From a Roman Wall #42

graphics-romans-528700“Ave, Salve, Good morning.” Libertinaus arrived loudly at the Forum Cafeterium.

“Gratias,Thank you. He said to Nellus as he accepted his beaker of steaming hot caffeinus.

“Mmm – those Greek pastries look delicious this morning. Could I have one of those walnut baklavas, please?” he asked Nellus as he moved towards his seat.

“I saw your brother Quintus at the convivo, the banquet, last night.” he said to Secundus. “I had thought he was going farming with his younger brother Octavius.”

“Ahh, yes.” replied Secundus thoughtfully. “Quintus was always looking for some sort of profession. He played around with being a Scribe for a while then decided to become a Priest for Mithras. He even spent a while promoting Gladiators at the Flavian Amphitheatre. He has not discovered his life’s work as yet.”

“So he wasn’t really serious about becoming a farmer?” asked Libertinus.

Secundus began to explain, “Like Octavius, he was talking about going goat-herding -“

Verbo Ipsum interrupted, “But he was only kidding around.”

roman graffiti

Sid and Sod #590


From a Roman Wall #41

romanscribe“Salutum, Greetings.” Nellus the Barristerus greeted her customers. “Here is your nice hot post prandium caffeinus.”

“Salve, good morning.” Zoophilus and Literatus said together. “Gratias, thanks.”

Secundus arrived and looked closely at Nellus. “You are looking worried this morning.” he said.

“Yes,” she replied. “It is my morning walk in the forest. In winter it is such a problem. So sad.. The trees have lost their leaves and their dryads are all so worried and tense. It destroys the joy of my boletus, mushroom, collecting trips.”

“So you are a member of the Greek cults.” said Zoophilus. “We Romans believe the Dryads all died out when we conquered Greece.”

“I respect what you say Domine, but you are Roman by birth and ancestry, but my mother was Greek and taught me to respect the old tales. I may have to take mushrooms off the menu for a while.”

“Don’t you worry too much.” interrupted Verbo Ipsum. “Spring will be here soon and the Dryads will be able to relax again. The trees will be relieved.”




It Tickled Granny’s Fancy

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The Australian Women’s Weekly, Saturday 29 July 1944

Sid and Sod #589


Lots of Fun



In the 1930′s & 1940′s when these were published in The Western Mail,

PCishness was not a consideration



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From a Roman Wall #40

romanscribe“Whatever happened to your young brother, Octavius?” Zoophilus the explorer asked Secundus.

The group of Romans at the Forum Cafeterium looked up from the important morning task of drinking from their steaming beakers of caffeinus.

“I was wondering that myself, last night.” said Libertinus. “He was the life of many convivios, parties, but he has disappeared of the scene.”

Secundus looked sadly at his friends. “He sold off his inheritance and bought a small farm. He now spends his time herding sheep and goats.”

“Why did he do that?” asked the ever-curious librarian,Literatus.

“Why on earth not?” asked Nellus Ursus, the barristerus. “He had such a lovely voice. Why, he could make any girl  – – – -.” Her voice trailed off as she blushed.

“We have no idea.” said Secundus. “I don’t think he speaks with anybody at all! He is now a hermit out on his farm. He certainly never speaks to us these days even when we go out to see him.”

“Of course he doesn’t speak any more.” said Verbo Ipsum.

He looked at the enquiring faces, now all turned to him, “He is now pastoral.”

roman graffiti

Sid and Sod #588


From a Roman Wall #39

graphics-romans-528700“Salve, Good Morning.” Literatus greeted his friends at Forum Cafeterium. He took his beaker of steaming caffeinus from the barristerus, Nellus and walked over to the tabula.

“Salve, Literatus,” said the explorer, Zoophilus. “How is life in the Library? Received any good scrolls lately?”

“Yes, I have. They are a bit disturbing, though.”

Secundus asked, “What is wrong? Is it an Empire problem?”

“I think it is. I’ve been receiving news from some of our African outposts. In the Southern jungles there are tribes of cannibals. We can deal with most of them but there is one tribe which seems untouchable.” Literatus looked puzzled as he continued. “This tribe does not eat the peditatus, the foot soldiers. Just the Centurion. Or the Legate if he was a part of the Legion which was captured.”

“And they let all the others go?” asked Zoophilus. “Why didn’t they go back and finish the job?”

“That was the first tactic.” replied Literatus. “However, it seems that pretty soon, no one wanted to lead the cohort into battle. There were no soldiers who wanted to lead and then be eaten. The whole situation is very strange”

“It seems an effective defensive strategy.”  Said Zoophilus. “Without leaders, no attacking force can succeed. By eating the leaders eventually the army will give up.”

“It is an old jungle game.” said Verbo Ipsum. “It’s called swallow the leader.”





roman graffiti

Sid and Sod #587


It Tickled Granny’s Fancy

old joke 21a

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Lots of Fun


In the 1930′s & 1940′s when these were published in The Western Mail,

PCishness was not a consideration


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From a Roman Wall #38


“I’m sorry Citizens.” Nellus announced to the customers at her Forum Cafeterium. “The pistrino, the bakery, has told me there will be no small loaves of panum, bread, today.”

“Well what are we going to have with our caffeinus today?” asked Zoophilus.

“I enjoy these Turkish sweets most mornings.” said Libertinus.

“We can see that.” remarked Secundus cruelly, looking at Libertinus’ growing girth. “But the rest of us enjoy a plain lump of panum with our caffeinus. After a convivio, a banquet, the previous night we need something bland to settle our stomachs.”

“And last night’s convivio was a really good one. The entertainments were breathtaking. That Greek Comedy was excellent. There are some marvellous Greek actors in Modern Rome.” Literatus the Librarian added. “But I do enjoy a small crusty panum in the mornings.”

“I didn’t want to start a riot,” apologised Nellus. “It is just that the baker has decided there isn’t enough profit in the few little loaves they make.”

Verbo Ipsum noticed the two different lines the conversations were going.

In his obscure way, he commented “That’s quite understandable. In bakeries those buns just pay small roles.”



roman graffiti

Sid and Sod


From a Roman Wall #37

graphics-romans-528700“Ave, Good Morning.” Libertinus greeted his friends at the Forum Cafeterium. “We obviously need to convince Caesar to give the populace more bread and circuses. I only just made it home last night. There were riots on the Via’s, the Streets.”

“I’ve been watching these events with interest,” said Literatus the Librarian. “The middle class life style is being squeezed down by the increased taxes Caesar keeps imposing.”

Secundus added, “Some of those middle class rioters are talking a lot of sense. There is a new generation of orators being discovered in these troubled times.”

“Even in the lower classes we are hearing some stirring speeches.” Zoophilus the explorer commented. “It seems all parts of society have their own orators and they are making stirring speeches. Many are listening to them, even the lower class speakers.”

Verbo Ipsum carefully put his beaker of steaming caffeinus down on the tabula and thoughtfully said, “I have heard some of these speeches and by far the worst are the ones made by the homeless! They are just vague rants.”



roman graffiti


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