One fine day in ancient Rome, Julius Caesar turned
 his attention to
 a problem plaguing his mighty empire: laundry.
 Getting all those
 white togas clean was a constant pain. He also had
 some weird ideas
 that if he could get the togas stiff enough, they
 would be like a
 light coat of armor... not enough to last through a
 sustained battle,
 but enough to ward off an assassin's arrow.

        He figured the easiest way to get this done on a
 large scale would
 be to dump a bunch of detergent into a tidal pool,
 and dump the
 toga's in afterwards. (This was two thousand years
 ago... the
 environmental movement was restricted to a few
 druids here and
 there). The gentle motion of the tides would wash
 the dirt out.
 Afterwards, all that would have to be done would be
to throw some
 starch in, and then pull the toga's out to dry.
        He assigned this task to some of his scientists and
 engineers. They
 started executing his plan, and all was going well
 until they threw
 in the starch. The goddess of nature, angered at the
 destruction, caused a huge tidal wave to spring up
 and wash over the
 assembled workers. A stiff breeze afterwards dried
 them off so
 quickly they were all frozen into place.
        After a little while, Caesar began to wonder about
 the progress of
 the enterprise, so he decided to visit the site with
 some of his
 advisors. Arriving at the tidal pool, he was unable
 to make heads or
 tails of the sight of his workers stuck standing
        Until of course, one of his advisors whispered to
 him: "Beware, the
 tides of starch."
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