A lot of people ask me if “Kalesius and Clotho” is a real myth. I usually smile enigmatically and say “Well, what do you think.” Then they usually say “I think it’s a bunch of crap that you made up.” You’re welcome to believe that, but for those of you who are interested in the source material I was working with, I thought I would post the original on my website. I’ve made a few revisions, which are marked in orange.
ENTER CHORUS CHORUS Tell me, O goddess, of the accursed hero destined to be loved by none but she who lived atop vast Olympus. Many women did he encounter, and many looked upon him with kindness, but never did Aphrodite smile upon him. For he was accursed from birth to be a nice guy. KALESIUS Curse ye, o Gods! I ask of you only to send me a woman who is fair, who possesses 3 head of sheep, and who possesses a fine grasp of the distinction between that which is comic, and that which is tragic. Is my request so extraordinary? Am I so unworthy in your sight? A woman approaches KALESIUS There, that woman who approaches! Turn her favor upon me so that I might be happy. The woman suddenly changes course and begins to walk toward KALESIUS with a smile on her face. KALESIUS Thank you, great immortals! This evening, should I be successful in my endeavors, I shall slaughter a goat in your honor. GIRL Excuse me kind sir, as I was traveling along yonder road, I beheld your kind face and I began to speculate on the circumstances of your life. Are you married? KALESIUS No, kind woman. I am not. And may I say that you are a fetching woman indeed. GIRL Why thank you sir, I can see that I was not mistaken when I judged you as a kind man. May I ask then, are you betrothed? KALESIUS No, kind woman. I am not. And may I say that your smile is more radiant than Zeus himself. GIRL Sir, with a tongue as silver as that, surely you must have a woman who holds you in her favor? KALESIUS No, kind woman. I do not. GIRL That is unfortunate. For you are clearly a wonderful listener and a great man. If you were but three inches taller, I should like to be your wife. Would you instead be my friend? I believe you could lend a sympathetic ear as you come with me to the market and I tell you stories of my inconsiderate lovers. We shall make much merriment together but your hands shall never touch of my bosom. CHORUS The Gods did not smile upon Kalesius. Despite his keen intelligence and humorous conversation, the Gods confused the women of his village and made them place their favors upon men whom Kalesius knew were inferior to him. ENTER A LARGE SOLDIER. KALESIUS WATCHES FROM SIDE. A LARGE SOLDIER Come hither young wench. I should very much like to touch of your bosom, yet I offer no intellectual engagement. GIRL Why certainly you may. For the Gods have clouded my mind and your insensitivity inflames my loins. THEY GO BEHIND A COLUMN, MAKE MOANING NOISES FOR 5 SECONDS, THEN COME BACK OUT. A LARGE SOLDIER I have forgotten your name. BLACKOUT. EXIT A LARGE SOLDIER. GIRL (to Kalesius) He's not nearly as intelligent, kind, witty, appreciative of art or sensitive, as you, nor does he discern between the fine and boxed varieties of wine, yet I love him. SHE SWOONS. KALESIUS DUTIFULLY CATCHES HER. KALESIUS But surely maiden, as I possess all of the qualities which you value highly, you must have considered allowing me into your favors rather than this brute of which you speak. GIRL Yea, but the Gods have clouded my mind and I cannot think of you in such ways. I instead think of you in much the same way that I regard the... "artists." KALESIUS (horrified) You mean the homosexuals?! (he stops, looks around) Uh, among whose number I count some of my very best friends. GIRL Yea, I find you very non-threatening and therefore unattractive. KALESIUS What then shall I do? GIRL I know not. Ah! My boyfriend approaches! I must alter my already perfect appearance with dies and powders so that he finds me more desirable. GIRL EXITS A LARGE SOLDIER (entering) Girl! I should like to enter unto you again! HE NOTICES KALESIUS A LARGE SOLDIER (CONT'D) And who might you be? Do you not have a "play" you should be off "producing?" Or perhaps a "statue" you should be "carving?" Or a "man" you should be "having sex with?" KALESIUS (ignoring his comments) I sir, am Kalesius, friend to that fair maiden whom you are with. A LARGE SOLDIER Kalesius, I can assure that she is hardly a maiden. KALESIUS I will thank you not to speak in such a manner in my presence sir. A LARGE SOLDIER Ah, I am sorry that my speech was not plain enough for you sir. I meant that not 10 minutes ago we had sex behind yonder column. KALESIUS (getting angry) I know what you meant -- I would prefer that you not tell me in detail of your relations with the woman that I love. A LARGE SOLDIER Oh, you are in love with her? That is so precious. The love you "artists" have for glamorous womenfolk is so wonderful. She is fabulous isn't she? KALESIUS I wish you would cease referring to me as an artist. I am an intellectual. A LARGE SOLDIER (knowingly) Ahhhh, like Socrates? KALESIUS (flattered) Yes, like Soc- No, not like that at all. A LARGE SOLDIER