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Literature / Stop That Bull, Theseus!

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Stop That Bull, Theseus! is Book V in Kate McMullan's Myth-O-Mania series, published in 2003. Hades recounts the adventures of his forgetful nephew, Theseus, from ridding the Trozen-Athens road of murderous "bullies", to wrestling the half-bull, half-man Minotaur.

This book provides examples of:

  • Accidental Marriage: Poseidon married the mortal woman Aethra after the two of them had "too much bubbly". Since Po and Aethra had already fallen in love before that, he admits to Hades that he would have actually stayed with her, and their son, Theseus, if she didn't dump Po for King Aegeus.
  • Character Exaggeration: Most versions of Theseus' story have him forget to change the color of the sail of the boat that transports him between Crete and Athens, which scares King Aegeus to death, after he interprets the black sail as a sign that Theseus perished in his fight against the Minotaur. Stop That Bull, Theseus! reveals Theseus as a full-blown Forgetful Jones.
  • Competition Freak: Theseus will never take the easy way out, doing things like walking to Athens instead of sailing, so that he could fight the bullies that plague the road.
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  • Cool Uncle: Theseus never learns that Hades is his uncle, but they become "buddies", in Theseus' own words, while traveling together.
  • Death by Despair: As a kid-friendly alternative to King Aegeus drowning himself after receiving greatly exaggerated reports of Theseus' death, this book has the news give him a heart attack, plunging his lifeless body into the sea.
  • Doorstopper: Discussed; When Hermes asks Hades why the novel doesn't document the adventures that Thesus had after becoming king, Hades explains that he didn't want the book to become too thick. Hermes informs him that some mortals enjoy thick books, as evidenced by the popularity of "Harry What's-his-name."
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Theseus almost calls the Aegean Sea, "The Blue Sea That My Dad Plunged Into After He Died of Grief", until Hades suggests something shorter and more respectful.
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  • Forgetful Jones: Theseus has a pretty poor memory.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Theseus accidentally murders three bullies with their own Death Traps.
  • Humongous Mecha: Crete has a giant robot guard, Talos.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter title has a pun regarding bulls.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: Hades forms a wrestling federation, while accompanying Theseus to four unscripted wrestling matches.
  • Road Trip Plot: Theseus and Hades share a road trip while walking from Trozen to Athens together. During their journey, Theseus wrestles three bloodthirsty bullies, whom Hades recruits for the Underworld Wrestling Federation.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Hades convinces Cupid to hook up Princess Ariadne of Crete and Theseus with an orange-tipped arrow, so that she would help Theseus survive the labyrinth. After he returns from fighting the Minotaur, Ariadne tries to sail back to Athens with him. Unfortunately, she gets so seasick, that they have to stop at an island, where they end up parting ways.note 
  • The Unfavorite: Zeus felt so ashamed of having the Minotaur as a grandson that he wrote a story in which Theseus killed him.
  • Worthy Opponent: The fight between Theseus and the Minotaur ends with a tie; Hades recruits them to eventually rematch in the Underworld.

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