Hark, I get it. Carpophorus is reinventing the very genre of public violence. I just don’t have time to get into the King of Beasts right now, okay?

It’d be one thing if it looked like the series was ever going to end.

But he’s just too virile, his gladius too sharp, his giraffes too domesticated-specifically-for-slaughter-in-the-ring for him to die anytime soon.

How do you guys make the time? I haven’t even finished the latest papyrus scroll of Horace.

It’s almost less daunting for me to settle in for an entire crucification. I know, the math makes no sense. It can be two and a half, three hours until a prisoner convulses from hypovolemic shock on the cross, whereas a single animal slaying only lasts thirty minutes. But, mentally, I just feel better knowing it’s a one-off.

There’s a hard and fast ending, you know?

I can actually peel myself away when it ends. Get back to my plow. Take a public bath. Bond with my 12-year-old wife.

Meanwhile, the last time I went to the Colosseum for a beast killing, I binged for so many days I actually forgot to pay my taxes and a publican gouged out my eye.

Frankly, I find it annoying that you think this show is worth my other eye.

Hark, I get it. It’s hip to get into these things. You feel like you have to, with all the pressure to join the “cord cutting” movement. It’s undeniable, all the cool Romans are slashing their chariot cords so their horses can run freely to spectacular deaths by Carpophorus. And there he is, always, waiting with a bloodthirsty grin and four or five daggers perfect for horse stabbing.

But how do you guys make the time?

I haven’t even finished the latest papyrus scroll of Horace.

“But it’s been out two centuries already!”

I know that! It just so happens I prefer my poems chiseled into massive slabs of granite instead of frivolously scrawled on lightweight processed reeds.

I firmly believe that if the writing can be moved, the writing cannot move you.

Yes, I came up with that saying myself. I also came up with, “When in Rome, do exactly as one Roman does. Yourself. Do whatever you want.”

That saying still needs work. I’m working on it.

Now, if you really don’t want to talk about anything but the hot new gladiator show, I’ll just be going. There’s a slab of granite I’ve been dying to read and it’s 20 miles from here.

I’ll be back in five years.


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