History’s Big Giggle

A2 BruteIt’s the Ides of March today so you should beware. If you don’t know what the Ides of March is, there is a solid chance you have lived a completely normal life suffering absolutely no ill effects of not knowing that March 15th of every year is a day of bad omens.

March 15th is the day that Julius Caesar was stabbed by Brutus and gang outside of the Roman senate in 44 BC. Ever since then, March 15th has symbolized a day of pending doom, so much so that the fact that our weekend has included a Friday the 13th and the Ides of March should suggest that a meteor is about to plunge into the Atlantic and send us the way of the Tyrannosaurus and Vanilla Ice.

But it didn’t…hasn’t.

Having inherited a familial interest in everything related to doom, pestilence, and death, I decide to look up the Ides and see what this if there’s anything else to suggest March 15th carries some more evidence of bad juju. Not only did Caesar get filleted on March 15th, but Germany took over Czechoslovakia in 1939, and CBS cancelled Ed Sullivan.

Fair enough.

Alright, so I guess March 15th has earned its reputation as the harbinger of doom. But I am over-caffeinated and in the mood for weird history, so I keep searching. An hour later, I finally stumble upon an odd story.

I find an article about seventeen tiny coffins that were discovered in a hillside in Edinburgh in 1836. OK, that’s more like it. “Tiny coffins” meaning four inches long, about an inch or so deep, and occupied with a small doll. Dubbed the “Lilliputian Coffins of Arthur’s Seat” they were discovered in a niche in the hillside, precisely stacked in three rows. Of course nobody has any idea of what or where these coffins come from or who did this.

I think it’s a prank.

With all of the world’s unsolved historical mysteries out there, I desperately want to believe that human history is just full of great jokers and goofballs. Perhaps our ancestors consistently decided to do things with the dual effect of messing with their contemporaries and sending their descendents into a maelstrom of confusion, debate, and controversy.

Now that the ball is rolling, I sit back and imagine all the possible ancient hoaxes that are sitting around our planet.

Perhaps Stonehenge was set up as a drunken Neolithic hazing ritual obstacle course. Maybe people had to drink a gallon of mead and then negotiate the stones in a timed sprint. Perhaps if they failed to meet the requirements they were fed to a pet woolly mammoth. Perhaps all the heads on Easter Island were put there as a prank on sailors returning from a trip. Imagine the looks on the faces of the sailors as they returned to see dozens of huge heads staring at them. Now imagine the sailors’ confusion if the heads had been dolled up in makeup and funny faces.

Perhaps the Ancient Egyptians never buried anyone ceremonially, but decided to confound future humans by burying their plumbers, mutton delivery boys, and garbage men with tools, wine, and weapons.

If you’re like me, you’re wondering how you can do your part in this global conspiracy.

I am thinking of burying a number of cat dolls in erotic positions along the banks of the Vltava River. Maybe I’ll make a diorama of the founding fathers celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence with a pizza party. I’ll somehow put it into the middle of a tree in the backyard.

But as these things require going outside, I think I’ll wait until March 16th.

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