Move along there. Keep it moving.

Just look at the length of this queue!

The event will have started by the time we get signed up.

You’re right. We’ll be here all day. And have you ever seen such a motley bunch?

Never. I blame the organisers. They put up a huge prize and then they’re surprised when every Thomas Richard and Harald lines up to enrol.

Everyone fancies a shot at the title. What about that skinny guy ahead of us? What does he look like?

I know. And have you seen his gear? He’ll never make it past round one.

I bet he’s not even a tour member.

I’ll ask him. Hey you!

Who me?

No, not you. You with the fishnet and the toasting fork. Are you a tour member?

Don’t know what you mean, mate. I’m here for the tournament.

I knew it. Look at the cut of him. Listen, mate, you have to be a member of the tour to take part in this tournament.

I’ve done my apprenticeship. I have my papers. I’m just as entitled to a shot at the big prize as the next man.

But you’re not a member of the tour, are you?

I’m not a regular competitor, if that’s what you mean, but I’m not gonna sit in the stands and watch, not when there’s 10 million big ones to be won.

But you’ve no chance. Look at you. You’ll never survive the preliminary rounds.

We’ll see about that! I’ve a few unexpected moves that might surprise ya, mate.

You’re not a member of the PGA, though, are you?

The PGA? What’s that?

The Professional Gladiators’ Association. If you’re not a member you can’t compete in the tournament.

And if you try to enrol, they’ll throw you to the lions, mate.

Hah! I laugh at lions! I spit in their eyes!

Keep it moving there. No talking in the line.

There he goes. They’re frogmarching him to the slaves’ quarters.

Well, we did warn him. What’s he shouting?

Says he has rights. Says he’s a Roman citizen.

They all say that. Did you catch his name?

Spartacus, I think he said.

That’s the last we’ll be hearing of him.

(C) Copyright JJ Toner