Simon Rich

The Ancient Greeks placed coins on the eyes of their dead, so that they could pay Charon, the boatman of Hades, to ferry them across the River Styx.

Charon: Greetings, departed soul. I am here to ferry you across these blackened waters.

Departed Soul: Thank you, Charon. Please, accept these coins as payment for your trouble.

Charon: Two cents? You want me to paddle you across the River Styx for two cents?

Departed Soul: I’m sorry, it’s all the cash I’ve got on me. 

Charon: It’s like a 600 mile trip. Against the current.

Departed Soul: I understand if you don’t want to take me.

Charon: No, I mean, I’m going to take you. I need the money. You realize it’s like a four-month trip, right?

Departed Soul: Wow, four months?

Charon: Sometimes it takes five or six. It depends on how many monsters I have to fight.

Departed Soul: I’m sorry I don’t have more coins.

Charon: This keeps happening. 


Six months later


Mrs. Charon: Hi honey. How was work?

Charon: Not great. 

Mrs. Charon: Bobby needs money for his scout uniform.

Charon: When did he join the scouts? 

Mrs. Charon: Last month, when you were away paddling. The uniform’s eighty-five dollars.

Charon: Eighty-five dollars for a uniform? What’s it made of, silk? 

Mrs. Charon: If you want, I could ask my mother to pay for it.

Charon: Don’t you dare ask your mother.

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