Here’s the deal. Everyone knows the story of the Trojan War. There was this super hot chick, Helen of Troy, and there were the Greeks, and the Romans, and this guy named Troy…uh, so, they all go to Mount Olympus with the half man/half cooking utensil God, Pan…once there, Danny DeVito and James Woods sing about Hercules, and then war breaks out, and there’s a little metallic owl flying around, and everyone is rescued by Xena, Warrior Princess. Okay, so maybe not everyone knows the story of the Trojan War. But that’s not the point. The point is, the Trojan Horse is really pretty stupid.
For those of you who napped through your high school history classes, here’s the basics – the Greeks had been at war with the city of Troy for nearly a decade over the rights to the local condom factory. But they simply could not penetrate (you better believe that pun was intended) the city walls. Luckily, Odysseus had an excellent idea. Unfortunately, rather than sharing his excellent idea, he instead suggested the notion of the Trojan Horse.
So the Greeks decided to build a massive, wooden horse and hide a whole bunch of their soldiers inside. They then pretended to sail away, shouting things like, “Look over here, we’re leaving now! And we’re never coming back to destroy you! Just sailing away! War is over! Bye, bye!” And, because the whole plan wasn’t quite subtle enough, they left one guy, Sinon, behind. His job was to pretend to be upset at his fellow Greeks for deserting him. “Hey, Trojans,” he called out, “I can’t believe those jerks left me here. And they also totally forgot their awesome, giant, horse statue that is definitely not full of Greek soldiers.”
That’s it. Pretend like you’re giving up on the war and leave a huge present for your enemies. Then, of course, once the Trojans took the horse inside their city walls, the soldiers snuck out at night and let in the rest of the Greek army, which had used the military strategy of “turning around” and sailing right back to Troy. And then they killed all the Trojans.
The only thing dumber than that plan was the people it worked on. Seriously? Why would the army you’ve been engaged in a brutal, bloody ten year conflict with leave you a parting gift? Do you think Lincoln considered sending Robert E. Lee a fifty foot gift basket full of life size Union soldier shaped chocolates to end the Civil War? It’s absurd.
Plus, it’s lead to the phrase, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,” which I can only imagine has given millions of Greeks a terrible complex when they go to birthday parties. That’s not fair. The vast majority of the time when you encounter a person from Greece and they offer you a present, it will not be full of mercenaries intent on murdering you in your sleep. Honestly, it’s almost never the case. It’s usually just, like, a nice goat cheese or some baklava.
Why we look back on this fictitious trickery as great military strategy is beyond me. No one has ever won a war by constructing oversized equine statues. And who would even want a giant wooden horse? Why were the Trojans all, “Oh, cool, a hollow horse statue big enough to hold many, many people but now almost certainly empty…that will look fantastic on our throw rug next to the dressing armoire.” “Yeah, let’s haul it inside before the neighbors try and nab it! Yippee!” Isn’t it just a little suspicious? Isn’t it just a little ridiculous? Really, what were they going to do with the Trojan Horse, once they got it inside their city walls? It’s not functional, they really didn’t have room for it, and, honestly, it didn’t even match the armoire.