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The name Midas has become synonymous with riches, but this not the whole story. Midas's story is that of stupidity, not greed. Midas himself was King of Phrygia, a land of roses. Slienus had wandered away from Bacchus and was drunk. Extremely drunk. So much so that he dressed himself in roses. Anyway, Midas gave him a room for ten days and then took him to Bacchus. The God of Plenty told Midas he could get anything he wished for. So Midas wished that anything he touched would turn to gold (not thinking about the problems this would cause) and Bacchus granted it, knowing of course what would happen when Midas ate. Sure enough, when Midas had dinner, his food turned to gold! Midas begged Bacchus to remove the touch and the god told him to go to the source of the river Pactolus and Midas did so, washing away the dreadful Golden Touch.

Later, Midas was chosen to judge a musical contest between Pan and Apollo. Apollo played the more beautiful music, but Midas, being a very bad musician, said he honestly preferred Pan. This was a bad idea, seeing that Apollo was extremely powerful. So Apollo turned Midas's ears into donkey's ears. This, of course, embarrassed the clueless king, who hid his big ears under a hat. The only one who knew about it was Midas's barber, who didn't tell for several years. When he did, he warned the people to always side with the more powerful god, as not to cause them to do mean things to us mortals.

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