Beware The Idiots of March

Roman Senator Casca: Now, you all know the purpose of this meeting is to plot the assassination of our Emperor, Julius Caesar. We need to resort to this drastic action after two previous failed attempts by our junior senator, Spurius.

Spurius: Me, sir?

Casca: Yes, you. You were ordered to eliminate Julius Caesar, were you not?

Spurius: Well, yes, sir. But. . . 

Casca: But? But what?

Spurius: I didn't know you meant to kill him.

Casca: What else did you think we meant when we said, "We want you to eliminate Julius Caesar?"

Spurius: I thought you meant politically.

Casca: Politically? How do you politically eliminate a sitting emperor?

Spurius: Through voting.

Casca: What? No! He's the Emperor!

Spurius: And. . .?

Casca: You don't elect the Emperor! He was anointed by the gods.

So how did we get elected?

Casca: None of us are elected. We're appointed.

Spurius: What, really? Do you mean no one voted for me?

Casca: No, of course not.

Spurius: But last week, you said I was elected.

Casca: To kill the Emperor!

Spurius: But I don't even remember being nominated for that. I mean, I would have liked to have campaigned against that. Written a speech congratulating my opponent and wishing him well. That sort of thing.

Casca: You didn't have an opponent!

Spurius: Well, I can see why. It sounds like a terrible job; I'm not surprised no one wanted it.

Senator Casca rubs his forehead with his hands and mumbles a prayer to the gods. When he opens his eyes, he is disappointed to see that Spurius is still sitting in front of him.

Casca: Now then, Junior Senator Spurius—

Spurius: Just Spurius is fine.

Casca: Absolutely not. Junior Senator Spurius, we gave you a very simple task. To assassinate the Emperor. And you failed two times.

Spurius: I wouldn't say I failed, Senator Casca.

Casca: Then what would you call it, lad?

Spurius: For one thing, I didn't even know I was supposed to kill him.

Casca: Do you remember a week ago? I handed you a dagger, and what happened?

Spurius: You told me to shut up because I said, 'Is this a dagger I see before me?'

Casca: Correct, because that was the wrong story. And then I said, "We want you to use this on the Emperor, and tell him it is from all of us."

Spurius: Yes, and I said, "I'll give it to him good!"

Casca: Exactly. And what did you do?

Spurius: I gave it to him and said, "Happy birthday, Your Majesty. Here is a gift from the Senate."

Casca: And how is that giving it to him good?

Spurius: I wrapped it up in a nice gift bag with a pretty bow on the handle.

Casca: That's giving it to him well! It was the exact opposite of what we wanted.

Spurius: Well, sure, I know that now.

Casca: And what happened the second time?

Spurius: I figured the last gift was kind of lame. I mean, the whole Senate just chipped in on a dagger? It wasn't even a particularly nice dagger. It just looked like we all cheaped out on his birthday.

Casca: But it wasn't his birthday!

Spurius: That's what he said! It was very embarrassing. I looked like an idiot.

Casca: And when we asked you to poison him? Did you do that?

Spurius: No, I wanted to make it up to him. You know, for the birthday mixup.

Casca: So you made him a salad? 

Spurius: Yes, I made him a nice salad with Roman lettuce.

Casca: Do you mean romaine lettuce?

Spurius: I guess. It also had croutons, Parmesan cheese, and bits of anchovies, plus a tangy, creamy dressing. I thought the anchovies would do the trick. I don't know what to call it though. . .

Casca: How did you think anchovies were going to kill him?

Spurius: Doesn't he have an allergy to anchovies?

Casca: Shellfish, you idiot! He's allergic to shellfish!

Spurius: But anchovies are fish!

Casca: That's not the same thing at all.

Spurius: Well, I know that now. I wish someone would have explained it sooner.

Casca: Now, since you have failed us twice before, there is only one thing we can do.

Spurius: Launch a get out the vote campaign?

Casca: Great Jupiter, what is wrong with you? Now, Junior Senator Spurius—

Spurius: Just Spurius is—

Casca: Don't! Now listen, we are going to stab Emperor Caesar together. We're going to do it as a group, and we're all going to take turns doing it just to make sure you don't screw it up this time.

Spurius: Ooh, so a work outing?

Casca: Yes-s-s-s? Sure, why not.

Spurius: Excellent, can we go out for pizza afterward? I know a little place across from the Emperor's palace.

Photo credit: Gordon Johnson (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)

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