centaur and horse head

Fractured Folklore

The really honest, true, cross-my-heart story of the Myth of Chiron, the Centaur, as told to me by the infamous "Pegasus." Okay, it's a bit different than the story you may have heard, but....

Once upon a time, Saturn got horny and his roving eye spotted a sea nymph named Philyra. Not wanting get caught by the wife, he decided to philander with Philyra while disguised as a horse. So this kinky broad got preggers and gave birth to a child that was half-horse, half-human.

"Bummer!" she said, "You remind me too much of that no-good father of yours who ran off and left me without so much as a child support cheque!"

So Chiron was abandoned at birth and grew up as a foster child of Apollo's, who taught him the arts, sciences, higher wisdom and divination (like figuring out when the next bus will arrive). Having a private school education, Chiron grew up to be a relatively well-behaved centaur — except when he was carousing with his other centaur buddies, who had a reputation for being a rowdy bunch of party animals.

One day, Hercules dropped by Chiron's cave for tea and cookies, and leaving his spear lying carelessly on the floor, Chiron tripped over it and it jabbed him in the thigh.

"#^@(%*&!?!!!" said Chiron.

"Why don't you watch where you're clopping!?" retorted Hercules.

"Thanks a bunch, Herc, this is quite a gash!" sulked Chiron, rubbing his wounded rump, "I always knew you were a pain in the butt."

"Oh-oh..." warned Hercules, "I just remembered — I couldn't find my nuclear warhead this morning, so I took my poisoned spearhead instead. I guess that means you're gonna die, BUT IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!! Maybe we could tell the press you were wounded in battle. You know, circulate conflicting stories so that no one really knows what happened."

"Ain't that just like a superhero? I'm in agony and you're worried about PUBLICITY!!! You should be a Politician! Well, I'm not gonna die. Daddy made sure I had a lifetime warranty against any mortality threats, but he never took out any health insurance. I don't think poisoned wounds are covered by my own health insurance, especially with all the cutbacks lately."

So Chiron decided to check out the alternative health system: herbalism, shiatsu, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reiki, reflexology, kinesiology and metamorphic massage. He did primal therapy, hypnotherapy, gestalt, NLP, transcendental meditation, and Codependency-Inner-Brat Therapy.

He tried colonics ("My THIGH is wounded and you wanna stick that thing WHERE?!?"), radionics, bionics, electronics, and some stuff he invented himself called Chironics.

Nothing worked. He could ease the pain to make it bearable, but the wound never healed.

"This still sucks, but I've learned so much," reasoned Chiron, "I should put out my own shingle. At least it will take my mind off my fate."

So Chiron launched an international speaking tour (later aired on PBS television*). He conducting workshops on topics like the path of the spiritual warrior ("Bloodshed Without Guilt"), divination and astrology ("Lotto Secrets of the Stars"), and the healing arts ("You Can Live Forever With Chironics!").

But Chiron grew tired and weary, bored by a public that was never satisfied with what they got.

"This celebrity lifestyle has got me going gaga!" lamented Chiron, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I just want to retire."

Now, it just so happened that Prometheus (who had fallen out of favour with the Gods — I mean Politicians — by publishing instructions over the Internet on how to create fire) was about to be burned at the stake, in response to a national referendum on capital punishment. Chiron didn't believe in capital punishment and wanted to save Prometheus, so he appealed to the Politicians: "Prometheus really did you guys a favour because now you can tax things like matches, candles and cigarettes..."

"Instead of killing him, why don't you appoint him to the Senate and have him lead an inquiry? If you want to appease the public's lust for violence — I mean vengeance — I mean justice — you can kill me. I'm tired of living and this pain is getting to be a real pain."

The Politicians were touched by Chiron's deep compassion, his unwavering selflessness, his bureaucratic savvy. So they granted his wish and Chiron died happily ever after.

The morTals of this story are:

  • If you carry a poisoned weapon, put a warning label on it.
  • If your friend is a pain in the butt, don't expect him/her to take responsibility for it.
  • If you have to fight bureaucracy at City Hall, you can win only if you LOSE!

- - - -

* PBS television = Public Broadcast System (in the USA); a non-commercial TV station that airs a lot of self-help lectures and educational programs.

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