Maxed Out 

Greek drama in the summer sky

Orion, the hunter in Greek and Roman mythology, was a giant of a man. Of course, during the time of Orion, anything over five feet five would have been considered a giant of a man, Cyclops notwithstanding. Orion would never have made the NBA cut or even gotten a scholarship to a NCAA university unless they had a bowhunting team. The Watusis would have considered Orion a runt. But I digress.

Orion never left home to go hunting without three things, four if you count his plaid shirt: his bow and arrows – yes, those are actually many things if you want to get literal about it; his dogs – ditto; and a large skin full of wine he’d nip at all day long to calm his nerves, sharpen his eyes and make him seem funnier in case he ran into some fair damsel he wanted to impress with his witty repartee.

Since the prey he often pursued were the seven daughters of Atlas, it wasn’t like he never ran into damsels while hunting. Atlas was a joker who laboured under the illusion he supported the heavens on his broad shoulders and, being obviously crazy, gave his daughters names like Merope, Sterope, Alcyone and Electra, this being an age before such "normal" names as Ethel, Blanche, and Tiffany. Because no one in ancient Greece could keep all the girls’ names straight, they simply referred to them as the Pleiades, the ancient Greek word for "girls borne of a crazy man and given incredibly bizarre names."

Anyway, Orion became obsessed by the Pleiades and hunted them like there was no tomorrow. Orion, it should be noted, was the first recorded stalker in history but that wouldn’t really become a recognized obsession until late in the 20 th century by which time it would get lost in the miasma of psycho-social maladies.

The Pleiades really didn’t enjoy being stalked by a giant of a man who wore plaid all the time, was usually drunk and always had a couple of smelly dogs with him. It was like, "Gag me with a spoon, who is this guy?" So they ratted Orion out to their father Atlas who said, "Gimme a break already. I’m keeping the heavens up, you girls aren’t getting any younger and I don’t see a lot of other guys sniffing around wanting any of you."

Realizing they couldn’t count on their crazy father for help, the Pleiades turned to their friend Diana. Diana was a babe, a real looker. She was also really good with a bow and arrow and she too had a dog. Actually, if Orion hadn’t been drunk all the time, he probably would have realized Diana was a much better prospect for his amorous advances and put the moves on her but like I said, the dude was obsessed. It probably didn’t help that she was also the goddess of virginity in a land where men were men and sheep were worried, but everybody has their cross to bear.

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