Greece in Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
I was told to write a two page essay on Ancient Greece and how it compared and contrasted to today. I got a little over-board.

Submitted: November 27, 2012

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Submitted: November 27, 2012

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Let us say that some crackpot genius invents some frivolous looking time machine, complete with a copious amount of flashing lights and purple flames embossed on the sides. Now pretend that a Broadway musical donated whole box of costumes into your open arms. While we are at it let us say that the certain Broadway musical happened to have a scene that takes place around 5000 B.C. Now what would you think if your seventh grade social studies teacher is currently talking about ancient Greece. Coincidence? This enters your mind when you are digging around in the clunky chest and you find a costume that looks remarkably like the one you saw in that documentary on ancient cultures. No, not that one; the other one. Yes, the one with the ridiculous actor that kept talking about the market fish. Let’s say that you think about this and feverishly dig out two things lost under your bed. Don’t try to deny it, I have seen that mess. It was like a tornado came raging down in a particularly bad mood because its girlfriend, the typhoon, dumped him in a text on his tornado-sized iPhone5. Now you emerge coughing, waving away the dust clouds that cling to you like early morning dew. Grasped beneath your clutching fingers are two things. One is a business card; the other is an article that your teacher printed of a website. Being the person you are, you just tossed it under your bed, and went to school the next day claiming you read it. Grabbing your stylish Samsung SIII you punch in the numbers printed in fancy script on the business card. On the third ring, the director of the musical answers, sounding slightly out of breath. After the usual customary, “Hello”, “Mighty nice weather we’ve been having”, and “So how’s your school doing”, you go right ahead and launch into what you called for. You ask the director about the costume that caught your interest, and ask if it was actually real. The director replies in rapid voice that yes it was real, all the details were based off of facts. You ask which facts, and he answered that the known facts of clothing during the reign on Octavian, later known as Augustus. You skim over the article and picture from your teacher. Everything checked out. You want to ask more questions but then over the line you hear someone talking to the director. You wait patiently, though it took your mother a long time to drill that into to you. After the conversation was done, the director tells in a breathless voice that he had to go. You feel bad, but when he directs you to a website, joy leaps back. That A+ grade was in your reach. After hurriedly saying goodbye you race over your laptop and booted it up. You ignore the pop-up informing you that you have a friend request on World of Warcraft; you go to Mozilla Firefox type in the URL. You are linked to the website. It apparently had lots of information. Like how Ancient Greece created the rudimentary elements of Democracy. Even more, Democracy is the type of government that the U.S. possesses. To your dismay, the information supplied by the website was extremely limited; it was mostly advertising the Broadway show and how it included the Greek time period. You sulk away to the window where you watch your neighbor tinker around with some kind of machine. It was a very strange machine like a telephone booth, but with rad looking purple flames spray-painted onto the sides. You were completely contempt with just sitting by that window and watch that man fuss over this strange invention, then toddle on down and eat your dinner, go to sleep, and continue life normally. Only, fate had a different plan for you. It was at that moment that your mother was carrying a big wobbling bowl of Jell-O to the table. She was just about to call out to her child, who should really get down stairs and help set up the table. Then of course your wonderful dog Maxie and you amazing cat Shadow caused your life to change forever. Shadow was having a play fight with the small snowman statue that you have made at school with clay and paint. Your father had always said that you had an artist’s mind and hand. You had rightfully named the sculpture ‘Dat Shnowmannequin’. At that moment, Shadow sent Dat Shnowmannequin off of the shelf and sent it tumbling to the ground where it crashed into a million tiny pieces. Your mom set the bowl on the ground to scold your cat, when Maxie, being the opportunist he is, went over and stuck his head into bowl of Jell-O. Now both of the animals would have to deal with a decent scolding from your mother. In the end that took about thirty minutes of time. Now you’re up in your room looking out at the man, when he steps back takes his dirty hands and places them on his hips. The only thing that protected his clothes from the dirt of his hands was his filthy mechanic overalls he was attired in. Then he reached over and pressed a button, and the lights flickered on. At the same time so did the metaphorical light bulb in your brain. Time Machine! That’s what it was. Maybe he could ask the eccentric man to take you back in time to the time period of Greece. You threw on