It was when we looked over at each other and discovered that we were both checking out our split ends, that we decided it was the start of a beautiful friendship. Oh yeah, and we were sitting in our Humanities Sequence lecture, more worried about the state of our hair than we were about the state of affairs in Plato’s Republic. Sure, we liked Tony Grafton’s menorah socks and his Monty Python reenactments in precept, but somehow Aquinas didn’t quite hold the same appeal. We realized that the only reason we had finished Beowulf was in hopes of a repeat of his erotically-charged murder of Grendel’s mother and the way it brought to mind his glistening… chain mail. So when it came time to study for the finals, what were we going to do? We could have parked ourselves next to Maurizio Viroli in the Firestone periodicals room but we instead decided to be a little more high school about it. Make that middle school.
Marry, Murder, or Fuck?
We started with the classic heroes: Achilles, Odysseus and Aeneas.
Marry: Odysseus. Presupposing a dedication to wives in general (and not just Penelope), Odysseus would make a mighty fine husband. Despite the distractions of Circe and Calypso, he still made it home. And you know what they say about wily men. No, we don’t either.
Murder: Achilles (thanks for the help, Paris). Despite his star turn as Brad Pitt, Achilles really was a mama’s boy. We couldn’t handle him crying to Thetis every time we burned the lamb or left his shield unpolished. And with the wrath factor, we could always call it self-defense.
Fuck: Aeneas. He didn’t exactly make us want to jump onto a burning pyre, but Cupid also wouldn’t need to unleash any arrows. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we would take a day and a night with him.
A smattering of Greeks: Sappho, Aristophanes and Plato.
Marry: Sappho. We related to her and knew she would like to, um, relate to us. When in Lesbos…
Murder: Plato. We just knew he’d make us role play Socrates for him every damn night.
Fuck: Aristophanes. There would never be a dull moment but then again, AA didn’t exist back then (and the flatulence jokes would probably get a little old after more than one night).
The thoughtful types: Augustine, Aquinas and Abelard (they’re all at the top of the alphabet, but which one do we want on top of us?)
Marry: Upon first consideration, Abelard seems the obvious choice…he’s intelligent, not afraid to slap a woman around and irresistible to Heloise even after she becomes a nun. One small problem (and from what we can tell, it’s very small). But at least he wouldn’t cheat.
Murder: Aquinas. We still don’t get those proofs, or your appeal. Sorry!
Fuck: Augustine. He may have renounced sex for God but for one night we hope he’ll pick us up and read us.
Some Christian heroes: Roland, Beowulf and Charlemagne
Marry: Charlemagne. Sure, we’d be one of many but at least then we’d get a rest every now and then.
Murder: Roland. Although it’s hot that he blew that horn until he died, where would the relationship go?
Fuck: Beowulf. Because it’s only hot to scream out that name for one night.
Moving to Italy: Dante, Petrarch and Machiavelli
Marry: Petrarch. At least he’d immortalize our feminine pulchritude forever. Until he decided it was better that we were dead.
Murder: Dante. It’s a mercy kill, ok? We’re sending him back to Beatrice (Bee-a-trich-aay)…or perhaps into a nice pillar of fire.
Fuck: Machiavelli. His political career is too unstable to make a lasting relationship (let alone ensure dental), but for one night we would love and fear him.
And ‘ze French (why do you think they have those outrageous accents?): Descartes, Montaigne and Molière.
Marry: Montaigne. We don’t know how much we could take of his talking about himself and his kidney stones, but we like that his independent fortune allowed him to retire in his thirties to the comforts of his castle.
Murder: Descartes. Nice enough, but he’d always be wondering if we were there or not.
Fuck: Molière. He may think of us as femmes savantes, but for one night that’s très bien.
Annoying philosophers: Hobbes, Hegel and Nietzsche
Marry: Hobbes. So he’s got a monarchal-sized chip on his shoulder, but all he needs is a loving woman from the other side of the Atlantic to show him that there’s more to life than his Leviathan.
Murder: Hegel. Because someone should have done it before he wrote.
Fuck: Nietzsche. Sure he went crazy, possibly died of syphilis and was way too attached to his Aryan-worshipping sister…wait, what were we thinking? Well, he can still be our superman for one night.
Last but not least: Flaubert, Wagner and Dostoyevsky.
Marry: Dostoyevsky. Yes, he was an alcoholic and a compulsive gambler…but those are the prime ingredients for a happy Russian marriage. Pass the wodka. And hold my tongue.
Murder: Wagner. One of us is Jewish and the other is a Slav. Sure, we’d like to be his Brünnhilde but we don’t think he’d have us. Besides, the viking hat look is so last century.
Fuck: Flaubert. Because the “Madame Bovary, c’est moi” is only cool for one night.
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