I’m sure that it wasn’t easy being a king, pharaoh, emperor, conqueror or potentate of any kind. Well, at least not if it wasn’t a time of peace and prosperity, and even then, it probably isn’t a cake walk. (But I do have to say that I think the British royalty have it pretty doggone good, living in all those incredible castles, eating well, resting comfortably without worrying about where the money will come from to pay the bills!) As with most things, we need to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes before we judge whether their life is really any better than ours.
So, I have a hunch that even when you have tremendous power, wealth, influence and fame, life as an emperor is not all that cool. One of the greatest and most “successful” emperors ever was Octavian (also known as Caesar Augustus) of the Roman Empire. Power? He had it! Money? Oodles! Fame? Probably the most famous man in the world during his time. If the statues of him are any sort of a likeness, he was a fairly handsome dude, too (though I’ve never been one for curly hair!)
Then why is it that his statue almost always looks like the image of him that I shot this past Saturday? I mean, there he is, always pointing away toward the right with his right hand. You know why? Because someone had the nerve to ask on a particularly busy day of slaughtering his enemies, “Which way did he go? Where’s Augustus?” His reply: “He went That-a-Way!” as he returned to playing shuffleboard with the senators. (At least that’s more than our senators do today!)
OK, I’ll admit that it probably wasn’t the reason. More likely he was pointing the way to the nearest McDonalds.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: On August 5, 1962, movie actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles. She was discovered lying on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death was “caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.”
In recent decades, there have been a number of conspiracy theories about her death, most of which contend that she was murdered by John and/or Robert Kennedy, with whom she allegedly had love affairs. These theories claim that the Kennedy’s killed her (or had her killed) because they feared she would make public their love affairs and other government secrets she was gathering. On August 4, 1962, Robert Kennedy, then attorney general in his older brother’s cabinet, was in fact in Los Angeles. Two decades after the fact, Monroe’s housekeeper, Eunice Murray, announced for the first time that the attorney general had visited Marilyn on the night of her death and quarreled with her, but the reliability of these and other statements made by Murray are questionable.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Want a quick weight loss solution? Go to the equator. At the equator, everything weighs one percent less (so a 200 pound person would only tip the scales at 198!)