Tuesday, September 21, 2010


“J” is for “Jokes.”
Practical jokes, that is.
Pranks – practical jokes – have a long history that goes back many centuries. There are quite a number of pranksters in Shakespeare’s plays and one of them was the Queen of Egypt.
In my ABC Wednesday effort last week, my letter “I” was for “Infatuation.”
Infatuation pretty accurately describes how Mark Antony of Rome fell for the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, as Will Shakespeare wrote in his play “Antony and Cleopatra.”
In this play you’ve got one of the great love affairs of all time, because Cleo fell for Mark just as much as he did for her.
So what does this have to do with the letter “J” for practical jokes?

Well, it’s a kick to learn that Mark Antony, a commanding general and the most important guy in Rome – when Rome pretty much ruled the known world – had as the love of his life the high-spirited Egyptian Queen, who wasn’t above horsing around with pranks and practical jokes from time to time.
When I say this couple had a high old time together, I mean high. Mark Antony would occasionally get so drunk he would pass out.
Playful Cleo couldn’t resist.
CLEOPATRA: “I drunk him to his bed, then put my hat and clothes on him.”
So this powerful general and leader of the known world woke up to find himself dressed as an elegant, fashionable lady of that era.
That was one we can’t blame on Ashton Kutcher. :-)


Unknown said...

I think that humor is one of the most overlooked things in history. We know what people ate, how they dressed, tons of stuff about war and art, but what did they laugh about?
Your post reminded me of a webcomic I read yesterday:

And I love the Cleopatra drank Mark Antony under the table :)

Sylvia K said...

We can all use a good joke, that's for sure!! Great one for the J Day! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy -- jokes and otherwise!


Leslie: said...

I really enjoyed last week's post and you've just made it even better with a sort of post script. Jolly info about Mark & Cleo! Can hardly wait to see what you come up with next week. :D

photowannabe said...

Too funny. That's the best pratical joke I have heard in a long time.

Kristen Haskell said...

Interesting I never knew that. I must admit this is one of the Shakespeare's I have not read. One reason I enjoy your blog so much. I always learn something.

Roger Owen Green said...

"Some people call me...the gangster of love." - The Joker, Steve Miller
That's what came to mind.

On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you! -ROG

Nanka said...

Fun read... Does one really look elegant and fashionable when waking up in the morning ...I wonder!! :)

Berowne said...

Sylvia K: "Great one for the J Day!"
Thanks, Sylvia.

Berowne said...

Jedediah, Leslie, photowannabe, Roger O G and Nanka -- thanx for your encouraging support.

Berowne said...

Kristen H: "One reason I enjoy your blog so much."
One reason I enjoy your comments so much. :-)

Wanda said...

Oh that is so funny. Another great use of the Letter J.

Gayle said...

Lucky for Mark Anthony the internet wasn't around then, otherwise Lady Cleopatra may have posted photos of her practical joke for all to see and chuckle at!

Unknown said...

Once more a great post on the great bard!
Helen Mac, ABC team

Unknown said...

Great choice of J-word, 'jokes', as in practical jokes in history.
Lovely post.
Best wishes,
Anna's J-word (abc-Wed rd-7)

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...


poetry award for you.
Happy Sunday!

Blog designed by Blogger Boutique using Christy Skagg's "A Little Bit of That" kit.