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6 the return of odysseus When Odysseus finally does get home he is understandably upset about the suitors, who have been mooching off his wife for twenty years, drinking his wine, eating his mutton, etc. In a similar situation today he would seek legal counsel. But those were different times. With the help of his son Telemachus he slaughters roughly one hundred and ten suitors and quite a number of young ladies, although in view of their behavior I use the term loosely. Rivers of blood course across the palace floor. I too have come home in a bad mood. Yesterday, for instance, after the department meeting, when I ended up losing my choice parking spot behind the library to the new provost. I slammed the door. I threw down my book bag in this particular way I have perfected over the years that lets my wife understand the contempt I have for my enemies, which is prodigious. And then with great skill she built a gin and tonic that would have pleased the very gods, and with epic patience she listened as I told her of my wrath, and of what I intended to do to so-and-so, and also to what’s-his-name. And then there was another gin and tonic and presently my wrath abated and was forgotten, and peace came to reign once more in the great halls and courtyards of my house. ...


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