Thursday, December 09, 2004

A Nonny No - #2

For the origins of this idea, see my previous post, below...

The time: AD 3--. The Roman Empire is in collapse. The barbarian hordes are swarming through Roman territories, driving back the once powerful legions of Roman soldiers…

The Place: Somewhere in Rome…


Senator Hieronymus: Greetings, O Senator Agronomous. Have you seen any sign of Caeser Anonymous?

Senator Agronomous: O Senator Hieronymous, I have not. But why do you ask?

Senator Hieronymous: I bear serious news, O Agronomous. The barbarian hordes, led by the powerful Germanus and the wily Animus, threaten the Pax Romana, the peace of the entire Roman Empire…

Senator Agronomous: These tidings are indeed serious, O Hieronymous. I shall endeavour to find His Inimitable Anonymity, forthwith. (Exeunt)

(Flourish of trumpets – Enter CITIZEN EUPHONIUS)

Citizen Euphonius: Friends – Romans – Countrymen – Lend me your ears!

(A crowd gathers)

Citizen Euphonius: I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him! Er … wait … no, that’s not right, he’s still here … I come not to praise Caesar but to introduce him … er no, that’s not quite right either, ipso facto, cogito ergo quod sum demonstrandum erat, or something…

Person In Crowd: Get on with it!

Citizen Euphonius: Er… that’s about it, really. I introduce – the mighty Caesar Anonymous!

Person In Crowd: Who?

Citizen Euphonius: Your emperor, you clown. (Exeunt)

Enter Caesar Anonymous

Caesar Anonymous: Friends, Romans, Country … (the crowd starts dispersing) Hey… what did I say?

Senator Hieronymous: (Coming up to him and patting him on the back) Nothing that hasn't been said before, O Caesar.

Caesar Anonymous: Oh, bugger! That was the only thing I’d prepared! Now what am I going to talk about?

Senator Hieronymous: Well, now that you’re here, O Caesar, I have news of solemn import … the Northern tribes, led by Germanus and Animus, have forced back our legions to the very gates of Rome itself…

Caesar Anonymous: Oh, no! What a jolly bother! That’s so unfair…

Senator Hieronymous: Yes, but the question is, O Caesar…

Caesar Anonymous: What am I going to do about it?

Senator Hieronymous: Well, thanks for asking. May I suggest, O Caesar, you look to history for an example. Act as did you predecessor, Caesar Augustus, when …

Caesar Anonymous: Never heard of him.

Senator Hieronymous: Augustus? But Caesar, he was our first Emp…

Caesar Anonymous: Not at all.

Senator Hieronymous: Why … then, I say, look to Romulus and Remus, who, the poet tells…

Caesar Anonymous: Not them either.

Senator Hieronymous: (Rolls eyes) Brutus?

Caesar Anonymous: Nope.

Senator Hieronymous: Julius?

Caesar Anonymous: Nah.

Senator Hieronymous: Cassius?

Caesar Anonymous: Not at all.

Senator Hieronymous: Then … well… I say, look to … Jesus!

Caesar Anonymous: (Shakes head)

Senator Hieronymous: But he has been the God of this city, ever since…

Caesar Anonymous: Nope. Don’t know about him. I worship the God Ubiquitous, didn’t you know?

Senator Hieronymous: (Desperately) Well… what about the Emperors Pseudonymous, Eponymous, Phenomenous, and Abominus?

Caesar Anonymous: Ah. Now those I have heard of.

Senator Hieronymous: And you will have heard of the Emperors Autonomous, Glutinous, and Synonymous?

Caesar Anonymous: Ah. The Emperors Synonymous. The famous twins! Yes, I have heard of all of those. What edifying historical examples have you to draw, O Senator Hieronymous?

Senator Hieronymous: Well… nothing… those Emperors didn’t really do anything.

Caesar Anonymous: Then why on Earth did you … (He is interrupted by the re-entry of Senator Agronomous, at a run…)

Senator Agronomous: O Caesar! The Barbarians have occupied Rome! We are no longer free!

(Enter GERMANUS, carrying a blood-stained sword, and ANIMUS, bearing a gore-dripping axe, respectively.)

All: (Shocked) Generals Germanus and Animus!

Germanus: (Waving his hand) Nein! Nein! How many times do ich have to tell you Dumbkopfs, that ‘Germanus’ ist nicht mein name?

Animus: Nine.

Germanus: Vas?

Animus: Nine times, that is how many you haf been haffing to tell us, O mighty Germanosch.

Germanus: Ja, ja, oh pusallinimous Animus! It does not matter. But vile ve are about it, I might just rename this city…

Caesar Anonymous: Rename … Rome? What to?

Germanus: You be kviet, you Roman schvein! Ja, ja, I vas just thinking more like … (thinks) … Romeberg.

Animus: Ah… nah, I am do not liking it. How about, Romanheim? Or, say, Romanosch, or maybe Romehalla?

Germanus: NEIN! Romeberg it shall be!

Caesar Anonymous: (Clears throat)

Germanus: Oh, for Votans sake – if it is not ein thing, then it is ein other. Vat is it, you Romanbergian Schvein?

Caesar Anonymous: Well, I am Caesar, pleased to meet you, and all that …

Germanus: Vell! Ve are in the presence of Royalty! General Germanus at your service, O Caesar! (Reaching out hand)

Caesar Anonymous: Caesar Anonymous.

Germanus: Caesar … what?

Caesar Anonymous: Anonymous.

Germanus: Is that your real name?

Caesar Anonymous: Well… uh … no…

Germanus: Then … vat is your real name?

Caesar Anonymous: I … don’t know!

Germanus: Vell … that doesn’t matter. Romeberg is now mein!

Animus: Und mein…

Caesar Anonymous: I beg your pardon. No it’s not. Romeberg … I mean, Rome… is mine! And it says quite clearly in the history books that Rome burns down, because of Nero’s fiddling!

Germanus: What history? I haven’t heard of that!

Caesar Anonymous: Ha! That’s because in Rome, our study of history is so advanced that most of it hasn’t happened yet!

Germanus: Aha, your vile vords are tricky, you Romebergian schvein, but they vill not fool me! Prepare to DIE! (Advancing on him, flourishing the sword in the air)

Hieronymous and Agronymous: Hail, Caesar, who is about to die!

Caesar Anonymous: Er … wait! You can’t do that! … Er… Look behind you! Isn’t that Ragnarok I see happening?

Germanus: Ha! You vill not fool me, Romebergian schvein! That ist der oldest trick in der book!

Caesar Anonymous: No, no … it is, it really is, Gottedammerung!

Germanus: Pull der other vun!

Caesar Anonymous: Really… it’s the twilight of the Gods! The end of the Germanic pantheon – it’s happening now!

Germanus: (Raises his sword)

Animus: Germanosch! Enough of that! Ve … haf other things to worry about! It’s … IT’S RAGNAROK!

Germanus: Vat? The end of der Vorld? Das vas not supposed to happen for … (takes out pocket sundial) another century!

(Both turn and leave, amidst crashing Wagnerian Chords and Fa-la-laing Valkyries)

Senator Hieronymous: Bravo, O Caesar!

Senator Agronomous: You have saved us!

Senator Hieronymous: You have saved all of Romberg…. Er, I mean, Rome, with your quick thinking!

Caesar Anonymous: (Shrugs) O Tempora, O Mores

Both: What?

Caesar Anonymous: It was nothing. Come on. We’ve got another 300 years of splendid moral and military decay into squalor to look forward to. Let’s get to it! (Exeunt)


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