Original Snub, Version #2

High high high up on top of Mount Olympus, where most of the gods live, is the Temple of Pallas Athene. Crowned with a gargantuan gold and silver owl as the roof, to represent Athena herself in all of her glory, the temple stands as a symbol of wisdom and strength to almost all who gaze upon it.

Every year on April 21st (the wisest of all days) Athena called together all of the smartest, grooviest, and most wise gods for a meeting of the minds, to decide what manner the humans should be living; what their morals should represent; how the countries should be divided; what should be forbidden; and who was the wisest of all the gods. The last one was Athena’s favourite, since she always won by a unanimous vote.

On the ‘Day of the Wise’ Athena strolled into the main chamber of her temple and looked around to see if all the gods she had called were present; these gods represented the best minds of her generation, and in attendance were her father, Aegis-bearing Zeus; his brother the Lord of the Underworld, Hades; Lord of Prophesy and Music, Apollo; Lord of the Deep, Poseidon; Master of the Forge, Hephaestus; and Hera who wasn’t particularly wise, but never allowed Zeus out of her site if she could help it.

“Splendid,” said Athena, clapping her hands together. “If all are present, we can begin . . .”

WAIT, called out a large, magnificent, female voice. DON’T START WITHOUT ME . . .

Every god and goddess turned to see the tall beautiful goddess striding into the chamber, holding in her arms a large, brilliantly glittering golden apple. She smiled at all the gods present, and placed the gold apple on a table, while saying MY INVITATION MUST HAVE GOT LOST IN THE MAIL . . .

Athena stared blankly at Eris called Strife, goddess of Chaos, Confusion, Creativity, and Refrigerator Magnets. “Strife, why have you blackened my chambers with your foul presence? It would be impossible for your invitation to have been lost, since none was issued. You scarcely qualify as a goddess, you, in fact, are little more than a personification and certainly should hold no position in my meetings of the Great Minds. Be gone, before I displace your molecules.”

Eris smiled even more widely. She said, loudly: GREAT AND WISE PALLAS ATHENE, I MEANT YOU NO DISRESPECT, AND DIDN’T ACTUALLY DELUDE MYSELF TO BELIEVE I WAS WISE ENOUGH TO GAIN YOUR FAVOUR, NO MATTER HOW MUCH I DREAM OF THE PROSPECT . . . I MERELY WANTED TO ILLUSTRATE MY RESPECT FOR YOU AND YOUR CONSORTS BY OFFERING YOU THIS GIFT.

Athena eyed her suspiciously, knowing her reputation as a shit disturber, and asked slowly, “What is it?”

ONE AS WISE AS YOU SHOULD KNOW A PRIZE WHEN SHE SEES ONE, GREAT PALLAS ATHENE . . . Eris laughed. WHY SHOULD YOU ALL BE HAPPY MERELY NAMING ONE OF YOU AS THE WISEST OF THE GODS, WHEN YOU COULD JUST AS EASILY GIVE OUT A PRIZE, SO THAT THE GOD MAY HOLD PROOF OF THEIR UNDYING WISDOM, ALL YEAR, UNTIL THE NEXT MEETING. I THINK IT WOULD LOOK SMASHING ON YOUR MANTEL NEXT TO THE PHOTO OF YOURSELF AND APHRODITE RIDING SPACE MOUNTAIN . . . BUT THAT’S JUST A SUGGESTION. FEEL FREE TO DO WHATEVER YOU WISH WITH IT. CONSIDER IT YOURS.

And, with that, Eris turned on her heel, and walked back out of Athena’s chamber. There was a stunned silence for a few moments, and then Athena laughed once, cold and brittle. “Imagine that upstart. Well, let’s get on with the meeting, I’ll just take this apple and get it out of the way-“

“Wait wait wait just a second there, missy.” Zeus said, standing up. “Where do you think you’re going with that?”

“I am taking it to my chambers, father . . . to place on my mantle next to the photo of Aphrodite and I riding Space Mountain.”

“I think not.” he said. “It was intended as a prize. It was meant for all of us.”

“Father,” Athena said, with a certain tone that only daughters can wield. “She said, ‘Consider it yours’, which means mine, MINE. Besides, I am voted most wise each year. I am sure to win again.”

“Oh please,” said Apollo. “You don’t really believe that, do you? You are a fool who knows how to weave . . . crafty and crafty are not the same thing. I see the future, what could be more wise than knowing the future. Give the apple to me.”

Zeus said “I am the greatest of all gods, and the most wise. Athena is wisest only in my absence, which is to say, never. Hand over that fucking apple with all speed.”

Hera stood. “Whatever is my husband’s is also mine. Give it to me.”

“Ha!” said Poseidon. “You couldn’t find your ass with both hands, a map, and a torch . . . if you are in the running let me also be said to be the most wise!”

And with that Poseidon made a leap for the golden apple, which fell off the table to the ground, where Zeus kicked it out of Poseidon’s reach. Apollo caught it in the air, and went to run out the door when Hephaestus clobbered him with a large anvil he kept around for occasions such as this. Athena jumped on his back, and the apple rolled away, against a wall as the gods clawed, bit, scratched, and pummeled each other with every ounce of strength they could muster. As the apple lay silently near the melee, it’s inscription of “For The Wisest” was being splattered by white god blood.

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