A bit of a ramble coming on, but at least it isn’t a rant.
Ancient Greece is responsible for my car looking like it has done the Paris-Dakar Rally. Well, not exactly, as it isn’t full of bullet holes, but you’ll have to work with me on this…
Phaeton was an ancient Greek mortal. He was either the son of Helios or Apollo, depending on which book you read. Some sources say Helios and Apollo were, the same, others say Helios was Apollo’s son.
Either way Phaeton was the mortal son of the sun god. The charioteer of the sun.
Being a bit miffed that his daddy didn’t recognise his existance, he journeyed to visit him and claim his birthright. He wanted to fly the sun chariot.
Myths diverge here, with either Apollo saying “no, that is the job of my son Helios”, or Helios/Apollo saying “no, son, that is my task, and I must do it”.
Either way, Phaeton got a bit whiney, and eventually his father gave up and said “look, I’ll let you take it out this one time, but be careful, as the controls are a bit wonky and tend to stick”.
So, the next day, Phaeton went into the garage of the sun chariot, settled himself into the driving seat, started it up, and waited for the garage doors to open.
As the door opened wide, he gunned the throttle, and shot forward. He sailed over the ocean and the lands, until he was over what is modern day Afghanistan.
He started to lose height and the controls were jammed. From the Arabian Peninular, all across Africa, to the Atlantic Ocean, he scorched the lands and turned them to desert.
Fearing that Phaeton would crash land in the ocean and boil it, Zeus shot him down with a thunderbolt, thus destroying him before he could do any more damage.
To this day, those lands remain as deserts.
And once in a while, sandstorms and winds conspire the lift dust from that vast desert and dump it on Britain.
And that, friends, is why I blame the ancient Greeks for the state of my car.