Dateline: Babylon, 14 June 322 BC
• Perdiccas, one of the inner circle of Macedonians around the late Alexander the Great, announced today that the funeral cortege and catafalque will get “in all likelihood” leave Babylon this week. Regent for the deceased’s new son, Perdiccas is also the aftermath coordinator for worshipful activities. This month will mark the first anniversary of Alex’s death on 11 June 323 BC.
• When asked to elaborate on the unconscionable delay, the Regent’s spokesperson appeared defensive. “You know how these things snowball. The custom-made conveyance for Alex isn’t simply a funeral car, it’s a traveling temple made of gold, with matching lions, wall-to-wall painted friezes, 24-carat bells, whistles, and what-not. The thing is blinding.”
• Addressing fiscal issues, he admitted, “Yes, we’ve had holdups and cost overruns, but for such an elaborate sendoff, it’s to be expected. Luckily, Alex hadn’t spent all that Persian loot.”
• The cortege will move at a snail’s pace so that mourners throughout the vast region can watch it pass. Whistle-stops in each town will allow maximum striving to outdo the next with lavish honors. Locals along the parade route, however, already report worrisome incidents of tourism abuse, such as the skyrocketing rentals being charged for roadside hovels.