Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 117

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 117

…She opens the door, revealing a dust covered Agent Daniels…

You don’t see what you think you do

“There is nothing Ace, not a damned trace of that building………it is like it wasn’t there all along,” she hands her binoculars to him.

“You must be crapping me! It is one huge dusty nothing; zero debris, like it was vaporized!” he stands amazed.

Stunned silence.

“You know this shouldn’t surprise me AB, not after all that other weird stuff I’ve seen.”

“It appears that we succeeded in annihilating an illusion.”

“No 39th floor, no building… no revenge, I’m not feeling the love here.”

“Shadow boxing is good practice for the real thing CC, so now we know that not everything is as it appears.”

Suddenly there is a knock at their door.

“Could that be Polizia Locale?” asks Ace in his best Italian. “Better open the door.”

She does so revealing a dust covered Agent Daniels.

“At least we know the dust was real!”

“And you are???”

“Bannion, Ace Bannion.”

“I assume you are the one with the demolition skills,” the Daniels/Cephus points at the remaining crater. “I certainly did not expect you to pull it off, Constance.”

“How did you know we were going to blow the place into eternity?”

“I have my ways,” a good G-man doesn’t show his entire hand. “Eternity would be nice, but this will do for now. It will take him a while to relocate, but he will.”

“Who is he, may I ask?”

“You haven’t guessed by now?”

“The Devil is the real deal?” Ace remains skeptical, despite Connie’s background stories.

“You may choose to ignore him, but Satan is real and he is looking to devour mankind’s collective soul.”Pentateuch-001

“How does he fit that on his business card?”

“It is his calling card you want to avoid. If he leaves that, it means he has already done his dirty work.”


 Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 102

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 116

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 116

When We Last Left

“I see a set of footprints, one up, one down, same shoes,” comments Ace.

“I see two up, one of them older and then one down.” Connie’s powers of observation are professionally acquired.

“That would mean someone is inside.”

Ah ha!

“Exactly and I told Daniels not to get caught inside that rat-hole this week.” The poor spy’s-spy has to follow orders from many sources. “I didn’t consult him on the wisdom of my plans. Some things are best left unsaid.”

“Refresh my memory, just why do you want to blow this place to kingdom come?”

“Put it this way, if I could leave a note behind I’d write: ‘Greetings and felicitations from your greetings and felicitationsConstance Caraway-001

friends at Constance Caraway & Associates, you remember, the ones you’re f******g back in the US of A? When we get mad, we get even’.”

“I think they’ll get the message either way.” He is seeing the side of Constance he has been missing; nice ass – BADASS.

“Make sure that the note, the building and the anything else here doesn’t survive the blast.”

It is on during the second full night of their Roman holiday, that they move to carry out the plan. Ace lays down enough plastic explosive to rattle the windows in the  Vatican itself. “They’ll think it’s an earthquake.” The limestone blocks, held in place by ancient mortar, should collapse toward the center, leaving a dusty pile of rock.

They return to their quaint hotel in the waning cover of darkness. The charges are set to detonate at 6:05.30 and they will be able to see the entire site from their lone SE facing window. There is a half drunken bottle of Nebbiolo and a small round of Asiago cheese on the coffee table, ready for congratulatory consumption.

As they big hand of the wall clock passes straight-up eleven and then twelve, vaporizeglasses are poised. Constance instinctive huddles against her co-conspirator.Image result for 6 o'clock gif

6:05.28, .29, .30, _*^+#!#$%&&^$#@@$%& and the whole earth trembles in its wake.

“Bingo!”

Bango, bongo,” the munitions man concludes.

When the mushrooming dust settles back down and the air clears, “There is nothing Ace, not a damned trace of that building………it is like it wasn’t there all along,” she hands her binoculars to him.

“You must be crapping me! It is one huge dusty nothing; zero debris, like it was vaporized!” he stands amazed.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 101

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 115

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 115

…After a good night’s rest, the pair, dressed like any other tourists, stroll down the historic thoroughfares…

Docking an oceangoing freighter is a landing of a divertive sort. Though the seas are rough, the fully loaded cargo vessel cuts its way through chop without much bother. And though it is a ways in from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the City of Seven Hills’ territory extends to the shore, with arterial aquatic access on the Tiber River. Not a commercial seaport, Rome serves as a touch ‘n go stop for tagalongs like Caraway and Bannion and their lumbering transport ship.

Much like any other international destination, Ace knows where to go and who can get him there, “Don’t lose track of me CC.”

“Not a chance Ace, I may just feed off your leftovers.”

“No chum here for you chum. There is not a pretty girl in every port-o-call like you may have speculated.”

She does not lead on like she was paying much attention, but she is, “Let’s find a place to stay for the night, we can hit it hard tomorrow….”

