This year our community theater performed
a stage adaptation of Caligula. Local talent
Ted Farley (whom, everyone agrees,
was inspired as Elliot in last year’s
presentation of the Goodbye Girl)
was recruited for the title role.
Ted takes his acting seriously.
Soon he was marching around town in
full Roman regalia, barking orders
at shopkeepers and cops.
Within days he had initiated the construction
of two new aqueducts in town,
and had invaded the next county,
annexing it as a province.
He began sleeping with other men's wives
and bragging about it.
In time he was killing on a whim for mere amusement,
and demanding to be worshipped as a god.
One night he ordered his guards to
throw an entire section of the audience
into the arena during intermission
to be eaten by wild animals because he was bored.
After that, there was general consent that finally we had to do
Something. A plot was hatched and some members of the
Board of Supervisors converged on him in the public
square and stabbed him to death.
Things have quieted down considerably since then
and are nearly back to normal.
The only drawback about living here these days
is the awful clanging of the legionnaires’ armor.