Work Header

Mesopotamian See, Mesopotamian Do

Chapter Text

Opening Credits

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

Then they wouldn't understand a word we say
So we'll scratch it all down into the clay
Half believing there will sometime come a day
Someone gives a damn
Maybe when the concrete has crumbled to sand

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

Ashurbanipal flourished a beat on drums and flipped his sticks.

Hammurabi danced with his base like Fred Astaire (or is that too old school?) on jumping jive.

Gilgamesh followed up on rhythm guitar and his own little poncho pumping dance.

Sargon fronted on lead and mugged the microphone.

Literally. They grabbed it and vamoosed out of the opening credits.

Cue scene to a long establishing shot of the Mesopotamian’s happening Ziggurpad along the banks of the Tigris. “Growl, they’re great!” said their sponsor, Tiger Juice.

This story was not filmed before a live studio audience, because a dead one was much cooler.

Ashurbanipal was buried under a good book. Several good books. Actually, it was a lot of good books. He’d been trying to decide what he should read and moved a tablet right when he should have moved it left. Or was that left when it should have been right.

The Marduk clock on the wall chimed, “Physics were many a man’s enemy.” The goat said, “Bah,” and chewed on the rainbow throw rug that they’d found in the garbage.

In any case, the shelf had collapsed and trapped Ashurbanipal under a pile of clay tablets, clay bricks, and wood boards scrounged from pallets behind the local Trader šakanka's.

He said, "Um, help. Help."

Gilgamesh, who was asleep on the orange shag couch, rolled over.

Ashurbanipal shrugged and picked up the nearest tablet and started reading.

He was deeply engrossed in a really epic story about a boy, his dragon, and the unicorn that tried to keep them apart, when Hammurabi walked in the front door. He was holding the mail.

“Nothing but bills. We’ve got to stop playing for free at šakanka's and get a paying gig.” Hammurabi looked up. “Guys. Guys. This place is a pigsty.” He poked Gilgamesh and pointed at the chore list next to the “In Case of Fire, Dance” sign. “When I made a list, we all agreed to follow it.” He threw up his hands and ran up the stairs.

Gilgamesh went back to sleep.

Ashurbanipal looked up from his tablet. “Um, help.”

Hammurabi came back down the stairs just as Sargon slammed open the door. Hammurabi waved a white piece of paper. “Our landlord is kicking us out of if we can’t pay our rent.”

Sargon said, “There’s a legal looking square heading up the stairs.” Hammurabi and Sargon bumped fists. “Costume time.”

Five seconds later, Gilgamesh woke up dressed as Noah, Hammurabi was Noah’s wife in a rocker (the story of where the rocker came from was a strange one), Sargon was a 6-hour doorman (he’d once been a 24 hour doorman, but couldn’t take the hours), and Ashurbanipal was a tablet repairman buried under a pile of tablets. (Yeah, the gag did go on too long, but Ashurbanipal liked being buried under a pile of books).

The door gonged and a straight lawyer type came in the door. (He bowed, but because there was no live studio audience, there was no applause. Poor sad lawyer.) He held up an envelope and said, “I’m here to deliver this to the Mesopotamians.”

“Eh,” said Gilgamesh-Noah. He held up a tin horn to his ear. “Sonny, remember to ask for eternal youth as well as immortality.”

“What?” yelled Hammurabi-Noah’s Wife. “You forgot to wash the dishes even though the list clearly said that Tuesday was your day to wash the dishes.”

Ashurbanipal looked up from the floor. “Haven’t seen them. Don’t know where they are. Do I even speak your language?”

Sargon saluted and went back to playing Age of Empires on his (non-clay) tablet.

The lawyer sighed, but decided to man on. “An eccentric millionaire was a fan of their music. He left them something in his will. I’ll just leave this here.” He put the notice down and booked out of the plot (Later that night, he had a totally happening party with Helen of Sparta on occasion of her divorce. Community property city-state, baby.)

Gilgamesh pulled off his grey beard and did a happy little dance that made the little grape felt pom-poms that he’d embroidered on his Noah t-tunic bounce. “We have a fan.”

Sargon crossed his arms and looked down his nose at Gilgamesh. “A dead fan.”

“This is amazing. We have a fan.” Gilgamesh pulled out his phone.

Hammurabi asked, “What are you doing?”

Gilgamesh tapped on his phone. “Texting my BFF, Enkidu. I’ve got to let him know we’ve got a fan.”

Sargon looked at Hammurabi with his eyebrows up into his hair. “A dead fan.”

“Hey guys,” Ashurbanipal held up his tablet, “Did you know that the earth is round?”

The other three Mesopotamians turned around. Hammurabi said, “What again? You have to push them to the right.” They unburied Ashurbanipal from his pile of clay books.

In a quick scene change, they drove across the desert in their Econoline van. Actually this is both a scene change and a *crazy* musical sequence.

By the Eu-phrates River
By the Eu-phrates River

By the Eu-phrates River
By the Eu-phrates River
Akkadians long ago
Conquered Sumer took control
Sargon led his armies in their chariots they roll

By the Eu-phrates River
By the Eu-phrates River
Then came Hammurabi who would take full command
Hammurabi was the king of the Babylonians, man
Break Hammurabi's code and you'll be saying, "Oh no"

By the Eu-phrates River
By the Eu-phrates River
Now Gilgamesh, he gets no cred
Cuz he's all worried he'll soon be dead

By the Eu-phrates River
By the Eu-phrates River
Ashurbanipal comes up last,
Because although this has been a blast, erch!

The van rolled and bounced across the wide cracked desert. It was cracking cool.

Sargon rode his board down the sandy road and waved his sword. He completely conquered this scene.

Hammurabi sand skied, not sand boarded behind the van, which had a totally different vibe.

