Homer vs My Mum

In one respect, Homer is rather like my mum. He likes to wander off from the point, and give me information I don’t need, about characters I’ll never see, which doesn’t enhance my understanding of his story. Such as –

Then he killed Alkathoös, dear son of the god-ordained King Aisyëtes. He was the son-in-law to Anchises, married to the eldest of his daughters, Hippogameia. She was loved with all their hearts by her father and honoured mother in their house,  since she surpassed all girls of her age in handcraft and sense – and so it was the best man in the broad land of Troy that married her.

I get it, Homer, Alkathoös was a bit special. But, since I don’t remember reading about him before, and now he’s dead, won’t be featuring later, I don’t need to know this stuff.

My mum’s way of doing things –

Mum : You know Mary’s husband?

Me : No.

Mum : Sure you do, the dentist with the frizzy hair.

Me : Not ringing any bells.

Mum : He’s the one who put dog mess through his neighbour’s door after they let their labrador go in his front garden. Him and Mary always went on holiday to Jersey, until he had his hip replacement.

Me : Sorry, I don’t know these people.

Mum : Well, he’s dead. Heart attack. Dropped like a stone in the post office.

Me : Oh.


Although, in another area, my mum and Homer could not be any more different. She’s not good with anything personal, anatomical, or gruesome. She always plays down injuries to make them easier to deal with.

Homer would say –

Diomedes lunged with his sword, and struck his neck in the middle, cutting through both tendons – he was beginning to speak as his head dropped in the dust.

My mum would say – ‘A mishap with is neck, paracetamol might not be enough’.

Then Idomeneus hit Oinomaos in mid-belly, and broke through his corselet’s front piece, and the bronze let his bowels gush out.

‘Very sore trouble with his downstairs.’

He fell with a crash, the spear fixed in his heart, and the heart’s jerking made the spear quiver right to the butt.

‘Ooh, mercy me! Might need to get a doctor to have a look at that.’

Menelaos struck him on the forehead above the base of the nose – the bone cracked, and his eyes dropped bloody into the dust.