Very well, I will play along. I will not speak of my relations with your love. GIRL ENTERS, PREENING A LARGE SOLDIER (CONT'D) Now if you will excuse me, I shall retire behind that column and have sex wi-- (he catches himself, and winks) and have sex with a woman who you know not. (pause) Come woman. HE GRABS GIRL AND PULLS HER BEHIND THE COLUMN. THEY OCCASIONALLY MAKE NOISE THROUGHOUT THE NEXT SCENE GIRL Ooooh! KALESIUS The Gods are against me and I am determined to discover why. CHORUS The Gods were against Kalesius and he was determined to discover why. KALESIUS SHOOTS CHORUS A LOOK. CHORUS POINTS TO THEIR SCRIPT AND SHRUGS. KALESIUS I shall journey to the Oracle at Thebes and ask of him what I must do to gain the favor of the Gods and finally get myself a piece. CHORUS He decided to journey to the Oracle of Thebes and ask of him -- KALESIUS Cut that out. CHORUS (again, pointing to the script) Sorry.
I cut out almost 50 pages here. Kalesius’s travels to Thebes is considered one of the longest of what the Classicists refer to as “extended travel passages.” They consider it a beautifully rigid structure. I consider it boring. Each page represents a half-mile on his journey, which in this case is about 25 miles. Nothing important happens during the journey, so I cut it down to:
CHORUS Kalesius walked for many days, until he finally arrived at the Oracle at Thebes. THE ORACLE ENTERS. HE IS A HEAD PROJECTED ON A SCREEN. THE REAL ORACLE IS IN THE "WINGS" OFFSTAGE. HE SPEAKS IN A MORE NATURAL VOICE THAN THE OTHER ACTORS ORACLE I am the great and powerful Oracle of Thebes. All tremble before me. KALESIUS GROVELS AND TREMBLES KALESIUS Oh great Oracle, my name is Kalesius and I have come from afar to seek your advice in the ways of love. ORACLE Ahh, Kalesius, you have come from afar to seek my advice in the ways of love. KALESIUS Yes, I just said tha- ORACLE Silence! Do not contradict the Oracle of Thebes. KALESIUS (playing along) Oh great Oracle, how did you know? Did the Gods tell you of my plight? ORACLE No, you just look like you don't do so good with the chicks. KALESIUS Why do you talk in a manner so strange, great Oracle? ORACLE Well Kalesius, I'm from the future. KALESIUS The future, Oracle? ORACLE That's right. All the way from the year 2000. KALESIUS The year 2000, how spectacular! Can you tell me anything of the wonders of the future? ORACLE I will tell you this: Invest in the Internet. KALESIUS I will do what you tell me great Oracle, does this Internet you speak of have long term earnings potential? ORACLE You dare ask the great Oracle of Thebes about long-term earnings potential? I speak of a new economy about which you know nothing. Profit is a thing of the dead past to which you belong! Now tremble before me. KALESIUS COWERS ORACLE (CONT'D) I said TREMBLE! KALESIUS TREMBLES ORACLE (CONT'D) Better. KALESIUS O great Oracle, thank you for sharing your wisdom with me, I will not contradict you again. Now could you please give me the information for which I have come? ORACLE Very well, and now the answer for which you have traveled so many miles and encountered so little adventure. You must travel more and encounter slightly more adventure as you make your way to MOUNT OLYMPUS!!! KALESIUS Thank you great Oracle. And what shall I do when I arrive there? ORACLE You will fine your true love on Mount Olympus. KALESIUS But I have already found my true love in my home village. ORACLE That floozy? Please, you can do better. KALESIUS I haven't yet. ORACLE Trust me. KALESIUS Oh, how unfortunate that I have traveled all the way here just to discover this information. Mount Olympus is but an afternoon's walk from my home. ORACLE Yeah, that is too bad. Now BEGONE FROM MY SIGHT. KALESIUS Would you join me on my return trip? I grow weary of my own company on long journeys and find myself talking to goats. ORACLE That sounds like a lot of fun, but I think I'll just stay here and live off the ignorance of peasants. KALESIUS Are you sure? ORACLE Yes. KALESIUS OK. KALESIUS STARTS WALKING OFFSTAGE, BUT SEES THE REAL ORACLE OFFSTAGE. KALESIUS (CONT'D) Wait, who are you? ORACLE Pay no attention to the man in the wings KALESIUS Wait, you just said that. You're the man in the wings. ORACLE I am Oracle. The Great and Powerful. KALESIUS (noticing the video camera) Wait, what is this device you speak into? HE WALKS UP TO IT AND LOOKS INTO IT, HIS FACE IS PROJECTED HUGE ONTO THE ONSTAGE SCREEN. ORACLE It is nothing. KALESIUS WALKS PAST THE CAMERA, WATCHING THE SCREEN AND THRILLED TO SEE HIMSELF. KALESIUS This is so cool! ORACLE (resigned) It's something I brought back with my from the future. It's called a video camera. KALESIUS I'm huge! ORACLE Look, cut that out. You found out my secret, so I'll come along with you. KALESIUS What secret? ORACLE That I'm not really a huge, disembodied head. KALESIUS I never thought you were. ORACLE Kalesius, since you know my secret, it seems we will be forced into an uneasy alliance as we journey to Mount Olympus. At first, I predict that we will bicker, but as the journey continues I am sure we will become fast friends. THEY SET OUT ON THEIR JOURNEY.
