Arch Nemesis

What Is the “Ides” of March? | Britannica

Beware the Ides! foretells the fall
Of he who rose to conquer Gaul
And lands still further from his home
This warrior, this son of Rome.
On his return to claim his right
A haruspex with second sight
Met Caesar by the Senate arch
To warn him of the Ides of March.
They’d killed an ox and found no spleen
An omen that could only mean
The Consul should fear for his life
As did, Calpurnia, his wife.
But Caesar didn’t fear the gods
For he had overcome the odds
To overshadow mortal men
And take his seat in Rome again.
So came the day, but nothing passed
Until the Senators amassed
Fulfilling what was prophesied
Thus, on the fifteenth, Caesar died.
Of every haruspex, it’s said
They earn their living from the dead
And though they claim the role of seer
It’s often what we overhear

Same Difference

Dictionary | Definition of Dictionary by Merriam-Webster

In this age of doublespeak, I’ve come up with alternative definitions for the following:

burger: what a tiger says when it’s cold

understandable: what a bull whisperer is paid to do

dresser: a personal valet’s job

earring: tinnitus

tumour: ordering another round for you and a mate

former: ordering a round of doubles for you and a mate

forests: bracelets

tracking: Usain Bolt

parking: Tiger Woods

blinking: Kanye West

bonking: Hugh Hefner

mismanagement: the yellow Tic Tac

permits: gloves for stroking your cat

whisky: very much like a whisk

fetish: not unlike a fet

sofa: up until now

mastered: everyone taking a dump at the same time

Hebrew: Jewish beer

ornate: have you considered Nate?

window: what gamblers hope to do

papal: directions for using a slot machine

president: the resulting damage when a gift is dropped

icon: mirage

painting: what you see a doctor for in Jamaica

terrier: more like Terry than Terry

school: fine by me

Romania: the latest rowing craze

Slovak: Vak with a low IQ

Budapest: Siddhartha Gautama’s interminable chanting

miming: in reply to Which of your vases do you treasure most?

presume: before the jet engine

confound: the recapture of an escaped convict

subdued: cool underwater mariner

analogue: proctologist’s casebook

duplicity: New York, New York

catholic: person with an abnormal dependence on cats

popsicle: father’s scythe

abundance: twerking

distant: scorned sister of your father

tantric: skin bronzer

carnation: USA

statutory: bust of Winston Churchill

psychopath: trail for the insane

francophone: telecommunication handset for Spanish generals

bisect: niche cult for those who swing both ways

comradeship: Potemkin

mango: “I believe the gentleman’s leaving”

sarcasm: existential void that existed between Nikolai II and his people

oxymoron: air-head

sensible: have Cybill go

freedom: what Lincoln did

mannequin: psychotic relatives

extrovert: former trovert

anti-matter: regarding your uncle’s wife

fireplace: the boss’s office

boomerang: a Hallowe’en dessert

numismatist: the former mismatist’s replacement

hot tub: a sexy overweight person

independent: a locally crafted necklace often sold at music festivals

mariner: what a hillbilly will be doing once the farmer learns his daughter’s expecting

naughty: what your grandmother keeps in that flask behind the bread tin

barbecue: the nod for Ken to make his move

Constantinople: the inability to abide a certain colourful gemstone

mystical: a burlesque entertainer who titillated patrons with her feathered boa

collar: Mother’s Day advice

Helluva Twist

To the Finder

Should you happen upon these pages, Dear Reader, you will acquaint yourself with the final remembrances of a life – my life – which is no longer of any consequence to those who mattered most to me. For the record, I was christened Anne, branding me with the same scarlet stain borne by my mother, who died in childbirth. My father’s name I know not, nor was it ever a matter of record, which resulted in my being spirited away under a veil of shame to an orphanage on the very day I first drew breath. I am told I have a sister three years my elder, but Providence has never guided her along the path I have travelled, which, I suppose, has spared her the shame of having to acknowledge our kinship. Yet, I should have liked to look upon her face just the once, if only to discern even the slightest resemblance to the beloved sibling who appears every night in my dreams. But dreams are not to be trusted, for they ease the torment of not knowing with trickery, filling in gaps where there ought to be knowledge, lending convenient falsehoods which soothe the conscience, unperturbed, until morning.


I am Anne, not yet twelve years of age; this is all I can confirm to you.


My life as an orphan could not have been more wretched, even if I had been sent to the colonies where men feed upon the flesh of other men and fail to know their Maker. It is not the lark which wakes us each morning, but the birch across our faces in cold darkness, accompanied by the dull ache of hunger. Our tormentors squeal with delight at our sufferings as they watch us wince and stumble with fatigue, a weariness which pushes downward with such force that some are unable to straighten and walk upright until mid-day.


Today – my final outing on this Earth – I was not permitted even to see the sun, let alone feel its radiance. When I climbed up to the only window within reach, I discovered that it had been smeared with grease, so as to blur the comings and goings of those on the other side. I cried, but without tears, for they too have abandoned me, reducing my anguish to a whisper and little else, as even my breath fails to serve.
For you see, I am these days, breathless, due to incessant coughing which knocks at my chest with the force of a blacksmith’s hammer. I know what it is that has come for me – I know. From the look of panic among those who cannot hide their horror, to the countenance of quiet resignation which stares back at me from the darkened window. Without mercy, a malady burrows deeper and deeper into the soft, delicious flesh of my lungs; its hunger insatiable, its progress relentless.


So now, Dear Reader, as my spent candle’s tiny light beckons me to follow it into darkness, I must to bed for the final sleep. I lay me down with a heavy heart for it is without friends, without family and without having told my sister how much I love her. I can see her now… Esther (for I have named her) is trying to find me as I write this, but the race is now over without the prize being claimed.


To my sister, I offer my heart.
To this life, I offer myself.
To My Maker, I offer my soul.
Remember me – I am Anne.


And now to dream.