If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years from the Greek gods, it’s that age and maturity are not mutually exclusive. And no divine being better exemplifies the immortal spirit of childhood quite like Hebe, the goddess of youth.
These days, you can find her operating Time Square’s hottest arcade, Hebe Jeebies. And yes, before you ask, arcades still do exist. In fact, you’ll find many things inside Hebe Jeebies that you thought were lost to the sands of time.
Like that one pinball game you vaguely remember playing as a kid, the greasy pizza your school used to serve you in the third grade, and a karaoke machine filled with all your old favorite songs that you haven’t heard in forever.
So, while many of the Greek gods and goddesses have been traveling the mortal world and acting like children, Hebe has found a way to monetize their worst impulses. And humans’ too. When you inevitably visit Hebe Jeebie’s for yourself, don’t be surprised by all the bald heads and walking canes. Hebe’s patrons have been there for a long, long time.
With all the kids running around Hebe Jeebies (alongside the nostalgia-fueled adults), you might not be able to pick Hebe out of the crowd. Here’s a helpful hint: she’s the young woman in the pink-and-turquoise minidress with white go-go boots and a beehive hairdo.
Naturally, the goddess of youth would choose to present as a teenager. One with a perfect complexion and photo-shoot-ready hair, of course (immortals always prioritize aesthetics over accuracy). But there’s no denying that her personal style is practically ancient.
The way Hebe sees it, she’s simply dressing the way her favorite patrons would like her to dress. Hebe’s old-school fashion reminds the older set of their childhoods, which makes them content to spend all day at Hebe Jeebies. And quite frankly, shouldn’t we all be happy knowing that they’re safe inside, snacking on licorice and singing along to old protest songs rather than, you know, everything else they’ve been up to lately?
I Want to Be Forever Young
Who can say whether Hebe’s motivations are entirely altruistic or not? Many people these days are desperate to reclaim the happiness of their youth. Is it so wrong for her to operate a space where folks can indulge themselves a little?
She’s even giving back to the community by offering employment to local youth. Just ask her nine-year-old arcade manager, Sparky. Imagine being entrusted with that level of work experience before even reaching fifth grade! Sounds like an honor, if you ask us.
Then again, Sparky seems a bit different from most nine-year-olds. We’d ask Hebe about it, but she doesn’t like being in the same room as her younger employees. Despite Hebe’s trade in eternal childhood, the goddess can’t stand to be “out-younged” by anyone. She just happens to prefer the teenage years.
Unless, of course, Hebe has to interact with actual teenagers. Namely, a trio of extremely nosy teens who thought they could just barge into the karaoke room and accuse Hebe of stealing Zeus’s favorite chalice.
We’d say that maybe it’s time someone taught those three to respect their elders, but we’re still a bit confused about exactly how old anyone is anymore.
Eight Is Enough
You must remember that, as the goddess of youth, Hebe is more than capable of turning back the clock on one’s life. But you’re going to have to earn that privilege.
If you win enough tickets, you can redeem them for elixirs at the rewards station. Just FYI, Hebe doesn’t turn anyone into babies. According to her, the real childhood magic starts at around eight years old. Right when you’re just old enough to want to spend all day playing video games, eating pizza, and listening to a robotic iguana play the banjo.
(Also, it’s a few years before any of those pesky demigod powers and abilities fully manifest. But who’s keeping track of a little thing like that?)
Hebe Jeebies has practically everything a child or child-at-heart could ever desire from an arcade: countless video games, Skee-Ball machines, Dance Dance Revolution platforms, a bumper-car course, a house-sized ball pit, a giant hamster habitat, a two-story diving cliff, and right smack dab in the middle of it all . . .
A chicken coop?
It makes sense when you consider that the chicken is Hebe’s sacred animal. But there’s something not quite right about these particular hens.
It’s almost like they instinctually know they’ve evolved from dinosaurs. Almost like, if given the chance, they would rip us limb from limb just like their Jurassic ancestors . . .
Eh, whatever. We’ve got more important things to worry about. Like beating Annabeth’s score on Space Invaders. We know she somehow used her divine wisdom to cheat!
Feeling nostalgic yet? Get ready to Hebe for yourself in Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods, on sale 9/26. Pre-order your copy today!