Friday, March 5, 2010

Ides Say It’s a Busy Month



Beware the Ides of March.

What sayest thou, soothsayer?

Beware the Fifteenth of March.


And so begins Act 1 Scene II of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Shakespeare’s play is based on a true story. You may remember from your history books the conversation that allegedly took place between Brutus and one of the Senators who planned to murder Caesar:

“When is this assassination supposed to take place?” asked Brutus.
“The Ides of March,” replied the conspirator.
“The I's of March? What, like the Ist, IInd, and IIIrd of March?”
“No, you dimwit. The Ides of March.”
“Ides? I have no idea what that is. Get it? Ide-ea. But seriously, what is it?”
“The fifteenth.”
“Then why didn’t you just say “fifteenth”?”
“I wanted it to seem ominous.”
“I see. Yes, we certainly don’t want our identities revealed.”
Ominous, lamebrain, not anonymous.”
“Oh. OK, the Ides. But what time exactly?”
“At two, Brute.”

or something like that.

I generally think of March as a miserable month (I’m sure Caesar didn’t like it much either). Usually the weather is horrid, but this year it looks like the snow shoveling season may already be over with.

I’ve never seen a March begin like this one. It’s been as balmy as a summer night in Iqaluit. The forecast calls for sunshine and plus temperatures right up until next week. The walkways and driveway are as bare and dry as a parched nudist.

However, there are many other things besides shoveling to keep me occupied this month.

First off, the Academy Awards are on Sunday.

The front runners for Best Picture are Avatar and The Hurt Locker. If either of these win, it will be the worst choice for best film since, well, last year. But this would rank right up there with Braveheart and Forrest Gump as the worst best picture ever.

Personally, I’d like to see Up, Up in the Air win. This is a live action/animated film starring George Clooney and some cartoon codger. The music is by Jimmy Webb. The 5th Dimension (sometimes known as the 1/3rd Ides Dimension) perform the title song.

Another thing to look forward to this month is the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship (a.k.a. March Madness). The first game is on the day after the Ides. This tournament gives me the opportunity each year to do my best bump-on-a-log-with-a-beer imitation. I don’t think my wife cares for it.

Two days after the Ides we have St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland. He is known as the guy who — with the help of the Ides Piper — drove all the snakes and rats from Ireland. Everybody sing, “When Irish Ides are smiling…

Incidentally, the Ides Piper was also the nickname given to a member of that gang that attacked Caesar. He’s the one that used a lead pipe rather than a knife.

It’s a busy, busy month indeed. Throw into the mix the beginning of Daylides Savings Time, the first day of spring, March break, Palm Sunday, and Passover, and it’s a wonder anyone ever has time to do any shoveling in March.

And I'm sorry about the nudist link trick.

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