|Phil and Jan were big fans of Xena. I know they would have liked this.
Think of them smiling when you read this, I know I did.
-- Joshua Thaler
Heroine Barbarian by Kevin Wald
[We join our operetta already in progress. The infamous Pirates of Pergamum have just seized a bevy of beautiful Mytilenean maidens, and are attempting to carry them off for matrimonial purposes. Gabrielle intervenes, with a recitative (well, it's better than a pan flute solo):]
Gabrielle: Hold, scoundrels! Ere ye practice acts of villainy Upon the peaceful and agrarian, Just bear in mind, these maidens of My-TIL-ene  Are guarded by a buff barbarian! Pirates: We'd better all rethink our cunning plan; They're guarded by a buff barbarian. Maidens: Yes, yes, she is a buff barbarian.[Xena leaps in from the wings, with a tremendous war cry, does a mid-air somersault, and lands on her feet on the Pirate King's chest.]
Xena: Yes, yes, I am a buff barbarian! [The orchestra starts up.] I am the very model of a heroine barbarian; Through Herculean efforts, I've become humanitarian. I ride throughout the hinterland -- at least that's what they call it in Those sissy towns like Athens (I, myself, am Amphipolitan). I travel with a poet who is perky and parthenian  And scribbles her hexameters in Linear Mycenian  (And many have attempted, by a host of methods mystical, To tell if our relationship's sororal or sapphistical). Chorus: To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphistical! To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphistical! To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphisti-phistical! Xena: My armory is brazen, but my weapons are ironical; My sword is rather phallic, but my chakram's rather yonical  (To find out what that means, you'll have to study Indo-Aryan ). I am the very model of a heroine barbarian! Chorus: To find out what that means, we'll have to study Indo-Aryan -- She is the very model of a heroine barbarian! Xena: I wake up every morning, ere the dawn is rhododactylous  (Who needs to wait for daylight? I just work by sensus tactilis .) And ride into the sunrise to protect some local villagers From mythologic monsters or from all-too-human pillagers. I hurtle towards each villain with a recklessness ebullient And cow him with my swordwork and my alalaes ululient ; He's frightened for his head, because he knows I'm gonna whack it -- he's Aware that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes![The music crashes to a halt, as the Chorus stares at Xena in utter confusion. She sighs.]
It's Greek. It means "Warrior Princess"![Light dawns on the Chorus, and the music resumes.] Sheesh . . .
Chorus: He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes! He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes! He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhe-makhetes, Xena: Because I've got my armor, which is really rather silly, on (It's cut so low I feel like I'm the topless tow'rs of Ilion, And isn't any use against attackers sagittarian ). I am the very model of a heroine barbarian! Chorus: It isn't any use against attackers sagittarian She is the very model of a heroine barbarian! Xena: In short, when I can tell you how I break the laws of gravity, And why my togs expose my intermammary concavity, And why my comrade changed her dress from one that fit more comfily To one that shows her omphalos  (as cute as that of Omphale ), And why the tale of Spartacus appears in Homer's versicon , [She holds up a tomato:] And where we found examples of the genus Lycopersicon , And why this Grecian scenery looks more like the Antipodes, You'll say I'm twice the heroine of any in Euripides! Chorus: We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripides! We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripides! We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripi-ripides! Xena: But though the kinked chronology, confusing and chimerical (It's often unhistorical, but rarely unhysterical), Would give a massive heart attack to any antiquarian, I am the very model of a heroine barbarian! Chorus: 'Twould give a massive heart attack to any antiquarian She is the very model of a heroine barbarian![As the orchestra plays the final chords, a wild Xenaesque melee ensues, and the curtain has to be brought down.]
(The tomato is a New World plant, and was entirely unknown in the Old World in pre-Columbian times. Thus, having tomatoes in a Xena-ish context is an even greater anachronism than having Homer tell the tale of Spartacus.)