The King’s playin’ with his crotch again
Blog Guy, you seem to read a lot of history. I guess that’s to take your mind off the goofy stuff you see every day?
Are you kidding? History books are where I GET my goofiest stuff. I find myself laughing out loud as I picture things I read. In his biography of William Shakespeare, author Bill Bryson tells us that King James I “was graceless in motion, with a strange lurching gait, and had a disconcerting habit, indulged more or less constantly, of playing with his codpiece.”
Think about that. A King of England who was known for walking like a zombie and fiddling with his crotch pouch in public.
Then there’s John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed President Lincoln. According to “Manhunt: the 12-day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer,” when Booth was injured and on the run after the assassination, he was turned away from the home of a Southern doctor.
I’ll bet Booth got the hell away from there as fast as he could.
No! Did Booth actually send the note?
No, he wasn’t happy with it, so he wrote a second note, and sent that one.
And speaking of Lincoln, according to “The Siege of Washington,” Honest Abe used to practice his own marksmanship out on the South Lawn of the White House, “often trying newly invented guns that had been submitted to the Patent Office.”
I’m afraid so. “Hey Earl, we got another Doomsday Gun here, better have the commander in chief fire off a few rounds to see if it works okay…”
What was the goofiest year in recorded history?
I think that would be 46 BC. I read in “Cleopatra: A Life,” that in order to address a lot of errors that had crept into the calendar, Julius Caesar made that year 455 days long. He slipped the extra time in neatly between November and December.
Huzzah! So suddenly it was like, hey, we’ve got 90 extra shopping days until Christmas?
Well, yes, but since this was 46 BC, they didn’t find out about that Christmas benefit for nearly 50 more years.
Right: Book jacket for “Manhunt: the 12-day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer”
Left: Bust of Julius Caesar in Marseille, France, January 22, 2009. The bust of Cesar, dated 49-46 BC, was discovered last year as part of underwater archeological exploration in the Rhone River near Arles. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier