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Ave Cletus! We Who Hoedown Salute You!
2000-02-21 16:40:07


Cyberbillies
 
Maybe it's the something young inside us all that embraces the ever-enticing brew of hops and fellowship, a nation of glorious crackpots with their booze-fueled dreams
-- El Destino

 

The appalling state of education in this country never ceases to amaze me. Only recently in an informal office poll did I learn that NO ONE has heard of the greatest of rulers: Cletus Porcinus, the Slack-Jawed Emperor of Rome.

Noted primarily for the accident involving the misfiring of a Welsh longbow into his own foot, Cletus the Slack-Jawed brought many technological innovations to the empire including moonshine, grits, ringworm, moon pies, and outhouses.

The populace took the better part of Cletus's astounding four-week reign to grow accustomed to these advances in science. The extensive sewer tunnels that had once carried away the great city of Rome's sewage and detritus were used instead for "critter huntin'", and use of moonshine in the vomitoria eventually became the norm.

The bane of Cletus's reign (and, many say, the problem that drove him to his death) were a rowdy group of Gauls known as the "Fratres Hazardi". These men were the finest charioteers on the entire continent, and they often left Cletus's own imperial steed inverted in a ditch as they blew past the border into the safety of their homeland.

Cletus's death, which took place in a duck blind along the Tiber, is often disputed; but it is widely believed that he died from a gangrene infection he received while opening a tin of mustard sardines. Known across the land for regularly taking the auspices with the companionship of his hound dog, Enos, Cletus could often be found outside the palace walls.

Most of the cletian inventions were subsequently purged by Cletus's successor, Plautus the Polymath. Cletus's many barefoot and pregnant cousins were sent into a rigorous regime of "readin', scribin', and hirin' arabs to do 'rithmetic", from which only a precious few emerged.

Plautus spent the majority of his treasury converting the coliseum from a racetrack for dogs and cock fights back to more traditional roman entertainment. The conversion process was so long and costly that demolition derbies had to be staged in nearby farmland in order to keep the masses occupied. The resulting debris was later harvested by the locals for parts, and many a villa could be found with three or four half-built chariots up on marble blocks.

To this day, the buck-toothed deathmask of Cletus has not been found, though documents have proven that it remained as the lid of Plautus's rennovated latrine for several decades.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

gable@pigdog.org


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