More Devastating Greek Tragedies, by Blythe Roberson

By

The prince of Corinth visits an oracle to ask who his true parents are. Instead of directly answering the question, the oracle tells the prince that he will one day drop and shatter his phone. In an attempt to avoid this fate, the prince travels to the Apple Store and buys what the Genius Bar guy says is the best case. Directly outside the store, before he has a chance to open the case, the prince trips on the sidewalk. He drops his phone. The screen is entirely shattered. The Chorus laments.

The city of Thebes is under siege because a Sphinx will let no man enter the city without answering a riddle. To pass the time, the King of Thebes checks Twitter over and over on his phone. Eventually his phone dies because he checked Twitter so much. He realizes he left his iPhone charger outside the city and all of his friends have Androids. He has been crushed by the gods and fate.

Φ

The Queen of Athens goes on a journey to consult the Oracle at Delphi. For the entire trip, she is out of Verizon’s service area. The queen shoves pins into her eyes in despair.

Φ

A princess of Corinth defies her uncle’s orders and performs funeral rites for her dead, treasonous brother. To punish her, the uncle buries the princess alive in a cave. The cave has no cell service and the princess cannot check Twitter. The princess hangs herself; a chorus of Corinthian women expresses great sorrow.

Φ

A prominent citizen of Sparta downloads a Clueless tone so that whenever she receives a text, her phone goes “Ugh, as if!” Her phone keeps deleting this tone for no reason. Why??

Φ

A barbarian woman is betrayed by her striving husband, who leaves her for a woman of higher birth. The barbarian woman immediately begins to plot her revenge. After killing her ex-husband’s new bride, she updates his iPhone software. He begins accidentally sending everyone two-second sound recordings. He cannot figure out why this is happening or how to make it stop. Children are heard offstage, screaming. The man dies, and with his last breath he curses Siri.

Φ

The King of Corinth drops his phone in a toilet. Was it fate? Was it free will? Was it hubris? Although the gods have punished him, he has gained wisdom.

Φ

A politician in Athens is determined to never lose his phone. He takes it with him everywhere he goes, never letting it out of his sight. One day he is checking his email in a public restroom and forgets his phone after putting it on the top, flat part of the toilet paper dispenser. Although he realizes this 30 minutes later, his phone is already gone when he returns. He rends his clothes and pulls out his hair, cursing Zeus and cursing his decision to not enable Find My iPhone. The play ends with the Chorus declaring: “Call no man happy ‘till he is dead.”

Blythe Roberson is a writer and improviser living in New York.

The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit your work for consideration, send it here.