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Letters to the Emperor is a monthly humor column from the self-proclaimed Emperor of Rome, GA. Nero Romansky, the unqualified descendant of Julius Caesar, answers his letters from his less-than-loyal subjects.  It’s like a toddler playing hide-and-seek with Navy Seals.

[Sounds of strained counting. 998, 999, 1000]. Now that my personal valet is done doing push-ups on my behalf, let us talk about the bulbous bodies of my subjects. Ask Nero anything about your health and fitness, and you are guaranteed an answer.

First question.

DEAR EMPEROR NERO,

“I’m a 58-year-old woman who could lose a few pounds. I’ve tried all the diet fads. Paleo, South Beach Diet, and Keto worked for a while, but eventually, the weight returned. Is there a secret to eating healthy at my age that doesn’t end in a cycle of failure?”

— Jazmine Jenkins | Originally from Cedartown

DEAR JAZMINE,

The secret to healthy eating is to have your royal food taster take the first bite of every meal. You would be so embarrassed if your intestines hemorrhaged from ingesting poison hemlock. Assuming what you put in your mouth is non-lethal, you should know those food trends aren’t worth your time. No matter how long you stare at the lottery numbers, you’ll never win at Keto. South Beach is all marketing. The North Beach has better views AND fewer tourists.

Paleo is the only diet plan worth following, but eating out in Rome presents a challenge. Does Longhorn Steakhouse make a perfectly seasoned Pterodactyl steak? Alas, No. Nor are the Jerusalem Grill’s Kabob Trio three species of Triceratops. You can call me a dietary purist, but chicken, beef, and lamb are not authentic dinosaur meat from the Paleolithic era.

As for me, I only eat succulent grapes hand-fed me by my royal serv…um…I believe the modern term is restaurant server.

Me Vexat Pede,

— Nero

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DEAR NERO,

I have a mole the size (and shape) of Abraham Lincoln on the penny. When should I consult a dermatologist?

Duane Lethoardi | Class of 2002, Model High School

DEAR DUANE,

Dermatologists often get this question, which is why they developed this simple rhyme.

“Larger than an avocado, it’s time to fear.

Smaller than guacamole, you’re in the clear.” *

Me Vexat Pede,

— Nero

Shape

DEAR ARCH-ENEMY,

“How often do I need to appear before readers recognize me as a recurring character and a possible Nemesis?”

— Dr. Humbert R. Tuffleson, Ph.D. | Associate Professor of Ancient History at Georgia Highlands College

DEAR DR. TUFFLESON [AGAIN, AGAIN],

Give it a few more months. The clever ones will catch on soon. Everyone else scours their brains clean of my precious words with the metaphorical steel wool of forgetfulness. As for being my Nemesis? Don’t flatter yourself. I’m holding out for a tenured professor from Oxford.

Me Vexat Pede,

— Nero

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DEAR NERO,

“Can you help? I want to get back into shape, but I’m struggling to find a gym that fits my personality. My boyfriend joined the fitness megaplex, where members film themselves working out and post it on Instagram. You know the one. Now, all he talks about are wads, snatches, and the clean-n-jerk. It makes me feel icky inside. My health is important, but I don’t want to become a muscle-bound Whey-protein junkie. What should I do?”

 — Anonymous | Probably dating a CrossFitter

DEAR ANONYMOUS,

Instead of answering your question, Nero is tempted to openly mock the silly names of events in the last five CrossFit Games. On second thought, let’s do that.

Pig Flip Pistol Squats

Wall-Ball Shot Snatch

Heavy-Rope Double Under Max Jerks

Short Bar Wall Walk Thruster Box Jump Overs

Cheese Curd Burpees Over the Hay Bale

Don’t worry too much about your boyfriend. And goofy exercises aside, you should give his gym a try. It is one of the Emperor’s most highly recommended cults.

Me Vexat Pede,

— Nero

 

Disclaimer: Emperor Nero Romansky is a satirical character written and created by Mark Suroviec, M.Ed. All people and quotations are fictional, invented by the limited imagination of the author, and do not reflect the opinions of the author, editors, or V3 Magazine. *Rome will miss you, La Parilla.

Mark Suroviec, M.Ed., is the Chief Ambassador of Fun at WorkPlay Solutions, the author of Forever Sisters, and the Vice President of the Children’s Museum of Rome. He hopes you pity laugh at his humor and satire stories, especially the ones that aren’t funny.