Death by Achilles

Brad Pitt, bringing a commendable orangeness to his performance as Achilles in 'Troy'

Brad Pitt bringing a commendable orangeness to his performance as Achilles in 'Troy'

Me, I’m not terribly particular when it comes to picking up women. That’s not to say I condone any sort of funny business. No sir, in that respect I am literally squeaky clean (indeed, the grating rubbery squeak that emits from my person may be one of the reasons for my lack of success in the fields of Eros). So, when the goddess Aphrodite hypnotised the princess and heir apparent of some Hellenic backwater, compelling her to love me feverishly and furiously, I didn’t ask questions.

It was really nice at first. We went for long walks on Skegness beach. I bought her chips and a can of diet Lilt. Truly, I treated her like a princess. Often she would applaud and coo as I showed off my strong greaves from a number of flattering angles. Love blossomed like a hairy dandelion. But it couldn’t last…

A few days into our tender courtship,  all of her old Greek pals turned up and started hassling me. They mocked my greaves and said they weren’t strong, but were in fact weak. They invented a nickname for me. ‘The Weak-Greaved John Le Baptiste’. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones,’ I retorted, ‘but double epithets will never hurt me’. Actually, on the inside, I was weeping hard buckets of gravel. I have always been very sensitive about the weakness of my greaves and their literal taunts did nothing for my self-esteem.

When they got bored of the taunting, they chose from amongst themselves a champion to pummel my mug in. Achilles was his name, and he was built from stones of fear and steel, like unto the brick shithouse of Hades. Although he couldn’t be killed by conventional means, he did have an Achilles’ heel. I forget the details now, but it involved his mother dangling him in magic slime when he was a baby: pretty unsettling stuff.

The bout commenced, and after a few hot thrusts and a weaselly parry on my part, Achilles drove his legendary blade through my flimsy greaves. I died like an ignominous turd. He then proceeded to tie my embarrassed cadaver to the back of his Skoda and drag it up and down Skegness high street, preening and vaunting at the heavens with all of the hubris of a young Michael Barrymore. Still. I had the last laugh: the Skegness Telegraph ran an indignant column about the whole incident on page 5, and Achilles was forced to flee the eastern seaboard under a cloud of dishonour. That telt him.

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2 Responses to “Death by Achilles”

  1. oldrope Says:

    Co dor haddock? Surely you stretched to fish, to go with the chips…

    I seem to recall that you love having a legendary blade thrust right up your flimsy greaves.

  2. johnlebaptiste Says:

    No. We’d only been courting a week. It’s not proper to whack out the battered fish until you’re engaged. I did buy her a pickled egg though as a token of my sincere affection.

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