Odyssey Book 3 – In which more cows are killed and the sheets are probably Egyptian cotton
So Telemachus, Athena (now in disguise as ‘Mentor’) and their crew turn up in Pylos (where they make pylons, obviously), as it’s thought that Nestor, who was at the Trojan war, will have the low-down on what happened to Odysseus.
They are invited to be part of a great feast, given food and booze, and then Nestor turns to them and asks them who they are. Generally, before feeding and watering people, I like to know their names, but Nestor is too nice for that.
Once he knows Telemachus’ mission he goes on to speak about how ace it would be if Athena were to help him, as she always had a soft spot for his missing father, during which I presume Telemachus and Mentor we throwing some pretty meaningful glances, as well as and epic winks, at each other.
Nestor goes on to tell them that he left Troy with Menelaus, whose brother, Agamemnon, stayed behind at Troy another day to sacrifice more stuff. Odysseus stayed with Agamemnon, and no one heard what happened to him after that. Although, everyone heard what happened to Agamemnon, as his wife, a total hoochie called Clytemnestra (great name for an antibiotic, or ‘feminine hygiene product’ she probably needed both) who, in his absence, hooked up with Aegisthus, and then helped her new lover kill her husband. Luckily, Agamemnon’s feisty son Orestes returns from exile and kills both his mother’s lover and his mother (two for the price of one). Nestor has heard Odysseus’ honour is being severely trampled by all the horny suitors cluttering up his house, and he hopes Telemachus will break out some Orestes-style justice at some point.
Nestor then gets a cow, and wraps it’s horns in gold, and prepares a massive feast for Telemachus’ crew, as it seems he is not in fact some old Greek dude, but an Irish auntie, rather like my Auntie Marge. Will you have some tea? A sandwich? A roast dinner? I really don’t need both my kidneys, will you not take one just in case? He emphasises just how many blankets he has (and presumably towels, too, but they don’t get a mention), and cannot handle that Telemachus’ men could be sleeping on the hard deck of a boat, not when his he has such a well-stocked airing cupboard.
Nestor then says Telemachus should go to Sparta (SPARTA!) and have a word with Menelaus, and sends his son, Pisistratus (urine cloud?) along with him, travelling overland with the best horses Nestor has. Mentor then decides now is a good time to turn into an eagle (show off) and fly back to the boat, and Nestor says Bloody hell, that has to be Athena, only she pulls that kind of fabulous stuff. And everyone is happy. And full of food. And wondering if it’s okay to actually use the little seashell-shaped guest soaps, or if they’re just for decoration.