idiotpruf

The blog that prevents scurvy…as long as you eat orange slices while you read it.

Archive for the category “History”

Don’t Drone on About Wolves

aesop fables

“Wolf! Big freaking wolf!! I’m not kidding!”

In a controversial move, the residents of a small Greek village have replaced the boy who watches over their sheep with drones. “It really makes a lot of sense,” The village elder reported. “We’ve had a great deal of trouble maintaining the integrity of the village’s herd of sheep.”

Apparently the village has experienced some issues with sheep wandering off, attacks from predators, and what was described simply as “human error” by the village elder.

“It was that idiot kid,” a villager named Aesop finally confided. “We all knew he was trouble from the start: always fooling around, never taking his job seriously. He thought the job was boring, ‘counting sheep puts me to sleep’ he would say jokingly.” He paused for a moment before adding, “he’s the village elder’s nephew.”

According to reports, the boy would amuse himself by crying wolf, then laughing hysterically at the harried villagers who would drop what they were doing, and hurry out to the pasture with pitchforks in hand, only to find no wolf.

cartton boy

After the boy had “cried wolf” on several occasions, the villagers had had enough. “There’s a big guy in the village named Acteon,” Aesop said. “He would get really angry running all the way out to the meadow. It took three guys just to keep him from whomping that kid over the head with an ax handle.”

The boy’s false alarms would take a turn for the tragic. It seems when a real wolf threatened the herd, none of the villagers would heed his call, and several sheep were lost. It was at this point the village decided to make a change. “The drones are working out really well,” the village elder effused. “They can monitor the herd, round-up sheep that happen to stray, and we’ve weaponized them so they can eliminate any potential threat. We did have an unfortunate incident when a villager became frightened and threw his pitchfork at a drone…let’s just say, what goes up must come down.”

When asked what the boy was doing now that he no longer looked after the sheep, the village elder hesitated before answering, “evidently one of the drones deemed him to be a threat to the herd…my sister is pretty pissed.”

“There’s moral to this story,” Aesop added. “A liar won’t be believed, even when he’s telling the truth…and he might get his ass blown off by a drone.”

drone wolf

Loud-mouthed threat detected.

The Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania

Amish Buggy

Rural Pennsylvania Roads: still idyllic in 2021.

In 1910 there was an organization in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania called The Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania and they really hated automobiles.

They complained automobiles traveled too fast, frightened their livestock, ran over their chickens, and that Pennsylvania motorists were inexplicably unable to properly use a turn signal.

Note: I made up the part about the turn signal, the Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania didn’t say anything about the turn signal, but I’m saying it. Use your damn turn signal!

The point is: The Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania really hated automobiles, almost as much as I hate mimes, other peoples children, and any TV show with the words the real housewives of in the title.

They developed a set of guidelines for automobiles operating in rural areas of Pennsylvania:

  1. Automobiles travelling on country roads at night must send up a rocket every mile, then wait ten minutes for the road to clear.
  2. If a driver sees a team of horses, he is to pull to one side of the road and cover his machine with a blanket or dust cover that has been painted to blend into the scenery.
  3. In the event that a horse refuses to pass a car on the road, the owner must take his car apart and conceal the parts in the bushes.

I’m not making that up.

Admittedly, they had very little to say about the fact that automobiles don’t leave disease spreading horse crap everywhere, but no system is perfect.

After a recent trip to the DMV, I have become convinced that the Anti-automobile Society of Pennsylvania was deeply involved with the development and current state of the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles. Their grubby little fingerprints are all over it.

The current procedures of Pennsylvania DMV are only slightly less convoluted, but they still involve rockets and horse crap.

I leave you with a photo of a 1910 automobile offender.

Model t

I think I see the problem: automobiles in 1910 were operated by small children dressed for safari.

Donner Party Disappointment

donner party

They seem like a fun bunch.

Absolutely the worst party I’ve been to in my life.

It was in a horrible location: a difficult to navigate snow-covered mountain pass more suited for ox-drawn wagons than a proper vehicle. Seriously, rent a hall.

