yours; you know they’re immortal, right? it’s Poseidon who gave them to Peleus, my dad, and he handed them down to me; but me and my horses, we’re sitting this one out: the horses are sad right now; they’re just standing over there crying because of the loss of their awesome, gentle charioteer, the one who always used to oil their manes after washing them down with the shining water, so now they stand there drooping towards the ground, aching in their hearts, suffering; so, let any one of you Argives now come forward, you who trust in the speed and the battle- fury of your horses”; that’s what he said, and now the first by far to come forward with his horses was Admetos’ son, Eumelos, (or ‘Eumeelos’), and let’s just–he is the best by far at chariot-racing; I mean, have you heard of him? I don’t know, but he’s awesome at chariot-racing, Eumelos, here he comes; and then the next guy to stand up was the powerful son of Tydeus, Diomedes, and he’s got his Trojan stallions, you know the ones that he stole from Aeneas? (everyone remember? yeah, it was only 21 weeks ago) and then Apollo saved Aeneas (but that was a totally different week); and then in third it was blonde Menelaos who was the son of Atreus, and his two horses were Aithe, who is a mare, and Podargos; now Aithe had been given to Agamemnon by Echepolos who is Anchises’ son because he did not want to go to windy Ilion, okay, he just wanted to stay put and have fun; it was because Zeus had made him rich (so yes, even then rich guys were bought themselves out of war, that’s right); and he lived in the wide country of Sikyon; and so it was these two horses that he now placed under the yoke, and they were rearing to go, they desired the race; now in fourth man who got up was the shining son of Nestor, Antilochos, and his horses were from Pylos, and his dad, Nestor, was giving him good advice, and of course Antilochos was paying close attention; so now Nestor stood next to him and was like: “Antilochos, Antilochos, listen here, even though you are very young, Zeus and Poseidon love you, and they have already taught you so much about chariot-racing; I mean, I–there’s

nothing left for me to teach you; you know how to take the turns tight, but, but your horses are shit; all of these other horses are better than your horses; I’m not saying now that they actually know more, especially when it comes to thinking things through, because the best thing that anyone can do is to think things through; now thinking things through is what makes the best lumberjack, not strength! and it’s thinking things through that keeps a ship captain, he’s the one who’s able to keep his ship always going straight never, never going off course even when the storm winds blow against and stir up the waves; and it’s a charioteer who thinks things through that beats another charioteer even if the first charioteer is driving shitty horses; so come now, I mean, if there’s someone who is just driving carelessly and not thinking things through, his horses might just wander off the path; they might get too excited; they might go, and then he can’t keep the course, but for someone who is thinking things through, he’s always keeping his eye on the turning post, he always has his hands on the rein, knows when to let them out, knows when to pull them tight, knows how to follow after those who are in front of them; yes, so now, I’m gonna tell you something, and I want you to remember it: there’s a turning post, it’s there, it’s a stump; it’s about this high off the ground; maybe it’s oak, maybe it was a pine tree; I don’t know; but it has never rotted, it’s dry; now there are two white stones on either side of it, and they mark out the flat plain around it where the crossroads come now; who knows what this might be, maybe it was a grave marker for a dead man, maybe it was a turning post in a race of the first men; I don’t know, but now, brilliant, fast-footed Achilles has made it the turning post for this race; so, so here’s what you gotta do, okay: drive straight at the turning post; even where it gets very narrow, keep straight on; you want to take it from the left side so what you’re doing is whipping your right horse, whip your right horse as fast as possible; let the reins go on the left horse so that your whole chariot is going off to the side, so you’re almost, oh, you’re almost touching one of the white stones, but don’t touch the white stone cuz that’s the way that you will mess up your horses and break your chariot; oh man, and then you, you will be such a treat to all of these other guys, and you will be a disgrace! so make sure you don’t do that; but if you keep on straight, always straight, well, then you can pass up even faster horses at the turning post, and once you pass them they won’t able to leapfrog you, they won’t be able to pass you up, no, not even if it’s a guy who’s driving the fastest horse, brilliant Arion, and he was Ad-Adrestos’ horse, or not even, not even if they’re driving the horses of, of Laomedon, oh, those are the best horses, best horses ever raised here”; so, that’s what he said, the old man, and he went and sat down on the ground because he had told his son everything, everything he needed to know; oh, and then the fifth guy to roll up it was Meriones, you know, Idomeneus’ sidekick;

now it was time to draw lots, and Achilles was shaking whatever the lots were in, and it was Antilochos’ lot that came out, so he got pole position, and then it was powerful Eumelos, and then it was spear-famous Menelaos, and then it was Meriones, Idomeneus’ sidekick, and then it was Diomedes last even though he was definitely the best of all the guys here (just so we all know that, we’re straight, right?); and so now they all were lined up, and they were ready, and that’s when Achilles he set the finish line, and he set the turning stone, and he put Phoinix there as a judge because he knew that Phoinix would keep a good eye, that Phoinix would come back and tell him the truth of what happened; now all of the charioteers were ready, and they raised up their whips, and the horses ran; now the horses were running so fast, they were flying; now it was like, it was like when there’s a squall or a huge dust storm; that’s how the dust was now gathering on their horses’ chests as they ran forward away from the ships now across the plain; now the chariots were going down and up as they dipped over the earth; now their manes were flying back with the breath of the wind as they ran, and each charioteer he stood in the chariot, and his heart was pounding because he wanted to win so bad, and so this is how the horses now flew across the plain; but it wasn’t until the last leg that things really got interesting; it was when they were already coming back, back again from the sea, that’s when each horse really showed its awesomeness; now out here in front is Eumelos’ horses, right, we all knew his fast horses they were going to do something out here, they are way out in front flying across, but it’s actually Diomedes close behind him, and I’m not talking about far, they were close not far; Diomedes now, it was like he was about to climb up into Eumelos’ chariot with his own chariot, okay; Diomedes his horses are breathing down Eumelos’ shoulders and back, warming it all up; that’s how close, and now Diomedes definitely would have passed him up or at least there would have been a contest that was too close to call except that Phoibos Apollo, being pissed off at Diomedes, (for reasons unknown) came down and just struck the whip out of his hand, so he was like ‘ah!’ and then he started just pouring tears from his eyes because he knew that now Eumelos’ horses they were going so much faster than his, and his horses were slow because he didn’t have a whip; but then, Pallas Athena, she came straight down, and she had not not noticed Apollo messing with Diomedes, so the first thing she did was stand by the shepherd of the people, Diomedes and gave him back the shining whip, and then she put all this battlefury into his horses, and then she was so mad at Eumelos, she totally went and messed him up: she broke his horse’s yoke so that one horse ran off one way off the road, and the other one ran off the other way off the road, and then the chariot pole just went into the ground so that the whole chariot overturned, and poor Eumelos he went rolling, and he totally messed up his elbows and his skin and his mouth like his whole nose is scraped up, and his whole forehead, everything above his eyebrows, got all caved in; and then the tears filled his eyes, but he held his voice in, and that was when Diomedes he just steered around Eumelos, and Athena put even more battlefury into him and gave him all the kudos, and he was like; and then coming not far behind was the horses of Menelaos; they were going fast, and so now Antilochos who was just behind Menelaos, he said to his dad’s horses, he was like: “come on, you two,

you’ve got to go faster than this, okay? okay look, you’ve gotta go faster, stretch it out, go as fas–okay look, I’m not going to order you to try to catch up with Diomedes’ horses, okay? because I know that Athena right now has given them all of the kudos and the battlefury, and it’s like too hard, man; ok, but look, what you’ve got to do is at least catch up, catch up with Menelaos’ horses, the son of Atreus, okay? don’t get left behind because then, you know, Menelaos has that girl horse, the girl worse Aithe, and she’s totally gonna just pour insults all over you (like it works like that with horses, insulting each other), so don’t get left behind, and I’m going to tell you something else right now: you know, you know Nestor, my dad, Nestor who always takes really good care of you? well, instead, he’s gonna kill you down with the sharp bronze if he finds out that we completely lose the prize because you’re not trying hard enough; so go faster now, just go so much faster, and we’re gonna go right at the turning post, okay? I’ve got all the skills now, and I’m thinking it through, and we’re going to go straight towards the turning post; okay, we got this”; so that’s what