And So Alexander The Great Wept

“And so Alexander The Great wept…” Which I thought was weird, because me and the other warriors were going buckwild at the time.

“And so when Alexander The Great saw the breadth of his domain he wept, for there were no more worlds left to conquer.”

Which I thought was weird, because me and the other warriors were going buckwild at the time. Slapping five, bear hugs, chest bumps. I was doing this hip thrusting thing I had come up with in between some of our world-conquering. “Alexander, look!” I cried, thrusting my hips with my hands behind my head. But he just kept weeping.

And so during our return to Macedonia, our army passed by an extremely old couple sharing a fine meal together, still deeply in love after all these years. I was readying my Old Person Spear when I noticed Alexander starting to well up. “Alexander, are you crying over those two old people?” I asked. Alexander suddenly got really stiff and said no, he wasn’t, he was actually still just crying about the conquering all the worlds thing. Even though that was like, weeks ago.

“Jesus, Alexander,” I said. “Pull yourself together.”

And so after the long trip home, I decide to visit the local bathhouse to get a little drunk and maybe have some sex with multiple partners of indiscriminate gender. I see two Greco-Romans cleaning themselves and immediately grab Alexander, who is normally a pretty solid wingman at the bathhouse. “You know Alexander the Great!?they always say. “Oh, you mean Alex?” I always respond. Then I seal the deal with a compliment, usually on their shoes or their exposed genitals. Something like, “I really like your shoes” or “I’m really digging how your genitals are exposed.” It’s a pretty good system.

This time though, I’m not even halfway to my big Genital Compliment when Alexander starts breaking down next to me. I mean chest-heaving sobbing. I told him to get a grip, but when I turned back to the Greco-Romans, they were already leaving.

“Wait!” I cried. “Your genitals!” But they had gotten out of the bath, taking their genitals with them.

Something had to be done about Alexander.

And so I approached Ptolemy, one of Alexander’s dearest friends and one of my, like, so-so friends. We would run into each other at the same bacchanalian orgies and while we were always friendly, I wouldn’t, like, drop everything I was doing if Ptolemy broke down on the ancient Anatolian road and asked me for a lift, if that makes sense. I would probably lie and say something about my chariot being in the shop for axle work.

“Alexander seems really shaken up about this whole having conquered all the worlds thing,” I said to Ptolemy. “We need to get him out of this rut. Also, as a second thing, my chariot is in the shop for axle work.”

Ptolemy agreed. “Maybe we could find another, new world for him to conquer,” he suggested. It was a good idea, and I was upset I hadn’t thought of it. I cursed myself silently, and then also out loud. “Fuck me, that’s a good idea Ptolemy! Shit!!!!”

And so after much searching, Ptolemy and I introduced Alexander to a new world for him to conquer: the world of sleight-of-hand magic.

And so, wow, Alexander conquered sleight-of-hand magic pretty much immediately. Faster than he conquered Phoenicia even. Zing! Classic Phoenicia slam. Anyway, Alexander went from basic riffle shuffles to extremely complex ball-and-urn routines in less than a single moon.

And of course, at the end of it, he wept. He summoned the entire Mesopotamian civilization for a four-hour sleight-of-hand magic show, then wept through it the entire time. “W-w-was t-this your c-card?” he blubbered. Unbelievable. It was back to the chiseling-in-rock board.

And so me, Ptolemy, and Alexander are at his palace, trying to take his mind off things. 

“How about we go to a play?” I suggest. “The odeon has a showing of The Broken Heart Cries Tears: A Dog Orphanage Story.”

“I don’t think that’d be great for Alexander,” said Ptolemy. “That sounds like a really sad play.”

“Fine, let’s watch Thighstabber 2 then,” I said. My favorite plays are The Broken Heart Cries Tears: A Dog Orphanage Story and Thighstabber 2.

We’re not five minutes into Thighstabber 2 when Alexander completely loses it. Absolute waterworks, like nothing I’ve ever seen. Like if Hercules cleaned the Augean stables with his tears, instead of with whatever he ended up doing instead. Something about a river? Whatever.

“Alexander, this has got to stop,” I said.

“It’s j-just such a b-beautiful story of—”

“We hadn’t even gotten to the story yet, it was all table setting!” I yelled.

“You’re being insensitive! We had at least reached the rising action!” cried Ptolemy.

“Table setting!!!” I shrieked.

And so I’m at the end of my rope. I’m in my garage getting my anger out by using my Old Person Spear to destroy my chariot’s axle. Suddenly Alexander appears at the door. “My friend,” he says. “I know I’ve been kind of a major bummer these past few months. It’s just that I’ve been really upset about having conquered all the worlds.” I paused and nodded, empathizing with his struggle. “It’s good I have such a high emotional intelligence,” I thought to myself, as I resumed rage-hacking my chariot.

“But I’ve been thinking,” continued Alexander. “Maybe it’s time I stop worrying about new worlds to conquer and start appreciating the worlds I’ve already conquered. Worlds like…the world of friendship.” He embraced me in a warm, assuring hug, then walked away.

And so when Alexander The Great left my garage, I wept. I sobbed and shook, tears streaming down my face. It was the hardest I’ve ever cried, a torrent more powerful than the fountains in the Gardens of Babylon.

For he had sleight-of-handed my wallet right out of my toga.

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Sean McGowan
Sean McGowan

Sean McGowan is a Chicago-based comedy writer and performer. He is a headline contributor at ClickHole and his jokes have appeared in The New Yorker’s Shouts & Murmurs and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

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