your shoes and whipped on your Skrillex sweater to beat back the late fall chills. You began to thunder down the stairs when you realized that if you actually did get the chance to go back in time you might need some disguises. You decided to thunder-on back up again and grab the costumes. Of course the man agreed with only a little scratching of his balding head. He agreed that the disguises where a good idea, but that wasn’t the kind of time machine this was. He said that yes, he take you back in time to see how things were in the past. He said that it was perfectly safe. There was only a fifteen percent chance of being spliced with a cow or eaten by quantum zombies. You didn’t really ask what quantum zombies were, so agreed. You like those chances. You squished into the small interior, along with the man, and watched in wonder as the man punched in some numbers, pulled some levers, made some muttering, and in general did some pretty complicated things. He announced that they were ready to go. He lifted the glass cover on a big red button, and after a moment’s hesitation pressed the button. Nothing. The scientist used the age-old method of kicking the metal, and what do you know, it whirred into life. Outside colors blended, becoming a kaleidoscope of watercolors. Then they were hovering over an old Greek city. The man began commenting in your ear. “Greek life was quite different from the posh life you live now,” he said in a gruff voice, “they didn’t have luxuries like iPads or electricity. Yet they lived. No planes; no flying over seas breaking the speed of sound. Nope, none whatsoever. The main travel was boats. The sea was really where they based most things. Trading, travel, and their own life source. Though if you moved more inland you would definitely see farmers toiling in the fields, but much simpler than today. No big tractors, mind you; all by hand and tool. They did have a government but not as evolved as the one we have in big ole’ US of A. They lived a simpler life, but a much harder one.“It took them a couple thousand years to become an organized country, not nearly as long as it did for us Americans, but they had more basic tools at their disposal. Also a boy like your age, if he lived in the main city of Sparta, he would already be in military school.” You look in disbelief at the man. He nods solemnly, “Yes, Sparta was military state. At the age of seven you would be sent off, to military school. Then after a couple decades of military service you would become a full-fledged citizen.” A couple decades?! You’re face pales. The man laughs at your expression. “Don’t worry; all you have to do is go school. On the same subject you had to be thirty to be a citizen; you have it easy only having to eighteen. “Though, an artist like you would probably go to Athens, where you would study, and maybe become a scholar. Unless, military appeals to you more…?” The man grins as you shake your head. “Of course, of course. Sparta was the main capitol of Greece, just like D.C. is the main capitol of the US. Though Sparta had to fight Athens for that title, Sparta won but that caused instability in the country and in the end Macedonia took over of Greece.” Your eyes slowly sweep across the landscape, drinking in the building, the colors, and the people. The man continued. “There are some similarities in the Greek culture in comparison with ours though. Of course, as per the norm, Athens was first ruled by kings, but then they invented what we call a ‘Limited Democracy’. That means that citizens could vote, but citizens were only men; no women, foreigners, or anything of the sort. The Greeks loved art, just like us today. Valuable jugs would have paintings of their daily lives or of gods or deities. Speaking of gods, religion was a big thing in the Greek Culture. They would have gods and goddess to worship, like Poseidon the god of the sea. They would have public markets like that farmers market down the road. Like us they loved entertainment, and would build huge amphitheaters like an auditorium or a stage with bleachers. There they would perform plays for the population.” On that word a large beeping noise began to emanate from the man’s behemoth of a watch. The man said that they had to go soon, so you take one last look at the landscape. Then the colors began to invade and creep across the glass shutting you off from the city. As the set of colors swirl around before your eyes they seem to form a head with empty eye sockets and a wide open mouth. It lasts for only a moment and then it was gone. Quantum zombies? Better keep that to yourself. Then you were back on the lawn. You wished a good bye and raced home. As you ran, you glanced at your small, rustic style watch, apparently only three seconds had passed since you had entered the time tunnel. That made you smile. You open the door to see a very sad pair of eyes looking up at your mother as she yelled her head off. You walk off, and up to your room to write in your social studies notebook. Everyday you were supposed to come up with a current event. Current event? You scrawl ‘Man invents time machine, that actually works’. You grin, close the notebook and walk downstairs to join and sit and watch the lecture directed to the animals. Maybe he could pop some popcorn. No, dinner would probably be soon; it was steak night and you didn’t want to spoil your appetite…


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