idiotpruf

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

Archive for the category “History”

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 would have shook his hand, but he had been doing a crazy amount of groin itching due to the 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 heartwarming!

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 2022.

From the outset of this post, I want to make to make one point abundantly and unmistakably clear: I am not making this up. (Apologies to Dave Barry.)

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 people’s 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.

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 a world record holder.

He also 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.

Once, for pushing a peanut to the top of Pike’s Peak with his nose.

A second time, 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.

Monkeys, Shakespeare, and Me

monkey

The authors of this blog?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem. It states the following:

If you’re having a child’s birthday party, don’t hire a clown, or a pony, or a big sweaty guy in a SpongeBob SquarePants costume. Get a monkey in a cowboy hat on a unicycle; your children will have infinitely more fun.

I’m joking, that’s not really the Infinite Monkey Theorem. (But seriously, go with the monkey in the cowboy hat.)

Wikipedia describes the Infinite Monkey Theorem this way:

The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. However, the probability that monkeys filling the observable universe would type a complete work such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero).

So, I acquired a couple of monkeys, (don’t ask how, it involved unsavory behavior and a yak) I gave them a couple of typewriters and let them go nuts. I wanted to see if there was anything to this Infinite Monkey Theorem. Plus, monkeys are fun.

We got off to a rocky start: there was some feces hurling and some disturbingly lengthy (and quite frankly, hurtful) obscene gesturing, but eventually they got to work.

While they didn’t reproduce any of the works of Shakespeare, they did type the phrase: Hamlet smells of cheese and Denmark multiple times.

Then something bizarre happened: the monkeys began to reproduce most of the contents of this blog and in shockingly less time than it took me to produce it. They even corrected some of my grammar errors.

And these weren’t the smart type of monkeys that do sign language; these were the type of monkeys eat their own poop and smoke cigarettes and one of them was really drunk at the time.

They rewrote several Curious George books, except every book ended with George violently attacking The Man with the Yellow Hat.

Then they started writing limericks about me that were really filthy.

After that they peed on the typewriters and mocked me with their superior verb tense usage.

It was all very disheartening.

I think I’m going to read Hamlet and pretend it was written by a drunken monkey.

Better yet, I’m going to read Curious George books and pretend they were written by a drunken Shakespeare.

Addendum: the monkeys rewrote this post too and it was better than this crappy version.

hamlet

Don’t hire a guy dressed up like Hamlet for a child’s birthday party either–they smell like cheese and Denmark.

New Year’s Traditions From Around the World

Today in Weird Science News: The Sarcophagus is a Letdown, Your Early Memories May Be Fake, and Ancient Dude Thought Getting Laid Saved Lives — Stellar Sarcasm

If you’re like me, you were probably excited to hear an ancient sarcophagus had been found in Alexandria, Egypt. I mean, according to all the movies I’ve ever seen on the subject, this should introduce us to an ancient curse or a mummy zombie—hey, there’s a new category of TV shows for you—or maybe something […]

via Today in Weird Science News: The Sarcophagus is a Letdown, Your Early Memories May Be Fake, and Ancient Dude Thought Getting Laid Saved Lives — Stellar Sarcasm

VEN Server Hacked By Russians! — VERY ERSATZ NEWS

via VEN Server Hacked By Russians! — VERY ERSATZ NEWS

Luckiest man in Pompeii loses head as he wins the local big money lottery — Bull of the Board

Pompeii man found to be luckiest man in the world to have ever lived.

via Luckiest man in Pompeii loses head as he wins the local big money lottery — Bull of the Board

The True and Accurate Historical Story of Limburger Cheese

limburger cheese

The delightful aroma of feet.

There is one salient fact about Limburger cheese: it is just awful. The only time I would need Limburger cheese, would be if I needed something that smelled like death and the smell from my giant pile of opossum crap just wasn’t enough.

Did you know the bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese is the same bacterium that is responsible for body odor, and in particular, foot odor?

If you’ve ever smelled Limberger cheese, you had your suspicions.

Limburger cheese was first created in the Duchy of Limburg in the 19th century by a man who had just come home from a hard day of cheese making. He had unbuckled and removed his boots and was attempting to enjoy a meal with his wife when he and his wife got into an argument that changed the history of cheese making forever.

Wife: What is that horrendous smell?

Cheesemaker: Ooh, we’re having stoofvlees, I love stoofvlees.

Wife: It’s the most putrid smell I have ever encountered.

Cheesemaker: I don’t smell anything. Pass the ale.

Wife: I think it’s your feet.

Cheesemaker: Seriously. Pass the ale.

Wife: It’s rancorous.

Cheesemaker: It’s not that bad.

Wife: It is that bad. There are people retching on the other side of the Demer River.

Cheesemaker: Do you know what this conversation isn’t doing? It isn’t remedying the fact that I have no ale.

Wife: Your feet smell worse than that giant pile of opossum crap you have behind the house.

Cheesemaker: I’ll get my own ale.

Wife: Why do you even have a giant pile of opossum crap?

Cheesemaker: I’ll tell you why, (he pauses to take a slug of ale) because someday you’ll be in desperate need of copious amounts of opossum crap, and you’ll be glad it’s there.

Wife: I’ve thought the same thing about you, but it still hasn’t happened. Besides, it’s the worst smell in the world.

Cheesemaker: Nonsense. It’s not the worst smell in the world. In fact, I’ll bet that I could make a cheese that smells worse.

Wife: I doubt it.

Cheesemaker: You’ll see; it will become my mission.

Wife: Shut up and drink your ale.

And drink his ale he did.

And succeed he did–beyond his wildest ale-fueled dreams.

Of course, his wife left him and his giant pile of opossum crap.

The Duchy of Limburg is now divided by modern-day Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. None of the three countries wanted it: it reeked of Limburger cheese and developed a huge opossum problem.

Addendum: there are historians who will tell you certain items in this story aren’t factual–historians suck.

opossum

The aroma of their crap is delightful.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: