Beware the Ides of March

Yeah, I know. We’ve still got a couple weeks ahead of us on that topic.

But a colleague of mine plans to return to Germany / Regensburg / the office on that day after a big long business trip around several of our company’s Asian locations. When asked, he said he’d return on March 15th, which you and I know as the Ides of March.

I said

Whoa. Be careful.

He said


I said

March 15th! On that day Julius Caesar was murdered!

He said

Cliff, what are you talking about?

I said, with disbelief

Um, “Et tu, Brute?” and all that?

His eyes told me he had no idea what I was talking about.

I said

OK, March 15th is pretty famous as a bad luck day because Kaiser Julius got stabbed in the back by people he trusted on that day.

He said

Wow, Cliff, you know a lot about history.

He walked off and I stood there, shaking my head. This is country of Asterix and Obelix. This is the country whose Gymnasien made me sit through 4th-year Latin classroom instruction, reading Pliny the Elder and tales of Roman conquest and exploration throughout Gaul and Brittania (uh…18 years ago…maybe things have changed since then). This is Shakespeare’s spiritual Heimat (as far as they are concerned). This is the country of Roman baths and where people know what Q.E.D. stands for.

But the Ides of March — or even the significance of March 15th — is a mystery? But that reminds me of a similar incident a few months ago: another guy in our same office is getting married on May 8th.

I say

Congratulations! May 8th, May 8th, May 8th, why does that sound familiar to me?


Oh right, ‘L’ — I guess you’re capitulating, huh?

L says

Uh, what?

So then I told him about V-E Day, and how Russians celebrate it on May 9th, and all I got were those polite nods and grunts you receive when the conversation has lost its relevance and can we please just go back to looking at our computer screens?