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The Ides Of March and a Nerf Tradition

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The Romans had an odd calendar. They didn’t count every day of the month, but instead they went forward or backward from different points within the month.

There were the Nones, which were the 5th or 7th of the month. There were the Ides, which were the middle of the month, were usually on the 13th but in March (and a few other months of the year) it fell on the 15th. And finally they had the Kalends, which were the 1st of the following month.

In the year 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was Emperor of Rome. No one really liked him, including the Senate. Caesar’s friend Brutus, along with up to 60 of the Senators, decided that Caesar needed to be killed. And so Caesar was stabbed in the back by the senators and slain on the Ides Of March. Shakespeare wrote his play Julius Caesar, which gave us the famous lines ‘Beware the Ides of March’ an ‘Et tu, Brutus’.

Skip forward in time a few millennia.

I worked in a small Internet startup company back in the day. We had a tradition on the Ides of March. I’d bring in all my Nerf balls and a few Nerf guns. The other employees and I would gather outside our boss’s office. We’d make sure he wasn’t on the phone or meeting with a client.

When it was all clear, we’d charge into his office and pelt him with all the Nerf balls and unload all the Nerf guns too. It was a symbolic slaying reminiscent of the slaying of Caesar. I’m not sure he ever made the connection.

Let’s be careful out there, dear reader. You never know what dastardly deeds await you around the next corner.

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