The only music they had was some old guy with a fiddle who couldn’t play it properly because he’d lost several fingers to frostbite.

Everyone was just dour. There was a lot of wailing and weeping–it was a real mood killer.

They ran out of hor d’oeuvres almost immediately; the food was the biggest disappointment.

It was such an ill-planned party–I left early.

I just hope things picked up after I left.

Addendum:

The Donner Party is sometimes referred to by historians as the Donner-Reed Party.

But I’m certain Donner-Reed would throw a fantastic party.

donna reed

“I throw fantastic parties.”

Christmas and Rutabagas

rutabaga

It’s Christmastime again: the perfect opportunity to brighten the spirits of a loved one with the gift of the rutabaga.

What’s so special about the rutabaga you may ponder–what isn’t so special about the rutabaga is my response.

  • They can be roasted.
  • They can be baked.
  • They can be boiled as a flavor enhancer in soups.
  • They can be boiled as a flavour enhancer in soups in Great Britain. (You wouldn’t believe how much tastier the soup is with that extra U in the word flavour.)
  • They can be thinly julienned as a side dish, in a salad or as a garnish.
  • They can be thinly julienned and used to cleanup oil spills in the driveway.
  • They can be mashed into a paste and used to degrease engines.
  • They can be mashed into a paste and used as a beautifying face cream. (It won’t make you more attractive, but it will cover up your butt-ugly face.)
  • You can make rutabaga ice cream.
  • You can make a rudimentary boiled rutabaga stew that was a staple of famine ridden Europe during the war and pretend you’re living in famine ridden Europe during the war–because pretending is fun.
  • You can chuck them at Joy Behar’s head. (It’s such a huge target.)
  • You can chuck them at the heads of people you’re ambivalent about.
  • You can chuck them at the heads of people you like. (The thunk of a rutabaga bouncing off a human skull is surprisingly satisfying.)
  • You can fill your child’s stocking with them. (But ensure they’re fresh; they can attract flies.)
  • You can use them to attract flies.
  • You can carve them into lanterns as was the old Irish tradition.
  • You can carve them into lanterns and chuck them at Joy Behar’s head. (Hopefully the beginnings of a new tradition.)
  • And finally, you can make the traditional Finnish Christmas dish Lanttulaatikko.
rutabaga dish

Lanttulaatikko is a delicious Finnish Christmas dish–you can also chuck it at Joy Behar’s head.

Addendum: Don’t make rutabaga ice cream…it sucks.

A Postitive Take on Social Distancing

masked killer

Jason Vorhees may have brutally killed people, but he was diligent about mask wearing in public.

Some of you out there may think our country has spiraled into an Orwellian nightmare of oppressive governmental control where citizens inform upon each other to the State over the slightest infraction, resulting in the jackbooted stomping our of civil liberties into the mud like we’re the kulaks of Stalinist Russia.

Of course you are correct.

But let’s look at the bright side: with everyone wearing masks, you don’t have to look at ugly people anymore. Let’s be honest: most of the people you know are not comely. Plus, bad breath is no longer an issue with the masks and social distancing. All those people in the Gulag labor camps never had that luxury.

When your neighbor, beedy-eyed Betty, reports you to the authorities because she knows for a fact you don’t wear a mask when you’re in the shower, you can take solace in the fact that you can’t see beedy-eyed Betty’s gargoyle-like face. (That is of course, after the waves of terror and revulsion stop pulsing through your body.)

Remember: it’s a better world when most of the people you know are more than six feet away from you.

I’m just trying to keep it positive.

stalinist Russia

Not only did the kulaks suffer immeasurably, they had to do it without masks and in black and white.

 

Beware the Ides of March…and Salad With Anchovies

ides of march

On March 15, 44 BC. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Theatre of Pompey at a meeting of the senate by as many as 60 conspirators.

Note: The Theatre of Pompey was showing the remake of Footloose at the time. It was the second most disappointing part of Caesar’s day.