he said, and his horses were completely scared of their master yelling at them, so they went faster, at least for a little while (because they’re shit); and so now Antilochos saw the turning post, and so he’s steering right at it, and there’s a place in the road, okay, there’s a place in the road where the winter rains have washed away a bunch of the road, and so here there’s a bit of a dip and a ditch, and that is where Menelaos is steering right along right now because he’s trying to come off the road to avoid any kind of collision with the ditch, and Antilochos is like *happy sound* so he goes really fast right there so that they’re almost next to one another, and they’re running alongside each other in this super narrow place, and Menelaos is like: “Antilochos, you are driving very irresponsibly; you need to hold off with your horses right now; this road is too narrow; it gets wider up ahead if you want to pass, but come on now, we’re gonna have a collision, we’re gonna damage our chariots”; and Antilochos, he just whipped his horses even harder, and he was like ‘doo-do-do-do-dooo’ like he had not heard at all; and so now it was like, well, the distance that a young man can throw a discus, when he really throws it, like from the shoulder; that’s how far these two chariots were now running side by side, and finally Menelaos, Menelaos pulled up because he was scared, he was scared that these two chariots now we’re gonna crash into one another, and the chariots were going to be ruined, and the men were going to fall in the dust all because they just wanted to win; but Menelaos yells out after Antilochos with huge insults: “Antilochos, ugh, there is no mortal man who is more destructive than you; now you’re beating me by cheating, but you will not take home any prize without swearing an oath”; (that’s a thing) that’s what he said, and then Menelaos turned to his own horses, and he was like: “come on you two, I know you’re bummed out, but don’t stand here; we’ve got to keep going fast; you’re going to catch up with those horses because their feet and their knees are gonna wear out a lot sooner than yours because those horses are old”; that’s what he said, and his horses were scared of him, and they listened to their master who was yelling at them, and they went faster, they flew; now all of the other Achaians were sitting around; they were all sitting around watching the horse races, and it was Idomeneus, who’s the leader of the Kretans, he was watching and saw things that were happening first cuz he was in a high

spot apart from all the others; now he heard Diomedes yelling out, and he saw a horse that was out in front that really stood out because the horse was completely red except that it had a little white mark looked like–it looked like–the full moon right on his forehead, and he was like, and he called out to all the other Achaians: “hey, do you guys see this? or is it, is it only me seeing this? huh? oh, cuz it looks now, you know there were those good horses that were out in front, ya, and they were going that way towards the turning post, but those were Eumelos’ horses, and I, I don’t see them now; I think there’s other horses in front; I think it’s another charioteer in front; hmmm, ya, I saw those horses going that way towards the turning post, and then they–I can’t see them anywhere on the whole Trojan plain coming back; I don’t know what might’ve happened, maybe, maybe his whip fell out of his hand, or, or maybe his chariot broke and the horses went running off the road, I mean, maybe, oh, I don’t know, maybe, maybe the horses just like to run somewhere else, and he couldn’t hold them; boy, something, something bad must’ve happened; but, I mean, come on, stand up can you, you take a look for yourselves because I’m not sure, but it really seems to me right now like the guy who’s out in front, umm, oh yeah, that’s an Aitolian; I think, I think that’s one of our Argive leaders, I think it’s powerful Diomedes, son of Tydeus”; (can you pass that down please to that to that other empty chair?) so, that’s what he said, and it was fast Oilean Ajax that answered him and was like: “man, Idomeneus, you’re talking shit! those are the same horses flying across the plains, those have feet like air, Eumelos’ horses! I mean, Idomeneus, come on, we know you’re not like the youngest of the Achaians, not like you have the sharpest eyes in your head; god, stop talking so much shit, you’re talking shit! it’s definitely Eumelos, Eumelos’ horses out in front; yeah, and that’s Eumelos holding the reins”; so that’s what he said, and then (thank you so much) Idomeneus, the lord of the Kretans, answered and was like: “hey Ajax, you’re the best at insults, but you know, you’re the worst at, like, thinking; like, all of the other Argives are better at thinking than you, so I don’t know, let’s–why don’t we have a wager, friend–friendly– wager? get out a cauldron or a tripod as a prize, we could make Agamemnon the judge; then we’ll see who’s in first and who’s on second”; so that’s what he said, and now they