ˈhɜːkjʊliːz kliːnz ði ɔːˈʤi(ː)ən ˈsteɪblz baɪ fɜːst ˈgɛtɪŋ ˈfɑːməz frɒm ɔːl ˈəʊvə griːs tuː klɪər aʊt ðə kaʊ dʌŋ. ˈɑːftə ˈwɜːkɪŋ ɒn ə fjuː ˈprɒdʌkt aɪˈdɪəz wɪð tuː ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ kənˈsʌltənts, hiː ɪˈvɛnʧəli dɪˈsaɪdz tuː bɜːn daʊn ðə ˈsteɪblz.
After the last of the farmers’ carts had left, Heracles summoned Themis to thank her. She had told him what to say to convince every farmer in Greece to use immortal bovine dung to improve soil quality and guarantee bountiful yields, even in times of drought. The best part? The dung was free, as long as they scooped it out of the stables themselves.
Kisshoutennyo, one of Lakshmi’s cousins, was visiting with Themis. She appeared when Heracles said he still had a decade’s worth of dung to clear out. She offered a solution. “Let’s do a night cream called, ‘Kissho Immortality Dung Mask.’”
“Who the $#!+ will use face cream made of $#!+?” asked a bewildered Heracles.
“Everyone,” replied Kisshoutennyo, not quite understanding what the problem was. “Ten minutes of this is going to snatch your face.”
“Are you seeing my office, though?” whined Heracles.
“Relax,” said Kisshoutennyo, “because I will help. But give me a second … Be right back.”
While they waited, Themis suggested mixing extra virgin olive oil (lamp fuel) and immortal bovine colostrum into the dung. These ingredients would prevent the cream from drying out. Two days later, the churning was turning into a new labour, and Heracles was not happy. They were well past the deadline and they had no packaging ready.
“I should have thought of packaging first,” Themis said. Then she got an idea. “Do you realise that we can use this mixture to make soap? No packaging necessary.”
“How?” asked Heracles.
“We have colostrum, which has water; olive oil, which is fat; and dung has lots of salt.”
Heracles’ eyes glazed over. He was, after all, just a guy with muscles who did stuff.
“We need a cauldron and some fire,” continued Themis.
Pointing to an urn containing lamp fuel, Heracles suggested, “Like, why don’t we use that and burn all the $#!+ in here?”
“That works better,” agreed Themis. By now, the noxious gasses in the stables were making her loopy. In spite of this, she put the cows out to pasture, and Heracles set the stables ablaze.
And as they chuckled to themselves, Kisshoutennyo appeared.
“Oooh, you’re done already?” she exclaimed. “You’re so hardworking.”
Themis glowered at her friend, flaring her nostrils. This prompted Heracles to stand between them.