Gilgamesh did a complicated three spin from where he was being pulled behind the van while wearing a bright orange life vest over his t-tunic.

Ashurbanipal jumped his board over all three of the other band members and did a header in the sand.

It wasn’t his fault. The billy goat driving the van, totally brodied to a stop in front of the giant cedar tree mansion of Lord of Aratta, their eccentric millionaire (dead) fan. Gilgamesh did a little dance.

Quick scene change to the reading of the will. Madame Lacunea the spiritualist, Hormuzd Rassam the Butler, Lord Abridged the hanger-on, and Lord Aratta’s niece, Nanna, a happening chick in a dress all made up of stars, all lounged on the tree mansion’s living platform. Hammurabi took one look at Nanna and he had stars in his eyes and love in his heart. They made out during the entire reading of the will.

Lord Abridged sneered at Ashurbanipal. “I cannot believe that you’ve actually read my useless travel books.”

“Yeah, well, you’re hair makes you look like a Mohenjo-Daroan!” Ashurbanipal crossed his arms and made the peace and/or victory sign.

The lawyer, horrified to be in another scene, said, “The Mesopotamians inherit Aratta’s Pipe Ellag, provided they played a musical number on it, and Nanna gets the cedar tree mansion, provided that she spends the night.”

Madame Lacunea, Hormuzd Rassam, and Lord Abridged made the international gesture of foiled out of an inheritance, but wait! Evil plot!

The Mesopotamians quickly played a musical number on the Pipe Ellag, but unfortunately the crew forgot to film them. So, all you get is this link to a logo and the sound of static.

However, when it came time to go, Hormuzd Rassam said, “I’m sooooo, sorry sirs, but there’s a dense fog through the entire cedar forest, which will prevent you leaving for at least three thousand years.”

“Oh, noes,” Gilgamesh tapped on his phone to let his BFF know, but he had no signal. To repeat, no signal! It made him cry.

Later that night, as Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh slept together in the large purple shag bed, the atmosphere was creeperific. So creeperific that a large hairy monkey hand reached over the back of the bed and they comic-sands out the other side. They ran over a bunch of platforms and rope walkways in a way that was working the Möbius band vibe. Gilgamesh did a little dance upside down and lost his shoe. Gilgamesh hung his head like a sad sack, which since he was upside down meant he held it high.

Madame Lacunea met them on the third platform, “There’s nothing but evil in this tree.” There was a hiss from a clump of branches behind her. “Oh, wait that line was early. Okay, wait.” She checked her script. “I’ve had a vision that Hormuzd Rassam will die.”

Sure enough, there was the sound of gunfire. The Mesopotamians raced down the tree ladder to find a dagger embedded in the tree and a pool of ketchup on the platform. Hammurabi and Nanna gazed starfully into each other’s eyes. Meanwhile, Sargon yelled costume change.

Sargon dressed as Sherlock Holmes. “Because I’m the smartest!”

Hammurabi turned away from Nanna. “Screw that noise.” He dressed as Lord Peter Wimsey.

Ashurbanipal shrugged and went with Abbasid Caliph, Harun al-Rashid from a 1001 Nights, the Tale of the Murdered Woman in the Chest, which he felt would honor the rich cultural history of the region and avoid making the cultural references totally Eurocentric. He tugged at his purple satin turban with the pink feather. “I’m still not quite sure of the accuracy of this outfit.”

No one wanted to play second fiddle as they investigated. Gilgamesh played the fiddle and was sadly nibbled on by the billy goat. Gilgamesh was sad. He had no shoe and he had no signal. He couldn’t text his BFF.

There was some pretty prime investigating, which interrupted by the disappearance of Lord Abridged. Gilgamesh shrieked. “I’m going to die. I’m going to die. Oh, the shortness of existence!” He tried to text his BFF and was denied. Denied!

Madame Lacunea tried to get them to hold a séance to scare them, but they were busy playing another musical number. Sadly, they couldn’t get the rights to actually play “Stairway to Heaven”, so this was an entirely silent (and black and white) scene in which the Mesopotamians acted out how a guitar could gently weep.

In the morning, they all woke up in the large bed. Sargon and Hammurabi spooned. Ashurbanipal hugged a book. Gilgamesh sucked his thumb. Nanna blogged the whole thing.

There were three sharp clicks. They looked up to see a shocking sight!

Madame Lacunea, Hormuzd Rassam, and Lord Abridged were pointing guns at them. Okay, so it was only mildly shocking given the evil gestures earlier.

Gilgamesh clapped his hands happily. “I thought you were dead. Yay, you’re alive.”

“We’re not dead, but you will be and the tree mansion will be ours!” cried Lord Abridged.

Which is when the billy goat gruffly knocked all three of them off the tree mansion with a sharp stick in its mouth. Madame Lacunea’s voice drifted up. “Curses, foiled by a goat with a stick.” (Yeah, well, I assure you it’s way funnier in cuneiform.)

Nanna stretched her arms wide. “Fun times. I think I’ll knock the place down and build a condo with a pool.”

Hammurabi spun away in horror and had a moment. “But, but what about mother earth. We had a concert about the mother earth and everything. Our moms had a great time.”

While he had that moment, Gilgamesh came out with a chain saw and went to work. “Timber!” He followed this with a whispered, “I wish Enkidu were here.”

The path of true love disrupted, the Mesopotamian’s van rolled down the road with the Pipe Ellag strapped to the roof as the end credits played.

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

"Hey, man, I thought that you were dead
I thought you crashed your car"
"No, man, I've been right here this whole time playing bass guitar
For the Mesopotamians"

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

We're the Mesopotamians
Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal, and Gilgamesh

The Mesopotamians

Songs in this episode include
There Might be Giants - The Mesopotamians
Mr Nicky rapping - Ancient Mesopotamia