Members of a 60-year-old California association known for “the finest in educational seminars” inadvertently discovered an ancient Roman euphemism for “orgy” when State Lottery officials lured them into a “public policy retreat” earlier this month.
The euphemism was first used by Roman Emperor Commodus (180-192 AD) — of whom it was said that “he was not wicked, but so stupid that he allowed wicked friends to take control of his reign.”
“I can say the same thing about the State Lottery,” said one Southern California city official who was found unconscious on the floor of the local resort. “They lured us into a seminar on ‘government ethics’ and the next thing I know I’m waking up in the hospital.”
An Associated Press analysis of the sign-in sheets showed more than 350 attendees from at least 76 cities. The meeting agenda also included panels on such issues as homelessness and active shooters, but most attendees who can remember anything at all say that was just a front.
“They gave us a swag bag with a bottle of wine, tickets for free alcoholic drinks, and a fireworks show after the orgy,” said a woman who admitted working for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
All but one spoke only on condition of anonymity because they did not want to “harm professional or business relationships.”
But Margaret Mead, mayor of a rural village east of Los Angeles, said she has been “questioning the culture around the State Lottery for a long time.”
“Adolescent sexual behavior like this is common at meetings they attend,” Mead said. “It’s like a coming of age ritual in state service.”