Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Preparing for the Ides
Only one shopping day left to get ready for the Ides. I guess I'll go to Yoke's or Wal-Mart today to stock up, cuz I know tomorrow's gonna be a really bad day. After all, since at least the late 1500s, most of us literary types have known it was a good idea to Beware the Ides of March, and the warning may even extend further back than that.
It just all depends on whether Shakespeare concocted the notion that the old soothsayer should walk up to Julius, proclaiming, "Beware the Ides of March," or if the soothsayer really did say it to Caesar that day in February when the Romans were all dancing around in their fertility ceremony. What we do know for sure is that Julius should have paid closer attention because all his friends got up close and personal with their daggars and did him in on March 15, 44 B.C.
It was, indeed, a bloody mess when the up-and-coming King of Rome died at the hands of Cassius, Casca, his best buddy Brutus, et. al. and uttered the other most famous line from Shakespeare's tragic play: Et tu, Brute? (And you, Brutus?) If Julius had only listened to the old man's warning and stayed home that day, history may have been significantly different.
Ever since then, lots of us have learned from Shakespeare that we'd better look out on March 15. So far, it's been okay for me. I can't remember a lot of significant horrid events happening on that day so far in my life, but who knows? So, I'll probably stay away from the Capitol (it's down in Boise anyway), and I'll pay attention to all the nightmares I have tonight.
To adjust to modern-day worries, I'll go buy a couple of rolls of duct tape and have them handy. I'll also make sure that I open the mail really carefully tomorrow to avoid breathing any white powder that could come floating out of the daily batch of solicitation letters from those organizations who send fake nickels or $3.36 checks as come-ons.
If a raccoon with no tail comes sauntering boldly across my snow-covered lawn in the morning's daylight rather than sneaking in after dinner in the darkness, I'll take that as a sure omen that something weird is gonna happen. I'll grab the cat dish off the porch and set it inside the house. And, if the grackles start pecking at the window cuz I took theirs and the raccoon's goodies away, I'll know I've been had.
Getting ready for the Ides is always daunting. What a lot of people don't know is that you really need to be ready more than once each year cuz the Ides also come on the 15th May, July and October, and on the 13th of all the other months. But, those March Ides are notoriously bad because of Julius' demise. So, if you haven't had time to prepare, take this warning from your modern-day prophet in North Idaho.
Beware the Ides of March! Stock up. Stay home. Look out for raccoons, and don't invite your friends (especially the best ones) over to drink wine and cut the cheese. It could be dangerous for your health. If somebody does come, though, make sure that duct tape's ready to go.
Coulda made a lot of difference in Caesar's situation.