Dateline: Alexandria, Egypt, 215 BC
• This month, the gold-clad body of well-mellified world conquerer Alexander the Great reached what is hoped to be his final destination.
• Presiding over the ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the grandiose edifice complex dubbed “the Soma” or possibly “the Sema” was the current Egyptian ruler: Ptolemy IV Philopater, the great-grandson of Ptolemy I, the dynasty’s founder.
• “I won’t bore you with the details, but let me say that I’m relieved to finish the job that my great-granddaddy began over a century ago,” Ptolemy IV said to an avid crowd outside Alexandria’s most prestigious dead-celebrity highrise.
• “Great-granddady, being the close personal friend of Alex, and member of the inner circle, and all, I don’t think he realized what a chore it would be to fulfill Alex’s last wishes. But he did it. He rerouted Alex, made sure that cadaver sped south to Egypt.”
• As he cut the ribbon to the Soma entrance, Ptolemy IV rattled off a litany of excuses, saying: “The first three Ptolemies got so busy, what with dynasties to build, and heirs to procreate, to say nothing of lighthouses and libraries and other stuff that had to get erected—small wonder there were delays. OK, a few gigantic delays.”
• As the crowd began to drift away, Ptolemy brought the ceremony to a close with a brief tour. The press corps was excluded from the area housing Alexander in his golden trappings, officials citing the usual “security concerns.”
• The Soma skyscraper and its sculpture-laden levels are said to be modeled after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, one of the seven Wonders of the world. Officials in Alexandria are hopeful that their architectural homage will gain traction, becoming an official Wonder itself. That would give Alexandria the prestige of twin Wonders, the other being the Pharos lighthouse.
• As one city booster said, off the record, “Hey, the Colossus of Rhodes fell down awhile ago. We should be able to claim that spot!”