Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Have you ever heard the story of Atlas? Yeah, that guy with the world on his shoulders. Well you've probably heard it as a Greek myth, but it's older than that. Anyway, he didn't start out with the world. No the guy started out with a plate of beans. He was a waiter in one of the first restaurants. Nobody knows the name of the place anymore, but we do know that they had the first tablecloths, and they were red. The napkins were red, the candles were red, the plates were made out of red clay, in fact at that time even people's skin was red, because of all the red clay dust, it didn't matter what color you were underneath the dirt, you were red anyway. Everyone was red, from the mayor to the little kid begging for apple cores on the streets, everybody was red. And Atlas? He was really red, because he sweat so much. The dust just stuck to him. Anyway. There he was in the restaurant, carrying plates of red beans and rice to people, when all of the sudden a snake dropped from the ceiling right on top of table seven, the one where the city council man and his mistress were eating. Everyone starts screaming and hollering red bloody murder. Atlas didn't miss a beat, he ran over to the table, looked at the snake, looked at the city councilman and his young mistress, and lifted the whole table right off the floor, and held it up to the ceiling. Oh, man, the room exploded in applause, here was this guy, sure he was kind of big, and kind of tall, but not too big, and not too tall, but man could he ever lift tables. He had saved the city councilman, who later ran for and became the mayor in the city official's annual fight to the death. So that's how it started and then people kept asking Atlas to lift more things, here lift this bed, beds at the time were only a little bit bigger than tables, people weren't really into sleeping all that much back then. So Atlas lifted the bed, and then a long bench with people on it, and then a small tree, and then a whole house and on and on, until he was lifting the known world, which really wasn't that big, but still pretty impressive for a local boy, but then again everyone was a local boy back then. The point is by the time the story of Atlas lifting the whole of the known world got to the Greeks size of the known world had gotten a lot bigger.