Myth, Myth

Because I am at heart an 8-year-old boy, I cannot hear the word ‘myth’ without snickering over the old Muppet Movie joke.

Kermit walks up to Madeline Kahn at a bar. She flirts with him until her boyfriend, Telly Savalas, gets mad and puts the kibosh on it. Kermit denies he’s making moves on Telly’s girlfriend, but Madeline Khan wants to make trouble so she says, “He’s lying. He touched me.”

Telly Savalas: “Ick. Go wash. You’ll get warts.”

Kermit: “That’s a myth.”

Telly Savalas: “Yeah, but she’s MY myth.”

Kermit, trying to enunciate: “No, myth, myth!”

At which point Carol Kane walks by and says, “Yeth?”

So we’re clear, this is the kind of low-brow, unrefined person I am. I’m not proud, but I’ve even shared memes on Facebook without checking Snopes first.

I firmly believe if I’d had any sort of proper education, I wouldn’t be distracted by shiny, click-baity headlines on Facebook. Plus, I’d have a much easier time working my beloved crossword puzzles. I am dismayed at how often the answer falls under the purview of Greek mythology, a subject in which I am woefully unversed.

I’ve never read The Iliad or The Odyssey. (Although I did see the Wishbone version on PBS Kids. You know, the show where that adorable Jack Russell Terrier imagines himself as classic characters from books in an effort to teach middle-aged women basic information about Greek literature so they can obsessively fill in boxes in a symmetrical grid they find in the newspaper. That show.)

Here’s Nala the WonderDog channeling her inner Jay Gatsby, as an homage to Wishbone.Nala in tuxedo copy

Back to me. The only reason I know anything about Poseidon is because I watched his Adventure, and Hermes because I covet his scarf. Everything else is just one big gaping hole in my public school education.

I realize, however, that cramming the names of obscure Greek mythological characters into my brain would force me to discard something really worthwhile to make room, like all the lyrics to every Elton John song, or the phone number to my childhood home from which we moved circa 1970, or how much dirty I like in my biannual martini.

So instead of doing anything drastic like that, I would much prefer creating my own crossword puzzles. I do love them, a trait I inherited from my father. He was never so proud of me as when, as a mere child of 47, I began completing them in ink, rather than pencil.

I’m in the process of outlining a new mystery series for kids that uses crossword puzzles as plot points and/or clues. I want to indoctrinate a new generation of crossword aficionados. I’ve never attempted making my own, though, but how hard can it be, she asked, not really wanting to know.

One thing’s for certain, none of my mysteries or crossword clues will ever be set in ancient Greece. And I’ll probably keep sharing sensationalist memes and photos of my adorable dog all over cyberspace.

What will you keep doing that you probably shouldn’t?

Author: Becky Clark

I write cozy mysteries with humor and spend my free time attempting to rid my clothing of dog hair. My new book FICTION CAN BE MURDER, the first in the Mystery Writer's series, will be out in April 2018.

13 thoughts on “Myth, Myth”

  1. Your post made me smile, Becky 🙂 That’s so cool you’re making your own crossword puzzles, and I love that you’re going to incorporate them into a mystery. I take way too many pictures of my cat and partake in other weird cat lady activities (like taking my cat for walks in the backyard using a special cat harness), and will proudly continue to do so! 😉


  2. Becky, the first thing I thought of when I saw the title to this post was that Muppets skit. Thanks for starting my day off with a smile. 🙂 I love Greek mythology, but I never got into crosswords. Maybe the two of us should team up. And I love the sound of that series for kids!


  3. You crack me up. I did read the Iliad and Odyssey in college and it was horrible. I changed my major to television the next semester. Not to fret, the only thing I remember is that Homer came up with the phrase “give up the ghost.”


  4. Before I get distracted and forget… check out Parnell Hall’s Puzzle Lady Mysteries.

    Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, as always you made me smile. Thanks for being so dang real!


  5. I’ve read Parnell Hall, Peg, but my vision is different from what he does.

    Sue … I can’t wait to see them either, but you did read the part that said I’m just at the outlining stage, right? No breath-holding.

    Keenan, you made me laugh right out loud. Television as a college major. If you minored in Beer, you are my hero.

    Whenever I get a hard question in a puzzle, Mary, you’re my go-to from now on, which you may live to regret. [Case in point, this morning’s puzzle had a clue “Nutritional figs” which I pondered for way too long, having just bought some figs yesterday at the grocery store. Didn’t I feel silly when I tried to brush away the crumb that was actually a period. D’oh.]

    Kate, I would loveloveLOVE to see you walking your cat on a leash in your yard. That’s all kinds of delightful crazy right there!


  6. What will I keep doing that I shouldn’t? Well everything, of course! I will keep eating dark chocolate, drinking red wine, and reading books while the dust slowly accumulates on the furniture and the weeds grow in the lawn. I also will never underestimate the value of carry-out food and wearing clothes more than once.


  7. This is hysterical, and Nala the wonder dog adorable. I love, love, love crosswords and I still remember the thrill of completing my first Sunday NY Times crossword. My hat is off to you, doing crosswords in ink. Now that’s impressive. What will I keep doing that I shouldn’t? Probably everything, I’m no quitter!


  8. Oooh, Peggy! Very cool. I love those ‘brush with greatness’ things! We were a huge Wishbone fan club, and thank you all for noticing how perfectly adorable Nala is. She loves to dress up, but unlike Wishbone, refuses to do anything on command. Sigh.

    I’m glad you guys think the crossword puzzle idea is a good one. Execution, I fear, will be tricky.

    Kait, your quitter comment made me laugh. And 3 no 7, chocolate, wine and reading are all very good for you, so don’t even THINK that you shouldn’t be doing them. In fact, I suspect we should all partake even more than we already do. Hmm. Maybe not ….


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