Friday, February 9, 2007

True Reason for the Trojan War: Ink Scrawl Nugget 15

Lessons Learned The Hard Way Number One: Don't Kidnap Helen of Troy

The wooden horse was basically a face-saving exercise, something to make it all look slightly more convincing to the outside world.

Within three months of Helen's arrival in Troy after her abduction by Prince Paris, there wasn't a square inch of original carpeting in the whole city. The entire workforce had been transferred from the sword-tempering and arrow-sharpening to curtain-making, and King Priam had mortgaged his empire and taken out a personal loan from the First Achaean Bank to pay for new three-piece suites in every room in his gigantic palace. It wasn't Achilles or the wrath of the gods or the curse of Dardanus that did for Troy or the Hundred Gates; it was sheer bloody havoc wrought on the Trojan economy by a determined home-maker with a Liberty catalogue and a Gold AmEx card.

The reason that the siege of Troy took so long was simple. Once King Menelaus had got used to being able to wipe his hands on the towels and smoke in the living-room again, it took the concentrated moral pressure of three continents ten years to persuade him to take her back.
—From Tom Holt's Faust Among Equals

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