Since I ran a contest for The Wheel's one-year anniversary, this time I thought I'd offer up something more valuable than Amazon gift cards: information.1
So today, on this auspicious occasion, I will tell you why this blog is named Sometimes, the Wheel is on Fire. I'll give you a hint: It has absolutely nothing to do with Bob Dylan.
Let me start you off with this (anonymous) entry from my most recent contest:
A Conn College student late one nightConfused yet? Well, let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
Of Ixion did inquire
Turns to the footnote and there finds
Sometimes the wheel is on fire
You see that guy up at the top of my blog, the X-Man? That's Ixion. I know some of you are too lazy to look, so here he is again:
Anyway, a while back, two friends were reading about Ixion for a course on Greek mythology. A king of the Lapiths, Ixion murdered his father-in-law and later lusted after Hera, causing Zeus to expel him from Mount Olympus.
Now, this was one of those text books rife with footnotes. And not the kindly, sometimes humorous footnotes you find here. These were academic footnotes, meaning references to source material or long, boring passages providing further background.
As a result, neither of my friends had read a single footnote so far that chapter. Yet both friends — independent of each other, I might add — felt compelled to flip to the back of the book to see what more there was to say about Ixion's punishment.2 You see, as retribution for his actions, Ixion is bound to a spinning wheel for all eternity.
The footnote adds these six little words: 82 Sometimes the wheel is on fire.
So there you have it. Two friends stumble upon a bizarre and amusing phrase, and a decade later I commandeer it for my blog. Actually, they were happy to let me have it, especially after they saw the fiery Ixion logo I'd designed. And even more especially once they learned he isn't always engulfed in flames.3
Plus, I love that my blog — which practically runs on footnotes — gets its name from a footnote. I'd write a footnote about it, but I don't want to be too cliché.4
One hundred blog posts. Wow.
1 I never said it would be more valuable to you. It's more valuable to me, though, since I value my money.
2 Yes, since the notes are at the back of the book, they're technically endnotes, not footnotes, but no one cares. So shut your face and pay attention.
3 Refresh the page if you don't believe me. One out of five times, the Ixion in the top banner will be mercifully extinguished. The rest of the time, I'm not nearly as merciful.
4 Thus, I will instead write about yetis. Although this is the first I've mentioned yetis here, theirs is a cause near and dear to my heart. Much like Muslims, yetis are characterized as violent and hateful, when the vast majority are compassionate, peace-loving individuals. Don't persecute all yetis because of the actions of an abominable few. Please, in this time of need, pledge your support to I SAY, the International Society for the Advancement of Yetis. Tell 'em Nate sent you.