Thursday, November 22, 2007

On the Flight of Pigs

[It’s been a while, but I have found another great essay from the great Servus Tertius, so I present it to you, starting at the next paragraph, an essay. As always, anything in brackets are comments to help you understand the essay better. (like this)]

Okay, I know it might be an anachronism, but I don’t know what an anachronism is, so…
I was talking to a friend yesterday when he asked me how I could possibly make pigs fly. This sounded rather odd to me, so I asked him what he meant, and he told me he was wooing the fair Julia when her father, may he spit on his grave, told him that Julia would marry him when pigs fly. My friend took that as a challenge, and I have been stumped on the question ever since.
The simple thing is pigs don’t fly. You might as well have said when the moss decides to turn purple, or when Cicero gives his next speech from his place on the rostra. [I would try to explain this, but I fear I wouldn’t be able to give the humor justice. Ask a Latin student, or Ancient History major and see what they say.] They have just as much chance of happening. By the way, Cicero, you are starting to stink. [Here, Tertius takes a joke that was already questionable and takes it a few steps further down the line. I’m just a translator, though. I don’t have to sink to that level.] Why don’t you bathe sometime? [Baths were very important to Roman life, especially in the upper class. Rather than just being a time to purge onself of the germs and bacteria that one was bound to pick up over the course of the day, baths were social events. Meetings took place there, and I’m sure more than one plot was hatched in a bathhouse. Whether these plots were actually successful is up to speculation.]

The simple fact of the matter is pigs don’t fly. If pigs could fly, they’d have wings, and I told my friend just that. I mean, what are you going to do? Stick a feather [here part of the manuscript was destroyed. This happens all the time when digging up old documents. I’m sure, that what was lost was very much in accordance with the wit and taste of Servus Tertius.] Still, he was determined to try. He asked what if we were to launch them. Of course we all know if you were to launch a pig, it would fall back down, but my friend was of the mind that if we were to launch them high enough, they might not come back down. I dismissed this. Anyway, if you launched a pig, it wouldn’t be flying, it would be more like falling over a trajectory which if looked at in the right way could possibly resemble flying. Besides, just because you don’t see a pig hit the ground doesn’t mean it didn’t. [A very advanced thought for Tertius, indeed]

It became apparent from this that we needed to define flying. A good definition of flying would be staying up in the air without touching the ground. That’s when we had an idea. As long as the pig doesn’t touch the ground ever, it would be flying. However, the father did say “pigs,” not “pig.” And he didn’t say “some pigs” either, so the only way of making it work that I see would be to juggle all the pigs in the world for the rest of your life. Good luck, friend.

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