"The Problem With Centurions"

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Leather cuirass makers in the armor trade are facing grim news this quarter, as sales continue to plummet. If trends do not reverse soon, many leather cuirass makers may have to go out of business, either switching to leather doublets, or learning an entirely new trade. Experts are blaming the decline in sales on the shopping habits of Centurions.

"By not buying leather cuirasses, Centurions are basically ruining Rome," explained elder statesman Podex Maximus. "These leather cuirass makers have been doing great work for many years, then along comes this new generation of Centurions who suddenly are only buying a small leather doublet, then spending all their denarii on fancy mail armor to wear on top. Why are they wasting their sestertii on this fad mail armor trend, when some leather and a scutum was all the protection we needed back in my day?"

Although some Centurions have argued that mail armor -- sometimes even including bracers and greaves -- might be more desirable thanks to changing fashion trends and the existence of the Dacian falx, experts agree that the Centurions are basically entitled whiners who are ruining great traditions.

And that certainly doesn't stop with their obsession with metal armor. Priestesses of Juno have noted a large drop in animal sacrifices, most likely caused by Centurions who seem more interested in training than in religious rites. It's unclear whether they are praying only to Mars instead of Jupiter and Juno, or whether they have simply abandoned proper religious rites entirely, but older, more traditional, and therefore wiser Romans are quite troubled by this trend.

"It's not just animal sacrifices, some of these Centurions aren't even interested in attending orgies or chariot racing any more," said local businessman Pompus Stultus. "What would Rome come to if a simple, affordable, enjoyable sport like chariot racing become so much less popular that people stopped coming to the colluseums? And now, not content to just eat roast meat off of a lead plate like the rest of us, the new Centurion fad is a very fancy confection of ground wheat baked in a pan. These so-called Pan Cakes are ridiculous posh food any real Roman doesn't care about, but the Centurions are gobbling them up!"

Stultus went on to argue that by spending a few denarii on Pan Cakes, most Centurions wouldn't be able to realize the Roman Dream of owning their own domus. "It's a goal worth saving for, but these Centurions today have no ability to plan for the distant future," said Stultus of the Centurions, who apparently suffer a lack of morale, in part because they are commonly executed if they display insufficient valor in battle.

It's definitely creating many concerned citizens, including one Mrs. Incontinentia. She explained that she is worried because, "My husband Biggus tells me that the Centurions are ruining everything, by buying and eating the wrong things and living their lives totally outside the bounds of what we know is best for them."

Frankly, we as a society must figure out how to address this most dire of problems, that some more recently formed groups of people will indeed -- and this may be shocking -- have different priorities, desires, and goals than previous groups. Simply accepting that fact as a natural result of individuality and/or a change in circumstance would be a dereliction of our duty. As far as I can figure out, what the world needs most is more newspaper articles talking about how horrible it is that people are making different choices.

I'm helping.

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor columnist, the author of "From God To Verse", and has read too many online articles about millennials so wrote this column (how ionic). His website is RisingPun.com.

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