334. “I was torn from the thigh of Zeus!”

The episode:I Accuse My Parents,” ep. 507

The riff: Exclaimed by Tom after Jimmy lies about how wonderful his mother is and the girl he’s trying to impress says she “never had a mother, myself.”

The explanation: This is a rather esoteric reference to the Greek god of wine and revelry, Dionysus. His birth was weird and complicated. Zeus had an affair with a mortal woman, as he was wont to do, and she became pregnant. His jealous wife Hera, in disguise, planted seeds of doubt in the woman’s mind about whether her lover was actually Zeus, so she demanded to see him in his true form. When he appeared as King of the Gods, it was too much for her to handle and she was destroyed. Zeus, however, was able to save the baby Dionysus and sewed him “into his thigh” until he was ready to be born a second time. Thus, Dionysus is referred to as “twice born.”

Novelty factor: You can probably tell from my explanation that I was familiar with this story already. Greek mythology was always one of my strong points in Scholastic Bowl.

Note the emerging head right in the thigh region.

Note the emerging head right in the thigh region.

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