Mar 15, 2024

Quibbles & Bits: The March of Ides, A Siri of Unfortunate Events and Door-a the Explorer

A full menu of mirthiness!

By Ed Goldman

IDES SAY-SO—Today’s March 15, the Ides of March. For those of you familiar with William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar,” you might find it hard to say, “the Ides of March” without prefacing it with the word “Beware.”

In Shakespeare’s era, this was called foreshadowing. Today we’d call it a spoiler alert. In both the play and the real world, the day doesn’t go well for the Julester. His former besties in the Senate take turns stabbing him, before even hearing his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. (Military: 100 percent increase; Christians: 89 percent decrease)

Edgy Cartoon


“Ides” sort of means divides since that what it does to the month. But just because March 15 gets the cool “Ides” designation, it doesn’t mean that April 15 is the Ides of April. April 15 is more widely known in our country as the day to beware the IRS—especially if you claim a $5,000 deduction with your returns for having purchased Cling Free fabric softener sheets and mailed them to a chimpanzee day-care center.

In short, month to month the day called Ides…slides. I found this out a few years back when I looked up to see if my birthday, which comes out on November 15 each year even if it falls on a weekend, was also the Ides of November. No such luck. For some reason, in November, the “ides” happens on the 13th—which is when my parents got married in 1938. (I arrived 12 years and two days later.) 

But before you get discouraged that your birth month may be Ides-less, rest assured that every month has one. Still, it comes out on the 15th only in March, May, July and October. Whereas those of us born in January, February, April, June, August, September, November and December have to content ourselves with the 13th. It may not seem fair but I’m not going to take it up with the Senate.

VOICE CONCERNS—Meanwhile, the techies behind voice-based Google Assistant are being laid off, it was reported last week by Bloomberg.

You may recall that Bloomberg is the business newswire whose eponymous billionaire founder—”Call me Mike! Even though I could have you pureed!”—tried to grab the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. If memory serves, he finished 43rd out of eight candidates. 

New Google Voice: How may I assist you, Lazy?

User: I beg your pardon.

Looking for a Great Gift?

New Google Voice: Beg all you want. You’re about to ask me to do something you could do all by yourself if you weren’t so lazy—like find your nearest overpriced coffee house, play Bobby Darin singing “Mack the Knife” or decide how to pronounce “hegemony.” 

User: “Head-JIM-inny?” Is that what you said? That’s how you pronounce it?

New Google Voice: Yes, just like Pinocchio’s cricket friend, Jiminy.

User: I thought it was HEDGE-uh-moan-ee. Like “alimony” or “patrimony.” Could you do pronounce it again?

NEW GOOGLE VOICE: (Sound effect of crickets.)

I DUNNO, ALASKA—It’s been awhile since the near-disaster of a door blowing off an Alaska Airlines Boeing jet but I’m still wondering it one of the company’s PR people suggested sending out postcards to get its customers back: “You’re Invited to Re-Sample Our Unmatched Service. BYOD (bring your own door).”

Don’t forget! A new Goldman State Podcast drops every Friday!


Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).