Saturday, March 14, 2009

Casual 13 Ides

What a weekend this has proved to be. It encompassed three important dates. A rare occurrence.

The Ides Of March

Version 1

On Sunday the date will be March 15. According to Willie Shakes-his-spear that is the day that Brutus and friends stuck a fork in ol' Julius to see if he was done. He was.

I suspect they stabbed him at an annual wienie roast because of Caesar's gluttonous habits. They had just enough buns and franks for everyone to have just one. Well Julie decided that since he was the Caesar he merited more.

Wouldn't you know that Cleo showed up and there was nary a wienie for her. Brutus, not the brightest in the Senate, was still suffering from the beating Popeye had given him when he went to mount Olive. Thus he confronted Julius about how many franks he had consumed. Caesar said he'd et tu.

Brutus pulled out his Swiss Army knife and began to carve ol' Julius into little pieces that fell into the bowl of greens. Thus was born the Caesar's Salad.

Darned if it didn't turn out that wasn't the kind of wienie Cleo had a hankering for. Caesar had been julienned for no good reason after all. Well after the wine had been passed around, those Romans got to feeling Randy. I don't need to tell that Randy skedaddled out that forum as fast as his sandals could carry him.

Cleo took one look at all them men in their loose PJs and said to them, "Are those knives under your togas, or are you glad to see me?" Then Cleo cried out, "OH-GEE!" (which was a Swahili/Greek/Egyptese/Brooklyn slang for 'wow.') Well those Romans thought she said 'orgy' and began taking off their togas. One cried out that he was gladiator. Thus was born the orgy. So it came pass that Cleo got more than her fill of wienies.

Meanwhile her lover, Marc Antony, witnessed the scene and got royally pissed off. So he slightly changed the spelling of his named and immigrated to American where he hooked up with Jennifer Lopez.

Version 2

The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,” has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression “Ides of March” did not necessarily evoke a dark mood—it was simply the standard way of saying “March 15.”

The term Ides comes from the earliest Roman calender, which is said to have been devised by Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome. Whether it was Romulus or not, the inventor of this calendar had a penchant for complexity. The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:

Kalends (1st day of the month)

Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)

Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)

The remaining, unnamed days of the month were identified by counting backwards from the Kalends, Nones, or the Ides. For example, March 3 would be V Nones—5 days before the Nones (the Roman method of counting days was inclusive; in other words, the Nones would be counted as one of the 5 days).

Friday the 13th

Facts Only

Friday the 13th Christian Origins

The fear of Friday the 13th stems from two separate fears -- the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays. Both fears have deep roots in Western culture, most notably in Christian theology.

Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle w­ho betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive.

­Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Additionally, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday. In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, fearing they would be doomed from the start.

Sailors were particularly superstitious in this regard, often refusing to ship out on a Friday. According to unverified legend (very likely untrue), the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday, in order to quell the superstition. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship's captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage... and disappeared forever. A similar, entirely factual story is the harrowing flight of Apollo 13.

Some historians suggest the Christian distrust of Fridays is actually linked to the early Catholic Church's overall suppression of pagan religions and women. In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love. When Norsemen adapted the calendar, they named the day after Frigg, or Freya, Norse goddesses connected to love and sex. Both of these strong female figures once posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity, the theory goes, so the Christian church vilified the day named after them.

This characterization may also have played a part in the fear of the number 13. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. This idea may have originated with the Christian Church itself; it's impossible to verify the exact origins of most folklore. A similar Christian legend holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil.

The number 13 could also have been considered pagan because there are 13 months in the pagan lunar calendar. The lunar calendar also corresponds to the human menstrual cycle, connecting the number to femininity.

Casual Friday

The Most Sacred Of All



Skunkfeathers said...

And all on the heels of a full moon, too ;)

Jack K. said...

Ain't life grand?