The set of a talk show. HERMES, ZEUS
and HERA are seated under a logo of winged shoes.
HERMES: Welcome to the Hermes Springer
Show, where we expose the seamy underbelly of life on Mount
Olympus. Our topic today is gods who cheat and the goddesses who
take revenge on them. Our guests are Zeus, thunderbolt-wielding
king of the gods, and his faithful queen, Hera. (Applause.)
Thanks for coming on the show. Now, Zeus, I understand you have
a little trouble keeping it in your toga.
HERA: Oh boy, does he ever.
ZEUS: It’s an addiction, Hermes. I’m
getting therapy from Asclepius, god of healing.
HERA: It’s not working.
ZEUS: No, really, I’m a changed deity.
Instead of spending my evenings roaming the Earth looking for
mortal women to seduce, I’m saving my thunderbolt for Hera.
HERMES: No doubt your wife’s legendary
jealousy has been highly motivating there. Hera, I understand
you turned Zeus’s mistress Io into a cow?
HERA: That is not true! That is a total
distortion of what happened! Zeus, tell the man who really
turned her into a cow.
ZEUS: I did, but only as a disguise. I was
afraid Hera would hurt her.
HERMES: And Hera, did you hurt her?
HERA: Not at all. I simply removed her
from the situation. She’s now wandering the Earth, being nudged
along by a gadfly.
HERMES: Zeus, has Io commented on her view
of the bovine life?
HERA: Sure. She said, “Moo!” (Boos from
audience.) Hey, I didn’t tell her to shtupp a married
HERMES: Now, Zeus, about your mistress,
ZEUS: Hera killed her.
HERA: I did not! Zeus revealed himself to
her in all his godly glory and the poor girl was completely
incinerated. He knew what happens when you expose a mortal to
ZEUS: Hera tricked us into it! She
convinced Semele that I wasn’t really who I claimed to be and
had her insisting that I reveal myself to her.
HERA: And he fried her!
ZEUS: She made me do it!
HERA: You could have said no. So she
wouldn’t have believed you were really Zeus. At least she’d be
alive. It was all about your ego. Am I right, ladies? (Cheers
HERMES: Moving on, what about Danae?
HERA: Who in Hades is Danae?
ZEUS: Uh, nobody. Never heard of her.
HERMES: Really? She’s backstage and she
says you took the form of an aura of golden light to make love
HERA: Golden light? You never did that for
HERMES: Danae says she has an immortal bun
in the oven. Hera, it must be tough when many of these women
have children with your husband. How do you react when you
HERA: I try to remember it’s not the
ZEUS: Don’t believe her, Hermes! She sent
a snake to attack my twins when they were born.
HERA: That’s all water under the Styx.
I’ve made my peace with Apollo and Artemis.
HERMES: So if another of his love children
showed up today, you wouldn’t—
ZEUS: Hermes, for Olympia’s sake, shut up!
HERA: Wait a minute, Hermes. You look an
awful lot like my husband. Who are your parents?
HERMES: Uh, that’s all the time we have—
(Hera attacks Zeus. Furniture goes
flying. A thunderbolt vaporizes the chair from underneath Hermes.)
HERMES: Join us tomorrow, when our guest
will be Narcissus, to address the topic of self-esteem. Can
there be too much of a good thing?