Humanity has long been fascinated with legendary + mythical creatures. Me? Not so much. They kind of seem like they’re just made up by drunk villagers sitting around a campfire. How hard can it be? Let me take a stab at it. My new creature – the Carpiniyak: Part bird, part anorexic sheep. Has telegraphic abilities when the sun goes down, grows cranberries from his beard and always ‘houdinis’ from social gatherings without saying goodbye. Bam. That took 18 seconds.
I guess next thing I know, Dr. Dan is going to tell me the Carpinyak actually exists in some Slavic lore and I’m infringing on someone’s merchandising rights. Sorry about that Miroslavo.
Here are GW’s Top 5 Mythical Creatures:
For someone who claims disinterest in mythical creatures, I sure as hell have read a lot of Tom Robbins’ novels. With that in mind,
Satyrs were originally seen as companions of the goat god Pan in ancient Greek civilisation. The first drawings of satyrs were of normal men, though often with an erect phallus. It was later merged with the Roman faun which is when they began to be depicted as half men half goats (the upper body being that of the man, and the lower half being that of a goat). Satyrs are described as roguish but faint-hearted folk — subversive and dangerous, yet shy and cowardly. In old age they are often seen with horns on their head, while young satyrs are seen with nubs instead.
If your erect phallus lasts for over 2 centuries, you should consult a Ugandan witch doctor.
4. The Even-Tempered Italian:
Guy: Jeter sucks!
Even-Tempered Italian: I respectfully disagree. While his range at shortstop has certainly diminished, he can still swing the stick.
Guy: Your Mom can still swing the stick!
ET Italian: I understand your implication. However, I am choosing not to respond due to your apparent lack of knowledge regarding my mother. If you would like to continue this conversation, might I suggest the Argo Tea down the block.
After reading this over, I am struck by what a kickass creature a stereotypically offensive “Italian ET” would be.
Italian ET steps on a bathroom scale, it reads 35 lbs.
Elliot: 35 pounds? You’re fat!
Italian ET: Kid, stop breaking my alien procreative glands. I’ll bust that phone on your fuggin’ skull. Capiche?
3. The Unicorn:
The unicorn is usually shown as a horse with a long single horn on its head, but it originally had a billy-goat beard, lion’s tail, and cloven hooves. The unicorn is virtually the only creature in legend which did not come from human fears and was, in fact, a rather gentle creature. It was considered impossible to capture a unicorn except by using unfair methods. The horn was said to be able to neutralise poison. The unicorn first came to be known during the Indus Valley Civilisation (3300–1700 BC).
In a world where most made-up figures are (rightly or wrongly) interpreted as vengeful and dangerous (see Werewolves/God/Allah/Devil, etc), it’s good to have a pacifist in the mix.
2. The Banshee:
May the road rise before you, may the crazed wailing Celt be always at your back…
The banshee is from Irish mythology and are usually seen as female spirits. They were considered to be omens of death and were believed to have come from the “otherworld”. They are generally thought to be remnants of an ancient Celtic pagan religion in which they were minor gods, spirits, or ancestors. In English they are often referred to as fairies. According to legend, banshees will wander around the outside of a house wailing when someone inside is about to die.
It’s nice to have a legendary Irish creature who’s not drunk off his/her ass. You know what I’m talking about Leprechauns. GW fully supports equal rights for banshees, including marriage.
1. Griffin: I’ll cede to the experts on this one. Apparently, everybody loves a Griffin.
The Griffin is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was considered the “King of the Beasts” and the eagle the “King of the Air”, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin is generally represented with four legs, wings and a beak, with eagle-like talons in place of a lion’s forelegs and feathered, equine-like ears jutting from its skull. Some traditions say that only female griffins have wings. Some writers describe the tail as a serpent. See the entry Saint George and the Dragon for a 19th century painting of St George and the dragon, showing a dragon that looks alot like a classically-conceived griffin. Classical and heraldic griffins are male and female. A “male” griffin, called a keythong in a single 15th century English heraldic manuscript, is an anomaly that belongs strictly to a late phase of English heraldry. Less commonly known to many, the griffin is a parent to the hippogriph – a combination of a horse and a griffin – even though griffens and hippogriphs are the worst of enemies.
Griffins must have really uncomfortable family parties.
Griffin: Have you thought about dental school?
Hippogriph: Jesus Christ, Mom. Will you lay off it? Just because I’m not King of the Air AND Beasts?! I’m doing fine.
Griffin: Well all I’m saying is that maybe it’s time to give it some thought. You’ve spent the last two decades galloping around California, scaring the hell out of day-laborers like a damn bum.
Hippogriph: I don’t have to take this shit. I’m out of here.
Griffin: Sure. Just gallop away. That’s what you’re good at.