The Wise Novelist

The Ides Of March

On March 15th, 44 BC, the Roman Emperor, Julius Caeser, had a day that ended very badly.

It started out with JC taking the piss with a soothsayer, named Spurrina, who a few days earlier had warned JC that trouble would be arriving on the 15th of March. You see, under the Roman calendar, the “Ides” of a month usually occured on its 13th day, but it arrived on the 15th day in March, May, July and October.

Well, when the Ides arrived without an incident, JC got a little cocky and quipped to the soothsayer as he passed him on the way to the Theatre of Pompey, “the ides of March are come.” Spurinna, not to be outdone, quipped back, “but they are not gone.”

Later on that day, when JC arrived at the Roman Senate, 60 conspirators, including Brutus and Cassius, assassinated him.

Shakespeare commemorated the event in one of his historical plays named after the unlucky Emperor. It’s most noted line “Beware, the Ides of March” has becomes part of our lexicon to mean more broadly, “watch your ass.” (Et tu Claire?)

Now, as a kid, I never paid the Ides of March much attention. After all, it fell two days before a more notable date for the Irish American kids in Riverdale, St. Patty’s Day. So unless the 15th fell on the weekend before Everyone’s Irish Day, which meant our partying began early but in earnest on that date, then it was just one more day to get through before our real celebration began. I mean, who celebrates December 23rd?

Once I was an adult, I found one more reason to overlook it, when my youngest, Mark, was born on March 16th. Interestingly enough, Mark, and all my children, arrived in this world by Caesarean Section, named after the aforementioned illustrious Roman Emperor, who was salvaged from his dead mother in that through-the-belly fashion. Since c-sections were a scheduled procedure, I really pushed for Mark to be born on March 17th (a real coup for a Mick), but that was the OBGYN’s golf day.

So, with all due respect, when middle-march arrives each year, my thoughts are focused on the two days immediately following the Ides.

But given my deeply superstitious nature, I will say that if any of the psychics I know said “Beware the ides of March,” I would probably lock myself in my room. And even if nothing happened on that day, I wouldn’t go making fun of the psychic. I mean, there’s always next year.

So, as we approach today’s hump day on this wonderful Ides of March, you fine, five readers just be a little more diligent and watch your respective asses. Better safe than sorry.

And I lit a votive candle for belt and suspenders.

I will perform my usual morning tasks, kitty cuddling, rounds and dreadmill, but I will keep my head on a swivel.

After all, I have to sing Happy Birthday tomorrow and St. Patty’s falls on a Friday this year (which would mean a lost weekend in my youth). Both solid reasons to survive today.

But until we get to tomorrow, let’s make today a great one.

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