Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another Obscure Myth Allusion Award!

The winner of our third Obscure Myth Allusion award (the first going to a news article to subtly drop the name Ratatosk and the second, which is currently under review by the Obscure Myth Allusion Oversight Committee for not truly being obscure went to Sisyphus) is Padarn Red-Coat.  The following site quickly drops in Padarn Red-Coat right there with Hermes and Aphrodite as mythical beings who have pretty cool clothes.  
The Red Suit Enthusiasm - Their slogan is, "Kicking butt and taking names since Moby Dick was a minnow," which tells you something about them right there.  Apparently they try to get a lot of people to exercise in this spandex red suit and attribute mythical powers to it.  Check it out.

What?  Did you say you don't know who Padarn Red-Coat is?  Shame on you.  Everyone knows this guy.  He has this red coat, you see.   Actually it is more of a tunic / early sweat shirt.  This is not just any red garment, mind you.  It is the ninth treasure of England!  That's right.  Otherwise known as Pais Badarn Beisrvdd (the coat of Padarn Red-Coat) can only be worn by a noble person.  If you are of such high birth, then it would fit you perfectly.  If you were just some punk, it would not fit at all.    

This is not an uncommon idea.  Many times, like in Macbeth, we show people who do not belong in their position by the fact that their clothes do not fit.  Heck, even the Disney movie The Santa Clause does this by showing Scott Calvin not fitting into the Santa Claus suit until he fully becomes his new persona.  Watch a few movies this weekend and I'm sure you'll run across another one.  This is an especially popular image when you have a story about a king or some other nobility that is not the rightful heir.  Of course, those readers here in America are experiencing ill fitting clothes right now, but that is less of being punkish and more of eating too much turkey for Thanksgiving.  Mmmmmm......

Now, interesting enough, Padarn Red-Coat is not the only Padarn walking around.  Apparently the name Padarn was all the rage back then.  Maybe if my wife and I have another kid, we'll name him Padarn (or Padarna if it is a little girl).  I'm sure my wife will approve.  Anyway, there is a St. Padarn.  St. Padarn had established a monastery and is an actual historical figure.  His history, however, runs into mythology as many of the early saints tend to do.  This saint, just like Padarn Red-Coat, has a run in with Arthur.  This run-in involves a tunic.  So you can see that the two stories must have a common origin.  In the saint's story, Arthur tried to steal his tunic.  Some of us may see this as uncharacteristically Arthur; however, Arthur stories have been written by many people who have portrayed him in many lights.

When Arthur tries to take the tunic, Padarn causes the earth to swallow Arthur up to his neck.  Arthur then sees the error of his ways and the awesomeness of God and begs forgiveness.  Padarn, being a saint and all, forgives Arthur and the earth spits him back out.

So have a happy Thanksgiving (even if you are in a part of the world that doesn't celebrate it) and remember to only wear clothes that fit so that no one will think you a churl.

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