We sent ornate wordsmith Paris Portingale on a two-year odyssey to explain Virgil’s Aeneid. He returned with a story containing a giant octopus and Meryl Streep…we suspect he may not have actually read it…
Virgil was a poet who lived in Rome around the turn of the century when Jesus was born. He’s most famous for a song he wrote, which was so long that if you wanted to sing it, it would take you about two years. It was called the Aeneid, but don’t ask me how you pronounce that.
Because he was a poet, he spoke only in Latin. So when he talked even those he knew had no idea what he was saying. All his songs were written in Latin, but luckily the Rosetta Stone had been invented about then, so even now if you wanted to you could translate it and sing it. (If you had a spare two years up your sleeve.)
Virgil’s song was about the Trojans who built a giant wooden ship in the shape of a horse and sailed around the world in it. It’s mainly about the adventures they encounter as they were doing this. One adventure was when they were sailing past some rocks that had women with long hair sitting on them singing songs.
They were very beautiful and all his men fell in love and wanted to marry them, only they were really water-zombies so it’s lucky they didn’t because Virgil had tied them up to a mast because he hadn’t fallen in love with any of them and it wasn’t because he was gay, it was some other reason.
What had happened was, he’d developed a condition called Achilles Heel, which made him impossible to kill. In another adventure, they met a man who’d met Jesus personally and he’d showed him how to do some of his miracles. He did one for Virgil and the Trojans called the Miracle of the Four Aces. It was a big success and everyone cheered and wanted to know how he did it, but he wouldn’t tell them because he said it would spoil the miracle.
Because of his Achilles Heel, Virgil was virtually undestroyable (sic) unless you stabbed him in the affected area, so he was particularly careful not to let anyone stab him there.
This one time on one of the adventures when Virgil and the Trojans were in Scotland: they were in a cave and Virgil saw a spider trying to crawl up a wall only it kept falling back down again and he made up a song called “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” which was later sung by Carly Simon in a movie called Heartburn. It had Jack Nicholson in it, only it wasn’t scary because it was all about him being in love with Meryl Streep when she was on an aeroplane with a baby one time.
Another adventure Virgil and the Trojans had, was when they were on an island and ran into a Cyclops, which is someone with only one eye, they decided their best way out was to blind it so it couldn’t see them, because it was pretty clear the creature’s plans included eating them ae it kept saying “Fee, fi, fo, fum” all the time.
There was some back and forth about whether it would be harder or easier to blind someone if they only had the one eye, because with two eyes you’ve got two targets, so it’s easier to get off to a good start, but if your opponent only has a single eye, the effect is reversed.
Anyway, the point was moot because it was already settled that a Cyclops only has one eye so they blinded it and stabbed him in the foot and got away.
Other adventures included getting attacked by a giant octopus. This was in a section of the song people refer to as the “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” part because it sounds suspiciously like a scene in the movie Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which could be a coincidence, but the true facts have been lost to the impenetrable mists of time so we’ll never know.
A similar one involves a great white whale and Virgil wasting a large part of expedition pointlessly chasing it around the ocean. This pops up a number of times in the song and you can hear the Trojans going, “Oh no, not this again.”
There are many more adventures in the song, but space is limited so if you want to find out more about them you’ll have to get a Rosetta Stone and sing the thing for yourself.