Sunday, October 2, 2011

When I was 14, I Sort of Wrote a Book

I say "sort of" because I don't think it was quite long enough to actually be considered a book and because it's basically just a less funny version of Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States. Anyway, I just reread it for the first time since 2003 because why not, and I gotta say: not very good. Most of the time I'm either:

a) talking about The Simpsons
b) saying that I don't know very much about a subject/am not going to talk about a subject because it's boring and trying to turn that into the joke
c) awkwardly and blatantly hating on George W. Bush
d) making references to my friends/family/Newtown that no one outside of my friends/family/town would understand
e) pointing out that a lot of words throughout American history kind of sound like words that have to do with sex

Still, I remember having a lot of fun while writing it, and there were a few jokes that made me laugh when I read it the second time around. They are reproduced here for your enjoyment in their original Bookman Old Style font:

The Vikings pretty much lorded over Europe until one day, a young man named King Arthur (played by Graham Chapman) rose up from the depths of defeat, got together the toughest warriors he could find, and went on a quest seeking the Holy Grail, only to be stopped by some American cops at the very end in what has been described by many as “the worst part of the movie.”

This year begot the hit song “In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-Two, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue”, which narrowly beat “Without Me” and “Dirrty” for the number one spot on the billboard charts. This song “wowed” everybody except for Columbus himself, who had always viewed the ocean as more of a turquoise color. As June rolled around, people realized that Columbus wasn’t taking the hint, and if they didn’t act fast, soon it would be 1493, and they would have to change the song.

(Concerning Paul Revere's ride): This woke up a lot of already tense colonists and British, so they decided to just say the hell with negotiating and go have the Battle of Lexington. However, it was soon realized that the author did not actually know where Lexington was, so they just decided to skip over that and go right to the Battle of Concord, which is probably in New Hampshire. (I didn't think this one was that funny but wanted to include it because I found it oddly prescient of Michelle Bachmann)

When you were younger, I’m sure you were told that the only thing that caused the Civil War was the issue of slavery (and you probably believed it too, you cretin). However, as any historian will tell you, there were actually several issues involved that went much deeper than the simple matter of slavery, and the roots of the Civil War went back much further in United States history. This is why we would not recommend asking a historian what caused the Civil War. Slavery is good enough for us.

Anyway, the next president to step into office was Ulysses S. Grant, who spent most of his terms trying to stop people from making fun of his name, and the next president, Rutherford B. Hayes, did virtually the same thing.

However, the nation’s joy was soon to end, for in 1901, their beloved president, William McKinley, was assassinated. This caused Americans to go into a state of mourning for days, due to the fact that no one had bothered to tell them he was president.

The Treaty of Versailles (pronounced “if you want to learn how to pronounce this take Modern European History”) basically accomplished all of Wilson’s 14 points, except for the first 14.

(Concerning the Teapot Dome Scandal): The point is, right as the scandal was becoming known to the public, Harding died, thus using up all of the presidential luck that had been accumulating over the years and permanently screwing over Richard Nixon.

(Concerning writers in the 20s): Among the more famous of them was the poet e. e. cummings, who grew up so poor that he couldn’t afford to capitalize his first name.

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