Friday, October 06, 2006

Ron Goes Archetypal

"Normal people could not kill Humbaba. That's why this is a task for heroes like us. The people will revere us for doing this deed. " -- the Epic of Gilgamesh
Whenever Ron completes a long, difficult, intellectual task--such as, for example, finishing his last course paper--some weird power comes over him. His eyes turn fiery and he gets the urge to ... cut down trees.

Bizarre? No, he's just getting in touch with his inner Gilgamesh. Fortunately, his wife understands him because she has read the story of Gilgamesh and his hairy friend (or second self, depending on how you read these sorts of things) Enkidu. In one of the main episodes in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the two friends tromp off into the forest to conquer Humbaba, a sort of scary nature demon dude.

"Enkidu finds his voice, 'Finish him, Gilgamesh. Do it quickly, before the Gods consult each other. Remember, how the people will honor us. They will forever remember us as the slayers of Humbaba and the emancipators of the Evergreen Forest.'"

After a dramatic battle, full of snarky dialogue between Humbaba and his two challengers, the friends finish off Humbaba and cut down the Cedar of the Forest. Out of this they make something civilized: a big door. So I guess Gilgamesh and Enkidu are the first strip-mall developers of the ancient Near East.

So when Ron gets this urge to conquer Humbaba, I just let him go with my blessing. Surely, the neighbors will honor us and remember him as the emancipator of the Rienstra's overgrown backyard.

After conquering Humbaba and cutting down the Cedar of Mulford, my modern-day Gilgamesh had fun with the neighbor's chipper, creating bushels of mulch. He piled it all behind the garage in and around our composter. Now if you were a small rodent, you would take one look at this and say to your mate....

"Baby, we are movin' on up! Look! A five-star, high-rise rodent Marriott. Woot!"

(Of course, they don't know the ancient myth of the backyard neighbor cats of doom. Their loss.)

1 comment:

Phil Smith said...

Hey Ron:

Back in Kentucky this weekend I saw the damage that termites had done to one wall of the garage -- terrible. Fortunately it was the wall far from the rest of the house, but very very scary.

So I wouldn't leave that mulch piled up against that wall. When we had the house inspection the "termite guy" warned us against making a nice path for the little varmints.