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.
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?