The All-Time Best Shakespeare Pun

Funny story written by Ralph E. Shaffer

Saturday, 2 April 2022

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Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your beers

Sophia, a junior at the University of Verona, had run out of money due to inflation caused by the Punic Wars, and, in desperation, had accepted a lucrative offer from Julius Caesar and his wife Calpurnia, which required Sophia to be a surrogate mother for the Caesar's first child. Calpurnia didn't want to endure nine months of pregnancy and was already near the upper age limit for giving birth. Caesar desperately wanted a son to succeed him as Emperor and was convinced his sperm would bring a male child, not a daughter. The arrangement included 6000 dinari for Sophia, far more than enough to get her through that final year at Verona, with 3000 to be given her at the beginning of the pregnancy and the remainder on the day of the child's birth,

As stipulated, two weeks before the child was due, Sophia arrived at the Caesars' mansion outside Rome. She was met at the door by an obviously distraught Julius and a quick-spoken and firm Calpurnia, who did the talking for the Caesars. It was obvious the decision she was about to pronounce had been hers, not her husband's.

"We've changed our minds. We don't want the child. Under Roman law, you must keep him, He will be yours! And since we won't get him, there will be no final payment of 3000 dinari. That was in the contract but you probably didn't pay any attention to it."

Sophia was dumbfounded. She had already spent the original 3000 dinari for books, tuition and dorm room for the current academic year. Now she not only had no money for her senior year, but she would also have a child to contend with. In exasperation, she shouted, then turned and left:

"I came to bear a Caesar, not to raise him!"

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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