Homerathon (n): About one hundred THI students gather around Dr. Reynolds’ backyard to read Homer, reenact Homer, eat Homer, drink Homer, breathe Homer, and sing Homer, from 2 pm to 7 am from Sunday to Monday on Labor Day Weekend. For seventeen whole hours, though half of The Iliad and all of The Odyssey.
Did I go? Yes, I went, but for only eight hours. Elizabeth, Emily, and I went from 2:30 to 8:30 pm. Amy and I went back this morning from 5 am to 7 am.
Here are the highlights:
1. The reenactment of the duel between Menelaos (played by a guy brandishing an orange noodle) and Paris (played by a girl—who also played Helen—brandishing a green noodle) in Book Three of The Iliad. We love mocking Paris.
2. Dr. Reynolds randomly bursting into song, joined almost instantly by all the sophomores, juniors, and seniors who know the drill. For example:
“Hektor had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.
Hektor had a little lamb until he slit its throat.”
“Over there, over there,
send a word, send a word, send a prayer
The Achaians are coming, the Achaians are coming,
And they won’t come back till it’s over, over there.”
“She [Aphrodite] loves to laugh (ha, ha, ha, ha!)
Long and loud and clear…”
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” (to Penelope)
“Don’t cry for me Agamemnon
The truth is I never did love you
And then you left me
To rescue Helen
I broke my promise
And so did you, dear.” (from Agamemnon’s wife, who cheats on him while he’s gone for ten years and then gets her lover to murder him when he returns)
“Ding, dong, the suitors are dead…”
“Oh little town of Ithaca, how still we see thee lie
While suitors sleep, Odysseus keeps his watch until they die.”
3. A discussion concerning nasal leprosy.
4. The reenactment of the death of Patroklos. Normally it’s terribly sad, but this time the dying speech was hilarious.
5. As Odysseus, his son Telemachos, and their goatherd ally slaughter the suitors at the end of The Odyssey, a bunch of people got out action figures of people and creatures from The Odyssey and had them dance to “The Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music… yeah. That was at 5:30 this morning, after all of them had slept for WAY too long… Amy and I laughed, and were glad we had gotten some sleep.
And the single greatest moment:
6. The exhibition of my wild Jason Bourne skills.
On the way to Homerathon, Emily, Elizabeth, and I were following the directions to the Reynolds’ home. We headed to the south side of campus and looked for the Hope exit. Couldn’t find it. We kept going. Way past Stewart and Hart, there was a tiny door in the big white wall that was—you guessed it—locked. So Emily and Elizabeth decided to climb the wall and jump over.
Yes. Break out of campus. Where was Campus Safety?
Both slid up and over the wall effortlessly. Me? Forever acrobatic, I had to take a running start even to get up onto the wall. And then I looked down—bushes. The pavement of the sidewalk was about 1 ½ feet from the edge of the wall, about 5 feet down. So I had to propel myself off the wall (using only my arms) 1 ½ feet out, and then balance myself enough to land without killing myself? YEAH, RIGHT. I was about to suggest I go around to the Rosecrans exit, or even back to my dorm to do homework, when I remembered Mom quoting Mrs. Bennett:
“Take every opportunity of enjoying yourself.”
Since I figured breaking out of campus was considerably less wicked than running off with Mr. Wickham, I jumped. And unlike Elizabeth and Emily who landed flat on their feet, perfectly balanced like dainty, acrobatic cats, I fell sprawling onto my left side.
They both let out horrified squeals and rushed toward me. “Are you okay?”
I raised my right fist in victory. It had only a scratch.
Lo and behold, when we arrive and relate our story to Amy and Nicole, they tell us that all you have to do to unlock the door…is swipe your ID card.
So I pulled a Jason Bourne for nothing.
But I got skills, dude. Houdini skills. Numchuck skills…