“Excellent Caffeinus!” Libertinus shouted across to Nellus the Barristerus.
And it was indeed an excellent blend, brought all the way from Libya and roasted to perfection by the Arabian traders in their quarter of Modern Rome.
Literatus the Librarian grumbled, ‘The Caffeinus may be good but I wonder at the young people of today. They have so little culture and their education is sadly lacking.”
“You really have a grump on today”, said Verbo Ipsum. “What has brought that on?”
“Walking here today I spotted a new graffiti carved on the west wall of this open space.” explained Literatus. “It read, ‘OMFG teh phoenecian suckz LOL’. Such immaturity. And their spelling!”
“Ahh”, exclaimed Verbo Ipsum, “What else can you expect from a Forum Poster.
“A hot Caffeinus from Arabia, a Greek pastry, what more could a good Roman want in these modern times,” Zoophilus mused.
Nellus the Barristerus ruffled his hair, “Oh, there are few other things which may be wanted.” and caught everyone’s eyes with her jaunty walk back to her serving tabula.
“And what are you doing for the good of your fellow Romans this week?” quaeritur Libertinus of Verbo Ipsum, sipping his hot Nubian Caffeinus.
“Not a lot this week.” Verbo replied. “There was a chance I was going to be doing something on the Tiber but that has fallen through.”
“What were you planning?” Secundus sat at the tabula and joined the conversation.
“It wasn’t what I was planning. My mates wanted me to build a wooden platform out into the river.” explained Verbo.
“What was the problem with that?” asked Secundus, in an unwise addition.
“Well,” explained Verbo, “I don’t give in to pier pressure.”
“Now that is enough to warm the cockles of any man’s heart,” said Libertinus. He was looking, as was every other man at his tabula, at the gently swaying coxis of Nellus, the barristerus of the Forum Cafeteria as she walked back to her serving station.
“Speaking of warming,” the Librarian Literatus mused after a suitable time of appreciation, “My house needs some warmth. It is really cold and that is not improved by the paintings of the walls.”
“What is wrong with the paintings?” asked Secundus.
“They are all of Polar Bears and Icebergs and Penguins and stuff. Just looking at them makes me shiver.”
Secundus posed a reasonable question, “Why not paint over them?”
“I have tried several times but the original artwork always bleeds through,” explained Literatus.
Verbo Ipsum perked up and commented, “I think I know the guy you need. Pictorius the painter from Pompeii has developed a new paint. It comes in yellow and red and orange. You feel warm just looking at his work.”
“And just what makes you think this Pictorius character can do what every other painter in Rome has failed to do?” grumbled Literatus.
“This is guaranteed to cover over any pre-existing paint.” Verbo Ipsum retorted. “And it will make your house feel warmer. It is his special anti-freize.”