Written by David Vogel Tuesday, 01 September 2009 13:19
I do hope you understand what a privilege it is for you to be reading this column right now. I had to put down the epic Greek poem the “Iliad” in the middle of a riveting exchange of dialogue so I could write this.
However, that last sentence is only completely true if your definition of the word “riveting” is “causing one’s eyelids to become lead and drool to dribble out of the mouth.”
Haha! That was just a joke. (Sort of.) I’m sure the story will pick up speed after a little while.
As you may know, the “Iliad” was written by ancient Greek poet Homer Simpson, who is also famous for writing the “Odyssey” and the “Odyssey II: Attack of the Clones.”
Like I said, I haven’t read very far into the “Iliad.” But what I can tell you so far is that there seems to be a small group of characters—I like to imagine they are older gentlemen drinking coffee in a rural convenience store early in the morning—who are having a lengthy conversation about how they will take back a girl who was captured during some sort of battle in a previous story (“Iliad: The Prequel”).
The girl’s name is—and I’m not making this title up—Chryseis of the fair cheeks.
I like to imagine that, if I were to be in an epic Greek poem, my name would be David the fairly cheeky.
But that is beside the point. I am now 10 pages into my assigned 40 pages of the “Iliad” and all these men have done is talked.
I was under the impression that this was a story about the Trojan War. Instead it seems to be a story about people talking aimlessly about a girl with fair cheeks while the Trojan War may or may not be raging on elsewhere.
But I’ve come up with the theory as to why there is such a lack of action: So far, this story is taking place near a large body of water. (I feel safe making this assumption because several times ships have been referred to.)
Being near a beach induces a person into some sort of state of laziness, which restricts a person from being even remotely active.
I call this illness Coastline Lethargy.
In August, I had the opportunity to go on vacation with my girlfriend, Shelby, and her family to South Padre Island.
The island is located at the very southern tip of Texas. While driving through Texas (which, if you were to cut Alaska in half, would be the third largest state), we talked about various things we planned to do while on the island.
There were dolphin-watching tours, snorkeling trips and parasailing excursions. With four whole days on the island, getting those things in would be no sweat!
But once we hit the Queen Isabella Causeway (the only road onto and off the island) it’s as if a wave of laziness washed over us.
Coastline Lethargy had set in. Even Mocha, Shelby’s small and excitable dog, was affected by the lethargy, and never—not once—made The Wee-Wee of Joy inside the camper while we were on the island.
Not taking a tinkle indoors for several days in a row is quite an accomplishment for Mocha.
Due to the Coastline Lethargy epidemic within our group, instead of doing all of the activities we had previously planned, we spent most of our excursions laying on the beach or eating. Sometimes we did both simultaneously.
In fact, I would have to say the most energy any of us ever used was during the dinner hour one evening, when we decided to switch restaurants mid-appetizer because it seemed as if it was not so much a beach attraction as it was a small bar and grill for locals.
(This became obvious almost right away when the small group of people lined up at the bar stared us down all the way from the door to our table. Perhaps we interrupted their conversation about the Trojan War.)
But other than that, our trip was pretty slack.
Even the afternoon spent at the Schlitterbahn Water Park was remarkably low in activity. Most of the park is a network of lazy rivers, and visitors can get to almost any ride simply by lying on an inner tube and floating through the complex. Once at the chosen ride, you would float in line until it was your turn.
The only time I had to exert any sort of energy was when I elevated myself a little ways out of the inner tube on the more intense water rides so that I wouldn’t bruise my fair cheeks.