Upon realizing one the conspirators was his friend Brutus, he uttered the now infamous phrase, “Et tu Bluto.”

It was at that point Brutus became enraged and screamed, “Bluto is the character from the Popeye cartoons you imbecile; my name is Brutus. How many times do I have to tell you that?” Brutus then stabbed Caesar repeatedly.

Bluto Popeye

Bluto and Brutus are not the same person. Just ask that smug tenth grade English teacher of yours.

Historians will tell you Julius Caesar’s assassination was politically motivated and the result of rising tensions between Caesar and the Senate. Historians will also tell you several Senators feared Caesar would overthrow the Senate in favor of tyranny. Historians are always blathering on about something in the past.

Well, historians are full of it.

I know the real story: everyone was just sick of Caesar forcing them to put anchovies on their salads.–anchovies are gross.

Final Note: the word assassination has the word ass in it twice. That amuses me more than it should.

Caesar salad

A delicious plate of Caesar Salad. Because there is nothing more appetizing than dead rotting fish.

For Shame Christmas Haters

I’ve recently encountered some individuals who said they hate Christmas or they can’t wait for the Christmas season to be over.

What is the matter with you people, don’t you know it’s the most wonderful time of the year? Andy Williams told us so in song form. Are you going to contradict Andy Williams? Andy Williams was a national treasure you heartless goons.

I had a friend (not the one with genital chiggers) tell me he couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over: the obligations, the expense, the forced family get-togethers with people he really didn’t care for.

It’s a crying shame.

But I had another friend (the one with the genital chiggers) tell me how much he loved Christmas: the decorations, the songs, the eggnog (the best of all nogs), the gifts, and the general spirit of giving.

I wanted to shake his hand, but he had been doing a crazy amount of crotch itching due to the genital chiggers. I told him there was a powder he could get, but he said he had used the powder and the chiggers thought it was Christmas, formed a big circle and sang Christmas carols like the Whos in Whoville.

Speaking of the Whos in Whoville: don’t you Christmas haters remember when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes when he finally understood the true meaning of Christmas?

Note: if your heart grows three sizes, you have a pretty severe medical condition–you’re probably going to die. You should definitely seek medical help as quickly as possible.

But that’s not the point.

Don’t you Christmas haters remember when Scrooge McDuck awoke on Christmas morning to discover the spirits had done it all in one night and he hadn’t missed Christmas. He took a bag of toys and a turkey to the Cratchit’s home.

It does seem strange: a duck eating a turkey. Some kind of weird fowl cannibalism going on there. Still, Scrooge kept Christmas from that point forward and he kept it well.

Note: if you’re a young couple about to have twins, I implore you to name them Ignorance and Wont. They’ll hate you for it, but it’ll be a great conversation starter every Christmas.

Don’t you Christmas haters remember when Jimmy Stewart’s character thought he had killed Lee Marvin’s character, but it was in fact, John Wayne’s character who had killed Lee Marvin’s character and…

Sorry, that’s the wrong Jimmy Stewart movie. That’s from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a great movie, but not very Christmassy.

Don’t you Christmas haters remember when George Bailey realized he was the richest man in Bedford Falls because he had friends and family and had made a difference in so many lives? Do you not remember that! It was so freaking heart warming!

Look at how happy Jimmy Stewart is. It’s as if he’s just shot Lee Marvin.

And don’t all you Christmas haters remember when Charlie Brown asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about.”

Linus replies, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”

Linus then moves to center stage and says this:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding
in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:
and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.

It’s only one of the most iconic moments in television history.

I hope all you Christmas haters shoot your eyes out.

Seriously, get this checked out.

The Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania…Seriously

 

Amish Buggy

Rural Pennsylvania Roads: still idyllic in 2019.

From the outset of this post I want to make to make one point abundantly and unmistakably clear: I am not making this up.

In 1910 there was an organization in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania called The Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania, and they really hated automobiles.

They complained automobiles traveled too fast, frightened their livestock, ran over their chickens, and that Pennsylvania motorists were inexplicably unable to properly use a turn signal.

