Tag Archives: history

Movie Review: Live By Night (2017)

Tommy guns!  Dizzy dames!  Ben Affleck in a white suit mumbling incoherently.

Youse guys better check out this movie if youse know what’s good for youse, see?

BQB here with the 1930s period piece/screen adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s historical crime novel, Live By Night.

Ben “Look At Me, I’m From Boston So I Have to Be in All the Boston Movies, Kid” Affleck stars as stick up man Joe Coughlin, a petty thug/World War I veteran who, despite being Irish, rises up through the ranks of the Italian mob on a mission of vengeance against the rival mobster who killed the maul he loved.

It’s a great premise.  It’s fun to see the past brought to life on the big screen.  Historic films rarely do well at the box office anymore, so it’s great to see Hollywood sticking up for them anyway.

Further, we’ve seen gangster era New York on screen, but its rare to see somewhere like Boston in the thirties.

My main complaint is the film tends to wander.  The whole point of the film is Joe seeking revenge, but he takes a roundabout zig zag approach to it instead of a straight line.  Halfway through the film you start to forget what Joe is up to.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Probably the best you’re going to see on screen in January.

 

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Movie Review – Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Sometimes a conscientious objector can still be a badass, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Hacksaw Ridge.

OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING

This film tells the story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), an Army medic who became the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor after saving seventy-five men during the Battle of Hacksaw Ridge in World War II Japan.

Having experienced too much violence as a young man, the devoutly religious Doss vows to never commit violence and would rather die than hurt anyone, even if that someone is about to hurt him.

Naturally, the Army is puzzled as to why the hell he voluntarily signed-up if he won’t carry a rifle.

His superiors, played by Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington, go out of their way to get him tossed out of the army as they can’t fathom the idea of a soldier who is unwilling to learn how to shoot a weapon.

Will Doss earn their respect in the end?

The first half of the film is a tad hokey.  Lots of war movie cliches mixed in with Doss’ battle with the brass to pass basic training without touching a gun.

The second half is a blood and guts fest. Explosions and gun fire galore. Stabbings, mutilations, flame throwers, grenades, missing limbs, all kinds of gore.

Movies are able to speak with images and the message the director is giving us is, “war is hell.”

Some films and the overall media try to capture what it is like to be a soldier and fail.  Patriotic movies are all well and good but this movie takes us onto the battle field in all of its “Holy shit my friend just got his face blown off and now a guy is stabbing me and holy crap my face is on fire and my leg just got blown off!” butt puckering glory.

Thus, if you want to join the army, make sure you’re joining for the right reasons (not just because a spiffy uniform is involved) and understand there will be many butt puckering moments you won’t be able to even comprehend until you face them.

Further, politicians should consider what soldiers must go through during war time and avoid war at all costs.

That’s the message I took away from it, anyway.

It’s definitely an underdog story as Doss takes heaps of abuse from his unit for his non-violent ways only to prove his bravery and save tons of men on the battlefield.

Speaking of underdogs, Mel Gibson’s career is also on the line here.

You remember Mel, don’t you?

Beloved actor/director. Starred in and directed a lot of great movies. Had a reputation of “Well, if Mel’s in it then it will be good” and then he had some, well, I won’t get into the details but let’s just say some well documented breakdowns.

Since then, he’s starred in some films that were sort of blah.  This is Hollywood letting him at the helm with a big budget and a great script so…I mean the film is fabulous Oscar bait and though I don’t wear my emotion on my sleeve, even I found myself crying as Desmond proved all the naysayers wrong…

…but, it is still hard to get over those nasty rants, Mel.  I don’t know.  You might have to cure cancer or something.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy and worth a trip to the theater for the explosions, but skip the popcorn if you don’t want to hurl once the guts and limbs and assorted body parts start flying.

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Remember the Zombamo – Part 2 – William Travis

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William Travis is a man who believes in himself…perhaps a little too much.

Suffering from delusions of grandeur, Travis borrows big bucks to fund his law and newspaper offices.  (He likes to keep his business affairs separate.)

Unable to pay his enormous debt back, he becomes a pariah in his hometown and is to be arrested and sent to debtor’s prison.

