The Hyperion Chronicles

“Mel Gibson got it wrong: I started all wars”

#406 It ain’t easy bein’ 11

And the talk slid north, and the talk slid south

With the sliding puffs from the hookah-mouth

Four things greater than all things are

Women and Horses, Power and War

-Rudyard Kipling (Ballad of the King’s Jest)

I stepped into Colorado’s, immediately assaulted by those now-familiar sights, sounds and smells. The cedar and pine paneling on the walls; like a permanent green-tree car freshener just out of sight. The smell of spicy potatoes, bold barbecue sauce and apple butter chili wings pungent in the air. Mixing with the food the sweet herbal stink of pipe smoke, collecting and refusing to dissipate in the vaulted ceiling like pregnant clouds; always threatening, never bringing rain.

Ah, how I’ve missed this place.

A slow look around, adjusting to semi-lighting, and then I spotted them: Marcellus and Ajax. Gathered to celebrate this 11th Hyperion Day, the last men left in this town whom I still trust.

Or do I?

As I approach their talk falls still, suddenly, unnatural except for first dates and meeting friends of your parents. Obviously they’re talking about me. It’s my day, why wouldn’t they be?

Why would they be?

Ajax slides in, allowing me room. He sits sideways, keeping his eyes on me the whole time. A chocolate milkshake is set down where he was—where I am—and briefly I consider loop-holing and taking a mighty gulp.

But maybe that’s what Ajax planned all along.

I slide the milkshake over; frothy and thick, just how he likes his women-folk. Marcellus is nursing something large and pink. He doesn’t look up, but only a fool would think he’s not taking in every detail. There’s definitely an agenda here, but the Light only knows if I’ll see it in time.

Think, Hyperion! Think, think think!

Our server comes over, preternaturally bright and perky for this late hour, for this place. I’ll keep my eye on her. As I’m doing so I notice words emblazoned on her chest. Normally I try not to look at women’s chests, but you know what a champion reader I am; plus I couldn’t help but notice “…all you can eat….”

All you can eat what?

This I must investigate, whether for the intellectual curiosity of a girl advertising her own whoredom or perhaps something to do with Ribs. I’m just hoping Kaida will understand. She’s a jealous one, Kaida, but I’m sure when I explain there was a possibility that many food items could be eaten this night she’ll understand.

At least hope so.

Suddenly it occurs to me; Kaida didn’t put up any protest when I said I was coming here tonight. Normally she likes my time reserved for her; especially Hyperion Day. Perhaps Kaida, Ajax and Marcellus are in on it together.

For the first time, I begin to seriously question whether I’ll get out of Colorado’s alive.

And if I am going to die, I’m sure as hell reading that shirt.

It reads in part…..”Colorado’s all you can eat ribs….This summer, it’s sure gonna get sticky.”

Many ribs later……

As many of you know, when I go to a restaurant for dinner I always come up with Questions of the Day, or what I am officially naming Q.O.D. (More on that in a day or two.)

The questions are meant to be fun, racy, taken seriously but not. (Sort of like me.)

These questions have been a huge hit, so much so that Quincy once suggested I collate them and put them in a book. Maybe I will, Millhouse. Maybe I will.

I won’t go into all the questions I’ve done previously, other than to briefly mention that I’ve written about this more than once; most famously in #377 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Tonight my questions were as follows:

1. If you had to (not “get to” but “had to,” as became important later) change the name of August, what would you call it?

2. Across the pantheon of all animation ever (EVER!), who is your favorite male cartoon? Favorite female?

3. If you had to sleep with one evil historical person, who would it be?

Ajax stepped up to the plate with answers almost immediately. For #1, he went with Hot-tober. (I know what you’re thinking; really really lame. Remember, though: the reason Ajax’s Monkey Barn posts are usually so good is that his awesome wife Elsa ghost-writes for him. She wasn’t at Colorado’s, and he was left to his own considerably lesser talents.)

For #2 Ajax came up with Faye Valentine and Spike Spiegel, both of the greatest cartoon ever made: Cowboy Bebop. Solid choices, although one could argue that picking two characters from the same cartoon shows lack of imagination.

(Note: Ajax wanted to pick Obelisk the Gaul, someone I’ve never even heard of, but whom Ajax claims is just like me. Not sure whether this is an insult or honor.)

For #3 Ajax went with Lucrezia Borgia. I’m unconvinced her reputation was wholly earned (I rather feel she was a pawn of her brother and father, and did her best to survive in that man’s world), but she’s clearly considered evil, so good choice there. (Obviously when it comes to picking evil women Ajax has a much better track record.)

Marcellus went with Hyperia for August, reasoning that eventually I’d start naming things after me, and what better than the month when Hyperion was born? I found this a great idea, and fully plan on doing so when I can.

For Question #2 Marcellus immediately came up with Bugs Bunny. (So quickly did he come up with Bugs that I have to wonder if there’s not more to it than that.) After some thought Marcellus added Jessica Rabbit. Now I know something’s fishy: what are the odds both his selections would be hare?

For Question #3 Marcellus went with Herodias. As he explained, “She gets John the Baptist killed, but that’s no big deal. It’s how she did it. First she pimps out her daughter Salome to “dance” for her husband Herod, turning him on to the point where he can refuse her nothing. Doesn’t think twice about using her daughter that way. Then she casually says, ‘You have John the Baptizer downstairs in a dungeon, yes? Sure would be swell to see his head on a platter.’ Now that’s a woman worth having.”


We tried to get out server involved but she seemed unable to fathom what we wanted. After initially recognizing my name (I’m well known among the servers there, if you know what I mean), she struggled to come up with answers. She flat out refused to rename August (“But it’s such a gooood name…”), and only reluctantly named Strawberry Shortcake and Bart Simpson. (Actually, she initially went with She-Ra, only relenting after merciless mockery from us, since She-Ra was clearly He-Man in a skirt.) As for the evil man from history, Summer claimed her own dating history gave her more than enough evil for a lifetime, including the improbably tale of dating a Jamaican named Hilton.


Later that evening

I’m over at Denny’s now, writing up many great columns for your undeserving asses. I asked my servers the same questions, and they came through.

Taisie and I talked, and she said you couldn’t pick Ivan the Terrible, because what if that name was for more than his deeds? (If you know what she means.) Taisie would sleep with Dracula, and wants to name August Taisinia. (She likes Betty Boop and Aladdin.)

Calaina likes Roger and Jessica Rabbit, would name August Margaret, and would definitely find out why Richard Nixon was called “Tricky Dick.”

As for me, well: I’d name August Horse. You can’t come up with a better name than that. I just realized that Tracy Lynn and I have been working on a column on cartoons, so I better save my answer for that so she won’t kill me.

But as to sleeping with an evil person….that’s easy. I’d be willing—heck; I’d be honored—to take it from Genghis Khan.

You know: as soon as I come of age and all.

August 27, 2006


tiff said...

Horse? HORSE?

Please, there are way better names than that for a month.

How about "Interminember"? "Fey"? "Octavion"?

People just don't think enough about these things, apparently.

Hyperion said...

I thought much about it. Once you run out of the slings and arrows of your cruelty, you'll see that "Horse" is a great name