Thursday, July 14, 2011

Archival Revival: Rock, Paper, Caesar

(originally posted on 6/21/2008)

The following conversation took place a couple of years ago at work:

"What's this paper doing on the floor? Now it's covered with footprints!"

"That's because everybody's been stepping on it."

"Well, I can see everybody's been stepping on it. Why is everybody stepping on it?"

"To get to the tape machine."

"Why don't they just move the paper?"

"Where? You see how crowded it is."

"You can move it to, uh, hmmm...I have to use the tape machine, so I guess I'll just step on the paper myself. When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

"Why don't you piss against a rock?"


"Why don't you piss against a rock?"

"Why should I piss against a rock?"

"You just said, 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do'. Well, in Ancient Rome, didn't they piss against rocks?"

"What makes you think they pissed against rocks in Ancient Rome?"

"'Cause they didn't have toilets."

"Why wouldn't they have toilets? They had aqueducts."

"What's an aqueduct?"

"An aqueduct is--well, it's kind of like a pipe. A big, long, pipe. A canal-sized pipe. Or, it is a canal. Part pipe and part canal. A combination of the two. And it brings water, fresh water, over long distances. For instance, I think it's an aqueduct that brings fresh water from Lake Erie all the way to Akron."

"Really? That's pretty impressive."

"It is."

"Just think, piss from Ancient Rome is going all the way from Lake Erie to Akron."


  1. Oh, no. Perverse creature that I am, I wondered if the ancient Romans also pissed up a rope? Just sayin'!

  2. and what about pissing into the wind? if you're pissing on a rock, the wind is bound to show up. see what you started, kirk!

    and i know, in my heart of hearts, that you were a participant in that conversation.

  3. When I was at the ruins of the Forum in Rome, a kid I was with peed on the stones. Who knew he was only doing what one *should* do in that exact situation?

  4. @Leslie--They did when the Huns showed up.

    @rraine--Well, yeah, but do you know WHICH participant I was?

    @Cram Cake--It's good to see children take an interest in history.

  5. I have nothing clever to say....

    cheers, parsnip

  6. @parsnip--Who sez you have to be? I ain't picky. Thanks for commenting, parsnip.

  7. Not sure the best place to post this comment, but I was in the library yesterday. There, before my eyes, right at my fingertips, sat The Devil's Dictionary. It is now sitting beside the bathtub, inviting water damage, but pleasing me as I soak a couple of times a day. I thank you for reminding me of it.

  8. @Leslie--You're welcome. If you do drop it in the water, just tell the librarian it's a first edition.