Mount Olympus, 1953

Aphrodite:

What is going on with you, lately? You spend all your time with Dionysus, you haven’t set foot in the forge for two hundred years…

Hephaestus: 

In case you haven’t noticed, Dittie, there hasn’t been much of a market for hand-forged goods for the past few centuries. I’m wasting away. I’m tired of living off of government income. I’m not that Greek. I’m just trying to broaden my horizons a little. New ideas and new places, you know? I was just talking about this with Dionysus last night.

Aphrodite:

I don’t want to hear another story about your drinking buddy!

Hephaestus: 

Be fair. He’s everyone’s drinking buddy.

Aphrodite:

Don’t I know it!

Hephaestus: 

Listen, you’re always telling me how awful the mortals are, but Dionysus is doing okay down there. Better than okay, really. He’s having fun.

Aphrodite:

Oh, I just bet he is.

Hephaestus: 

Listen, you’re always telling me how awful the mortals are, but Dionysus is doing okay down there. Better than okay, really. He’s having fun.

Aphrodite:

I know what kind of fun he’s having. Is that what you want? Just move the anvil out to the garage and start seducing mortals? Aren’t I enough for you? Because I can promise you one thing, you’re never going to find a mortal woman like me.

Hephaestus: 

There was that one.

Aphrodite:

Yes, and you know how that turned out.

Hephaestus: 

All I’m saying is, maybe it’s time for a new philosophy.

Aphrodite:

Oh no, don’t tell me you’ve been talking about philosophy with Dionysus.

Hephaestus: 

He’s making sense, though! The monogamy thing is played out. It’s time for new ideas about sex and such.

Aphrodite:

And such? There’s no and such. He’s all about sex.

Hephaestus: 

And freedom. And happiness. The old honor codes aren’t working anymore. No one follows them anyway. Certainly not anyone in this neighborhood.

Aphrodite:

You’re a god, Hephaestus. If you want to play around, just turn yourself into a bull and find some mortal and have some fun if you want. Just don’t tell me about it afterwards.

Hephaestus: 

That’s just the point, Dittie. Why should I have to pretend to be a bull? Why can’t we just be mature and open about sex? Dionysus has it all worked out. We’re going to do something good for the mortals. We’re going to introduce his philosophy.

Aphrodite:

Oh, I can’t wait to hear this plan.

Hephaestus: 

Right, well, he can’t lead this effort. He’s already got a reputation and all. He wants me to be the face of it.

Aphrodite:

A lame god is going to introduce the mortals to free love, eh? Great plan.

Hephaestus: 

No, no. No one would buy that. I’m going to take human form. He’s got it all worked out. He’s even got a nickname I can use.

Aphrodite:

Uh huh. And that is?

Hephaestus: 

Hef!

Aphrodite:

Okay, Hef. And while you’re out there teaching the world about your great new philosophy, what am I supposed to do?

Hephaestus: 

Hair?


Genre: satire
Random Nouns: government, income


This is the sixth story in my Random Roadside series. In this series, I pick a random image from John Margolies’ Roadside America photography collection at the Library of Congress and use it as the setting for a story. I allow a computer program to randomly select the genre I will write in and two nouns, which I must work into the story.

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