The Absolutely True History of Ephesus

Late in the summer of 4212 B.C., Greek city planner and part time musician John Stamos set sail with a dozen of his closest friends to find a new city. Or was it found? He could never remember and his Greek to English dictionary was woefully uninvented yet. Either way, he and his pals were going to build themselves a home based on truly greek ideals, ones that Athens had forgotten or ignored: toga parties and really good gyros.

Only hours into their voyage, however, a great storm arose from the sea. "That's the last time I pay tribute to Poseidon with generic brand ouzo," John thought to himself as he lashed himself to the mast. The storm raged on for 11 and a half months, with waves as tall as a two story building (which was the tallest thing invented at the time.) Only due to great fortune did they and their precious cargo of rotisserie meats survive.

The story continues...more?
They landed on the first beach they saw and immediately set to work. "We gotta do this quick, boys, so we can send for our wives and start living!"

"You got it, dude" they all replied, creepily in unison.

For 3 long weeks, the men toiled, carving and building the roads, columns, statues, houses, and palaces that would be their new home. They even build a massive theater with hopes of starting up Greece's first stand up comedy club.*

Then, one day on his way back from the Marble Depot, a worker had a realization. He hefted the 37-ton block he had just purchased (Marble Depot was having their end of summer clearance) onto his shoulder and ran the 26.2 miles home.

Not wanting to cause a stir based on nothing, the worker set to work taking careful readings from the sun and stars. After checking and rechecking his calculations and cross-referencing with his GPS, he unshouldered his load and went off to share the bad news.

"Uncle Jesse [an affectionate nickname they had all taken to calling him], I have bad news. You know how we thought it weird that there were so many poultry shops around? I'm afraid I figured it out. The storm must have blown us father than we thought. We aren't in Greece at all. We're in Turkey."

The historian of the bunch, who had the fortunate habit of transcribing all important conversations, noted John's response tactfully in case history students of the future couldn't handle a little potty mouth. This censored response, when reviewed by historians many years later, was misinterpreted as the name of this now immaculate city.

"F*** us," John sighed.

Their wives, who were probably already pissed about them being gone for over a year now, really weren't going to like this. Learning the layout of a new grocery store was trouble enough. A new language, new currency, and a new culture's fashion faux pas would be enough to put John and the boys in the dog house for years.

After careful thought, they came up with a plan. They couldn't just abandon their city because they had invested too much. But there might be a way to recoup their costs and maybe even earn enough to buy their wives a little something.

"Fellas, as you know, ruins are all the rage these days." Pompeii, Chiten Itza, and Leman Bros. were in the news paper almost every day. "With some creative advertising and a few well-placed sledge hammer blows, I predict we'll have caravans full of aged tourists lined up from here to Izmir. And those tourists will buy anything."

Luckily for the men, most of their buildings had already fallen into ruins, owing to the fact that building with giant marble blocks isn't at all like building with legos, which was the assumption from the get-go. A few buildings mostly stood due to the ingenious use of super glue in the building process.

Satisfied with the site and having come up with a plausible origin story, they opened the doors to the public on Sept. 1, 4211 B.C. The commision from the postcard sales alone that first day made them all rich, not to mention the way the coins piled up from charging for the toilets. With their new found wealth, they boarded the train to head back to Greece. (There was no way they were going to chance crossing open waters again.) They each swore to never reveal the truth about their botched experimental Eden, and no one ever did.

The next 6000 years passed in a comfortable routine. Eleven million tourists entered the gates every day, trudged the paths while half-paying attention to their guide, stopping only to take obligatory pictures of themselves to prove they were there. Only when a clever young* solo traveller noticed a few discrepencies in the literature while on tour did the secret history of Ephesus finally come to light. But in a meeting deep behind closed doors, officials and the young* traveller decided that the real story was too much for the public to handle. The story that John and his buddies created to cover their colossal mistake was kept as the official word. And that's how it stands today.

Friday April 1 2011File under: travel, Turkey

Toggle Comments (1)comment?
on Sat 02nd Apr, 2011 02:51 am PDT Horge said:
"Genuine fake"! Classic! Haha... Reminds me of a bag here I saw marked as "Gučči", where the "Č" is the Bosnian equivalent of our "ch"... (assuming your blog can handle non-English letters. If not, it's a "C" with a set of "horns" hanging above it...)
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