Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Look It Up!

The other day, while stalling my son after he asked some history questions so I could secretly Google the answers and come off as a wise and knowing father, I discovered some interesting factoids about a number of US presidents. It was truly eye-opening, almost mystical. But don't try Googling these yourself. You won't find them. Whoever put them up has already taken them down in a clear, deliberate attempt to fuck with my head. Trust me, you don't want any of that.

Anyway, I gave these to my son for use in an extra credit report. His history teacher now wants to meet with me after school -- probably to thank me, or maybe to "chew over" a point or two. That's the joy of learning: it doesn't end with getting thrown out of high school.

Warren G. Harding told long, complicated jokes that veered off into odd directions. Reading them now doesn't help. After a few lines, you're left thinking, "Man, people back then had an arcane sense of humor. And no penicillin. If they got syphilis, that was it. Game over."

Richard Nixon personally liked Jews, but being insecure, he behaved otherwise so not to be rejected first. However, Nixon really did hate Asians. And Mexicans. He wasn't crazy about Africans, come to think of it.

Franklin Pierce was such an obscure president that he never heard of himself. When spotting his reflection in a White House mirror, Pierce screamed "Who the devil is that strange man!" to his aides, who lacked the courage to confront Pierce with the truth. Tell the president he's mistaken? You first, friend!

Bill Clinton was actually a woman. Okay, he really wasn't a woman. But what if he was? Can you wrap your incredulous mind around that possibility? It's tougher than it seems, isn't it?

Grover Cleveland often defecated outside, dancing around his waste while pounding his chest. Interestingly enough, this was viewed with less scrutiny than Cleveland's support for the gold standard. Perhaps that's why they call it The Reform Era.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was, in reality, a marathon runner and award-winning tap dancer. Did his wheelchair fool you? Take it easy. You weren't the only one.

George W. Bush has no hidden or unknown stories. That movie with Josh Brolin pretty much covers everything, though how anyone bought Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney is a mystery. Now, Mickey Rourke -- that's gutsy casting.

Barack Obama reportedly takes extremely hot baths. I know: not the juiciest private tidbit, but give the guy time. Considering the history of that office, something twisted is bound to emerge, and when it does, hoo boy! It'll make Abe Lincoln's flatulence smell like a gallon of fancy perfume.