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10 New Labors For Hercules

Yesterday I saw Hercules on the cover of a book.

I loved Greek mythology as a kid. My favorite myth of all was the Labors of Hercules. To atone for some bad stuff, Hercules was sentenced to perform 10 “labors,” or tasks. The tasks were so hard that were essentially impossible.

Hercules being Hercules, the labors proved challenging, but doable. But he cheated a couple of times, which earned him a slap on the wrist in the form  of two additional tasks.

Suddenly I found myself in the position to sentence him to 10 additional labors in the modern world so he could fix everything that needs fixin’. I took a look at some of the things that seem impossible, but might be within his abilities.

1. No more bullies

Whatever it is that makes a stronger person get off on dominating a weaker person, it’s got to go.

2. Get Tool to release an album every single year

A month after ever Tool release, I’m ready for another album. But the weeks until the next one are usually measured in hundreds.

3. Clean up the oil spill

I certainly don’t know how to fix it. Progress seems to be happening, but is certainly slower than everyone involved would like.

4. Castrate the misogynists

I’ve had the dubious honor of knowing way too many men who hate women. My mom did her best to raise gentlemen, and I like to think she succeeded.

Sidenote: a guy at work recently called me a “tall bigot” when I asked him to stop (loudly) complaining about the “Jews and lesbians” wrecking everything. As you know, tall bigots are the worst bigots of all!

5. A kettlebell in every garage

And then get everyone to use it. Great for speed, power, and battling marauders.

6. Everyone has read Gates of Fire

Yes, it is that awesome

7. I want a bacon tree


8. A third season of Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks, for all of its flaws, is still the most original piece of television I’ve ever seen. I’ll be surprised if that ever changes for me.

9. Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain return from the grave to collaborate on a novel about the current state of things

Just picture it.

10. No more Twilight-themed test-prep material

As much as I’ve poked fun at Twilight, I have no problem with the Twilight stories. However, the industry is bleeding over into areas I think we could do without.

I was recently in a Barnes and Noble and saw a Twilight vocabulary workbook that will help students prep for the SAT, ACT, GED, SSAT, LSAT, KFC, UFO, IBS, UFO, and the Bar Exam.

There was a time when it was possible to study for a test without relying on angsty vampires.

What did I miss?


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And if you’re really awesome, join the book club.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amy Harrison May 18, 2010, 1:10 am

    One week a year of no Internet or mobile phones and only 4 tv channels.

    I get nostalgic when I think about making firm plans, writing letters, getting excited about what was number one that week on Top of The Pops, and hot debates that couldn’t be extinguished with a quick trip to wikipedia. 🙂


  • Conor May 18, 2010, 5:14 am

    Hey Josh,

    Great list. I’m with Amy on the unplugging. I would extend that to a month. I would call is Disconnect to Reconnect month.

    Writing letters resonates with me too. I’m starting again, making penpals and bringing back what seems a lost art.

    I would also add:

    – Remove the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’ from our language and memory. What a terrible lesson for kids.

    – Teach communication in schools. Surely future generations should be learning how to work together and practice compassionate. Not trigonometry!

    – Bring back Hemingway. I want to go fishing with him 🙂


    • Josh Hanagarne May 18, 2010, 1:51 pm

      I love to write letters. That’s my favorite suggestion so far.

  • John May 18, 2010, 6:31 am

    I think the bacon tree idea needs to move further up the list 🙂

    I’d also like to rid kids sports of the parents trying to live their unfulfilled dreams through their kids. My son is in his second year of t-ball, and I swear that half the parents think their kid is the next A-Rod. There is no reason that parents should be yelling at their kids for not hitting the ball hard enough or catching it often enough in t-ball.

    The first thing I say to my son after every games is…”did you have fun today?” Immediately followed by “I’m proud of you.”


  • Michelle May 18, 2010, 7:54 am

    “Bacon tree.” You are a genius.

    • Josh Hanagarne May 18, 2010, 1:52 pm

      That’s what I keep saying, but nobody listens!

  • ami May 18, 2010, 8:34 am

    Mmmmmm Bacon Tree. Wasn’t that the one in the Garden that Adam and Eve ate from? And now that humanity has the knowledge of Bacon, we’re all doomed to Bacon-attachment – until the Bacon Savior comes to save us?

    Wait, what was the question?

    Somehow I think if Hercules was in charge of the gulf oil clean-up, there would be a bunch of ‘accidental killings’ – cuz you know your man Herc was prone to that kind of thing. Followed by extreme contrition and more Tasks. Of which one should be to make people read more books.

    • Josh Hanagarne May 18, 2010, 1:54 pm

      Bacon does open the eyes and nourish the soul. It certainly does.

  • Casey May 18, 2010, 9:19 am

    I laughed like a bastard at this post, well done Josh.

  • Tomas May 18, 2010, 10:36 am

    How about a money tree? 🙂

  • Jessica Marie May 18, 2010, 11:07 am

    Wow; a book by Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. That would be completely awesome. The only thing worse than a tall bigot is a short (5’3) bigot. I was yelled at once for asking someone to stop spouting racist garbage from their mouth. Excellent post (as always.)

    • Josh Hanagarne May 18, 2010, 1:55 pm

      That’s what you get for being a short bigot:)

  • I agree that the bacon tree should be like number one or two, then the Mark Twain/Vonnegut sammich.

    I think that my number 11 would be a “cheer the F@#K up stick.” When you meet somone on the street that is just a big pile of negativity about everything, you could just give them a big whack with this stick and they would cheer up. If they didn’t at least you get to smile knowing that you hit a grumpy person with a stick.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

    • Josh Hanagarne May 18, 2010, 1:55 pm

      That stick would make you rich. Invent it now.

  • Jodi Kaplan May 18, 2010, 11:28 am

    The bacon tree definitely needs to move up on the list.

    Not so sure about the kettleballs. Carrying them up 56 steps (no garage) could be a problem.

  • adam May 18, 2010, 11:34 am

    Bacon Tree? Superior

  • Heather May 18, 2010, 11:45 am

    Kettlebells. . . . 2 kettlebells in every garage.. . for double-cleans and suitcase deadlifts and such. Just to balance things out. . . . and I’m still trying to figure out how that idiot could call you a “tall bigot” when he’s the dumba$$. One you forgot–the Stray Cats need to do another album, too. But I liked your idea about Tool doing an annual release. Awesome list!

    • Josh Hanagarne May 18, 2010, 1:56 pm

      Sorry, Heather, Stray Cats don’t get on the list.