Some of you may squirm at this cartoon, but when you’re a gorgon, happy snakes make happy hair, and fresh rodents are required for body and bounce.
MEDUSA FEEDS HER SNAKES
Before you get outraged at this conceivably cruel comic, check the ingredients on your own shampoo bottle. Read all the tiny words and tell me you aren’t putting snake oil on your hair. Mice guts, too. You can thank Aristotle for that.
Even today, many beauty salons in Greece contain cages of live mice for their more “classical” customers.
You see, besides giving us yummy sandwiches, a bunch of our words, and strange ideas about the nature of existence (and boys), the Greeks gave us shampoo. And no one was more influential to the budding Greek shampoo industry than the three Gorgon sisters of Sarpedon Island, Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale.
Suffering from a dire shortage of men, these lonely women spent hours daily on their hair, primping and preening the most fantastic weaves of the Aegean. Many of the shampoos, conditioners, oils, and tonics developed by the sisters are still in use today. As Vidal Sassoon once famously said, “if you don’t look good, you don’t have snakes in your hair.”
Unfortunately, Medusa and her siblings didn’t realize it was their eyes, not their hair, that needed the work. A good pair of sunglasses would have made all the difference for these desperate women. Today, Sarpedon Island is still covered in chunks of ossified sailors who spied the beautiful girls from a distance, then landed on the beach only to get stoned in the worst possible way.
A bit more on feeding snakes. I used to feed a couple of snakes as part of job I had (although the food was frozen). Snakes get really excited when they detect a mouse is on the way. Their tongues begin to flicker, and a little switch goes off in their heads that instantly transforms them from paperweights into killers. That’s why many people use chopsticks to feed them.
Yep, the Greeks invented those too. Sorry, China. “Sarpedon sticks” were imported to Asia by Chinese sailors in 100 BCE, instantly replacing the “shell truncheon” on millions of dinner tables.