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“La mia Vespa pensa che sia un'auto:” further proof that anything sounds and looks more stylish in Italian.

Episode 24: In which Venus learns a mechanical horse is called a “moped,” and Vulcan refuses to smite a tourist on said moped.

This episode of Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus brought to you by the latest archaeological news on – and by CLAS-C 419 Art and Archaeology of Pompeii.

VENUS, GODDESS OF SEXUAL DESIRE AND REALLY RELUCTANT WIFE OF VULCAN: You know those tourists you told me about? Well, I now realize they’re a huge problem and I need you to smite one of them.

VULCAN, GOD OF METALWORKING AND HUSBAND OF VENUS: Can this wait until a little later? I just got home…

VENUS: One of them rode a mechanical horse into my site of Pompeii. He used something called a “service entrance.” I don’t know what that is but I don’t like it. It sounds like peasants.

VULCAN: He rode a what in? Do you mean a car?

VENUS: I know what a car is. You sit in those like a litter, or a chariot. This was something you ride and steer. Look at this picture. He has a helmet on like a knight and everything.

If James Bond were set in actual Italy.

VULCAN: Um, I don’t think this guy is a knight. He looks pretty ridiculous. And the caption says he’s riding a moped. That doesn’t sound very impressive.

VENUS: This knight attacked my city. So what are you going to do about it?

VULCAN: Nothing? The mortals seem to have it under control.

VENUS: (disgusted) Of course you’ll do nothing. You never do anything. Mars would slay this mortal in a heartbeat for offending me. What’s your excuse? Can’t chase a mop-head down on your broken little legs?

VULCAN: First of all, it’s pronounced “mow-ped.” Second of all, I’m tired. Some of us have real jobs. And third of all, I’m not smiting a mortal for riding a mile down a dirt road…

VENUS: What was that about a “real job?” How is playing around in a volcano a “job?” Mars actually does things with his job. Look at all the wars going on! What have you accomplished lately?

If James Bond were set in the ancient world.

VULCAN: Well, since you asked…I invented the moped actually. Mechanized horse. That was me.

VENUS: (skeptically) You invented that.

VULCAN: Yep. For sure. I know all about it. Because I invented it.

VENUS: I suppose you did invent those creepy helpers in your forge.

VULCAN: They’re the first automatons! Robots! They’re impressive.

VENUS: So this mop-head is your invention. Figures. I knew it looked stupid.

VULCAN: Seriously?

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Be sure to check in on the continued “Three’s Company” relationships of Venus, Vulcan, and Mars! To learn more about Pompeii and the struggle to preserve such a large archaeological/tourist site, look for CLAS-C 419 Art and Archaeology of Pompeii, coming in Spring 2025 with no pre-reqs! Or enroll in our 1-credit “appetizer” course CLAS-B 312 Plague, Disasters, and Death in the Ancient World, also coming up in Fall 2023 with no pre-reqs, and learn about the most infamous disaster of the Classical World. Can’t get enough of Ancient Greece and Rome? Earn a Classics Minor in just 15 credits!