Leave a comment

Beware the Ides of March


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. Today marks the Ides of March, the day when Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other co-conspirators back in 44 BC. For my husband, this would be the start of a long night conversing about the Roman Empire, history and geography. My knowledge of Julius Caesar is fuzzy at best and stems from Miss Dutka’s 9th or was it 10th grade English class and reading Shakespeare.

Each year on March the fifteenth, I must make reference to the Ides of March. It is this kind of memory that would have me fail the SATs if I had to retake them, but make me a millionaire in the game show circuit.

So in my brain and its circuitry, I play a game of association with the name Caesar. First off, I am reminded of my sweet dumb collie, a purebred to be sure, but never a show dog as he was blind in one eye. But he was the most lovable dog our family ever had. Poor Caesar loved to go on walks but feared the steps leading to the county courthouse because he had no depth perception. Caesar was loved most by my brother Tom who affectionately called him “Dumb Old Dog” while patting his head. Caesar would respond by smiling (I swear collies can smile) with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. Even as a full grown dog, he thought he was a puppy. There is no better example than when we would run to the back patio to see what was the raucous, only to find Caesar  trying to sit under the folding metal lawn chairs that would no longer fit his big body. I loved that dog.

.

.

My next brain hiccup takes me to the days of hair bands and a group called Little Caesar. They can belt out Chain of Fools better than Aretha Franklin.

.

.


.

.

Of course, when you think about Little Caesar, you think about Pizza, Pizza! I won’t turn away a second pizza, but my favorite Little Caesars item is the bread sticks. There is no mistaking by the logo alone that this little Caesar with his crown of laurels is none other than Julius. And who could forget Orange Julius, the favorite of mall-goers everywhere. I thought that Orange Julius was named after Julius Caesar, but I was wrong. According to wikipedia,

The drink grew out of an orange juice stand opened in Los Angeles in 1926 by Julius Freed. Sales were initially modest, about $20 a day (over $200 adjusted for 2007 inflation). In 1929, Bill Hamlin, Freed’s real estate broker, developed a mixture that made the acidic orange juice less bothersome to his stomach. Freed’s stand began serving the drink, which had a frothier, creamier texture. The sales at the stand increased substantially after the introduction of the new drink, going up to $100 a day. People began lining up at the store and shouting, “Give me an Orange, Julius!” Eventually, the new drink would simply be called “the Orange Julius”

And last but not least on the menu is Caesars salad, the mainstay of restaurants everywhere. One search on RecipeZaar will get you 383 variations on the salad. Now, that’s a lot of anchovies, baby. But, guess what? Caesar Salad is NOT named after Julius Caesar as some would have you believe. It was named after chef Caesar Cordini, an Italian born Mexican living in San Diego. He invented this salad on the Fourth of July in 1924 when a rush of customers depleted the supplies on hand. He tossed the salad with flair tableside to get through his Hell’s Kitchen. Necessity became the father of invention according to Cardini’s daughter, Rosa.

.

.

The last thing to come to my mind today is Caesars Palace. This popular Las Vegas hotel and casino is meant to evoke thoughts of royalty such as Julius Caesar, but note that the name is Caesars Palace and not Caesar’s because every guest should feel he is a caesar, according to its founder Jay Sarno.

Okay, Almondjoycie, beware, the Ides of March is almost over and you have still not finished this post. Sorry folks, I got carried away with all this trivia. I hope some of it will stay in your minds until next year, when I will just have to repost or maybe I’ll surprise you with a pop quiz.

.

.

.

Long live. Hail, Caesar!

Antony, Act V, Scene I, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

.

.

To be remembered after we are dead, is but poor recompense for being treated with contempt while we are living.

William Hazlitt, writer and philosopher (b. 10 April 1778 , d. 18 September 1830)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: