Constantine Indianapolis cupped his hands under the pipe. He was oblivious to the fact that 2000 years later, civilization would have figured out the downfall of the Roman empire happened because of Lead metal in pipes. Constantine bent down and slurped water from his hands, enjoying its freshness after a morning of hard work. He opened his eyes briefly, only to see blood leak from his mouth, into his hands. He became cross eyed for a moment and then screamed. The water in his mouth choked him and his scream came out as a splutter. He coughed hard, caught his breath and screamed ”blood-ios! blood-ios!” which in those days, was the roman word for copious amounts of blood.

Screaming blood was useless because Constantine was a butcher. Everyone ignored him.

Constantine then ran out to the street, alternating his legs up and down like a puppet whose master wasn’t interested in the job. “blood-ious! , blood-ious!” he screamed. The people around looked up briefly and went back to their chores. Even the talented shoemaker at the end of the street, Ferragamos, that no one appreciated or acknowledged, ignored Constantine.

Constantine Indianapolis couldn’t understand what was going on, so he went back into his home and wept in a corner.

Meanwhile, in another part of Rome, Brittanicous Minimus, a white hair lady in her 40’s, whose husband was a horse manager, noticed the water pot she carried from the well to her home was becoming steadily heavier over the months. She attributed it to her age and that she wasn’t eating enough from V Art Pastas, the new upscale restaurant that served food on leather plates. Her husband had recently been promoted from Horse Stable manager to Horse Diet and Exercise manager. That gave an additional income of 2 olive oil bottles, which she sold in the black market, and hence now she could afford eating out. She needed the energy but since calories wasn’t invented then, she didn’t know how much she was supposed to eat. She was a sharp woman. In her “Introduction to Italian Leather” class she scored a full IXVII points and even skinned a calf. She had heard of this country called Bharat and was afraid of them. Calfs were animals of the gods in Bharat and the Bharat Army would come to get her. For now, she was safe because the roman empire had spread so far and wide, no one could get to her so easily. But she couldn’t get her mind of the heavy water.

Rome had a central hospital called ‘VitoKorleone Maximus Decimatus’ named after its largest donor of gold. Traditionally, they had only 2 types of patients. The wounded soldiers and the other were locals with dislocated arms, occurring because of the way they threw their arms around while talking. These days, the doctor in charge, Dr. Primus Appendicitious was suspicious of a new trend. A high inflow of patients that were vomiting blood, convinced him that Rome was under siege. Someone, he felt, was spreading poison. But who and how!

Julious Cezareous, Romes home minister, was a sharp man. His head spy, Lucisous Evesdropperatti (which is where the modern word “eves dropping” comes from) had already informed the minister that Rome water was being poisoned. Soldiers were deployed on water bodies and soon a man was caught pouring a substance into the water source. They caught him by his robes and dragged him to Julious Cezareous’ court. Julious Cezareous, in his flowing white robes, was standing with his hands behind his back, looking thoughtfully out of the window, when the soldiers threw the shameless culprit at the ministers feet.

Julious Cezareous took his time. He turned around, looked down at the fallen man and lifted the man’s chin with his toes (we never said Julious was classy).

Julious asked him “What art thy name?”.

Unabashed and laughing, the man replied “Primus Bogusmus. But my friends call me, Pb”.