Note: I did make up the part about the turn signal, the Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania didn’t say anything about the turn signal…but I’m saying it!

The point was: The Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania really hated automobiles, almost as much as I hate mimes, other peoples children, and any TV show with the words the real housewives of in the title.

They developed a set of guidelines for automobiles operating in rural areas of Pennsylvania:

  1. Automobiles travelling on country roads at night must send up a rocket every mile, then wait ten minutes for the road to clear.
  2. If a driver sees a team of horses, he is to pull to one side of the road and cover his machine with a blanket or dust cover that has been painted to blend into the scenery.
  3. In the event that a horse refuses to pass a car on the road, the owner must take his car apart and conceal the parts in the bushes.

Isn’t that Awesome?

Admittedly, they had very little to say about the fact that automobiles don’t leave horse shit everywhere, but no system is perfect.

It has inspired me to develop my own set of guidelines for operating an automobile in Pennsylvania that I will be posting in the future.

I leave you with a photo of the offender.

Model t

I think I see the problem: automobiles in 1910 were operated by small children dressed for safari.

 

A World Record by a Nose


miller nose
In August of 1976, Tom Miller of the United States, spent 4 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes, and 3 seconds, pushing a peanut to the summit of Pike’s Peak, with his nose.

He set a new world record for pushing a peanut to the summit of Pike’s Peak with your nose and forever became known as “that weirdo who pushed a peanut to the top of Pike’s Peak with his nose.”

The Guinness Book of World Records took notice and recorded his feat not once, but twice.

#1 For pushing a peanut to the top of Pike’s Peak with his nose.

#2 For the biggest waste of 4 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes, and 3 seconds, in recorded history.

Tom Miller’s parents wept tears of joy…well, they wept a lot.

Tom Miller’s life would never be the same.

But few remember the other participant in this record-setting  journey and how he was left forever broken.

mr peanut

“Tom Miller can bite me.”

 

Tran and Penn: the Sylvanias

william penn

William Tran Penn.

It occurred to me the other day, that if the William Penn, founder of the English colony of Pennsylvania, had been named William Tran, then I would currently be residing in the great Commonwealth of Transylvania.

Wouldn’t that be awesome!

The Sylvanias have so much in common.

Bram Stoker’s fictional character Dracula.

Dracula was based the real-life ruler Vlad the Impaler. Vlad Dracula was known for committing many acts of brutality, his favorite being impaling his enemies on stakes.

There are numerous tourist attractions around Transylvania connected to Vlad.

castle bran

Bran Castle, a tourist attraction associated with Vlad the Impaler. (I wonder if pigeons poop on it,)

We have a statue of Rocky.

rocky

Statue of Rocky. (Pigeons definitely poop on it.)

Rocky Balboa is a fictional character created by actor and filmmaker Sylvester Stallone, (himself known for brutal acts of annunciation) based on the real-life boxer Chuck Wepner.

Chuck Wepner

Real-life boxer Chuck Wepner. (Pigeons wouldn’t dare.)

Transylvania is often thought of as eerie.

church scary

An eerie church in Transylvania. (Pigeons are afraid to poop here.)

We have a place literally named Erie!

Erie eerie

Erie, Pennsylvania: it may be spelled differently, but it’s just as creepy. (Pigeons don’t poop here, but the seagulls crap on everything.)

Transylvania is romanticized as place inhabited by supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves, and monsters.

abott and costello

Abott and Costello knew all about these monsters.

We have a groundhog the predicts the freaking weather.

idiotprufs groundhog day punxsutawny phil

Abott and Costello knew almost nothing about Punxsutawney Phil.

There’s a bunch of other similarities between Pennsylvania and Transylvania involving steel production, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and geographical features, but that crap is all boring.

So I’ll leave you with the one striking difference between Pennsylvania and Transylvania.

The Transylvania State football team is just a bunch of tiny, slow-footed, pasty-faced, European guys.

 

Franco Harris steeler

Penn State great Franco Harris smashing through the Transylvania State offensive line.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: