(A reprise of my Columbus Day blog from last year)
Oops…sorry, I got that wrong. “Columbus Day” does not honor Peter Falk who played “Columbo” on that TV series. BUT…I bet if ya ask a bunch of today’s school kids who Columbus was nine out of ten of them would say it was a detective on TV played by Peter Falk.
Just like on a trivia question I came across on the Internet the other day that asked the question, “Who Shot lee Harvey Oswald?” 7% answered, John Wilkes Booth. Go figure. It’s common knowledge that John Wilkes Booth shot President Garfield. Duh.
So today is “Columbus Day” in which we honor Christopher Columbus for discovering America and enlightening native Indians about how they could eventually make a fortune opening casinos once all kinds of colonists began to settle in the new land.
And as you can see, they took his advice. Which begs the question, where would Donald Trump be today had it not been for Columbus.
A bit of history on Columbus for those of you who think we’re celebrating the founding of Columbus, Ohio.
Columbus was an Italian explorer who was born in Genoa, Italy around 1451. Which, I’m assuming, is the same place the Genoa sandwich was invented. Makes sense to me. Although I don’t think Columbus discovered the sandwich.
He had itchy feet which led him to go out and explore all kinds of places. That and a really good “Capital One” credit card with all sorts of rewards. Which led him to be able to convince Queen Isabella to extend him some credit to purchase three ships, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Claus…um….sorry, that last one should be the “Santa Maria.”
Besides having itchy feet, which led him to venture out and explore, he also needed to get the hell outta the house he lived in with his parents. Basically because his father, Domenico Columbo was a middle class wool weaver and also owned a cheese stand and made Chris help out with the family business.
You can only weave wool and eat cheese for so long before it drives ya nutso.
So, in 1492, he sailed the ocean blue, (which would later become a poem) and eventually discovered the new land, “America.” It DID take him some time to discover America because he was sort of a really bad navigator considering he once set out to sail to Japan but wound up in the Bahamas.
Which, if he hadn’t got his act together, would have made him basically screwed when it came to discovering America because he had competition from some guy named Leif Ericson who was also an explorer and could have beat Columbus to America first.
In which case we would be celebrating “Ericson” day instead of “Columbus Day.” Which, when ya think about it, wouldn’t be that bad considering “leafs” fall during the month of October, and Ericson’s name was “Leif,” so we could tie in Autumn leaf watching, the discovery of America and Lief Ericson Day all in one big celebration.
A few other people also have been credited with the discovery of America, but Columbus eventually got the credit. Scholar Amerigo Vespucci, who I think sailed here as well, and whom the “Vespa” motor scooter may have been named after, can also claim that America was named after him. Or at least the motor scooter.
The vikings also were out sailing round the time Columbus was too, so there’s some speculation that they may have landed in America as well. Which may have some credibility considering Minnesota has a football team named the “Minnesota Vikings”.
Columbus can also be credited with proving that the World was indeed round. You may recall that a lot of the crew were afraid that the World was square and that they would eventually fall off the edge. Columbus, being somewhat irritated at those idiots claiming the World was square and had edges, most likely took them to the edge of the Santa Maria and threw their butts off into the water.
“Yousa tinka da Earth has a edgea. I’ll showa youse an edgea yousea idiotos!”
Columbus died in 1506 at the age of 54, and even though he was dead, continued to travel to new and exciting places. First he was interred in Spain. Then he was moved to Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic, then to Havana, Cuba, and then eventually back to Spain. Hard to keep a good explorer down.
There is some question as to where exactly he is buried to this day. Or if he’s still traveling.
In any event, we can thank Chris for giving us a day off from work in celebration of Columbus Day. As well as thanking the late Peter Falk for all those Colombo reruns.
And being very thankful that Columbus gets the credit for discovering America instead of that Ericson guy, Amerigo Vespucci or those Vikings.
Especially those people living in Columbus, Ohio who could be living in Ericson, Vespucci or Viking, Ohio.
And being stuck with those names like the people living in Intercourse, Pennsylvania who got stuck with THAT name most likely because some ancient explorer got caught with his pants down while exploring Pennsylvania with some bimbo and took a bo-dee-oh-doe break and got caught with his pants down and some pilgrim yelled out…”OMG…thouist doing Intercourse”……………and the name stuck.
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