“Yes, hit it hard!”

“In separate rooms…….”

“Same room, I’ll take the sofa.”

“That’ll work,” she concedes, “then we can go over our strategy.”

After a good night’s rest, the pair, dressed like any other tourists, stroll down the historic thoroughfares, set out to case the building at Tre Sei (666) Via Catone. Constance always has a camera in her handbag, and sometimes it even has film in it, but not this time; it makes a neat click sound either way. Ace is Ace, checking his tour guide, which is a nondescript piece of paper from out of his wallet, serving as a map.

“Creepy building CC… has to be from the days of the Roman Empire.”

“Look up… try not to be obvious man… at the top floor windows.”

“Let’s see, they are pitch-black and have beads of water on Worn stairsthe outside of them. I believe that means it’s much colder inside than out, right?”

“But a building this old does not have a heating or cooling system. It may be winter in this hemisphere, but it is still 60 degrees or so, so how do account for the condensation,” she lays out the facts? “You can’t, can you?”

“Can’t say that I can,” he looks up, down and around and inside the portico. “The granite on the stairs is well worn. I see a set of footprints, one up, one down, same shoes.”

“I see two up, one of them older and then one down.”

“That would mean someone is inside.”


 Constance Caraway P.I.


page 100

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 110

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 110

…I’m not into crocodiles and leaches, besides, they are sentenced to hang… I read the book…

“Do you want to help or did you come all this way to make fun of me?” Connie is serious about getting to Italy… to the Devil’s Headquarters no less.

Ace Bannion does have a serious side, real serious. And he knows people, influential people, unlikely people… and he’s been places and seen things others only dream about.

“I know a MATS pilot who does a weekly run to and from Tangier once a week.” See. “We could catch a ride on the jump-seats for free on me.”

“What the hell are mats, some sort of flying carpet?” Ace’s military lingo has Connie hoping for the best.

“Military Air Transport Service, he flies a C-124 GlobeMaster out of Brookley AFB in Alabama, then off to French Morocco; we could take a boat from there.”

“The African Queen, no thank you. I’m not into crocodiles and leaches, besides, they are sentenced to hang… I read the book.

“Me too, and if you remember, Rose and Charlie save themselves by sinking the Louisa and they live happily ever after,” the globetrotter recalls. “We can hop a freighter to Morocco-001Malta, and then catch an island hopper over to Rome, one-two-three.”

“Count to three and say N O.”

“I get us to Morocco and I believe we can find a more conventional route to Rome. Come on, don’t you remember the flying boats?”

“That is another story from another time,” she harkens back to the Hong Kong Clipper, which was an episode in another book (The Life & Times of a Black Southern Doctor). “But I do like the friends fly free program you are offering.”

“I will get us on the next GlobeMaster…….that is one great plane!” If he had his way, he would be sitting in the pilot’s not the jump seats. He is the boss of his own airplane, “I believe they cross the big pond on Mondays, so I’ll fly us down to Brookley Sunday night.”

“That gives us the weekend to bum around.”

“Yes, I want to meet all the characters you have been talking about.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 98

Roman Almanac – WABAC Into History

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Fascinating Facts

About the Romans

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Set the WABAC for Ancient Rome, Sherman My Boy.”

Ancient Rome had a huge effect on the world as we know it today. Many of the ideas they had in regards to governing and infrastructure are still in use in the modern world, and similar to Ancient Egypt, everyone knows quite a lot about the Ancient Romans.

 However, just like with the Ancient Egyptians, when a culture becomes that ingrained in the public consciousness, we tend to learn a lot of things that aren’t actually true. Some of the stranger or less convenient facts get swept entirely under the rug. The Ancient Romans are a fascinating culture, and in some ways stranger or more disgusting than you might have imagined.

10. Christians Weren’t Fed To Lions and Many Tales of Martyrdom Were Exaggerated

One of the most popularly told tales about the Romans is how they fed the Christians to the lions for having the audacity to start a new religion and do their own thing. This has been recounted in so much popular culture it is staggering, and at this point it may be impossible to remove it from the public mindset. The sad part here is that it is incredibly untrue, but the untruth has become so ingrained it may as well be fact to most people. Not only are the stories about feeding Christians to lions without any real basis, but many scholars argue that there is no real proof for the kind of sustained, and targeted persecution that many later Christian writers would put forth.

There were, truthfully, only a handful of scattered years where Christians were ever targeted specifically at all, and many of the more colorful accounts of martyrdom are completely impossible to verify, and there is good reason to believe many of the stories were much exaggerated. Now, this doesn’t mean that Christians weren’t ever put to death for reasons that involved their beliefs, but some scholars argue that in many cases where a Christian was killed for being Christian, it was because they made statements refusing the divinity of the emperor or something similar while in court. This wasn’t a specifically targeted persecution, even if it was a difficult position for them to be in – not wanting to say someone is divine when they do not believe they are.

