|Senators at work|
The Ides of March, March 15th for those not acquainted with Latin, is almost upon us. At one time it was a day to be avoided by all tax evaders. Mercifully, nowadays those considering telling the IRS to go fly a kite have another thirty days to reconsider.
Some sports addicts look forward to the Ides as a date to prepare for March Madness wherein teams consisting of five giants, run back and forth on a wooden floor, tossing a large ball to one another until one decides to place it into a net which resembles a basket - aka Basketball.
The March Madness phenomenon is a urologist's dream. A Cleveland Clinic doctor reports that the number of men scheduling vasectomies jumps by 50 percent around the Ides of March. These crafty gents figure that watching a little basketball while recovering is almost as good as sex.
Starting on the 15th of March, baseball players in sunny Florida or Arizona who don’t quite measure up to big league tobacco chewing techniques will find themselves honing their skills on the farm.
The Ides of March is also celebrated by would be conspirators. It has its origins to a day in 44 BC when Julius Caesar was murdered by a group of Senators led by Marcus Brutus. Caesar had made the mistake of declaring himself dictator for life ( in Roman days the Senate actually took their job seriously). His second mistake was to pooh-pooh the admonition of a soothsayer who in no uncertain terms advised him to “beware the Ides of March‘. Contrary to popular belief , Julius Caesar was not exactly a genius, he needed more than a verbal admonition. A poor review of the theater performance he planned to attend, would have kept him away from the scene of the crime. As it was, this dictator for life got stuck like a pig. In his dying moments all that he could utter was , “Et tu Brute” ( for the uneducated the words translate into ‘And you, Brutus’). As far as I know he never got an answer from Brutus who was miffed at being called a brute.
If one has read the preceding words carefully, he - or she for that matter- might conclude that the original Ides of March was a Roman Spring. A dictator was eliminated and an empire gained the freedom to destroy itself. Our modern day Arab Springs don’t measure up to this mother of all Springs although the after effects bear some resemblance.
In keeping with the theme of this post, my advice to Syria’s President and dictator for life, Bashar Assad, is not to accept any theater invitations for March 15th . He should also keep his eyes peeled on the sky. Beware the Drones of March!