Make My Day
ROMAN COLOSSEUM, 60 A.D., SUNDAY MATINEE
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACU.S.E, Ind. -- "Here are our seats. Have you still got your ticket parchment, Virgil? We need it to get back into the Colosseum, in case we leave."
"Excellent. The first match will begin in a few moments."
"I don't know. I thought Magnus was facing a wild boar."
"We should get a program parchment. Where's a program merchant when you need - there's one."
"You there, merchant. We would like a program parchment."
"Three Caligulas? Prices have certainly gone up lately. You could get a program parchment for a single Augustus when I was a boy."
"Let me search my coin pursue. . . here are two Claudiuses and a Tiberius. I believe I get a Tacitus in change."
"Here's your program parchment, son. Let's see, it appears Magnus is fighting Flavius, not a wild boar. An honest mistake, since both are hairy with huge teeth. Come to think of it, your grandmother could fight Magnus."
"No, no, don't tell your mother I said that. You know how much I love my mother-in-law. I just like to tease."
"No, I didn't - look, here's a Tiberius. Now keep your mouth shut about this."
"Let's see, in the second match, Decius is fighting a bear and a boar. Ooh, and the main event is a group of these. . . Christians against a pride of lions."
"Hello, Vespasian. How goes the Senate?"
"Good, good. The Emperor Nero is certainly keeping you busy."
"My business? Oh, it's doing well. We're selling as many chariots as the Roman army can buy."
"Heh heh, as long as we keep expanding the Roman Empire, business is good."
"This is my son, Virgil. I thought I would bring him to the Games today. You know, a little father-son bonding."
"Have you heard any news about the rebel Spartacus?"
"Excellent. Maybe they'll bring him back to the Games soon. He was always a crowd favorite."
"Good day, Vespasian. Enjoy the Games. Hail Nero."
"I'm hungry. Are you hungry, Virg?"
"Do you fancy a Boar Burger or Bear Sausage?"
"Merchant! Two Bear Sausages, please. And a skin of wine."
"No, you cannot have your own skin of wine."
"Because Games food is expensive."
"Oh alright. Merchant, make that two skins of wine."
"Don't tell your mother, alright? She keeps nagging me about my diet. 'Roman men eat meat. Barbarians and Visigoths eat vegetables,' I tell her."
"She thinks we're at the theater watching 'Phantom of the Pantheon.'"
"Don't you dare tell her where we really were!"
"You came with me!"
"Alright, you can have another Tiberius."
"Little blackmailer. I swear, if they ask for volunteers, I'm tossing you into the ring."
"The first battle is about to begin. Who do you favor, Magnus or Flavius?"
"Really? I always figured Magnus to be the better fighter. He's 31-0 against all others. Just last week, he defeated Severus by flinging a trident into his chest."
"Look, Virgil! Magnus has old Flavius on the run and - Great Zeus' beard! Did you see that?! Flavius' head flew at least 20 feet!"
"What do you mean, you heard the Games were fake?"
"I don't care what Marcus' father said. This is the freakin' Colosseum, not the Roman Wrestling Federation and Heraclius-a-mania. You can't fake someone's head flying off like that!"
"You tell Marcus that we were sitting right here when Magnus lopped off Flavius the Hairy's head. Maybe the Germanic tribes would believe in such trickery, but not us Romans."
"Tell you what, if Marcus thinks its fake, get him to volunteer in next week's match. I hear they're looking for a new opponent for Magnus."
"Virgil, what are those spectators wearing on their heads?"
"Bears? Why would someone want to wear a bear on their head?"
"What do you mean, they're fans of the bear? Decius is fighting a bear in the second match. Why wouldn't they cheer for him?"
"That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
"No, you cannot get a bear head."
"Because I want you to cheer for the human. I've always cheered for the humans in the gladiator matches, my father always cheered for the humans, and his father always cheered for the humans. Well, at least until one killed him in a 'take on all comers' match."
"But that's beside the point. We cheer for the humans in the human-wild animal matches, and that's final."
"But I gave you two Tiberius coins for your silence."
"That's horrible. How can you do this to your own father?"
"Fine, you can get a bear's head to wear on your head, no matter how stupid it looks."
"Next I suppose you'll want a piece of giant foam cheese for your head."