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I was sitting at my desk today, doing some work and trying to mind my own business. Some colleagues sitting across from me were talking about Roman roads. I don’t know why, they just were.

Against my better judgement, I decided to elbow my way into their conversation: “Is that Roman roads you’re talking about?” I asked, rhetorically. “Do you know that substantial parts of one of Birmingham’s major ‘A’ roads – the A38 – follow the course of a famous Roman road? Between Worcester and Birmingham – and again between Lichfield and Derby – the A38 follows a route built by Roman invaders over two thousand years ago.”

There was a pause. I did that to prime them for the punchline:

“Of course, back in those days the Romans didn’t call it the A38. They called it the A XXXVIII.”

The sudden outbreak of silence distracted everyone.


About the Author:

My name is Tom Lennon and I'm a freelance writer who specialises in humour at the geekier end of the pop culture spectrum. I'm based in Birmingham, UK, and my work has recently appeared in BuzzFeed and Time Out.

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