We may have to be physically isolated just now, but thank the gods for the Internet. I reckon it’s time to share a smile or two. “Now is the time,” as the old saying has it, “for all good men to come to the aid of the party.” Does anyone else remember, as I do, bashing out that sentence time and again as a practice piece when learning to type? I was taught old-school touch typing and here I am to prove I can still do it…give or qake the occasional mistoke.
And now IS the time for all good people to come to the aid of each other and raise a smile. And as I’m hooked on Roman stuff, I’m asking: does anyone know any Roman jokes?
Here’s one for starters:
Where does Julius Caesar keep his armies?
Up his sleevies.
OK, OK…I still have to smile, and I thought it was the height of wit when I first heard it. Mind you, I was only nine years old at the time. In fact now I come to think of it, most of the Roman jokes that have lodged in my memory come from schooldays, where we all learned Latin as a matter of course, and they aren’t really originally Roman anyway. But they still raise a grin, for me anyway. Have my tastes improved at all? Read on, intrepid surfer, if you dare…
One or two at least purport to be in Latin. How about this bit of doggerel, which I discovered at the ripe old age of twelve? As you’ll know if you’ve encountered this antique ???gem in your own mis-spent youth, the trick is to read it out loud:
Caesar adsum iam forti,
Caesar sic in omnibus,
Pompey sic in at.
I’m sure I must have read many adult examples of Roman jokes while researching for my Aurelia Marcella novels The Romans certainly had a sense of humour, and so I hope do my books. Why is it then that it’s mostly the silly ones that have stuck?
I do know one authentic original joke though, mentioned in Mary Beard’s book Laughter in Ancient Rome. I can’t remember it word for word, but here’s the gist:
A king on a royal progress through his kingdom spotted in the crowd a man who looked so like him that they could have been twins. He beckoned the stranger over. “How remarkably alike we are, my good man. Did your mother work at the Palace at some time?”
“No, Your Majesty, never. But my father did.”
Not bad, is it?
Here’s one more bit of silliness for anyone who’s still reading this:
An Ancient Briton walks into a Roman tavern and the barman won’t serve him. “You’re not properly dressed,”he says. “We expect our customers to at least wear a tunic, but all you’ve got on is a pair of sandals and a lot of blue skin paint. Get out of here now!”
“All right, I’ll go,” the Ancient Brit says sadly. “But won’t you just give me one for the woad?”
So you think you can do better? Prove it. Drop me a note tablet, or better still, a comment, with your own contribution.
And keep smiling!