Terrouge E-zine Archives
By: Sara/Roma Sae Eiden
This month's theme is minerals. I'm not exactly sure how to make minerals funny, because, well, the first thing that pops into my head are the pretty minerals− diamonds, jewels, and bright 'n' shiny objects of all sorts. However, having just returned from Washington, D.C., I feel more inclined to instead write along the lines of July's genre, which our intrepid Editor-in-Chief has listed as "historical."
You see, I love history, and history is a funny thing. First of all, and most glaringly obvious, it is an assortment of things that have happened in the past. (For any of you whose eyes got as large as saucers at that revelation, please pick up a history textbook at your nearest local library.) It's something to learn from. It's also something to base opinion and strategies on. You can glimpse part of the future by looking into the past.
History is fun for a handful of reasons:
- Somebody always does something exciting.
- Somebody does something amazing that, in some cases, goes against status quo.
- Cool things happen-castles get built, weapons advance, and cheese gets invented.
- Shockingly horrible yet awesome things happen.
- Comes after 4.
Here are some examples of how we learn from history, whether a long time or 5 minutes ago.
If a little boy eats a whole tub of vanilla frosting in one go and becomes sick to his stomach, he can, in the future, learn to avoid tubs of vanilla frosting. (However, because he's a boy and boys don't learn well, he'd probably think the chocolate tub of frosting was OK. *ducks* I'm just joking, now.)
If Roma tries to solve a problem on integrals in calculus and doesn't succeed, that's a pretty good indication that she'll fail the next time.
If your history teacher tells you to do 100 pushups, run around the school 3 times, and proclaim in front of the class that you are a loser because you threw a wad of candy wrappers at him, that's probably a good sign that you should not do that again.
If some crazy but smart person comes up with an idea that sounds completely insane and no one thinks it's worthy in spite of the fact that the person knows exactly what he's doing, you should probably hold the ridicule and not doubt them too much. I'm sure some people thought Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers had their share of loose screws.
If you step on the tines of a rake and the pole hits you on the forehead, you probably shouldn't do that again.
If a captain loses all his sailors to the Greek sirens, he probably shouldn't sail there again.
If you think sparkling water is water with glitter in it, you might be a redneck. (Did I just digress? Sorry, a Jeff Foxworthy moment slipped out.)
History can make people more interesting. I recently met someone descended from a group of pirates who, by some twist of fate, ended up settling in Italy. How cool would that be? Being related to pirates! Wouldn't you just be tempted to make a peg leg, get an eye patch, a plastic parrot, a bandana, and a stripey t-shirt and walk around Wal-Mart shouting "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!" Sure, people might consider you completely insane, but you could always claim you're just there to advertise Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise and it's currently 25% off in aisles 5, 6, and 23.5.
Some history is unexplained and people have no idea what really happened. Take Stonehenge, for example. Theories abound as to its purpose, but who really knows? It might have been used for astrology, or it might have been a meeting placed for druids, and then it might have been a place built to meet someone's fancy.
Imagine that the place was designed by a woman, and she sent her husband to build it. I'm sure this would have been a common type of conversation during the construction.
"I told you to put that rock over there."
"What? You said to put it here."
"No, I didn't. I told you to put it there. By those rocks."
"Well, what do you want me to do about it?"
"I can't move it."
"You can move it, and you will move it. Now move it."
"But how am I supposed to move it?"
"Use this flat rock with rounded edges."
"What's it called?"
"A wheel.""How do I use it?"
"Use your head…and not like that!"
After all, women have had some pretty spiffy moments in history. Some guy thinking he loved Helen of Troy brought about the Trojan War, Queen Elizabeth I managed to overcome adversity and become queen of England, and Nellie Bly became the first female journalist after an exciting stay in an insane asylum. What do we learn from history through this? That's right-girls rule.
Reenactments of historical events can be quite humorous. Although they can be easily tampered with so they don't match history at all, some of them do, and most of them are pretty funny.
Here's a reenactment from 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
Sailor: Columbus, sir?
Columbus: Are we there yet?
Sailor: Well, we've…
Columbus: Are we there yet?
Sailor: One of the lads on the other ship…
Columbus: Are we there yet?
Sailor: Do not make me turn this ship around!
Columbus: (pouting) So we're not there yet?
Sailor: No, sir, but one of our sailors has spotted land.
Columbus: At this hour? Its 2 AM! I need my beauty sleep.
Sailor: I thought you…never mind. You look fine, sir, just come to the deck.
Columbus: I just put this facial mask on half an hour ago…you can't possibly expect me to wipe it off to look at land!
Sailor: We've been looking for the Indies for weeks now, sir, don't you want to see it?
Columbus: Give me another half hour.
Sailor: But, sir…
Columbus: And bring me a nail file. My fingernails are horribly uneven. You can't possibly expect me to introduce myself to these people with uneven nails.
30 minutes later…
Columbus: (walking out on deck) It's still ridiculously far away. You called me for that?
Sailor: Sir, we'll be there before noon. Don't you want to watch as we sail near? Just to look at the land we've found?
Columbus: (walking back to his cabin) Just wake me up when you find some people throwin' a party.
Although I'm sure that conversation never happened, you get the gist of it, so you do learn something historical. Sometimes. Not this time, though.
So, there you have it: historical nonsense. If none of it was really historical, then you can rest assured that at least it was pure nonsense.