— Vice President Pence in “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave,’” Wall Street Journal
In recent days, Cassandra has taken to sounding the alarm bells over a “second wave” of Greek attack that will soon come sweeping over us like the wrath of Poseidon and leave our city in ruins. Such panic is overblown. (Although, technically, “panic” is fear induced by the god Pan, so really this is not even panic at all. But whatever it is, it is overblown.)
Thanks to the leadership of King Priam and the courage and compassion of the Trojan people, our walled city is far stronger and even less pregnable than it was nine years ago, and we have won the fight against the Greeks. And if you doubt that, just look at this enormous and beautifully constructed wooden horse they have left for us, which is definitely not hollow and will absolutely not be filled with handpicked soldiers ready to pour out and devastate our city.
The Laocoöns and Cassandras are full of negativity about this horse. At least, I think that was what Laocoön was saying before he was seized mid-sentence and crushed to death by sea serpents, along with his two sons! Probably a sign that what he was saying was not important. And when has Cassandra ever been right about anything?
The point is: The war has been a great success. And I can’t think of anyone better to have led us through it than King Priam. Yes, we have had losses, but ultimately we were victorious. That is what this horse means. We should seize it and be grateful.
Looking back, everything the king did was good. It was good, actually, that he put his sons in charge of everything, Hector, Paris — even Deiphobus. Hector was — how do I put this? — godlike. And so good at taming horses. We all miss him. And we even miss Paris, who actually turned out to be kind of helpful and, seemingly by random chance, managed to kill Achilles! I would think that shooting someone in the heel with an arrow would actually be a sign that you were just hitting body parts at random and not very good at what you were doing. But no, it was brilliant strategy! Which is what we have had throughout. And Deiphobus is here, too!
When King Priam asked me to chair our Get the Greeks to Leave and Destroy Their Champion Achilles Task Force nine years ago (Hector was busy), he directed us to pursue not only a Whole-of-the-House-of-Priam approach but a Whole-of-Troy approach. And now that the Greeks have left, spontaneously, I think, I can look back on that task force and see everything we did as a success. It must have been the partnerships I forged, or perhaps it was the weapons I forged. Maybe it was our alliance with the warlike Amazons, a match for men that put us over the top. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)
We’ve also made great progress on developing a device that will keep the Greeks out of here forever. Operation Wind-Swift-Footed Iris is aiming to have a technology that will shroud our city in something even better than Apollo’s protection — though what, really, could be better than that? I hope this wasn’t blasphemy.
I know we have asked the Trojan people to make sacrifices, like not leaving this walled city because there were Greeks outside, something that, amazingly, a few people were unwilling to do but most of you have been great about. But the time for sacrifices is over, except in the sense that we need to make a literal sacrifice to thank the gods for their protection.
Now is the time to bring in the horse and commemorate this achievement. We have defeated this visible enemy, which was also sometimes invisible because the gods are tricky.
Look, we can test the horse, if you like, but I think testing just makes it more likely you will find out information that makes you unhappy, and that is the last thing we need in our moment of triumph. But sure, have Helen walk around the horse calling out in the voices of the Greeks’ loved ones, just in case! Knock yourself out! I am sure the worst is over.
This is a time of celebration, and I think we can all sleep soundly in our beds. And I, for one, will sleep better once we get that horse inside. Congratulations, people of Troy.
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