A sandy mist speckled the fiery Roman sunset. At this time of day, the
temperature in Rome normally cools dramatically, but in the Circus
Maximus it was heating up like water in an ancient kettle. Fans from
the red and white Chariot Championship finalist teams were still
swarming into the colossal arena pushing the attendance up to the
maximum of 250,000. Amongst the sea of red supporters too the South of
the stadium stood three great friends. The first of them is Augustus
Hassius, a jet blond veteran of the Praetorian Guard who once took two
arrows for the Caesar, both in his left and right steely triceps, he
lives off the benefits. The second is Maximus Cantius, a brave brown
haired cosmetics merchant reared on the slopes of the Apennines
alongside the baby Tiber. The third is named Pontius Pantaloon; he is a
stocky tanned fashion designer from the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
He has a reputation for dodgy designs and his latest project is a self
named outer garment worn over the hips and legs, he calls it the
“pantaloon”. In fact whilst Cantius, Hassius and the rest of the crowd
are kitted out in either red or white togas supporting their team,
Pontius is prancing proudly in his red “pantaloons”, destined to see
them break into fashion. This seems unlikely as the popular toga has
remained in fashion since the earliest days of the Roman civilisation
and has yet to be shifted off the cover of the popular fashion magazine
“Rouge”. So far, his leg wrappings have been given the thumbs down by
the Roman people and Pontius is constantly being abused, screamed at
and even murdered in the streets by extreme “toga-ists” and other
fashion enthusiasts who‘re destined to see their beloved togas stay in
In the distance a horn howled and the white flag was raised, signalling the beginning of the final championship deciding race of the season. The noise in the stadium rose and rose, like a storm. A great creaking noise echoed around the majestic arena as the giant gates were lifted. The two charioteers spun onto the track, bellowing a whirlwind of dust into the air. The first lap was a tight affair, with each chariot tussling for an early lead. ‘Ben Him’, the Red team’s charioteer and a favourite amongst the fans, was clutching the reins of his horses tightly. He had a fiery look in his eyes and a good posture. Suddenly he urged his horses on and into the lead. In chariot racing, to get in front is crucial as it puts you into the lead, a position which you need to finish if you wish to win the race. The rival White charioteer dragged his horses behind the Red’s chariot and into their slip stream. Here his horses gained more power and were ready for their final push for the lead. Unexpectedly, and to everyone’s horror the leading Red chariot’s engine blew out and the chariot veered into the giant red brick fencing producing a moderately sized explosion. A breeze of silence swept around the crowd as both sets of fans stood stunned. The Whites drove on past the crash site and moved towards a most definite victory. This looked definite to all but ‘Ben Him’, who stumbled out of the chariot’s burning blaze, bloody but masculine. He had something up his sleeve, a spear. He dashed down the track screaming loudly before launching the spear high into the dusty air. As it span in mid air, time seemed to slow down. Every organism in the stadium stood stunned with their hearts in their mouths watching as the spear cruised through the air like a cruise missile. The charioteer for the White’s heart was never in his mouth though, but soon it was on the ground, as Him’s spear pierced through his body, splattering his insides all across the tracks tiles. Ben Him hopped on his horse and galloped slowly to a heroic victory for the Reds.
Everything Red in the stadium including Cantius, Hassius and Pantaloon erupted into ecstasy whilst the Whites, who were angered and depressed, retreated out of the stadium. The celebrations continued inside the stadium, and the noise when Ben Him was awarded his certificate was deafening. Soon, when it was time to leave the stadium, the Red’s fans took their celebrations to the streets and filled the forum with flags, beeped plastic horns and sang ballads dedicated to Ben Him. As the party raged on into the night, a dark cloud of rain engulfed the city of Rome. This forced some people off the streets and into their homes. This included the likes of Cantius, Hassius and Pantaloon who were afraid of getting toga saturation or in Pantaloon’s case, pantaloon saturation. Unlike most of the Red supporters, they live in the White side of town which they all agreed is probably filled with fuming White hooligans. They made a brave choice of route home. They opted for the dry Caesar tunnels, which are known to be infested by White hooligans on race day, instead of the safer open air route, which would most definitely lead to an expensive trip to the dry cleaners.
As they paced though the dim torch-lit tunnels they avoided speech, so to not draw attention to themselves. Cantius was calm, Pantaloon was peaceful but for all of Hassius’ efforts to remain hidden, his beautiful blonde hair glistened in the reflection of the torches dancing flames. Soon they were surrounded by a firm of White togas, who were looking for revenge, baying for blood and geared for action. One of the hooligans wielded a blade, the other a blade and the others blades too. They advanced on Cantius, Hassius and Pantaloon, who were slowly forced backwards with fear. As the Reds were retreating slowly, a pair of hands appeared around Pantaloons waist. In a flash Pantaloon’s pantaloons were swiped down around his ankles revealing his Roman jewels for all to see. Fearing for his reputation and just doing what anyone would do, Pontius Pantaloon pulled up his pantaloons and screamed for his colleagues to run. Hassius, unable to use his injured triceps used his biceps to boulder through the Hooligans, creating a gap for the reds to run. So, Cantius and Pantaloon followed Hassius and dashed towards the end of the tunnel. Cantius and Hassius as hard as they tried to get away, were constantly stumbling as the togas were getting caught around their knees. Luckily as togas are the must have garment of the Roman civilisation, this problem was also occurring for the their White hooligan pursuers, and soon enough both Cantius, Hassius and the entire White hooligan firm was on the ground as a result of having being tripped up by the restraining togas. Not Pantaloon though. His pantaloons had given him the leg movability of a naked Olympian man, something that has been shielded from humans since the dawn of clothes. For that moment, everybody forgot about the result and the hatred and just lay on the ground in complete awe of Pantaloon’s pantaloons as he dashed into the distance.
Word soon spread of this story, but more so of the freedom of expression that is available in a pair of pantaloons. People from all over the Empire stretching from the deserts of Africa to the borders of Northern England were flocking to local fashion shows to catch a glimpse of these linen leg wrappings. Pontius Pantaloon’s small fashion business had soon expanded into a multi-imperial corporation supplying pantaloons to the masses. He had done what most deemed impossible, shifted togas to an “out of fashion” status. The birth of something astronomical had just occurred, and the legacy of the creator shall live on in the hearts of every pantaloon wearer’s pantaloons till the end of time or till the end of pantaloons. And yes, it did make the cover of “Rouge”, many times.