Interview with Heracles (Hercules)
It's time to tune in to Wake Up Mount Olympus, your source for all the news that's fit for TV, with your host Lady Pheme, goddess of gossip and fame.
Lady Pheme: Good morning, Mount Olympus! We know you've all been waiting in anticipation for this day. At long last, here he is, the greatest man to ever walk the earth... it's Heracles.
Heracles enters dressed in his lion cape and dragging his club.
The crowd, which is mostly full of young girls, shrieks and squeals.
Heracles flashes a pearly white smile. The audience blows kisses at him.
Lady Pheme: Welcome, welcome, welcome. We're so pleased to have you here with us Heracles.
Heracles: My pleasure, Lady Pheme. I love the show. I watch it every morning while I eat my breakfast.
Lady Pheme: Ooooh, tell us what do you eat in the morning.
Heracles: Usually, about ten pounds of a raw oxen.
Lady Pheme: Really?
Heracles: Sometimes twelve. Hebe has been trying to get me on a diet of ambrosia ever since I became immortal, but I can't stand the stuff. It's just not filling enough.
Lady Pheme: Ha! Well I suppose it is an acquired taste.
Lady Pheme: Tell us, Heracles, what was it like for you as a child. Was it ever difficult being a mortal son of Zeus?
Heracles: It was difficult from even before I was born. Zeus' wife, Hera, was always out to get me. She was jealous that Zeus had slept with my mother, Alcmene. Hera even tried to keep me from being born. She delayed my birth just long enough for that wuss Eurytheus to become high king instead of me. The joke's on him, now. Who's the immortal one, punk?! That's right. ME.
Lady Pheme: You felt a lot of Hera's wrath over the years, isn't that right?
Heracles: Yeah, that's an understatement. She put snakes in my cradle. What kind of a goddess does that, Lady Pheme? She even made me go crazy and kill the children I had by my first wife, Megara. I still haven't quite gotten over that one.
Lady Pheme: But you completed your 12 labors to make up for it.
Heracles: Yes, but still...
Lady Pheme: You killed so many monsters – lions, Hydras, boars, giants. You ought to be proud. You sailed with Jason and the Argonauts. You had hundreds of other adventures!
Heracles: OK, you're right. I am amazing. I've just never had much luck with the ladies. My second wife, Omphale, made me a slave and had me dress in women's clothing for a year. And my third wife, Deianira, accidentally killed me.
Lady Pheme: Oh, yes, tell us more.
Heracles: It's a pretty gruesome story, Lady Pheme. Are you sure your audience can handle it?
Lady Pheme: Oh, they'll love it.
The audience cheers.
Heracles: Well, not long after D and I got married, we were crossing this river and we ran into some serious trouble. The guy who rowed the ferry across the river was this nasty centaur named Nessus. When I wasn't looking, he grabbed D, rowed across the river, and tried to force himself on her.
Lady Pheme: Oh, my goddess! What did you do?
Heracles: I shot him from across the river with an arrow tipped with the venom of the Hydra.
Lady Pheme: And he died?
Heracles: He died a horrible painful death, which was awesome.
Lady Pheme: But what does this have to do with your death?
Heracles: Well, Nessus was pretty crafty, and Deianira, bless her heart, was pretty gullible. As he was dying, Nessus told D that if she took some of his blood, that she could use it to make sure that I was always faithful to her. Secretly, though, he knew that his blood was tainted with the Hydra venom. Years later, D thought I was cheating on her with this chick named Iole...
Lady Pheme: Were you?
Heracles: What can I say? I've got a lot of love to spread around.
Lady Pheme: Mmhm.
Heracles: Hey, I got what was coming to me. Deianira covered a shirt of mine with the blood of Nessus and had my son bring it to me as a gift. I put it on and my skin caught on fire! At least that's what it felt like. Ugh, it was horrible. D felt so bad that she killed herself. And then I committed suicide by setting myself on fire – literally.
Lady Pheme: Wow... that is a pretty gruesome story.
Heracles: It all turned out all right. I buried the hatchet with Hera, and married her daughter, Hebe, goddess of youth.
Lady Pheme: And you're a god!
Heracles: Yes siree, now I'm a god. Life is pretty sweet. If only Hebe would stop trying to feed me ambrosia.