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Literature / Keep a Lid on It, Pandora!

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Keep a Lid on It, Pandora! is Book VI in Kate McMullan's Myth-O-Mania series, published in 2003. Hades traces the creation and development of the first mortals, and Zeus' desperate measures to win a bet that the first woman, ever-curious Pandora, would open a mysterious box she receives from him.

This book provides examples of:

  • The Bet: Zeus and Hades have one over whether or not Pandora will open her box.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Even after Zeus tricks Pandora into removing the lid of the box, Hades insists that he won the bet.note 
  • Constantly Curious: As a side effect of Zeus' gift of curiosity, Pandora speaks only in questions.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment A few of the evils unleashed by opening Pandora's box include cavities, poison ivy, and mosquito bites, but also telemarketing, square dancing in gym class, and "I Before E Except After C". All sound pretty minor in comparison to stories in which Pandora's box contained all the evil and suffering in the world.
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  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Prometheus has visions of Hercules freeing him from his chains.
  • Exact Words: Thalia gives Pandora "the ability to tell a great joke". Pandora tells one after accidentally opening the box, but struggles to think up another one.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Pandora and Epi date for "what, twenty minutes" (in Prometheus' own words), before they decide to get married.
  • Green Thumb: Demeter gives Pandora the ability to grow lush plants, and accidentally turns Pandora's thumb green as well.
  • Happily Married: Hera blesses Pandora to share a long and happy marriage with her lover.
  • I Broke a Nail: When Hades first asks Pandora if she feels tempted to open the box, she replies that she doesn't want to break the long fingernails Aphrodite granted her.
  • I Want Grandkids: At Pandora's and Epi's wedding reception, Rhea nags Hades to settle down and give her some grandchildren. (Hades eventually finds a wife, but he still ends up not having any children.)
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  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter title has a question.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Pandora and Epi have a lot of daughters, born three at a time.
  • Meaningful Name: Zeus tells everyone who is present at Pandora's creation that Pandora means "everybody gave me a real nice gift", as a lead-in to his telling them to each give her a gift.
  • Nice Shoes: Hermes gives Pandora some sandals with decorative, non-functional wings.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Pandora and Epi see through some of Zeus' ruses without Hades' help.
  • Prolonged Prologue: Keep a Lid on It, Pandora! begins with the creation of man and the story of Prometheus. Because of this, Pandora doesn't show up until the seventh or eighth chapter. The fifth chapter actually bears the title, "Where is Pandora?", and begins with Hades telling impatient readers when she'll come, then advising them to "Keep a lid on it!" until her entrance.
  • The Scapegoat: Zeus attributes the existence of greed, disease, and pain to Pandora failing to heed his warning not to open the box containing these. Actually, greed, disease, and pain already existed in other forms, and Pandora wouldn't have unleashed new versions if Zeus didn't trick her into opening the box.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Zeus dons several disguises when attempting to coerce Pandora into opening the box; Hades sees through them when Zeus calls Pandy, "Sweetheart".
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Hephaestus and Aphrodite, respectively. According to Hades, Zeus set them up as an apology for crippling Hephaestus, and Aphrodite agreed to the union because of Hephaestus' ability to produce beautiful gold jewelry with his forge.
  • Women Are Wiser: Pandora seems more intelligent than the first male mortals, especially after Athena gives her the gift of good judgement.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Thanks to Aphrodite's gift of "capelli interessante"note , Pandora has a pink Beehive Hairdo.

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