This journey was almost as boring as the last one, but there are some important plot points that I couldn’t cut out, so I decided to punch things up a little here and turn the journey to Olympus into a buddy comedy.
KALESIUS Oracle let us set out upon our journey. ORACLE (suddenly sassy) I'll leave when I'm ready to leave! KALESIUS What? ORACLE You heard me, fool! KALESIUS I'm not sure I understand you. ORACLE Kalesius, I'm only going to enjoy this trip if I get to play out this tired plot device. KALESIUS Fine. Now get on the mule, I'm only telling you once. ORACLE (clearly enjoying himself) Oh, Kalesius, you make me so mad! CHORUS So Kalesius and the Oracle set out on their journey. Bickering all the way. ORACLE Kalesius, did you eat all the mutton again? KALESIUS SHRUGS KALESIUS I got a biiiiig appetite! CHORUS Oh Kalesius, you so crazy KALESIUS (high fives the Chorus) Shiiiiit ORACLE And look at this mess you made! Do you expect me to clean all this up? KALESIUS Damn Oracle, you're too uptight. Have some wine. HE DRINKS FROM A WINESKIN ORACLE Ohhhhh, that's the sacrificial wine! KALESIUS (shrugs, high-fives the Chorus) Whoops! CHORUS Kalesius, you are so funny! ORACLE You know you're the last person who should be pissing off the Gods. CHORUS At long last Kalesius reached Mount Olympus. KALESIUS I, Kalesius, have reached Mount Olympus! What beauty and majesty. Where then, is the answer that I have been promised? CLOTHO ENTERS - SOUND OF THUNDER CLOTHO Kalesius, you have arrived at last. KALESIUS How do you know my name, fair maiden? CLOTHO I have known your name for millennia. It has been the most treasured word upon my lips since the very dawn of time. KALESIUS Are you then one of the great Immortals who dwell in the House of the Gods? CLOTHO I am, brave Kalesius. KALESIUS Please, reveal to me your name, so that I may sing of your fair beauty when I have left this place. CLOTHO Oh, silver-tongued Kalesius, you could melt even the hardest woman's heart. I am Clotho. The youngest of the three Fates. KALESIUS Clotho! Why is it that I have been brought here? CLOTHO Kalesius, you have come here to learn that you have been Fated to be my one true love. KALESIUS Your one true love? CLOTHO My one true love! KALESIUS But why didn't you do something sooner? CLOTHO I could not, for I was not permitted to reveal myself to you until you journeyed here yourself. KALESIUS But you're Fate. Can't you do whatever you want? CLOTHO No, sadly, even Fate has no free will of her own. KALESIUS Well that is hardly fair. If you, Fate, do not make the decisions, then who does? CLOTHO I know not. It makes as little sense to me as it must to you mortals. KALESIUS How ironic that even Fate does not possess the free will that we lack. What a cold, unforgiving world we live in. CLOTHO But Kalesius, are you not pleased that we shall be in love until the end of time? KALESIUS Well, I'm pleased, but you could have made things a little easier on me. Was it really necessary to let that guy call me an "artist?" CLOTHO Kalesius, I love you. KALESIUS You love me? CLOTHO I do. KALESIUS I have to admit, that does have a nice ring to it. I love you too! CHORUS And the Gods smiled upon Kalesius