Editor’s Note: This story appeared as part of an April Fools issue.

ROMA – Hark! Fellow countrymen and maidens, I have returned to the friendly confines of Islavistingham after seven years of weary travel to tell you tales of regale, splendour and blood ‘n’ guts abound in the Valley of the Spaghetti Os.

The Gladiators of Team Roma put on a spectacle unmatched since sliced bread. Roma clinched its fourth consecutive slaughter in the Tournament of Togas by a gaping margin of 432 slays to two. The two gladiators who fell in battle were ruled “Lacking in the Four Humours” by Doctor Dee and his Chambermaids of Sicily after further inspection of the decapitated and heavily mutilated bodies.

“Ay, the two were madder than an adder eating spring chicks through their nostrils,” Team Roma co-captain Marcellus Pookie guffawed through a translator. “The two scoundrels shouldn’t count in the final body count. We consider the affair a shutout.”

Pookie led Roma with 73 slays. Teammate Guz Baldrin recorded 39 kills and Metropolis League Rookie of the Year Maceo Schpilkes killed 31 members of the opposition.

The only scare in the slaughter came when two slaves cornered the 335-lb. Baldrin against a spiked wall. Using sheer instict and deft manuevering, Baldrin clobbered the enemy to his right with a mace, distorting the slave’s face until his eyeballs were hanging around his ear lobes. The other slave, sensing imminent doom, grabbed Baldrin’s mace and started shellacking his own head until he started convulsing in a pool of blood on the ground.

Baldrin was credited with both kills.

“You knows, I didn’t have too much troubles wit doz guyz,” a drunk and stupefied Baldrin said after the match. “De waz no much too much problemo at all, huh?”

Baldrin, after drinking too much of Caesar Luchador’s ale from the Royale’s Binge of Barrel Booze, started throwing haymakers to his fellow victors in an uncontrollabe rage. In an effort to appease the crowd, Luchador ordered that his balls be cut off with Luchodor’s wife’s gardening shears.

“That should calm the brute, methinks,” Luchador harrumphed in his aristocratic, smirking drawl. “Baldrin was too much of a bloody boozehound anyway. We should have cut his balls off a long time ago.”

In the highly anticipated Battle Royale finale between Pookie and 12 slaves armed with toothpicks and silly string, Pookie unleashed a thunderous barrage of slices, dices and 20 varieties of lettuce-chopping moves with his blacksmith’s specially smelted Thunderkick Sword of the Samurai.

Pookie trounced the 12 foes in 24.3256367777001 seconds, breaking his own mark of 24.32663779 from last year’s Tournament of Togas. For his crowning moment on the podium, Luchador handed the 12 heads of Pookie’s spoils on a rotating dinner plate. Pookie, with tears welling in his eyes, spoke to the crowd of 51,242 faithful before heading off into the tunnel.

“Today I consider myself the luckiest man in the world,” Pookie said. “This was a great, glorious and bloodthirsty day for all gladiators. Now, who’s buying ale?”