The Old Men

Old Man Winter complains a lot about the bitter cold and his joints hurting, but that’s nothing compared to having to look at Old Man Spring’s ghastly bleached-white hairy shins.
And once you stumble across Old Man Summer laying out at the beach, well, you’ll wish you’d been born blind.
Old Man Fall tends to just stay in his rocking chair on the patio, drinking cheap beer and watching the leaves turn.
He’d be the most agreeable of the bunch if he didn’t sit there with his rifle, threatening to shoot people if they don’t get off of his lawn.

Pudding of the Gods

Prometheus was always stealing things from the Gods to bring down to Man.
“What’s this?” asked Man, staring at a bowl full of strange glop.
“Pudding,” said Prometheus. “It’s delicious. You eat it with a spoon.”
“What’s a spoon?” asked Man.
Prometheus took a spoon out of his pocket.
“That doesn’t look too clean,” said Man.
So, Prometheus wiped it on his toga.
His sweaty, grimy toga.
“You’re kidding, right?” asked Man.
“Oh, just use your fingers,” said Prometheus.
Man did. “Ew. Butterscotch.”
Prometheus growled. “Wait here.”
And he ran up Olympus to get some fire to incinerate Man with.

The Storymaker

I swore an oath to write a story every day until the day I die.
The Devil overheard me, and he offered me his hand.
And we shook on the deal.
I kept up my daily writing for a few years, but after a while I ran out of ideas.
“A deal’s a deal,” I said, and I went to sleep, not expecting to wake up.
“Don’t give up,” said The Devil. And he gave me a plane ticket to Paris. “Think you can write there?”
I nodded, and The Devil smiled.
“Good. It’s much nicer than Hell. Trust me.”

The Gift

Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it as a gift to Man.
“If that’s a gift, why isn’t it wrapped?” asked Man
“It’s fire,” said Prometheus. “It burns wrapping paper and other things.”
“Will it burn me?” asked Man.
“Yes,” said Prometheus. “I suppose I should put it on a stick.”
Prometheus quickly fashioned a torch and gave it to Man.
“That’s neat,” said Man and he ran off to play with his new fire.
The fact that Prometheus had stolen fire made it impossible for man to take it back and exchange it for a fancy-knit sweater.

More Circles

The world is a mess. And Hell is filling up quickly.
So, The Devil is adding circles to it to handle new sins.
For instance, there will be a circle for Spammers. They’ll be force-fed herbal supplements and smeared with noxious creams, giving them painfully massive erections and swollen breasts.
The rest of the damned will need to be moved to make use of the new space.
Diverting the river of fire.
Replanting the suicide wood.
Changing harpy flight paths.
And that’ll be a nightmare in logistics.
But then, it’s Hell. That’ll be a punishment for condemned change management consultants.

Myth or Legend

A myth gives a religious explanation for something, while a legend is a story told as if it were a historical event.
This is just one of a thousand rules every member of The Storymerchants Guild must learn and follow when conducting business.
There are laws about proper labeling of products and services, and stories are no different.
One must be precise, otherwise proper tariffs, taxes, and fees won’t be collected.
And The Royal Auditors are quite diligent about checking the details.
In fact, I remember one time when two goblin bards…
Wait… hold on…
(Is this Myth or Legend?)

Pasta Beauty

It is said that tortellini was created by an innkeeper who peeked into the goddess Venus’ room and, awestruck by a glimpse of her navel, he was inspired to bolt to the kitchen where he messed around with meat and pasta.
The same could be said of elbow pasta and the ropy joints of Olive Oyl from cartoons. Although in her case, it’s the least-unattractive part of her by far.
Whatever did Popeye and Bluto ever see in that anorexic freakjob, anyway?
They must have been out to sea a very long time to think she was worth fighting over.


One glance, and the gaze of Medusa the Gorgon will turn you to stone.
However, being Greek, she has access to free state-provided healthcare.
We all have rights, even criminals and legendary monsters, no?
Monster… such a cruel term… when you get to know her, she’s not all that bad.
Zeus may have robbed her of outer beauty, but not her inner charm.
And you don’t have to look in her eyes to give her a pelvic examination. And you can cover them for dental work.
But of all the ophthalmologists in Athens, why did she have to pick me?

Keep Sharp

Legend has it that the Grim Reaper sharpens his scythe by the light of the moon.
First off, he’s got a whole set of scythes.
As for sharpening, he’s too busy. So he drops some of them off at my store every week and I handle that for him.
Sometimes, it’s a rebalanced handle. Ergonomic grips. Or reinforcing the blade mounts.
Nothing’s worse than having a blade come loose in mid-stroke.
He swings, he misses. That’s what you’d call “A brush with Death.”
With rotation and maintenance, it won’t happen again.
My service is a cut above the rest.

Blind Justice

Maybe back in the days of the Ancients, Perseus would have cut off a Gorgon’s head and bagged it, but today we’ve got a little something called The Law.
And nobody’s actually passed a law against petrification besides First Degree Assault By Witchcraft.
Lawyers say it’s not like she’s killed anyone. Just turned them to stone, that’s all.
“If there’s a magical curse of the Gods that petrifies people, then there’s probably a blessing that depetrifies them.”
We send in the robots, fire up the speakers, read her rights to her, and she asks for an attorney.
A blind attorney.