But even when his wife and everyone else tells him to stop believing, Travis keeps believing.  So convinced is he that he is destined for greatness that he hightails it to Texas, where an officer’s commission awaits him.

Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7          Chapter 8

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Remember the Zombamo – Part 1 – Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

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General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna charges into a battle against an army of marauding Spaniards hell bent on retaking Mexico for King Ferdinand.

A cannon blows off the general’s leg.  With death appearing to be a near certainty, the mysterious vampire Isadora makes her way to Santa Anna’s bedside and turns him into a vampire.

Quickly, we learn that Isadora represents, “The Legion,” an organization of vampires who have done the devil’s bidding for ages.

A bargain is struck.  Santa Anna may rule Mexico, but he must unleash Satan onto the world.

Under Isadora’s counsel, Santa Anna takes advantage of the chaos created by a coup to execute the president and vice-president to declare himself Mexico’s chief executive.

The loyal but chagrined Colonel Arroyo gets promoted to General, but is dismayed that the people go along with Santa Anna’s chicanery.

Also…werewolves.

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4

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Remember the Zombamo – Chapter 1

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1829

Tampico, Mexico

The Spaniards had returned for what they deemed was rightfully theirs. An army of nearly three thousand men loyal to King Ferdinand approached with rifles at the ready.

Sitting atop his horse, the middle-aged Colonel Javier Arroyo peaked at the uninvited guests through a spy glass.

“Madness,” the Colonel said. “General, we have no choice but to…”

Before Arroyo could say “surrender,” his commander, the brash, young General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was off, charging his steed towards the invaders with his saber drawn, a battle cry pouring out of his lungs, and a thousand of his own men in tow.

“Dios mio,” Colonel Arroyo said as he drew his sword and pointed it at the Spaniards. “Attack!”

The air grew thick with the scent of gunpowder as shots rang out from both sides. Swords clanged. Blood was spilled, staining the soil crimson.

Before long, the Colonel and the General found themselves fighting in close proximity to one another.

“I find myself questioning your sanity, Antonio!” the Colonel cried as ran his sword through a Spaniard’s gut.

Santa Anna fired his pistol at one Spanish soldier, then, lacking sufficient time to reload, socked another square in the jaw with his bare fist.

“And I question your intestinal fortitude, Javier,” Santa Anna replied.

“My…”

The general’s sword clanged against a Spanish rapier. Parry…parry…thrust! Another Spaniard down.

“Your guts!” Santa Anna said.

“There are too many of them!” Arroyo shouted. “There’s cowardice and then there’s using the head that God gave you!”

Pow! A Spanish cannonball emerged from a cannon perched on a hilltop, tore through the air, and landed twenty feet away, causing a contingent of Mexican soldiers to erupt in an explosion of blood and viscera.

Santa Anna picked up a dead Spaniard’s rifle and fired a shot, opening up a giant hole in the middle of a Spanish officer’s head.

“Fighting to keep what is yours?” Santa Anna asked. “If you think that’s a bad idea, then you’re the one who has something wrong his head, amigo.”

Pow! A second cannonball landed. It was closer this time. Ten feet away. More blood. More guts.

Arroyo ducked just in time to avoid getting his faced smashed in with the butt of a rifle. He returned the favor by jamming his sword through his opponent’s stomach.

“I think its a good idea to live,” Arroyo said.

“And you will,” Santa Anna said. “Trust me, tonight we will celebrate by…”

Pow! A third cannonball landed less than a foot away. It exploded.

The general was on the ground. His ears were ringing. His sight was blurry.

“Antonio!” Arroyo shouted as he fought his way to his fallen leader’s side.

Santa Anna looked to his left. A bloody, shredded leg laid in the dirt. Even with all the pain and confusion, he could tell the limb looked all too familiar.

The general looked down. His right leg was still there. His left leg was not. Scraps of flesh and bone jutted out of the left side of his pelvis where his leg once was.

“Antonio?” the Colonel asked. “Antonio!”

Santa Anna’s eyes closed and he slipped into a deep, dark state of unconsciousness.

