‘Beowulf Meets Godsylla’, by Tom Weller

I’ve been reading Beowulf in the original, and as you can imagine, having a wee bit of trouble with the language. Still, the stirring descriptions of combat and the thunderous roll of the alliterative metre fully justify the poem’s reputation as the fountainhead of English literature:

Meanehwæl, baccat meaddehæle,     monstær lurccen;
Fulle few too many drincce,     hie luccen for fyht.
Ðen Hreorfneorhtðhwr,     son of Hrwærowþheororthwl,
Æsccen æwful jeork     to steop outsyd.
Þhud! Bashe! Crasch! Beoom!     Ðe bigge gye
Eallum his bon brak,     byt his nose offe;
Wicced Godsylla     wæld on his asse.
Monstær moppe fleor wyþ     eallum men in hælle.
Beowulf in bacceroome     fonecall bamaccen wæs;
Hearen sond of ruccus     sæd, “Hwæt ðe helle?”
Graben sheold strang     ond swich-blæd scharp
Stond feorth to fyht     ðe grimlic foe.
“Me,” Godsylla sæd,     “mac ðe minsemete.”
Heoro cwyc geten heold     wiþ fæmed half-nelson
Ond flyng him lic frisbe     bac to fen
Beowulf belly up     to meaddehæle bar,
Sæd, “Ne foe beaten     mie færsom cung-fu.”
Eorderen cocca-cohla     yce-coeld, ðe reol þyng.

—Tom Weller, Cvltvre Made Stvpid

But somehow methinks Tom Weller, þætte rihte ealde Englisce scop, could have spun out England’s national epic to more than eighteen lines. Still, not bad for a culture that only emerged from the barbarous night of the Dark Ages in 1987, when Þacere ruled in Heorot.

Both Cvltvre Made Stvpid and its companion volume, Science Made Stupid, are unfortunately out of print, but they are now available as free downloads — with the author’s permission! Find them both here:




  1. That spoof of Beowulf is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Every line has something hilarious.

    “hie luccen for fyht”

    “Wicced Godsylla wæld on his asse”

    “Hwæt ðe helle?”

    “Ne foe beaten mie færsom cung-fu.”

    I come back here to look at these lines again every so often when I’m in the mood for a laugh. They’re so funny I never seem to get tired of them.

    • You should click on the link at the bottom, then, and download the whole book. ‘Godsylla’ is one of the best bits, but there are many other good laughs in there.

      Besides, it’s free, by the author’s own request. How could you improve on that?

      • Thanks. I actually own a copy, though I’ve only ever read bits and pieces of it.

        Other than ‘Godsylla’, the part I remember that really made me laugh was Plato’s dialogue from the Eurethra. “Anybody got any hemlock?” Haha!

        • I’m partial to his two-page excerpt from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which begins in mid-sentence, and ends, several hundred words later, still in the middle of the same sentence. Along the way we learn of the exploits of great Romans like Precocius and Detritus, in far-flung Roman provinces like Thither Thrace and Hippopotamia.

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