March 1, 2006 | Issue 25

Archaeologists Uncover Achashveyrosh’s Throne

AD DAWR, IRAQ — [] When U.S. soldiers announced in 2003 that they had caught Saddam Hussein with his pants down, everyone thought they were speaking metaphorically. Upon revisiting the site, experts now believe that they have uncovered the royal throne of King Achashveyrosh, grandson-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar. And it turns out he left the seat up.

Achashveyrosh, whose name comes from the words, “Achash,” “vey,” and “rosh,” meaning “one lousy leader,” was later renamed by historians who felt that only Jews could properly pronounce it and is now more commonly known as “Xerxes,” which nobody is sure how to pronounce.

Achashveyrosh ruled over most of the known world in the latter third century B.C. (Before Calendars) from his hometown of Shushan, now modern day Iraq. (Relatively modern day, anyway.) As we now know from factually accurate depictions in the works of Artscroll Youth and Soncino for Kids, Achashveyrosh was a pleasantly plump individual who tended to sit down a lot. And that’s where his throne came in to play.

According to reports, read twice a year by Jews worldwide, Achashveyrosh subcontracted the building of an enormous silver throne, adorned with wild animals and birds alike to distract from the fact that it was basically an enormous toilet. The presence of the throne guaranteed that the king would never have to get up and forsake his royal duties, and apparently the noise that the throne made when he did get up was not, in fact, a lion’s roar.

The concept for this throne was invented by King Solomon, the smartest man who ever lived, who realized that sometimes a king has to be in two places at once and it’s not like he could just cut himself in half. Many other rulers nowadays use the same tactics, albeit more subtly, which is why no one ever actually sees Queen Elizabeth step off of her throne. Construction of Achashveyrosh's throne took three years, after which he put it to the ultimate test with a yearlong party including lots of well-aged alcoholic beverages. This party culminated with Achashveyrosh inviting his wife Vashti to appear before his friends wearing nothing but a burka, but she refused, and that was the end of the Nebuchadnezzar dynasty. Apparently Saddam, who fancies himself a reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, had managed to excavate the throne.

While soldiers in Iraq continued the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction, some experts were brought in to re-examine Saddam’s hatch, which was emitting some strange chemical signatures. After trying to reopen the hatch for almost a full season, scientists were finally able to dig around his innocent-looking chair and discovered that they had the find of the century on their hands. So they washed it off.

Archaeologists have also discovered what they believe to be Achashveyrosh’s “royal scepter,” although they were hesitant to touch it. It is believed that the scepter got a major workout during the yearlong feast. According to reports, everyone who wanted to see the king was forced to pick up and use the scepter, although few but a plumber named Haman had actually managed to get it working properly. Achashveyrosh eventually promoted Haman to the position of number two.

Although this classifies as a major find, and it doesn’t look like there are really going to be any more major finds in Iraq, reporters were thus far unable to get in to actually see the throne. They have been forced to contend with a long line of soldiers who have been stuck in Iraq months with nothing but MREs and military entrees such as, “tuna warmed up.” Faced with the prospect of port-o-potties, the soldiers have pretty much been holding it in since getting off the plane.

The field commander could not be reached for comment at this time. “Come back in thirty minutes,” he told reporters through the hatch.

Rooting around in the pipes near the site, scientists have announced that they’ve also come across what could be Achashveyrosh’s royal signet ring. So that’s what happened to it.


Pencil Mike (Mordechai) Schmutter is in the process of working on a humor book on the holidays, which the publishers have informed him should go easy on the toilet jokes and so Mike wrote this article to get as many as he could out of his system (so to speak). You can contact Mike at if you have any questions or comments or good jokes about matzah that do not involve roughage.


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