Interview with Hestia (Vesta)
Sittin' by the Hearth for Hours and Hours (and Hours) with Hestia
Hestia: Hello my dears, and welcome to Sittin' by the Hearth for Hours and Hours (and Hours) with me—Hestia. Did you notice that I drop the G from the end of "sitting?" Wild, right? Yes, well that's just the sort of excitin' things that will be happenin' on today's show. Oh listen to me. I'm gettin' too feisty—I'd better calm down for a bit and stare at the fire. Would you like to join me? Of course, you would. Let's begin.
[Hestia stares at the fire with a benign smile on her face.
She stares some more, the light flickering in her eyes.
An hour goes by, and she's still staring, blinking only occasionally.
Suddenly, Hestia turns and smiles at the camera.]
Hestia: Big Billy of Big Billy's Barbecue? Yes, I'm talking to you, Big Billy. If you'd just poke the bottom log of your fire a bit, your hearth will glow with a ruddy light.
[She laughs warmly.]
Hestia: Don't be afraid, Big Billy. I'm the goddess of the hearth. I know what's going on in every hearth. I'm the warm center of every home and municipal flame. Oh, but listen to me going on about myself. Go on... poke it.
Hestia: Wonderful, what a lovely poke! Now, back to staring into the fire.
[Something clatters to the ground off-camera.]
Off-camera voice: I can't take it!!!
[A little naked god with a golden bow and arrows flutters into view on white wings.]
Hestia: Oh my, how lovely. We have a guest! Everyone say hello to Eros, god of passion and desire. [To Eros] My viewers say hello, Eros.
[Eros flits about anxiously.]
Eros: Yeah, hi.
Hestia: What brings you to us, little friend? Have you come to stare at the fire for hours and hours and hours?
Eros: Well, we just wrapped up filming The Bachelor: Mount Olympus next door, and I saw that you had that massive stack of sandwiches over here.
Hestia: I like to keep my camera crew warm and well fed. It's all part of having a happy home. Did you enjoy the sandwiches?
Hestia: Then why did you slam the entire tray on the ground?
Eros: I can't take it. I just can't take it!
Hestia: What's that, dear?
Eros: You're seriously just going to stare at that fire all day?
Hestia: It's what I do every day, sweet child.
Eros: You just sit.
Hestia: Oh, yes.
Eros: And stare.
Eros: That's it?!
Hestia: Oh, sometimes I add a log or two. Can't let the fire go out, you know. Just like my Vestal Virgins in ancient Rome who kept their sacred fire going, I have to keep the fire going here in the hearth of Olympus.
Eros: If this were my life, I'd throw myself into the hearth.
Hestia: Well now, I don't think it's necessary for you to be so critical. I don't go over to your little hedonistic show and criticize it, now do I?
Eros: You couldn't, could you? You never leave this hearth. Don't you even get up to eat some ambrosia once in a while?
Hestia: You silly goose, I don't have to eat. I get a bit of every sacrifice to every god. Whenever an animal is burnt in a sacrificial flame, I get a wee little taste.
Eros: There's still a lot of animal sacrifice going on?
Hestia:: More than you'd think.
[She gets a warm smile on her face.]
Hestia: Oh, here comes one now.
[Hestia closes her eyes and smacks her lips.]
Hestia: Mmmm... goat.
Eros: You are a seriously weird goddess. Is that why nobody ever wanted to marry you?
Hestia: Oh, I've had suitors. Poseidon and Apollo both requested my hand, but I begged Zeus to allow me to live my celibate life here by the hearth. Even after I took my vow of chastity, though, that wicked little god Priapus tried to take advantage of me while I was sleeping. Luckily for me, a friendly donkey hee-hawed and woke me up, and I was saved from that little deviant.
Eros: Hey now, Priapus is a friend of mine.
Hestia: Hmmm, well that would explain his general state of... excitement.
Eros: Let me set you guys up. What do you say?
Hestia: Do the words "sworn virgin" mean anything to you?
Eros: Sure. They mean bo-ring.
Hestia: I think I've had enough of this conversation, and I'm sure my viewers have, too.
Eros: How could you possibly have any viewers at all? This is probably the most boring idea for a show that's ever existed.
Hestia: Well, I wouldn't want you to be bored, so be gone.
Eros: But I can't leave knowing this is going on. I can't stand the idea that there's a corner of the world as boring as this. That there's a goddess who chooses to use her immortal life to do this. It's maddening. It's giving me heart palpations. I'm getting hives! Do you see them? I'm itching. I'm itching all over. Let me prick you with one of my golden arrows. You'll find passion! You'll fall in love! You'll be saved from this horrible life of staring into the fire for hours and hours and hours and hours...
Hestia: Please. Leave. Now.
Eros: But I...
Hestia: I will call Zeus.
[Hanging his head, Eros flaps away.
Hestia turns back to her camera and flashes a warm smile.]
Hestia: Oh my, well that was enough excitement to last an eon, wouldn't you agree? I think we'll have to lock the soundstage from now on. Let's see now, where were we? Oh! Of course. We were staring at the fire for hours and hours (and hours).
[She turns back to the fire.
She stares some more.
Quietly, Eros flaps in behind her.
Eros winks at the camera, and draws back his bow and arrow.
The arrowhead gleams in the firelight.
Suddenly, a tongue of flame leaps from the fire and slaps Eros in the butt.]
[Smiling, Hestia turns.]
Hestia: I asked you to leave.
[Eros zooms around, his butt smoking.]
Eros: I thought you were a pacifist!
Hestia: Every now and then, we all transgress.
Eros: Fine, stay boring. I'm out of here.
[Eros soars away, leaving a trail of smoke behind him.]
Hestia: Hmmm, amusing. Let's see now... where were we? Oh, yes... I remember...