started trading insults with one another, and they were going back and forth, and now there would have been a huge fight that was bigger than anything that ever happened before except Achilles stood up in between them, and he was like: “stop it! now Idomeneus, stop throwing insults at Ajax; this is not right; I mean, if you guys saw somebody else behaving like this you would be pissed too, so just sit down and watch the horse race; look, they’re coming, they’re, they’re going really fast right now, so we’ll all know soon enough who’s in second and who’s in first”; so that’s what Achilles said, and it was actually right then, right then that Diomedes’ fast horses come speeding in; I mean, his horses are flying; now his whole chariot that’s made of bronze with tin bands is being spattered with dust, and the charioteer himself is being spattered with dust, and his horses are breathing hard as they come in; they fly; they barely leave even trails of wheel marks in the sand, that’s how they fly, and Diomedes he pulls them up in the middle of the assembly, and the horses are sweating, they’re sweating from the back of their neck and

from their shoulders, and Diomedes gets down out of the chariot, and he puts his shining whip onto the yoke, and right away his buddy Sthenelos goes and grabs the prizes, gets the tripod and the woman and gives it to his buddies to take back to their tent; oh, and there’s Antilochos! now Antilochos is coming up next because–not because–of of speed, right, but because he cheated: he’s passed up Menelaos and here he comes, and Menelaos is coming right behind him, though; now, the distance between them, it’s like the distance of when there’s a horse that really, really wants to stretch out and pull its master’s chariot as fast as it can, and so its tail is flying out backwards so that the very tippy tippy tops of the tail hairs are touching against the chariot wheels; that’s how close now Menelaos and Antilochos are in the finish even though they started it was a whole discus throw apart, but Menelaos’ horses, well, that mare, Aithe, she got a sudden burst of menos, and they caught up fast with Antilochos’ horses; now if the course would have been just a little bit longer, Menelaos definitely would have won, or at least it would have been really close; it was already pretty close, but Antilochos won, and then it was Menelaos, and then it was Meriones because he was just, he had the shittiest horses, and he was just, to be frank, the shittiest charioteer, and then finally here comes Eumelos; awww, he’s dragging his broken chariot, his horses are walking out in front of him, and Achilles sees him, and he pities him so much that here was the best charioteer ever coming in last, and so he says: “now the last place goes to the best man; oh, we have to give a prize to Eumelos; I think we should give him second prize, that, that seems right to me; and then Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, can take first”; so that’s what he said, and everybody approved now so he went to go give him the horse (because we all remember the horse was second prize, right? ya, we do now); except that Antilochos (we got some Antilochos fans in the house tonight), Antilochos spoke out and he was like: “Achilles, man, I’m gonna be so mad if you do what you just said you were gonna do; I mean, okay, this guy’s horses got all messed up, and he came in last, and you feel bad for him because he’s awesome, but you know he shoulda just prayed to the gods, okay, first, and then he wouldn’t have come in last; and if you feel so bad for him, and you love him so much, you should give him something from your tent; I mean, you’ve got stuff in there, like you’ve got bronze and gold and animals and slave women and tripods, and you can give it to him now or you can give it to him later, okay? I don’t care, but I think the Achaians will actually approve of that; but this horse, I’m not giving up this horse, my second prize, okay? and if there’s anyone that wants to try to take it from me, I will fight them with my hands”; so that’s what he said, and Achilles is just smiling because he loves this guy, Antilochos, and so he says to him: Antilochos, you know, if you really want me to give Eumelos something from my tent, I will, I will definitely do that; umm, I’ve got this great breastplate from Asteropaios, it’s bronze, but it’s got really nice tin bands; I think Eumelos will really like it, I think it’s worthy;” so that’s what he said, and he sent

Automedon off now to go to his tent to get the breastplate, and he went, and he brought it back, and Achilles handed it over to Eumelos, and Eumelos was so happy to get his prize; but now there’s Menelaos, Menelaos, the son of Atreus, he now takes the herald’s staff away, and he silences all of the Argives, and he comes out: “Antilochos, you know, they always called you wise, but now you go and do something like this; you won by cheating; now I think it’s something to do with, I don’t know, how young you are, I don’t know, but I think that all of the Argives here should stand in judgment of us now, between me and Antilochos, so that none of you can say that Menelaos with force or with lies took away Antilochos’ horse, or better yet, I myself will stand as the judge, and not one of the Achaians will be able to argue against it because I’m right; so Antilochos, what I want you to do is I want you to go to this horse, and I want you to swear, I want you to swear to Poseidon, the earth-shaking earth- encircler, that you beat me fairly and didn’t cheat”; that’s what he said, and Nestor’s son, Antilochos, was like: “okay, hold on, okay, uhh, you know, Menelaos, lord, lord Menelaos, you’re a lot older than me and wiser, and, uhh, I’m a lot younger, and you’re better; you know, young men can just get ahead of themselves sometimes, you know; like their mind is quick, but they are not good at thinking things through; so, umm, I’m gonna give you the horse that I won, uhh, because the last thing I want is all of my days to fall out of your heart and for the gods to think that I’m some kind of scoundrel”; so that’s what he said, and now Menelaos was so softened in his heart; do you know how his heart was softened? Menelaos, your heart was softened like when, when the dew comes on the corn in the fields of crop on the shaking earth and softens the corn; that’s how your heart was softened, Menelaos, and so Menelaos, the son of Atreus, he said: “well, Antilochos, you know, it’s only because you weren’t much of an asshole before that now, as angry as I am, I think I will, I will concede; you know it’s only this one time that your youth has beaten down your wits; but let this be a lesson that you never try to cheat your betters again, and I want you to know that there’s no other man of the Argives here who would persuade me so quickly, except that you, Antilochos, you and your good father and your brother, all of you, have gone through so much and fought so hard for my sake, so now I will give up the horse even though she’s mine, so that all of these men here can know that my heart is not arrogant and is not stubborn”; that’s what he said, and he handed over the horse to Noemon who’s Antilochos’ buddy, and they took it out, and then Menelaos, he, he took the cauldron, that’s his prize, and then Meriones he got fourth so he got the two talents of gold which is actually pretty good for being the shittiest charioteer; and then there was one prize left, the two-handled bowl, fifth place, and so Achilles he crossed over the assembly where Nestor was, and he gave the

bowl to Nestor and he said to him: “Nestor, you know, I think that you should have this bowl because I want you to always remember Patroklos and Patroklos’ funeral games because he will never again be seen among the Argives, and you, well, I’m going to give you this because you can’t, you can’t box, you can’t wrestle, you can’t go into the javelin throwing contest, definitely not going to go in the footrace, I mean, old age has beaten you”; and Nestor, the son of Neleus, took the bowl in his hands, and he was so delighted and he was like: “Achilles, everything you said is true; these limbs of mine aren’t as steadfast and strong as they used to be; but, you know, they were steadfast when I was young; if only I had the strength now that I did back when the Epeians buried Amarynkeus at Bouprasion; now those were some funeral games that his sons held for the king, and at those funeral games there wasn’t any man who could beat me, not the Epeians, not the Pylians, not the Aitolians; I beat em all; I beat in the boxing Klytomenes [Klytomedes] who was Panops’ [Enops] son; and in the wrestling, I beat (Alex: Ankaios) Ankaios (and I even had a mnemonic device for that, and I forgot it); and in the spear throw I beat Phyleus and and Polydoros; and in the footrace I beat mighty Iphiklos; so, the horse race was won by the two sons of Aktor, okay, but you know, the two sons of Aktor, they went really fast because they really wanted the prize because it was the best prize of all the prizes; I mean they were twins, there was one of them that was just like a really good charioteer, he was such a good charioteer, and the other one was whipping the horses; but now, now all these contests are for younger men, and I am old, so you, now, you, play in these games and you honor your dead friend, Patroklos, but I will take this cup bowl and remember, and I’m just so delighted that you remembered me like this and gave me the honor that I deserve, and I just hope that the gods repay you with much favor”; so that’s what he said, and when Achilles had heard all of the praise and stuff from Nestor, then among all the Achaians he laid out the prizes for the painful boxing: now for the winner what we’ve got today is a horse–nope– because she’s a half-ass! six years old, a six-year-old, hardworking half-ass, unbroken; and for the loser, a cup with two handles; and now Achilles stood amongst all the Achaians and he is like: “now, you son of Atreus and all of you Achaians with your nice shin guards, let two men come forward who are the best, the best at boxing, the best at throwing their fists and hitting one another, and whoever Apollo gives the glory to, well,

