Comfort in Boogers

Unsure of how to react to the musky presence of a Roman legionaire in her personal space, Grace did what any sensible person would do. Dig for boogers. Perhaps she reasoned that the soldier would recoil from her due to the Romans' sense of personal cleanliness (which they conveniently set aside when it came to, say, placing severed heads on long sticks and lining main thoroughfares with them). Maybe she was scheming to use a sticky nostril-goodie as a weapon to ward off the threatening spearsman. Sure, his armor and shield are effective against the rain of arrows from enemy cavalry, or against the sharp thrusts of barbarian hand swords. But one well-placed booger-bomb, deftly slid between the soldier's thick armor and his delicate skin, would be sufficient to, I don't know, really gross someone out so they leave you alone, probably forever. It worked for me in high school.

This, of course, isn't a real Roman legionaire. Real Roman soldiers are extinct, along with dodo birds and good butt rock bands. I can live without dodo birds, but it's a shame about the butt rock bands. How come there aren't any new bands with ratted hair and those pointy guitars? Or with poorly-spelled names like Def Leppard or Ratt? The Japanese are the only people who like butt rock any more, and that's probably why they breed world champion hot dog eaters.

I don't really see the connection, either. Let's not worry about it.

Getting back to the faux-Romans, up at Jerash they have daily "Roman rallies," where you pay 7 bucks and get to watch a bunch of Jordanians dressed up like Romans do battle formations and race horse-drawn chariots. As a bonus, you also get to witness a recreation of gladiator battles, where two guys square off against each other, one bests the other and holds the loser with a sword to his throat, and then the audience gets to vote as to whether the loser lives or dies. It's all rigged though. The first two losers live, but then, regardless of what you vote, the last guy gets his throat slit. There's some fake blood squirting and everyone has a good laugh while they drag out the dead guy.

Laughs and giggles in the Middle East.