9. In Ancient Rome the Word Decimate had an Entirely Different Meaning

When we use the word decimate today, we just mean to destroy something really badly, often completely or entirely. This is essentially the correct meaning now because of common usage, but when the term was first coined, its meaning was much more literal. As you might imagine from the root of the word, it originally had to do with the number ten. When a group of soldiers committed some crime, such as desertion, the entire troop would be punished to put them in their place. They would isolate the entire group, and then have them draw lots to decide who was going to die.

The Romans would then force those who were to live to kill the tenth of the troops that drew lots. This meant that, quite literally, they were removing one tenth of that troop, or “decimating” it. This was one of the earlier forms of something referred to today as military discipline, where an entire troop is punished for a few men’s infractions, to make sure the entire troop self-polices. This can be seen some today in modern armies where someone will make a mistake and the entire unit will be forced to pay for the mistake. However, in today’s modern world we don’t kill our troops, we just make them do push-ups or something similar.

8. Romans Shared a Sponge on a Stick for Cleaning Up After Using Public Toilets

Today we like to think of Romans as very hygienic for their time. In fact, we often consider them a beacon of cleanliness that the world didn’t see anything like for quite some time. They had their own sewer and water systems and they had public baths and were very much into being clean. However, the truth is that many of the Roman’s habits would disgust many people today who live in some of the countries without much infrastructure. For example, their public bathrooms were a horror show. It wasn’t uncommon for gigantic rats to come out of the sewer, and because they contained gases, fires could erupt randomly.

To make matters worse, the Romans at public toilets shared a single sponge on a stick that they used to clean up after using the bathroom. They would use the sponge on a stick to wipe themselves up, rinse it, and then leave it for the next person to use. Most people today would be absolutely disgusted by the thought of using a sponge to clean themselves that a bunch of random people had also used. And while people think they were clean, the Romans didn’t actually bathe traditionally, per se. Instead, they would cover themselves in oils, and then scrape it off their skin with an instrument called a strigil.

7. The Romans Invented an Early Form of Concrete

The Romans did an incredible amount of building, and their gigantic structures as well as their infrastructure such as aqueducts are one of the things they are most famous for. One of the biggest reasons we still talk about their buildings so much is because so many of them have managed to withstand the test of time. They managed this by using an early form of concrete, something that was essentially unheard of at that time in history. On top of that, once the Roman Empire fell, the knowledge was lost, and concrete was basically rediscovered much later on.

However, that doesn’t mean that Roman concrete is the same as modern concrete. Modern concrete is actually ten times the strength of Roman concrete, however, the concrete they had back in the day was still an incredible achievement, and not just because they were able to build it at all. Because they had their own unique kind of concrete, it may have been weaker, but it had advantages ours does not. Due to being made with volcanic ash, it actually performs way better against erosion, especially from water, something that modern concrete does not do very well with at all. This has allowed their buildings to withstand the test of time, for generations of tourists to continue to explore and be fascinated by.

6. The Romans Drove a Birth Control Plant to Extinction

Back in the day Romans were definitely known for their love of sex, and they would not have denied their love for it at all. There was a plant called Silphium which they greatly prized, because they believed that it could act as a method of birth control. It could only be grown wild and attempts to put a quota on the harvest failed miserably, due to how ridiculously popular the plant became. It was soon worth an incredible amount of money, and before too many years, the Romans had managed to lust their way to the extinction of the entire plant.

However, some people today wonder if it really worked. The problem is that there is really no way to be actually sure. The plant has gone extinct so we cannot really check samples, and there were plenty of dubious medical cures in Ancient Rome, so this could have been one of them. On the other hand, some experts believe it could have had abortion inducing affects, which means all the men taking it would have been wasting their time and the plant. However, the truth is that whether it worked or not is hardly important. The truth is that just thinking it had that effect was enough – the Romans loved consequence free sex so they drove the plant to extinction.

 5. Some Believe the Antichrist Referred to was Nero

The idea of an antichrist figure who becomes a ruler on earth, and helps set up the final battle between good and evil, that culminates in the second coming of Christ, has been fascinating people for a very long time. Many people will claim that the latest world leader they don’t like is the antichrist, and many people have been suggested to be this figure over the years. For some, the antichrist is always yet to come, but for others, he may have already been. Many scholars believe it is quite possible that the passages referring to the figure we now call the antichrist were actually talking about the Emperor Nero.

This man blamed the Christians for the fire of Rome, and persecuted them greatly. He killed his own mother and was known for being one of the most despicable tyrants in the history of Rome. However, even more telling, is the fact that when he died, many people believed he had just disappeared. Many believed he was actually going to be resurrected or return somehow, and bring more great evil to the world. And if you look at the encoded numbers that everyone always points to as the mark of the beast, the numbers can represent Nero’s name if you interpret them a certain way. Of course, this interpretation may not have been accurate either, but the fact the Christians thought he might resurrect at all shows how much they feared this man.

4. The Romans Flooded the Colosseum in Order to Conduct Mock Sea Battles

The Romans were a culture that liked to do things on a very grand scale, and they certainly kept true to this when they reenacted battles. Specifically, they decided that they wanted to reenact large scale naval battles, so they would dig out huge trenches in the ground, make artificial lakes, and then fill them with soldiers and rowers carrying out the various parts of the battle. In order to make it realistic as possible, prisoners and captured soldiers would literally be forced to fight to the death as part of the mock battles. These forms of entertainment were very popular, but due to the incredible expense they were only done on special occasions.

Many people were not sure at first if the coliseum was used for these spectacles, as it was hard to find physical evidence and it seemed like the structure would not support it. However, it turns out that the coliseum could have supported being flooded for such a purpose; they just would have had to use much smaller scale ships and such. And while there is little physical evidence, there are plenty of written sources that point to the coliseum being used at least a few times for this purpose. The Romans were always about going as big and all out as possible, and their theater was some of the most advanced and realistic you would find anywhere. Today, we stick with pretending to kill people when putting on a show.

3. The Very Strange Lives of Ancient Rome’s Vestal Virgins

The Romans were very religious and very superstitious and had many different gods. One of the more important gods was called Vesta, a great goddess of fire. They believed that as long as her fire was kept burning, Rome as a civilization would endure for the ages. To this extent, they decided they needed well trained and well-disciplined people to keep the fire burning always, to make sure Rome remained. For some reason, they decided that the best way to accomplish this would be to appoint six young girls at a time, who would remain virgins as long as they remained in their position.

It was a coveted position that gave them status most women would never get, but it did come with the price of having to remain virgins for as long as they were helping keep the fire lit. A vestal virgin who briefly let the fire go out was punished severely, usually taken aside, stripped and beaten in order to instill in them how important it is to attend to their sacred duty. And if a vestal virgin became a virgin no longer, it was considered an act of incest, because they were married to the city, and the cities citizens were related to the city in some form. This logic may not sound particularly sound, but to the Romans, it was very important that these women remained virgins. When they committed the crime of being a virgin no longer, certain rules forbade the normal means of execution for these women, so vestal no longer virgins were buried alive as punishment.

2. Urine Was Used as a Cleaning Product for Both Teeth and Clothes

As we mentioned earlier, the Romans were known for being hygienic, but they also did a lot of things that we might find rather questionable. And one of the most questionable things would likely be the way they made use of urine. Now, urine is mostly ammonia so it can be used in cleaning products, and ammonia does have cleaning properties, but the difference is that today we are essentially processing it to only keep the stuff we need.

Back in the day, Romans would use urine in order to whiten their teeth, and also in order to clean clothes. Urine would be collected throughout the day, and then diluted with water somewhat, and poured over clothes, where the launderer would then stomp on them to sort of simulate the workings of how a washing machine works now. While it may have indeed been useful at getting out the stains, we don’t really want to imagine what their clothes would have smelled like, since they soaked them in unprocessed urine in order to get them clean. However, likely the Romans would have been used to the smell, or perhaps would have used various oils or other perfumes to hide it. As we mentioned earlier, they also didn’t clean in the traditional sense to begin with and instead oiled themselves and then scraped off the excess.

1. There is Little Evidence That Romans Threw Up on Purpose So They Could Eat More Food

One of the most commonly believed myths is that Romans had a special room in which they threw up food so they could then go eat more food. This has been greatly confused because there is a word for a “vomitorium”, but this is just the exit of a coliseum, where it “vomits out” all the people back onto the street. This “fact” has made its way into books like the Hunger Games series, where the people of the capital are seen as being similar to the Romans in this respect. When most people learn that this isn’t actually true, many insist that the Romans at least still threw up on purpose to eat more.

 However, there is really little evidence of such actually happening. Romans did sometimes throw up on purpose, just as some people do today. But it is likely there were other reasons for it, just as there are today. There is really little reason to believe that Romans were actually throwing up just to make room for more food right there on the spot, and then stuffing down more, just to throw up again. This widespread belief, which is a great exaggeration, likely has made its way around due to the fact that Romans were known for elaborate feasts and hedonism in general, making it very easy to believe. The truth is, what people are talking about likely wouldn’t work that well anyway. Most people don’t feel like eating after being full, and don’t really want to make room for more, and most people certainly don’t feel like eating after recently throwing up.

Roman Almanac

– WABAC Into History