BS: Sisyphus declined the invitation to come sit in our posh HumorOutcasts studio for this interview, so we met with him on a steep hill in Tartarus while he stayed vigorously engaged in his usual daily activities—because that’s just the way he rolls. After a brief rocky start of stony silence, the former King of Corinth relaxed and grew bolder as he opened up about his most intimate feelings.
BS: What have you been up to lately, Sisyphus?
S: Oh, you know—same ol’, same ol’.
BS: So the gods have doomed you for eternity to roll a boulder up this hill only to have it roll down again, and then you start all over. How do you feel about that?
S: Actually, Bill, I’m just glad to have a job. These days most of the king business has been shipped overseas.
BS: You don’t feel crushed by the sheer meaninglessness of it all?
S: Look, work is work, and, besides, this is something I’m good at. I’m getting faster every day. I’m also getting a great cardio workout and am getting pretty buff, so I’m sort of killing two birds with one stone.
BS: I do see you’ve developed some rock-hard abs.
S: This boulder gives structure to my day, so I try not to take it for granite.
BS: Of course. Quick question: favorite type of music?
S: That’s easy—rock ‘n’ roll.
BS: And your favorite band?
S: The Rolling Stones.
BS: Favorite dessert?
S: Rocky road ice-cream.
BS: Why rocky road?
S: I love the nut clusters.
BS: Who doesn’t love nut clusters? Now, Sisyphus, what did you do to end up here?
S: Well, Zeus kidnapped Aegina to rape her, like all the others, and when her father came looking for her, I told him what I knew.
BS: Didn’t you realize that if you ratted out Zeus, it would piss him off?
S: Sure I realized it. But I don’t think Zeus should get away with that kind of behavior just because he’s the mightiest of gods. I don’t think we should excuse behavior that bad even when it’s done by pro football players.
BS: I couldn’t agree with you more. Favorite movie?
S: I like Stallone’s films, especially from the mid 70’s through the early 80’s.
BS: Favorite actor?
S: Dwayne Johnson.
BS: Favorite drink?
S: Yeah—Rolling Rock.
BS: I should’ve guessed. Tell us a little about Sisyphus the man. Tell us about Mrs. Sisyphus.
S: Glad to, Bill. Her name is Merope. She’s one of seven sisters, and in my book she’s a real star. She sparkles all day, but she especially shines at night, if you know what I mean.
BS: If you mean she has a body as hot as the sun, then I do know what you mean. Now, Sisyphus, some people think your fate is the absolute worst punishment ever devised. How do you react to that?
S: I’m astonished. Astounded. Truly stunned.
BS: Good answer. I can tell you’re an etymology expert. Now, at the other end of the spectrum is Camus, who thinks you’re a hero, someone who’s been able to rise above his fate, achieve an absurd victory, and to even be happy.
S: Yeah, I don’t know about all that “hero” or “victory” business; that’s probably just a myth. But I think I’m pretty happy—as happy as the next guy, anyway. I tricked Death twice; that was a kick. I’ve got engrossing work, and then when my boulder’s rolling back down, I get to relax. Work and relax—I like the cycle. And the view from the top is pretty nice. It could be a lot worse.
BS: It’s good you can be so philosophical. Any final advice for our readers, Sisyphus?
S: Yeah. Sometimes, a morally correct choice can have tough consequences. Sometimes, to do the right thing, you just gotta have the stones.