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Remember the Zombamo – Introduction

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Jim Bowie. Sam Houston. William Travis. Davy Crockett. Juan Seguin.

When the West was young, a series of unlikely events occur, pushing these men to Texas as if guided by a well-intentioned divine hand.

Texas is in a state of revolution as Texans decide that the dictatorial rule of Mexican President Santa Anna can be stood for no longer.

Four out of the five will throw down against a vampiric Santa Anna’s army of zombies at the Alamo, defending the old Spanish mission with their lives and fending off the evil that lies below it – an evil so powerful it could consume the planet.

The fifth will later confront Santa Anna’s zombies on the field of battle.

Will our heroes save the day? Find in the first book of BQB’s Zombie Western Series.

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A Note on Remember the Zombamo

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Hey 3.5 readers.

Well, I’ve done it again.

I’ve started a new story before finishing my other open stories.

Oh well.  I’ve been thinking about Zombie Western for months now, how to tie it all together and I finally decided I need to go way, way, way back in time to the early 1800s, to the Battle of the Alamo to get things started.

One thing I want to make clear – I’m lying…a lot.

You should take nothing I say in these books as historical fact.

If you read these Zombie Westerns and are inspired to look up the actual history in books written by actual historians then I’m glad.

But I am doing a whole helluvalot of fibbing just to fit everything together in a tale that is interesting to the reader.

Santa Anna, for example, is getting lied about a lot:

  • He did fend off a Spaniard invasion at Tampico but he did not lose his leg until long after the Battle of the Alamo.  He lost his real leg in a battle against the French.  He then lost his prosthetic leg while trying to retake Texas in the 1840s.
  • However, for purposes of this story, him dying in the beginning and then being brought back by a vampire seemed like a good way to begin and to introduce the readers to, “The Legion” the evil organization that commits heinous acts throughout the series.  So I rewrote history to make him lose his leg much earlier.
  • He didn’t kill Guerrero or Bustamante.  He did engage in dictatorish activity, but the scene where he kills these two didn’t happen.  I figured the presence of werewolves and vampires would have caused you to draw that conclusion but just making sure.
  • He did have a General Urrea who was a good soldier but stood up against bad things, i.e. saved some Texans from Santa Anna’s execution orders as he thought they was a violation of basic rules of war to execute opponents who have given up.  So at the start of this story I had a fiction General Arroyo and then I changed it to Urrea.  My plan is this is a human who remains loyal to Santa Anna until he can’t bring himself to support him anymore. Not sure if I’ll keep him as Urrea or perhaps I’ll avoid maligning Urrea by reverting to the fictional Arroyo.  Also, Urrea sounds like a penile disease.
  • Going forward, we’ll see the lives of Jim Bowie, William Travis, Sam Houston and Davy Crockett, what they were all doing pre-Alamo and what events led them to end up in Texas.  There will be a lot of grabbing at history and/or mythology interspersed with made up stuff to keep the story going.
  • If (when?) I publish this book I’ll make a series of posts sharing the real history and how I made it fake history so hopefully people won’t believe the parts I made up, except for the shit about zombies, because that totally happened and your history teacher was probably working for the Legion when he didn’t tell you about the zombies at the Alamo.

 

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Remember the Zombamo – Chapter 1

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1829

Tampico, Mexico

The Spaniards had returned for what they deemed was rightfully theirs. An army of two-thousand-six-hundred men loyal to King Ferdinand approached with rifles at the ready.

Sitting atop his horse, the middle-aged Colonel Javier Arroyo peaked at the uninvited guests through a spy glass.

“Madness,” the Colonel said. “General, we have no choice but to…”

Before Arroyo could say “surrender,” his commander, the brash, young General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was off, charging his steed towards the invaders with his saber drawn, a battle cry pouring out of his lungs, and hundreds of his own men in tow.

“Dios mio,” Colonel Arroyo said as he drew his saber and pointed it at the Spaniards. “Attack!”

The air grew thick with the scent of gunpowder as shots rang out from both sides. Swords clanged. Blood was spilled, staining the soil crimson.

