Homer, Defoe, Tolkien, Ms. Pac Man – Commonalities

(I’m hoping the word “commonalities” disguises the fact that this is completely pointless.)


What do The Odyssey, Robinson Crusoe, Lord of the Rings and “Ms. Pac Man’s Prize Pupil” have in common?

Each one has a “tacked on” story at the end. Of course, “tacked on” is a negative sounding expression, so it’s not the right phrase to use. Maybe we should call it an “encore.”

By the way, for people who never read book or see movies, there could be some spoilers ahead.

Ulysses finally gets home. That should be the end of the story, but he finds he has some business to take care of. The same for the Hobbits when they return to the Shire. The ring is gone, but the story is still going. When I was a kid I thought this part was lousy. Now I understand that it’s absolutely wonderful.

I can’t say the same for Robinson Crusoe and the wolf attack. C’mon, folks. When he gets off the island the credits need to roll. But no, we have to slog back to Europe for a wolf attack. Did Defoe’s publisher ask for an extra 50 pages or something?

And Ms. Pac Man? She and Baby Pac made it through the mazes (with out help) and they got away from Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Sue. But the story’s not over. The ghosts try to come down the chimney. They’re stymied by a convenient tornado, setting up a funny ending gag for Baby Pac.

We’ve gotten used to the way these books end, but should they end like this? What if Indiana Jones saves the world, then we see him back home trying to unclog a sink? What if Harry the Dirty Dog gets his bath, but then goes out and gets a little dirty again but the family’s like oh just forget it let him stew in his own filth?

Here’s my vote:

Odyssey: keep it, but lose the disguise bit.

Crusoe: dump the wolves, dude.


Ms. Pac-Man: trim the ending and add an extra maze in the heart of the story.


3 Responses

  1. What is it with you and that wolf attack? I don’t care if it is just tacked on at the ending of the main story, a wolf attack can’t do nothin’ to a book but drive its ‘cool-tastic’ ratings straight up through the roof! Any and every story I will ever write from this day forward shall have a wolf attack addendum just to drive you crazy as punishment for dissing anything wolf attack related.

    Wolf attacks rule!!!

  2. You know, Tolkien originally drafted a planned Epilogue to The Lord of the Rings, too, which would have added even one more ending to it, hahae. Fortunately, he solicited the advice of his friends, and they all urged him to lose the epilogue (which would have shown Sam telling tales to his children and and answering questions about his adventures). The Scouring of the Shire and Grey Havens ending(s) are great, though.


    [A] wolf attack can’t do nothin’ to a book but drive its ‘cool-tastic’ ratings straight up through the roof!

    Hear, hear! There are wolf attacks in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, too. Wolf attacks rock! 🙂

  3. Well, maybe it’s because I lost three fingers in a wolf attack once, but I say that Crusoe’s Wolf attack stunk like wet dog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: