This year my day-job company encouraged employees to come to work in costume. Now, there are costumes and then there are super-costumes. I’m all about the latter. For the past five years I’ve been collecting pieces of Roman armor (What? you have a better hobby?) They’re great for “armor of god” lessons in church. Finally, this past week, I obtained the remaining parts to my Roman soldier super-costume and I wore it to work on Friday. Some thoughts on the experience:

When Mormons asked who I was, I told them Captain Moroni. Otherwise, I said Julius Caesar.

I managed to get the costume on all by myself (quite the effort in the parking lot.) I worked all day long dressed like this. It felt anachronistic to be debugging database problems when I should have been fighting Goths and Vandals or beating down a peasant insurrection.

Tunics are like mini-skirts– they don’t leave much to the imagination, particularly when you sit down. Fortunately I wore a pair of red shorts to preserve a bit of dignity and modesty.

Authentic Roman leather sandals look cool, but the raw leather quickly began to scrape skin off from my feet, causing considerable pain. Maybe socks with sandals isn’t such a bad idea after all?!?

Very Noisy. This might be obvious, what with the metal and all, but it came as a surprise to me. The armor makes a lot of noise clanking and rattling around. There were no sneak attacks for the Romans. If ever you hear a story that goes, “and then this Roman soldier snuck up behind me,” don’t believe it.

The armor is heavy. Extremely heavy. As the day wore on, my shoulders began to ache and I began to slump forward under the pressure. Also, the collar of the segmented plates chaffed and bruised my neck. No wonder Roman soldiers were so barbarous– all that chaffing!

The sandal treads are many small rivet heads which probably work great on dirt but provide the same traction as 100 greased air hockey pucks when on office tile.

People kept asking if I was a Spartan. No. Spartans are from Sparta. Sparta is a city in Greece. Spartans are Greek, not Roman. You’all have been watching too much 300. Gosh.

Armor is hard to put on by yourself. I needed the Roman equivalent of a squire or page. It’s even hard to tie your sandals in full armor. It’s even more difficult when you have on the metal shin guards (not pictured.) Again, a squire would have been nice.

Conversation with my mom

me: [showing her the super-costume]

mom:”You look just like those bad soldiers who were mean to Jesus in the church movies.”

me: “Well Mom, to be accurate, the Jews were the ones who delivered Jesus to the Romans…”

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