Monday, 23 June 2014

History - My reality

 
As you know, I have written a few History Lessons in a humorous and light-hearted style to make them interesting and easy to read. Little did I know that they would have such an effect on a particular person in question.

I have explained before that in our town there is a pedestrianised street to allow people to shop and sight-see away from any vehicles and cycles. The area, a street about a mile long, is blocked at both ends by bollards to stop any vehicles from entering.

I was there the other day and noticed that they had erected a small stage in the middle of the wide street and a few amateur dramatic actors were performing Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra; or bits of it, as an advert for their performance at the theater nearby.

A small crowd had gathered to watch and I joined them.

I don't know whether it was because of my distinctive green cowboy hat with a feather on the side, or my turquoise shirt, or tartan red trousers; but the man playing Julius Caesar recognised me. To be fair, I'd recognised him too, although not by name. I'd seen him a few times in the library lecturing about Shakespeare and he's been in the newspapers often about his various roles as a Shakespearean amateur dramatics actor. We never actually met or spoke but somehow he seemed to recognise me more than I was aware of.

He got off the stage and started shouting at me: "You're the man who keeps writing those silly history stories full of inaccuracies!"

I said nothing. The crowd was astounded. He came towards me and continued.

"You confuse people with all your stories, and lesser learned people will believe all the nonsense that you write. History is history and it should be related accurately. You tend to humourise the whole thing with your articles."

I slowly backed off trying to walk away. He followed me and continued as the crowd looked on. They probably thought it was all part of the acting.

"We take great care when we perform our Shakespearean plays" he declared, "The narrative as well as the costumes are very accurate and authentic. This toga I am wearing is authentic and made exactly as the Roman emperors would have worn it. Yet you spoil it all with all your silly history lessons and your jokes. You're a disgrace to historians everywhere!"

I smiled feebly, almost apologetically, and said nothing. The crowd grew interested and kept watching. Julius Caesar was furious.

"What steps are you going to take to remedy the situation?" he asked.

"Large ones away from you" I thought but did not utter a word.

I started to walk away hurriedly. He followed me still ranting and raving. I walked a bit faster. So did he. I began to trot, or was it a gallop? He continued after me faster. Some of the crowd followed.

As I began to run (or walk rather hurriedly) I noticed that he must have stepped on the edge of his toga which was made of several bed sheets wrapped together around him. Somehow they all became undone and fell to the ground like dried leaves off trees in Autumn, revealing that he was wearing absolutely nothing else underneath.

Is that really how the Romans dressed? Wrapped in a few sheets with no underwear underneath? When were pants invented anyway? Must write a history article about that!

Anyway, there was Julius Caesar with absolutely nothing on. Naked as the day he was born. The Roman Emperor had no clothes.

As he bent down naked to gather bits of torn sheets from the ground he was joined by Cleopatra who helped cover his Roman Empire with her hands.

At this point the crowd applauded in unison, no doubt still believing this was all part of the act.

I learnt from the newspapers later that the performance at the theater was totally sold-out within minutes. Perhaps people had enjoyed our little advert and believed that it was a taster of what the show was like.

I wonder if anyone asked: "Where's the man in the cowboy hat?"

8 comments:

  1. Hi Victor! "covered his Roman Empire"...loved that! My husband came by to talk to me as I was reading your blog, and he said "What's so funny?" I'm telling you Victor, sometimes you just get me going!
    Your outfit sounds amazing. I hope you take good care of it and wear it often. I'm sure you walk unimpeded through the town, maybe even people walk to the side and let you go first? I know I would!!
    Have a wonderful day in that inventive brain of yours :)
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ceil,

      I'm so glad I made you laugh. I had to be polite in what I said; so covering one's Roman Empire is the best I could think of.

      My outfit makes people stare at me. Don't know why!!!

      God bless you and yours, Ceil.

      Delete
  2. ((( I wonder if anyone asked: "Where's the man in the cowboy hat?" ))))

    Forgive me Victor #1 for thinking that your little written skits here are no more real then the ones "I" write "I" mean wrote at ........

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=18142394&postID=2129055143080245832

    I hear YA! You're not trying to blame my costume for some of the silly stuff YA also write! Are YA NOW? :)

    God Dress Julius Caesar "I" mean

    God Bless

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hahaha, oh Victor. Pants were invented by the Germanic people, and they probably weren't brought to the Roman world until after the western part of the empire collapsed in 476. Perhaps earlier, I'm not sure. But the glaring hole in your story is that Julius Caesar is not a character in the play Antony and Cleopatra. The setting of the play is after Julius Caesar's death. There is no JC character in that play.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Manny ... oh Manny ... You are correct on both counts. Pants didn't exist at the times of the Romans which probably explains why they were so cold with a Southern wind blowing. You are also correct about Julius Caesar not being in Antony and Cleopatra ... I think ...

    I seem to remember a scene where Julius Caesar had a party on his boat and there were also Lepidus and Mark Antony. An aide of Julius suggested that they overthrow the other two triumvirates overboard so that Caesar would rule alone. Am I thinking of the right play?

    Anyway ... in my street there was this man dressed like an Emperor. Was he Enobarbus perhaps? Or some other character from Antony and Cleopatra? Whoever he was he was furious about my History Lessons; and was obviously pantless as a result.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are thinking of the right play. But the third character on the ship was JC's nephew, Octavius, who later became Augustus Caesar.

      Delete
    2. Thanx Manny. You are right again.

      I was never any good at school. I remember the teacher saying "Victor will go down in history, and literature, and maths and ..."

      God bless you.

      Delete

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