Before long, the Colonel and the General found themselves fighting side by side.

“I find myself questioning your sanity, Antonio!” the Colonel cried as ran his sword through a Spaniard’s gut.

Santa Anna fired his pistol at one Spanish soldier, then, lacking sufficient time to reload, socked another square in the jaw with his bare fist.

“And I question your intestinal fortitude, Javier,” Santa Anna replied.

“My…”

The general’s sword clanged against a Spanish rapier. Parry…parry…thrust! Another Spaniard down.

“Your guts!” Santa Anna said.

“There are too many of them!” Arroyo shouted. “There’s cowardice and then there’s using the head that God gave you!”

Pow! A Spanish cannonball emerged from a cannon perched on a hilltop, tore through the air, and landed twenty feet away, causing a contingent of Mexican soldiers to erupt in an explosion of blood and viscera.

Santa Anna picked up a dead Spaniard’s rifle and fired a shot, opening up a giant hole in the middle of a Spanish officer’s head.

“Fighting to keep what is yours?” Santa Anna asked. “If you think that’s a bad idea, then you’re the one who has something wrong his head, amigo.”

Pow! A second cannonball landed. It was closer this time. Ten feet away. More blood. More guts.

Arroyo ducked just in time to avoid getting his faced smashed in with the butt of a rifle. He returned the favor by jamming his sword through his opponent’s stomach.

“I think its a good idea to live,” Arroyo said.

“And you will,” Santa Anna said. “Trust me, tonight we will celebrate by…”

Pow! A third cannonball landed three feet away. It exploded.

The general was on the ground. His ears were ringing. His sight was blurry.

“Antonio!” Arroyo shouted as he fought his way to his fallen leader’s side.

Santa Anna looked to his left. A bloody, shredded leg laid in the dirt. Even with all the pain and confusion, he could tell the limb looked all too familiar.

The general looked down. His right leg was still there. His left leg was not. Scraps of flesh and bone jutted out of the left side of his pelvis where his leg once was.

“Antonio?” the Colonel asked. “Antonio!”

Santa Anna’s eyes closed and he slipped into a deep, dark state of unconsciousness.

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The Illiad Rebooted – Chapter 5

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Tyndareus and the Dioscuri enjoyed goblets of wine around a table in the king’s chamber as Odysseus regaled them with tales of his daring do.

“So I was all like, ‘Damn Medusa,’ you got a butter face.’”

“Ha,” the king said. “And what, pray tell, is a ‘butter face?’”

Odysseus sipped from his goblet. “Its when a woman has a smokin’ bod ‘but her’ face? Whoa nelly! Put a bag on it!”

Tyndareus and his lads erupted into laughter.

“I’m serious,” Odysseus said. “I literally had to put a bag on Medusa’s face. I wasn’t trying to be rude but the bitch had snakes for hair. Plus there was the whole ‘turn you into stone if you so much as look at her’ vibe she had going on. It was all very awkward.”

“Oh Odysseus,” Tyndareus said. “Seeing you and my boys having such a rollicking good time brings back happy memories of days long past.”

The king’s face turned grim as he set down his goblet. “But I’m afraid we must move on to a more pressing matter….Helen.”

The Dioscuri gasped.

“Oh for the love of the gods,” Castor said.

“Has she been kidnapped by another pervert already?” Pollux inquired. “I haven’t even had a chance to take a bath yet.”

“I can tell,” Odysseus said as he pinched his nose. “Not for nothing but you two smell like you just murdered a couple of crusty old fucks.”

The king shook his head. “No. Helen is safe, but as we all know, not for long. It will only be a matter of time before another crafty pervert circumvents our security, maneuvers past the mighty Spartan army, and takes off into the night with our dear Helen.”

“We’ll be ready, father,” Castor said.

“We always are,” Pollux said.

“Yes,” Tyndareus said. “But there will not be another rescue mission for you, Dioscuri, for the time has come for Helen to be married.”

Gasp. Gasp. Gasps all around.

“Well,” Castor said. “Helen certainly won’t want for suitors.”

“The line will surely back up all the way to Asia,” Pollux said.

“Indeed,” Tyndareus said. “However, I have already decided who the groom shall be.”

The Dioscuri and Odysseus took turns guessing.

“Ajax the Great?” Odysseus asked. “Word around the Aegean Sea is that the man is packing a jumbo wang. We’re talking third leg territory. Obviously I don’t have visual confirmation but they don’t call him ‘great’ for nothing.”

“I always assumed it was because he is great at battle,” Castor said.

“No,” Odysseus said. “Stop talking nonsense. Its because he has a great big jumbo wang.”

“It is not Ajax the Great,” the king said.

Castor snapped his fingers. “Who is that fellow…the one from Arcadia?”

“Agapenor?” Pollux asked.

“That’s him,” Castor said as he pointed at his brother.

“Aww shit,” Odysseus said. “Agapenor the Arcadian. Those Arcadians are some swarthy ass muthafuckas. Sappy romantics. Good choice, Pops.”

The king sighed. “It is not Agapenor the Arcadian.”

Odysseus leaned back in his chair. “Just tell me its not Ascalaphus, because if you ask me, that guy is a real ‘Ass-cala-hatus.’”

“Helen can surely do better than the underworld’s orchard keeper,” Castor said.

“It is not Ascalaphus,” the king said.

“Well who is it?” Odysseus asked.

“Yeah,” Castor said.

“Don’t keep us in suspense,” Pollux added.

Tyndareus rose to his feet and leaned over the table. “Helen’s husband…shall be…Menelaus.”

The faces of all three men turned red with anger.

“Booo!” shouted Odysseus. “Booo!”

“Minotaur shit!” Castor cried.

“Total minotaur shit,” Pollux added, rather needlessly.

Odysseus made a cone with his hands and shouted into it. “Booo! Do over! Do over!”

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The Illiad Rebooted – Chapter 3

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The sound of a blaring ram’s horn tore across Sparta before it finally made its way to the king’s ears.

“What?” the king asked.

Leda stirred. “Could it be?”

The gold plated doors to the throne room opened to reveal a rather stern looking muscle bound, long haired warrior. He entered in the company six other warriors, three on each side.

Their uniforms consisted of little more than leather thongs and flowing capes.

A frazzled Tyndareus sprang to his feet. “Oh, thank the gods, ’tis Talos, general of the mighty Spartan army. What news do you bring?”

The Spartans marched in a stoic manner until they reached the throne. Then, they shouted a very guttural “oohrah” before falling to their knees before the king.

“My good king,” Talos said. “My good queen. Castor and Pollux approach the port in their ship.”

“And? Tyndareus asked.

“Umm,” the general said. “The wind is in their sails and their pace is steady?”

The king slapped his forehead. “For the love of Hera’s tucas, man! Is Helen with them?”

“Oh!” Talos said. “Yes! Indeed she is. I spotted the princess standing on deck.”

“Not trying to tell you how to do your job, general,” Tyndareus said. “But you might have led off with that.”

The warriors arose. “On your word, we shall escort you to the port, your highness.”

Leda stood up. “I must fetch our niece.”

“Yes,” a relieved Tyndareus said. “Collect dear Penelope so that our family will finally be together again.”

Three Spartans left the throne room with the Queen.

Meanwhile, the king, Talos, and the other three warriors departed.

As the king’s party moved through the hustle and bustle of the city, the king couldn’t help but notice the skimpy attire the warriors were wearing.

“Talos?”

“Yes, my liege?”

“Is it me or have the uniforms of the mighty Spartan army grown absurdly scant?”

“’Tis not you, my king,” Talos said. “A reduction in clothing is one of many changes I have made as of late to give the mighty Spartan army an edge over all challengers.”

“I never thought one could could go wrong with a good tunic,” Tyndareus said.

“All due respect, my king,” Talos replied. “But tunics are bulky and get in the way. Leather thongs allow for much freer movement.”

“And the capes?” Tyndareus inquired.

“Oh the capes are just badass,” Talos replied. “When our enemies spy the mighty Spartan army rolling up on them, they’ll be all like, ‘Damn, those bad ass Spartan muthafuckas be wearin’ the shit out of them capes!’”

“I see,” the king said. “And what other changes have you made?”

A miserable wretch covered in boils hobbled up to the party on his cane with a live chicken tucked under his arm.

“Huzzah!” the wretch said. “’Tis Good King Tyndareus! May the gods smile upon you, your majesty!”

“Step aside, peasant!” Talos said as he knocked the wretch over with his pinky finger and kept walking.

“A bit harsh, weren’t you?” the king asked.

“I don’t know where that lowly dog has been, my king,” Talos said. “He coughs on you, you get sick and before you know it I’m slitting my own throat to atone for my failure to protect the man the gods have selected to rule over Sparta. Now where was I?”

“The changes,” the king said.

“Ah yes,” Talos said. “I’ve given the men a robust schedule. Up before dawn for swordplay practice, followed by an afternoon of rubbing scented oils and lotions into one another’s rippling muscles, followed by an evening of slippery wrestling until we fall asleep.”

“That seems rather uh, homoerotic,” the king said. “Not that I’m judging.”

“Scented oils and lotions are good for the muscles, your highness,” Talos said. “It brings the gallons upon gallons of testosterone coursing through our veins to the surface and makes us stronger. I swear it has nothing to do with us enjoying putting our greasy hands all over each others’ firm, supple bodies.”

“I’m sure it doesn’t,” the king said.

“Also, I have trained the men to shout incredibly macho statements about themselves upon command.”

Talos snapped his fingers. “Spartans! Flatter yourselves!”

“I possess gigantic testicles forged from wrought iron by the hand of Hephaestus, God of All Blacksmiths, himself!” the first warrior shouted. “Ooorah!”

“Is that true?” the king asked.

“I don’t know that it is not true,” Talos said. “Spartans! Continue!”

“I can snap the neck of a griffin with nothing but the tight muscles of my buttocks!” the second Spartan shouted. “Ooorah!”

“That’s true,” Talos said. “I’ve seen him do it. Third Spartan, report!”

“I crave man ass all night and day!” the third Spartan shouted. “Oohrah!”

Talos rolled his eyes. “Third Spartan, that’s not really a macho statement about yourself so much as an interest in an, um, extracurricular activity that the good king doesn’t need to know about.”

“I’m sorry, General!” the third Spartan said. “I’ll think about it and get back to you! Oorah!”

“How does making them shout macho statements about themselves make them better warriors?” the king asked.

“Would you want to go up against an army of Spartans with such massive egos to compliment their oiled up muscles?” Talos asked.

“I should say…” The king stopped to cough in his fist. “I should say not.”

“My king,” Talos said as he stretched out his hand. “Please, let me assist you.”

“No,” Tyndarecus scoffed. “I may be old but I’m not dead.”

“I understand,” Talos said.

The party reached the port and waited as the royal ship drew nigh.

“My king,” the general said. “Far be it from me to question your wisdom, but I hope you know that the mighty Spartan army and I are infinitely loyal to the royal family. Should you ever desire to give the Dioscuri a break, we shall relish the chance to rescue Princess Helen the next time she is kidnapped by a pervert, which, given the way things have been going, will no doubt be sometime around next Tuesday, or Wednesday at the latest.”

The king smiled and patted the general on the shoulder.

“Noble Talos. Never would I question your loyalty to my family or to Sparta, especially when you and the mighty Spartan army have proven yourselves time and time again on the field of battle, but Helen is by far the hottest chick in the world and I’m sure you will understand that I just feel more comfortable when she is in the company of her brothers as opposed to an army of outrageously strong egomaniacs with oiled up muscles and gallons upon gallons of testosterone coursing through their veins.”

“Oh, you need not worry, your majesty,” Talos said. “We are not interested in Helen in that way.”

The king was taken aback. “Seriously?”

“No doubt,” Talos said.

“But aside from her kin, Helen is desired by every being with a penis,” the king said.

Tyndareus raised a quizzical eyebrow. “I thought you said you dudes weren’t into other dudes.”

“I did not say we were not, not into dudes,” Talos replied. “Besides, I thought you said you weren’t judging?”

“I’m not,” Tyndareus said.

“Mighty Spartan army requirements are very strict about interpersonal relationships,” the general explained. “If we were into dudes, which I’m not saying we are, we couldn’t very well run around advertising the fact that we are into dudes now could we?”

“Ah,” Tyndareus said. “So you’re saying that you’re all into dudes?”

The general threw his hands up. “I didn’t say that.”

“Well,” the king said as he watched the ship come in. “I appreciate the offer, Talos, but I can’t take the risk that one of your men might be a switch hitter.”

“Not gonna lie,” Talos said. “The ninth Spartan warrior isn’t so much into dudes or chicks as he is into anything with a warm hole of any kind.”

“TMI, Talos,” the king said. “TMI.”

The ship docked. A contingent of sailors attached a gangplank to allow the occupants to exit the vessel.

“Princess Helen approaches!” shouted the first sailor from the ship’s deck. “Avert your eyes!”

“Shut your eyes!” the second sailor shouted as he walked down the gangplank. “Princess Helen comes this way!”

“What’s everyone on about?” the third sailor asked from his position the dock.

It was too late. All but the third sailor closed their eyes. That sailor, upon spotting the glorious beauty of Helen as she strolled down the gangplank with her brothers in tow, immediately went cross-eyed, became consumed by an orgasmic fit, then dropped to the deck.

“Why didn’t anyone tell me the Princess was disembarking?” the third sailor asked. “I soiled my tunic!”

“We did,” the first sailor shouted from the deck with his eyes still shut. “Clean the shit out of your ears!”

Helen spotted Tyndareus.

“Father!” the princess cried as she ran over and hugged the old man.

“Oh my darling daughter Helen!” Tyndareus said as he wept tears of joy. “I am so delighted that you survived this week’s kidnapping.”

“The Dioscuri rescued me from the crusty old fucks!” Helen proudly declared.

“Castor and Pollux!” the king said.

The Dioscuri took turns hugging their old man.

“Father,” Castor said.

“Father,” Pollux repeated.

“My heart swells with pride that you have saved your sister from yet another weekly kidnapping!” the king said.

“Yeah,” Castor said. “Not like there was anything else we’d rather be doing.”

“Right,” Pollux said. “Now let’s go nap for five minutes before some pervert nabs Helen and we do this shit all over again.”

Tyndareus frowned. “What…what is that? Are you boys using sarcasm on your father?”

“No,” Castor said.

“We’d never do that,” Pollux said.

Seconds later, the queen arrived with the royal niece and her contingent of Spartan warriors.

“I can block out the sun with my monstrous phallus!” the fourth Spartan warrior shouted. “Ooorah!”

“Yes, yes,” the queen said. “We all know you are all super gay. No one cares.”

Penelope was a curvaceous young woman. Tight in the waist, splatow in the other place if you catch my drift.

“Mother!” Helen said as she hugged the queen.

“Oh Helen!” the queen said. “We were so frightened that you’d been done in by those crusty old fucks!”

Helen let go of her mother and embraced Penelope. “Sweet cousin!”

Penelope spoke in a monotone that belied a demeanor similar to what you modern readers might refer to as “depressed brainy goth chick.”

“Whoopee,” Penelope said as she let her arms hang at her sides, refusing to return the hug. “Helen’s back, y’all. Let’s all drop what we’re doing and talk about this for three or four hours. Hooray.”

Talos squinted as he looked out across the sea’s horizon. “My king!”

Tyndareus looked up and joined his general in staring at a small blip that eventually turned into a ship.

“Is it a friend or foe?” the king asked.

“It…it bears the markings of a ship of Ithaca!” Audax proclaimed. “Surely it carries a friend.”

Castor and Pollux looked at each other.

“Oh come on,” the first brother said.

“It has to be…” the second brother replied.

Penelope flashed a rare smile. “Ithaca, you say?”

The royal family and the mighty Spartan rmy waited patiently until the ship reached the port.

A strapping young man with a full beard stepped out onto the deck and grinned.

“Whassup, beatches? Odysseus all up in Sparta’s ass! Woot woot!”

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