2/27/2007

Nunc Est Bibendum

(In the following post I have taken the liberty to use a lot of Latin terms and sayings. The Latin phrases appear italicized. As an aid, dear readers, an English translation will be found in a few words following those terms. Come along for the ride as Roman citizen, Verbus Naturium visits Rome.)

Last weekend I decided to trek into Rome to look at a possible upgrade of my transportation. I was in dire need of a dependable chariot. The roads to and all around the city were in disrepair with ruts and potholes. The iter I had used from Cambria through Umbria had been no exception.
.... I needed something a little larger and with more horsepower. My present ride was a four, and I felt I was ready for an eight. All my neighbors had warned me about those city-slicker dealers in Rome. "Caveat emptor," they said as I pulled out of my driveway. "Ha! There is no worry for this buyer," I scoffed at them. "Caveat venditor, let the seller beware." I knew how to deal with them, besides I had friends in high places in Rome. I, Verbus Naturium, was well known in the Forum.
..... Most of everything the dealer tried to sell me had high mileage and had been through a lot of wear and tear. Quite a few of the models needed wheel alignments and suspension work. One rig he showed me looked nice, but a quick spin around the block proved otherwise. It pulled hard to the left and was too difficult to steer.
...."Non gradus anus rodentum!" I snapped at the dealer. If he resented being told it wasn't worth a rat's ass, he didn't show it. He simply turned and took me to the back of the lot. He stated, "This just came in this morning. It once belonged to the mother of a Centurion. She only used it on the weekends to go shopping. It has very little mileage and is almost new."
....There it was, the most beautiful set of wheels I had ever seen. It was jet-black with chrome trim. It had a large and clean passenger area. Even before we discussed money, I knew that I would be driving this baby home. Having made a good purchase and gotten a fair deal on the trade in, I drove off toward downtown. It had been a while since I had last been to my favorite watering hole. I was able to park right in front of the Novus Loci, the New Place. Nunc Est bibendum, I thought. Yes, it was surely time to drink. I was hoping my old friend Julie was in that day.
....Sure enough, there at the best table in the house, sat Julius Caesar. A quick arm shake and a slap to the back, he waved to the bar maid and said, "My friend is here, ergo bibamus!" Let us drink indeed I thought, for I was quite thirsty from my long morning drive.
.... As the barmaid was placing the round of drinks around the table, Caesar slipped his hand beneath her short skirt and raised it quickly offering a view to us all. "Fiat lux!" he said. "Let there be light," we all chimed. Caesar then said, "Credidi me felem vidisse!" He repeated it again although no one knew what he meant when ever he said, "I tot I taw a puddy tat!"
....To Caesar she glared, "Pone ubi sol non lucet!" Then she was off in a snit. Laughing he asked, "Did she just tell me to stick it where the sun don't shine?"
...."Ita est, Caesar. Yes," I replied.
...."Carpe cerevisi, Verbus," he said pointing to my untouched drink. I needed no further prompting to seize the beer. "Quomodo vales, Verbus," queried Caesar. "I am well," I answered and asked in return, "Quid novi?" He shook his head, "Nothing new, Verbus. SOS, day in and day out." I nodded knowingly. Whether a common man or a Patrician, some things never change.
...."Mihi ignosce," I said rising. "You're excused," he said. I continued, "Cum homine de cane debeo congredi." He smiled and offered, "Already you are going to see a man about a dog? I see you still cannot hold your beer."
....By the time I had returned, Caesar was dancing with a gorgeous red-haired goddess. On the stage a rather portly young woman was singing a song Caesar had requested. I had to stifle a laugh when I heard the redhead ask him, "Caesar, estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?" When he returned to the table with her in tow, in case no one had heard the exchange, he repeated what she had said to him. "Imagine, my friends, she wanted to know if there was a scroll under my toga or if I was just happy to see her?" Now that everyone was laughing, I too laughed aloud.
....There was a realized silence. I turned and asked, "Obesa catavit?" Said the man next to me, "Yes, the fat lady has sung." With that the redhead announced that she had to get home before her husband. Turning and throwing a kiss to Caesar she said, "Noli me voca, ego te vocabo." Everyone in the place watched her sway as she left.
...."Of course, I cannot call her. She has to call me," said Caesar. "Her husband is Brutus, my best friend." I turned and waved for the barmaid, "Cogito sumere potum alterum." I thought that maybe the most used words in a bar was "I think I'll have another drink." It leaves the door open for another and another, etc. However, saying "I'll have one more," suggests one must leave after. I, however, was not yet ready to leave.
....This time the barmaid avoided going near Caesar's end of the table as she laid down the drinks. But he winked at her and dangled his tongue. She shook her head and said, "Ascendo tuum!" As she walked away, he jokingly asked, "Up my what?"
....He leaned forward and said to me, "Why not ask her out, Verbus. She seems to prefer you over me." I said, "Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit!" Caesar and the others roared laughing. I flushed slightly. "To boldly go where no man has gone before? My friend, you watch too many science fiction plays at the Coliseum! I assure you, everyone in this bar, save you has gone there, as well as half of my Centurions."
...."What can I say, si vis amari, ama," I said. "If you wish to be loved, love," Caesar nodded. "Or if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with?" At that, everyone raised their glasses.
....The drinks flowed like the Tiber through Rome for several hours more. Drink after drink, toast after toast I held my own for a while. Letting my judgment prevail, I pushed away from the table. "Absum!" I proclaimed. "You are out of here, Verbus? Why, the sun will be on the rise before you know it."
...."Yes, Caesar. And I want it at my back when I am close to home." I yawned and continued, "Diem perdidi. I'll be a radix lecti as it is." Caesar nodded, "Yes, the day is lost, but being a couch potato isn't so bad is it?" I smiled, "Always the advocatus Diaboli." Caesar nodded again, "True, but this Devil's advocate will not stop you from doing the right thing, my friend." He added, "After all, nullus est instar domus."
...."Yes, there's no place like home. And I wish I were there now." I walked to the door and over my shoulder I said to Caesar, "Nil illigitium carborundum tomorrow at the Forum." He chuckled sitting up straight, "Ha! There is no chance those bastards will get me down!" He waved before returning to his drink. "See you soon, Verbus. Don't be a stranger."
....Outside the door was my chariot, and the eight steeds snorted, seemingly relieved that I was finally leaving. I shared their sentiments. Soon the dim lights of Rome were behind me. Ahead of me lay miles of iters before I could sleep.

It was late the next afternoon when I recieved the awful news that my good friend Caesar had been assassinated by Brutus and his closest friends in the Senate. I paid homage to him at his funeral. I will long remember that I had been fortunate to have drank and laughed with the Great Julius Caesar.

What have we learned? The next time you are in Rome, if a pretty girl asks you, "Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre ?" - buy that girl a drink!

"Absum !"

No.1

5 comments:

Serena Joy said...

Bravo! Who knew Latin could be such fun? I'm taking a crash course.:)

Jack K. said...

Alas, it has been many, many years since Junior High Latin class. I knew I should have paid more attention.

Thanks for the most humorous introduction to a character I hope will grace this site more often.

Hale McKay said...

Indeed, Jack. We have not seen the last of Verbus Naturium.

Scary Monster said...

It be all greek to Me.

Hey guys. The stuff Me sent were no me original ideas, so ya'll don hafts give me any credit for it. Me is working on something special though. A kinda housewarming gift...

Hale McKay said...

Scary, that's okay. You sent it - and for that we credit you as a contributor.