Well, it’s that time of year again. The ides of February have passed, the goat and dog have been duly sacrificed, the holy cakes burned by the vestals and it’s now time for all the young girls to have their names put on bits of paper and dropped in a bucket, for the young boys to pick out. Yes, the Love Lottery of February 14. And you never know, if you’re really, really lucky and Aphrodite feels like it, you may fall in love with the one you choose completely at random. Eventually you may even marry!
It’s always difficult to understand the ways of love and the opposite sex when you’re separated most of the time, so thank the gods we have the Love Lottery! How else would a young boy find his one true love? Cupid’s erratic aim can never be completely reliable – just look at what happened to Dido and Aeneas – so a little mortal help can only be a good thing.
Of course, during the fun and frolics of this evening, the important thing to remember is what we are actually celebrating. With all that happens tomorrow, we must never forget the huge debt we owe to Romulus and Remus.
But for tonight, make sure, boys, that your shepherd’s outfits are ready and clean and you have a good supply of shaggy thongs. Girls, however, must understand that the beatings are to help you later on in life and should not be seen as a beating…as such. The entire purpose of running around the outside of the city, wearing a goatskin is only to ensure your fertility. It will also ensure you have an easy time of it in childbirth. You seriously do not want to know how bad it is without this important precaution. If you really want to know, ask a Barbarian. In between the growls, you will see a flicker of agony cross their features.
In your celebrations and wild abandon, spare a thought for the great and wonderful Evander. The deity who brought to us all that is great, wild and raunchy in Greece. Without the great Evander, we’d all still be simple shepherds, tending our flocks and drinking only water. History without Evander is like life without wine – pretty damned insipid!
So, tonight, while we all wait for the explosion of fun that comes with the beginning of Lupercalia, raise your drinking vessels on high and toast the greatness that belongs in the hearts of our founders. To Evander, Romulus and Remus, our founders, our heroes, our excuses for a good time.