Not A Mused


Clio, Euterpe and Thalia

I haven’t posted anything for a week now. My Muse has obviously deserted me, which makes me wonder where she went…


Thalia, Muse of Comedy, had been missing for over a week now.

The other Muses were worried about her, and had sent Clio, Muse of History, over to her temple to see if she was ok. Now Clio returned, alone.

“It’s just as we thought,” said Clio. “She’s got Muse’s Block.”

They all shuddered. Their job was to inspire humans to greatness, and if they couldn’t think of ideas then their protégés couldn’t either. If Thalia had Muse’s Block then comic writers all over the world were at this very moment sitting in front of computer screens typing “There was a young fellow called Chuck” over and over again.

“Are you sure?” asked Melpomene (Tragedy, and unpronouncable names).

“Pretty sure,” said Clio. “I was going to ring her doorbell when I had an idea. I leaned against the door and said “knock, knock”.

“What happened?” asked Urania (Astronomy).

She answered “who is it?”, said Clio.

“Wow,” said Polyhymnia (Muse of Hymns, and whose name had been simply Hymnia until the invention of stereo), “she’s really got it bad.”

“It happens to all of us sometimes,” said Clio.

“Well, not to you,” said Erato (Love Poetry), “since History just pretty well grows, day after day.”

“It’s not as easy as it sounds,” said Clio. “I have to try to stop it repeating itself.”

She was right, though. All of them had been through it.

Melpomene had once sat for two years with no ideas for a new tragedy, until in desperation she given a hundred typewriters to a hundred monkeys just to see what would happen.

Erato had accidently invented the Valentine card by when she was unable to think of any love poem that didn’t begin with “Roses are red, violets are blue”.

And Urania had been so unable to think of a name for the new planet she had discovered that she’d ended up naming it after her own arse.

“Let’s go see her,” said Euterpe (Music). “Cheer her up.”

“How?” asked Erato. “Tell her a joke?”

They found Thalia reclining on a couch. She looked as if she’d been wearing the same robes forever, though in fairness they all did, there is no mention anywhere that any of the Muses, nor indeed the Gods, ever felt the need for a change of outfit. As they walked into the room Polyhymnia stood on a banana skin.

Nothing happened. Thalia had placed it the wrong way up.

“See?” she wailed. “I’ve lost it.”

The others decided she needed a holiday. They sent her to Paris, since they had heard it was full of Museums and thought that they were for Muses, in the same way that Gymnasiums are for gymnasts, or tedium for people called Ted.

She came home a week later looking healthier, and the twinkle had returned to her eye.

“How did it go?” asked Clio.

“Really well,” said Thalia. “In a bar near the Gare de Lyon I was served by a waiter called Jean. I asked for a gin with an olive put in, and he ended up giving me one.”

The others smiled at each other. She was on the way back.

(The image, from Wikipedia, is by Eustache Le Sueur, though he probably doesn’t care if I credit him or not since he died in 1655)


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