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Skateboarding On The Appian Way
by Dom Macchiaroli

Caesar and Cicero had a disagreement over the proper way to run the Roman Republic. Cicero thought a group of erudite men clad in togas could eloquently argue their way into the creation of a lawful nation-state. Caesar was more partial to the idea that a few veteran legions marching on Rome could settle things in his favor. In the end it was Mark Antony who came up with the perfect compromise; a skateboard competition. Let individual expertise and prowess on the half-pipe determine whether Rome would become an ordinary republic of laws, or a martial dictatorship bent on enslaving peoples and nations.

And so, on March 14 of the year 44 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar, conqueror of Cisalpine Gaul, great military and political leader, and Marcus Tullius Cicero, philosopher, orator, statesman, lawyer, and strict constitutionalist faced off against each other, mano y mano, in a match of expert skateboarding skills. ESPN 4 was on hand to broadcast the action.

Caesar led off with an incredible half-pipe maneuver, the “ollie”, which stunned the crowd. Then he performed a series of tricks culminating with three blind kickflips. He rode a banana board with Tracker trucks. When he finished, the plebes were in awe, begging for more.

Cicero hadn’t practiced nearly as much, and it showed as he performed some routine vert slash grinds and frontside/backside airs. His kneepads didn’t hold and his turn ended with him catching his dirty cloak in the wheels of his polyurethane board and he fell to the ground. The crowd giggled and the competition ended with Caesar declared the clear winner. Slanders and curses were tossed around, all in Latin of course, but it was obvious to everyone there who had had the better day.

The next morning, on the Ides of March, Caesar was killed in the Senate by Brutus, Cassius, and William Shakespeare because Cicero was a poor sport and paid them off. His menial victory didn’t last long however because Octavian, Caesar’s grand nephew, soon took over anyway, had Cicero executed in an ugly way, and oversaw the creation of the Roman Empire, which gave us marvelous architecture, highly efficient aqueduct systems, bad spaghetti, and Caesar salad which is my son’s favorite food.

This has been a false history of the foundations of the Roman Empire. I hope you enjoyed it and learned absolutely nothing of value, importance, or historical relevance.