A Pompeii Pal

Snarky around corner, but for a moment…

Italy is in the news. Our brothers and sisters are living through individual and collective stories written by an evil author of viral consequence. They are to be shown every ounce of compassion and support available. So, too, are all the sufferers of ills, depressions, and anxieties as result of this global pandemic. Surreal. Unlike anything our living, breathing earth has seen since 1918, when millions of our ancestral friends grievied the loss of loved ones themselves.

Italy was in the news during the late 16th century as well. Uncovered after centuries, buried under 19 feet of volcanic debris, the ruins of Pompeii were discovered.

Apparently, in 79 CE (Current Era … yeah, it’s a thing), Mount Vesuvius had what amounted to a bad gas day resulting in a quick burial for the unfortunate inhabitants below his bellowing ash hole. Fitting two word phrase seeing as how Mr. V decided to interrupt an otherwise ordinary day with sudden death, despair, and destruction.

Not aside, sarcasm is purposefully inserted here because it was masterfully – and sidewalk artfully – used by a toga wearing wall-writer at the time. More about this dude in a bit.

We have Pompeii. A bustling boulder, semi-metropolis of first century A.D. (C.E. ..?) thinking where grapes, scrolls, and steam baths-o’bacteria ruled the hours. Men of high stature statues lined the lanes and pebbles rumbled under the chariot wheels as horses pulled piles of hay atop peasant wagons.

Scenes of daily struggle were simple, I can suppose in my, now, coronavirus isolation, stay-at-home mandate mind. No electronics, cars, or airplanes flights to miss … or Facebook political opinions to violently tap in my opposition .. then delete before actually posting up.

Toga toddlers spinning about, discovering what was new to them that remained undiscovered by elders stuck in traditional ways of their ancestors. The legacy of what remains in the remains of every generation since. The cycle of cyclical time. Pompeii was just us a thousand-and-a-hundred-or-so years behind.

Enough deep, philosophical pandering to my early morning muse. Sorry ’bout that. She gets me … not in the sense, “She gets me” like “Wow, she understands my inner soul” … more like, “She freakin’ ropes me in with all the deep thinking and won’t untie me ..” kinda gets me.

Anyway. Pompeii.

The walls of Pompeii have an interesting history. According to “Uncle John’s Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader, 14th Book” …

“In Pompeii, the walls of every building were used as billboards on which anyone was allowed to write whatever they wanted. When the buried city was excavated, archaeologists found notices of upcoming plays at the theater, the schedule of games at the stadium, the price of goods at the market, and the comments of passersby.

The elections in Pompeii were coming up when the city was destroyed, so thousands of political ads were found, including this one: ‘Vote for Vatia, who is recommended by sneak thieves, the whole company of late drinkers, and everyone who is fast asleep‘ “

Sarcasm nearly 1,900 years ago. Gotta love it. Ironic, too, that we are in an election year as well. Good thing there’s no sarcasm here!! No volcanoes ready to erupt anywhere on social media walls anytime soon, right?? I can’t IMAGINE any of us writing our thoughts anywhere public …. oh, the shame to bear on our toga-less, exposed back-sided opinions these days.

So, back to our ancient spray can dude. He’s the real hero of this tale today. I’d even suggest he is our bare-back rider of a white Fresian horse; This mere peasant is the only hero for all humanity needing a sarcasm-saving champion of the day. I love this dude for one reason … and one reason only.

On the wall, he scrawled:

Everybody writes on the walls but me”

I’m sure he perished in the massive belch. Good for him. Dying as a sarcastic, real, grape loving toga dude. Live on, bro .. We’ve got ya covered from here.

If only I could find a local steam bath. I’m in the mood for some company. Social Distancing is killing my buzz and I’m out of spray paint.

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