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Setting some new labors to challenge the mighty Hercules

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Kevin Sorbo played the mighty Herclues.

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By Janet Storm
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 11, 2019

YouTube is is like the rabbit hole in "Alice in Wonderland." One false step and I fall into it, emerging hours later with my head spinning and the sense that I've lost time that I will never get back.

The channel has a way to luring me with videos I never knew I wanted to watch but end up viewing anyway. So it was a few days ago, when YouTube started recommending clips from an old TV action series called "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys."

This show, which ran for about four years in the mid-90s, was campy and silly and lot of fun. The special effects were awful and the costumes looked as though they were designed by the same folks who animated "The Flintstones." Still, I loved watching the nighty Hercules travel the world to fight evil. So of course I watched the clips.

It's hard to think of Hercules without recalling the 12 labors he undertook while he was in the service the service of King Eurystheus. Herc was in service as penance for killing his family — they changed it in the TV show to blame his stepmom Hera — and the jobs he was given were pretty challenging. He had to kill a lion and a hydra, capture the fastest hind alive and clean out some really, really filthy stables.

Overpowering mythical creatures is all very well and good but I have to wonder how Hercules would fare with more modern tasks. As it happens, I could use a mighty hand with some chores around the house and a few other miscellaneous items in town. Here then, are some new labors for the son of Zeus:

Task one: Get people in Greenville to drive the speed limit. Might as well start off with a big job. Whenever I cruse around town, it seems as though I encounter two types of drivers: those who are going 20 miles above the speed limit and those who are puttering along at 15 miles below. I envision Hercules grabbing the bumpers of speeding cars and giving the slowpokes a nudge with his foot. Done and done.

Task two: Scrub out my shower. This may seem like a comedown for the mighty hero, but I hate scrubbing the shower and I figure with his strength, Hercules could get it so sparking clean that I would not have to take on that hated chore again for months. Maybe he could hang a new shower curtain while he's in the bathroom. I have to stand on a chair to do it.

Task three: Speaking of chairs, the overhead light fixtures in my townhouse are too high for me to reach, even on a chair. I have to put a footstool on top of the chair and try not to fall off and kill myself in order to change a lightbulb. So I challenge Hercules to replace all the light in my home with those 10-year bulbs they sell at the hardware store. It would be a big relief.

Task four: Haul away the old 80-pound TV I never watch and some of the other crummy broken-down furniture I would like to replace. This could be an all-day job, as Herc will have to be careful not to let my two little dogs, Ollie and Einstein, get underfoot or escape out the front door.

Task five: Speaking of the little dogs, Ollie really needs a bath and to have his nails clipped. Good luck, Hercules.

Task six: Get Einstein to take his heartworm pill. This is the worst task of all. If Einstein even has the slightest hint he is about to get a pill, he will hide under the bed. The pill is a nice chewable, which his brother considers a treat but that Einstein is convinced is poison. I have tried hiding the pill in every delicious foodstuff known to man or dog, but he is on to me.

"I will not eat it with some cheese. I will not eat it wrapped in steak. I don't care if you ask me please; that stupid pill I will not take."

But Hercules was able to subdue a wild boar, he ought to be able to get a 10-pound dog to take a pill, right?

As for the other six tasks, well I would be content to have Hercules give Einstein his medicine for five more months and add in one more scrubdown for Ollie.

If all goes well, maybe I can market a series of "Hercules around the House" videos to YouTube.

Don't be surprised in they pop up in your "recommended" feed.

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