EDITORíS NOTE: Harry Marlin is taking a break from his column this week. He sent an e-mail explanation of the reason, described in a manner only Harry can do. It was interesting enough that he might even be able to develop it into a column sometime, so weíll keep you in suspense. In the meanwhile, hereís an encore of a column he wrote in April 2005.

I just read recently in the news somewhere that archeologists, digging in England, had unearthed a meal that the Romans were having 2,000 years ago. I was amazed. They were having rabbit for supper, or maybe dinner. The story didnít say which. Apparently the Great Depression started long before I thought it did.

I was fortunate to just get in on the tail-end of it. Like the Romans, we had rabbit for supper too and sometimes for dinner. It was a welcome respite from pinto beans and fried potatoes. It went good with hot biscuits and gravy. Maybe the Romans had some too, but a pan of hot biscuits and a skillet of gravy doesnít last long. A tough rabbit, we now know, lasts 2,000 years.

Anyway, the Romans were lucky to have rabbit, which Iím sure may be an improvement over blood pudding and Sheppardís pie they have in England today.

Not being an authority on ancient times, I have no idea what the Romans were doing in England. Apparently, they roamed everywhere. They had no ďRoman charges.Ē I was always under the impression that they were all in Rome at the Coliseum watching the Christians being thrown to the lions while drinking the product of the grape and eating pasta.

The times havenít changed much in 2,000 years except neither we nor the Romans eat much rabbit. Today, there is football, hockey, NASCAR races, beer and Frito pie. Not much different. Itís just our modern way of doing what the Romans were doing, but leaving the Christians and the lions out of it.

A lot of folks go to these events in the hope of seeing a race car slam into the wall at 200 miles an hour, a hockey player get soundly bashed with a hockey stick and the quarterback get sacked and carried off the field.

This of course depends, on whose quarterback it is or on whose team the player gets bashed with a hockey stick.

Americans, like the Romans, crave excitement that presents no danger to them, sitting at a safe distance in the stands with a cold beer and a Frito pie. Itís just the way we are and always have been.

Of course, this doesnít include everybody. Some folks find excitement by attending the opera or going to rock concerts. The Romans were lucky. They had no rock concerts or their empire might have fallen sooner than it did. Worse still, they would have all been deaf as posts 2,000 years before the invention of the hearing aid.

Today, we have both rock concerts and hearing aids and sooner or later, the twain shall meet. I try to avoid both. Rock concerts hold no interest for me and I donít have a hearing aid.

Due to my advanced age, Iíve heard nearly everything anyhow.

There is a possibility that our fate has already been decided long before we arrive kicking and screaming into this world, not knowing if weíll be eating left-over rabbit or be thrown to the lions. The Romans didnít know either.

We just have to do the best we can with what weíve got and hope for the best. This might include staying away from both the Romans and rock concerts. We can do that.

Harry Marlinís column is featured every Tuesday on the Brownwood Bulletinís Viewpoint page. E-mail him at pilgrimB17@verizon.net.