Monday, October 27, 2008

[titus livius] the fall of big julie

Abridged version above

As Tiberius Gracchus has been running his series of posts on Livy and the Romans, it’s clearly time I muscled in on this act and what better way to start the ball rolling than to present to you:

Announcer: "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga," by Johnny Wayne and Frank Schuster—with apologies to William Shakespeare (and to Francis Bacon, just in case).
(FX—horn flourish) Rome! 44 B.C.

Flavius: My name is Flavius Maximus, Private Roman Eye. Licence number MMMCMLXXXVIII. It also comes in handy as an eye chart. I'm gonna tell ya about the Julius Caesar Caper. It all began during the Ides of March. I had just nailed Spartacus the Gladiator, he had a crooked lion who kept takin' a dive. Anyhow, I was just beginning to rest on my laurels when, suddenly— HE burst in to my office.

Brutus: You Flavius Maximus, private eye?

Flavius: I certainly am. What can I do for you? What's on your mind?

Brutus: Just a minute— Are we alone?

Flavius: Yes, we're alone.

Brutus: Are you sure we're alone?

Flavius: Yes, yes, I'm sure we're alone!

Brutus: Then who's that standing beside you?

Flavius: That's you.

Brutus: I know, but can I be trusted?

Flavius: (aside) I could see I was dealing with no ordinary man. This guy was a nut! (to Brutus) All right, what's on your mind?

Brutus: Flavius Maximus, a terrible thing has happened. It's the greatest crime in the history of Rome.

Flavius: right, give it to me straight. What's up?

Brutus: Julius Caesar has been murdered!

Flavius: Julius Caesar murdered! (aside) I couldn't believe my ears! Big Julie was dead!

Brutus: Yes, it happened just a few hours ago. Happened in the Senate; he was stabbed.

Flavius: Stabbed? In the Senate?

Brutus: No, not in the Senate. They got him right in the rotunda.

Flavius: That's a fatal spot. I had a splinter there once. Those marble splinters, you know—

Brutus: Boy, I tell you, all of Rome is in an uproar. I came to you because you are the top private eye in Rome. You've got to find the killer.

Flavius: Well, I'll try.

Brutus: Oh, you can do it. After all, you're the guy that got Clodius and Sullus and you sent them up on the invasion of the vestal virgins rap—

Flavius: Yes, the whole town was sure in an uproar about that, huh. Holy Jupiter!

Brutus: Now look, what do you say, Flavius? Will you take the case?

Flavius: Just a minute, pally. I'd like to know just whom I am working for?

Brutus: I'm a Senator. I was Caesar's best friend. The name is Brutus.

Flavius: Brutus,eh? All right, Brutus, you got yourself a boy. I'll take the case. My fee is 125 drachmas a day, in advance, of course.

Brutus: Okay, here you are!
(FX—sound of coins tinkling)

Flavius: You're one short.
(FX—one more coin)

Brutus: Hey, you got a good ear.

Flavius: When it comes to money—perfect pitch.

Let's go, eh?

Concluded here

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