While I was flailing around, looking at materials I’ve accumulated and toying with an idea for a blog I should have started working on two weeks ago, I can across this Richard Lederer piece. I’ve read it many times before, but I couldn’t help taking another look. Soon I was laughing so hard my cleaning lady came in to my office to find out if I was crying. It’s too funny not to share.
By Richard Lederer
Read more about Richard Lederer at the end. He’s so much more than a teacher.
▼Photo Source: encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn
● Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.
● Without the Greeks we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns---Corinthian, Doric, and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth.
● Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.
When they fought with the Persians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.
● Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Geeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlics in their hair.
● In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.
● The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great invention and discoveries.
● Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.
●The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee.
●The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespear. Shakespear never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived at Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies, and errors.
●In one of Shakespear's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill the King by attacking his manhood. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Writing at the same time as Shakespear was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.
●During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe.
● One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. During the War, the Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.
● Delegates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence.
● George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Then the Constitution the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
● Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, “In onion there is strength.'' Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. Fourteenth Amendment gave ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clux Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. It claimed it represented law and odor. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.
● Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltare invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.
● Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
●The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
●The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Samuel Morse invented a code of telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radium. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.
I would love to read a similar composite from WWI through 2019, but I would die of laughing long before I got to the end. Maybe that’s why there isn’t one. Or maybe there is more in one of Mr. Lederer’s books.
WILL THE REAL RICHARD LEDERER PLEASE STAND UP?
Quoted Directly From Wikipedia
“Richard Lederer (born May 26, 1938) is an American author, speaker, and teacher. He is best known for his books on the English language and on word play such as puns, oxymorons, and anagrams. He refers to himself as "the Wizard of Idiom," "Attila the Pun," and "Conan the Grammarian." His weekly column, "Looking at Language," is syndicated in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States.
"Lederer invented the words 'aptagram',an anagram which means the same as the other word, and 'antigram', an anagram which means the opposite.
"He has written more than fifty books, including Anguished English (1987), Get Thee to a Punnery (1988), Crazy English (1989), A Man of My Words (2003), The Word Circus (1998), The Miracle of Language (1992), The Cunning Linguist (2001), Word Wizard (2006), and Presidential Trivia (2007). Known as a "verbivore", a word he coined in the early 1980s, Lederer's interests include uncovering word origins, pointing out common grammatical errors and fallacies, and exploring palindromes, anagrams, and other forms of recreational wordplay. Lederer wrote the foreword to Words at Play: Quips, Quirks and Oddities, by O.V. Michaelsen (Sterling Publishing Company, New York, 1998), and to Weather Facts and Fun (2009), a children's book on weather, co-written by Josh Judge and Kathe Cussen and published by SciArt Media. He was elected International Punster of the Year in 1989 and was the 2002 recipient of the Golden Gavel of Toastmasters International.”