Haunted Tunnels

by Larry Fyffe

As noted before:

The seemingly immortal Achilles is a Greek warrior who’s sent to take Helen back from the Trojans.

But he’s betrayed by the Greek commander who steals a captured woman from him, and so Achille’s no longer interested in fighting on the side of the Greeks.

In the rather ambiguous song lyrics below, said it could be that Achilles decides to charm Aphrodite (Venus) who favours the Trojans, rather than bothering to rescue the Greek Helen from the Trojan Paris.

The dramatic irony is that Aphrodite does not trust Achilles though she appreciates Paris awarding her the beauty prize of a golden apple.

When it comes right down to it, what red-blooded guy, whether Greek or Trojan, would not dream of gaining the sexual favors of the Goddess of Love.

Wrong-headed though he may be, jealous-prone Paris doesn’t want Achilles around:

How come you get someone like him to be your guard
You know I want your loving, honey
But you're so hard
(Bob Dylan: Temporary Like Achilles)

In the end, Achilles gets killed by Paris with an arrow guided to the warrior’s unprotected heel by Apollo, who has his own reasons for helping the Trojans; does so perhaps with the help of Aphrodite.

Seems Helen’s just a pawn in their game.

Akin to themes presented by singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan in various renditions thereof.

In the movie “Ace In The Hole”, starring Kirk Douglas, a washed-out-for-drinking newspaper reporter cynically makes big bucks by writing about the attempted rescue of Leo who is trapped inside a sacred ‘Indian’ tunnel that he raids for artifacts, his regular business not doing well.

Named Chuck, the former reporter turns the event into a circus. He manages to delay the rescue in order to keep the crowds and money rolling in as long as possible; though it’s risky going into the tunnel, the cold-hearted reporter keeps in touch with the trapped man.

Lorraine, the wife of the man in the hole goes along with the money-making scheme because she’s been wanting to escape from her boring marriage, and now has the opportunity to do so with lots of cash in her purse.

She comes on to Chuck, but he gives her a smack because he wants her to act like a worried wife.

The attempted rescue takes too long, and the tightly confined Leo gets very sick; repentant the reporter is, but it’s too late; he sees to it that the dying man receives the last rites.

The leader of the big-time circus gets in trouble big time – Chuck’s already been stabbed with a pair of scissors by Lorraine in self-defence. At the request of her trapped husband, the reporter had presented Lorraine with a trashy stole, a hidden-away anniversary gift from her husband; she threw the stole on the floor, and Chuck had nearly choked her to death with it.

Against his own advice, it appears that the reporter has taken a genuine human interest in the story of the troubled life of the doomed man.

Chuck himself is dying from the wound inflicted by Lorraine. His last words ~ they’re made to his former boss who’s an honest newspaperman: “You can have me for nothing”. He then drops dead.

The movie morality-tale burlesqued in the following song lyrics:

Well, these times and these tunnels are haunted
The bottom of the barrel is too
I waited years sometimes for what I wanted
Everybody can't be as lucky as you
(Bob Dylan: Drifting Too Far From Shore)

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