In Verse Logic

By the endlessly inventive Gary Hallock

Any teenager who studied Greek mythology in high school was probably intrigued by the stories of how many of the immortals came to be. It seems that Zeus commonly employed a method of asexual procreation wherein progeny actually sprang forth alive from his forehead. I always supposed that this was the source of the term, “Brainchild” and also quite possibly the reason so many parents seem to be “browbeaten.”

Apparently inspired by Zeus’story, the French philosopher Rene Descartes used it as the basis for his famous equation as he re-invented himself with the phrase, “I think, therefore, I am.” Legend has it that he was really just trying to impress the local prostitutes by putting Descartes before the whores.

But I digress. Many generations later one of Zeus’ distant relations gave birth in a similar fashion when Dr. Zeus conceived the character “Sam Iam.” It wasn’t long before it degenerated into “Son of Sam Iam.” and the family soon went to the dogs. This is why today we see one of the most popular brands of dog food is named in his honor. Iam’s.

Of course when Homer originally told this story it was in verse. That is not to say “backwards” but that the story was sung. Homer took a vote among the members of his audience to ask what meter they thought he should use. The results of his poll were “I think they’re for Iambic.”

Because Homer was blind and never put any of his own stories on paper, the scribes, in an apparent effort to conserve their valuable quills, dropped the “bic.” This is why the phrase has been passed down to us as an ink complete translation.

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