If you can’t tell the difference between this and a swimming pool, *maybe* you shouldn’t be walking around the rim of an active volcano. Just saying.
VULCAN, GOD OF METALWORKING AND HUSBAND OF VENUS (returning home, throwing tools on kline): Ugh, what a day. A mortal fell onto the roof of my workshop in Vesuvius.
VENUS, GODDESS OF SEXUAL DESIRE AND REALLY RELUCTANT WIFE OF VULCAN: Isn’t that the volcano that destroyed Pompeii? What was a mortal doing up there?
VULCAN: I have no idea. Apparently he was one of those people they call tourists.
VENUS: What’s a tourist? They sound awful.
VULCAN: As far as I can gather, they’re when mortals pay a lot of money to go into a trance and forget all basic rules of decent behavior.
VULCAN: Actually, from what I can gather, people are coming specifically to see Pompeii. Like, by the millions each year.
VENUS: Millions of people come to stare at a mass grave?
VULCAN: I imagine they describe it differently, but yes, I guess so.
VENUS (muttering): Figures. You can’t even smite a city properly. You try for a wasteland and end up with Disneyland.
VULCAN: I wasn’t trying to smite Pompeii! I was trying to get back at you for having an affair with my brother. We were fighting, I looked down and saw a city dedicated to you right there next to my office, I lost my temper and I burnt your city, end of story.
VENUS: Gee, how passionate and sexy when you describe it. I can’t imagine why I keep leaving the god of smelting for the god of smiting. One of them slays his enemies, the other can’t keep mortals from falling into his office.
VULCAN: It’s a dormant volcano! It should be obvious not to fall into it! I even put up guardrails. The mortal just climbed over them!
VENUS: Oh so now you can’t get mortals to obey the safety features you installed for them? Keep talking, I’m so impressed. Is this how you bagged that tramp Thetis?
VENUS: So he could burn my city of Troy!
VULCAN: It wasn’t your city! It was Athena’s! You were just bedding some hot mortal, AGAIN, so you took an interest in his city!
VENUS: Oh right, Athena. How are you and your sister getting along again? That was just the one time too, wasn’t it? But only because you couldn’t catch her. Was that what convinced her to do the militant virginity thing?
VULCAN: That’s it! I’m sleeping at Mt. Etna tonight.
VENUS: Go ahead! I’ll keep your bed nice and HOT here for you!
VULCAN (leaving): We’ll see about that! (pushes “adultery-net” reset button on wall on his way out).
[Back on earth, mortal vulcanologists are puzzled by unanticipated, violent volcanic activity from Mt. Etna…]
Be sure to check in on the continued “Three’s Company” relationships of Venus, Vulcan, and Mars! To learn about the most famous disaster of the Classical World, look for CLAS-C 419 Art and Archaeology of Pompeii, coming in Spring 20235 with no pre-reqs! Or for more adventures with Pompeii, enroll in our 1-credit “appetizer” course CLAS-B 312 Plague, Disasters, and Death in the Ancient World, coming up Fall 2023 with no pre-reqs! Can’t get enough of Ancient Greece and Rome? Earn a Classics Minor in just 15 credits!