• neil

Day 54 (10 May) This is Sparta!

I was watching '300' on Netflix last night. You remember? The move about the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae starring Gerard Butler.

How, I wonder, would King Leonidas have coped with the confinement protocols?

Excuse me Sire. I realise its a busy day and I am so sorry to be a bother. I would love to come with you. I really would. But the Pass of Themopylae is way more than 3 kilometres from my house and I really cannot justify the journey. If there were a supermarket at the pass I could say I popped out for cream eggs and a bottle of lager, but there is nothing round there at all.

Just a million Persians.

If I try claiming it as my daily exercise it falls under the one hour time limit rule.

Frankly, even if each of us kills a Persian every five minutes that’s ......12 x 300 which is only..... 3600 Persians out of a million. We'll just make them really, really cross.

And that is not all great king Leonidas! (I’m warming to my theme here) - the social distancing regulations cannot be respected! I know you intend having us mark out lines on the ground and we will obviously stay within them, but their infantry insist on moving within hugging distance to do their stabbing.

Then there is the PPE. Or the total lack of it. A tin hat with a bit of fluffy red horsehair does not conform to Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of 9 March 2016. It just doesn't. And I know you have been promising various people you can get us latex gloves but that won't wash. I know for a fact that latex will only be invented in 1818.

No, Leonidas, killing Persians is not a designated vital function entitling our children to carry on at school and it is just not practical to give rape, loot and pillage lessons in the home environment. Even if it were, there will be no internet for a couple more millennia which rules out basic Zoom support.

And frankly, lockdown issues aside, I am absolutely freezing.

What on earth made you think that brown leather nappies and a short red cloak were suitable attire at this time of year? Rubbing baby oil into ridiculously muscular limbs is no substitute for a woolly pullover.

I am not going and there's an end of it. You’ll just have to call it 299.

To which Leonidas might well have replied:

Thank you brave Neilas for raising these very valid issues. Sparta takes the health of its citizens with the utmost seriousness.

I can honestly say, hand on heart, if you accompany me your chances of dying of any kind of coronavirus are zero. Not only that, your chances of becoming an effective vector for infection are also zero.

In addition, I promise you that you will burn more calories in one exercise hour than other people burn in a lifetime. In fact, you will burn all your remaining lifetime exercise calories.

You will use your whole body more intensely than you would have imagined possible and you will not be in the slightest troubled by stiffness or aching limbs the day after. Indeed, you will not be troubled by limbs the day after.

I share your concern about the kinky costumes and the baby oil on the pecs but, hey ho, This is Sparta!

It’s a tough one. He's got me hesitating. If I could only remember where I left my javelin.

Stand firm in the shield wall!



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