we’ll see soon enough, and he will take home this half-ass who is unbroken and six years old, and the loser will get a cup, 2 handles”; that’s what he said, and the first guy to get up by far was this guy, Epeios, who was Panops’ [Panopeus’] son, he was big, and he was strong, and man did he know how to box, and he walked right across, and he placed his hand on the half-ass, and he shouted out to all of the Argives: “let the man now come who’s gonna take home the cup! cuz no one is taking this half-ass away from me, not by beating me at the boxing, because I’m the best at boxing! I might be shit on the battlefield but hey, we can’t all be good at everything; but let me tell you something, brother, I will tell you something, and it will happen: I will guarantee whoever stands against me I’m gonna break their skin and smite their bones with my fists, and then, all his buddies who care about him they’re gonna have to drag him off cuz he’ll be beaten down by my hands”; that’s what he said (sorry, that was a little intense), and everybody was just stricken to silence; but then finally there was this other guy, Euryalos, okay, now he’s Mekisteus’ son, he’s the grandson of Talaios, and Talaios, you know, they beat all of the Thebans when they had the funeral games for the fallen Oidipos; so now he comes, and Diomedes who’s the powerful son of Tydeus, is his second, and he’s encouraging him with his words, and he gets on his belt, and they are both getting ready, and now these two guys they throw, they throw against one another, and they’re both just hitting each other with their hands, and now their teeth are gnashing, and they’re sweating from all their limbs all over, and, and then Epeios Epeios is like *giant punch noise*, and he just hits Euryalos in the cheek; he hits him so hard that he completely loosens his limbs and lifts him off the ground; so now it’s like when there’s a huge wave of the ocean that just throws a fish down into the seaweed, and then all the black water covers it, ya; that’s how Euryalos went down and then Epeios just lifted him up again, and all of his buddies gathered round, and they took him off now, he was dragging his feet, he was out of his mind, he clearly has a concussion; he’s spitting out blood, his head’s kind of dragging off to one side, and his buddies also grab the cup, two handles; and that was when Peleus’ son, Achilles, laid out the prizes for the third contest, the painful wrestling; for first prize, tonight we’ve got a tripod, now this is the kind of tripod you can put over the fire, and the Achaians value it at 12 oxen; and for the loser, we’ve got a woman, she knows how to do all kinds of things, and they value her at 4 oxen (she’s no tripod, my friends); so now Achilles laid out these prizes and he said: “now who will come and compete for these prizes?” and first of all it was big, strong Telamonian Ajax (Telamonian Ajax: I’m Ajax! I’m the baddest motherfucker! I’m the wall of the Achaians! I’m the biggest, baddest warrior, and that tripod is mine! it’s mine!)

and next, we have the super-clever son of Laertes, Odysseus! and Odysseus knew every kind of trick in the book; Now these two got ready, and they went at each other, and now they locked elbows, they locked elbows like when the masterbuilder puts together the rafters in a high ceiling to block out the wind, and now, as they were grappling with each other, their backs were screaming with pain and the effort of it, and the welts started started to rise up on their sides and on their shoulders; and now, Odysseus couldn’t handle Ajax; Ajax couldn’t handle Odysseus; and so now, finally, big–all the Achaians are starting to get antsy– but big Telamonian Ajax he yelled out to Odysseus: “god-sprung son of Laertes, Odysseus, super-clever, look, either you lift me or I’ll lift you; Let Zeus decide; and he tries to lift him, but then Odysseus manages to get him behind the knee and knocks him to the ground and gets on top of his chest, and everybody is just standing around being like ‘oh my god’, and they’re completely amazed, and now Odysseus, for a second, time, lifts up Ajax but he can barely get him off the ground, just a little bit but now he finally gets him behind the knee, and they both go to the ground again, and they’re both covered in dirt as they’re down on the ground; and now, for a third time, they were gonna try to lift one another; and finally Achilles was like: “stop, stop the competition! you guys are gonna hurt each other doing this! look, you both win, you’re gonna split the prizes; you’ve gotta let the other Achaians compete for something”; so that’s what Achilles said, and they listened, and they wiped all the dirt off their bodies and then they put their tunics back on thank you so much everyone for coming tonight as usual we want to thank Kahlan and Barda pan a smart lawyer who is helping where’s the green Fanta

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