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Full stops in Asterix

india Updated: Jun 19, 2011 22:49 IST

We are in dire need of the magic potion that gives tiny Asterix the strength of a Roman army and makes rotund Obelix invincible. Then we could lay about the killjoys who have now computed the traumatic brain injuries notched up in Asterix comics. It is 704 if you must know. Of these 698 were male, 63.9% were Roman, four were extraterrestrials, yada, yada, yada.

Oh, and the magic potion has a component of mistletoe which contains a compound which has an effect on brain tumours. Why, oh why must some researcher with too much money and nothing to do dissect all the things that make our life worth living?

The very essence of Asterix comics is the scrummage between the indomitable Gauls and the lily-livered Romans. Bashing each other with rotten fish and bopping the bard on the noggin are pastimes for both us and the Gauls. It is unimaginable that the Gauls and the Romans will sit across the table in a civilised manner sipping Pinot Noir and nibbling delicately at chicken vol au vents while discussing forest rights. No, all fights have to end with the Romans hobbling off grievously wounded and the Gauls gnawing savagely at wild boars topped off with vino of doubtful provenance from horns. The problem with such so-called research is that it might give some litigious shyster the idea that he must weigh in against violence, or some such horrifying politically correct notion. First, they ruined it for us by attributing racist motives to the creators of Tintin, then they sanitised our nursery rhymes to the extent of discerning sexually abusive undertones in Little Red Riding Hood. And now that last bastion defended by the Gauls could well fall, something even mighty Caesar has not been able to achieve till now.

But, we shall not give up without a fight to enjoy our fix of mayhem. As the pirate in Asterix would say while gently sinking into the ocean, we say to those who rob us of our rights, Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris (If Caesar were alive, you’d be chained to an oar).