Friday, September 19, 2014

Flowery Twats and Farty Towels are my personal favorites

(I forgot to say earlier that) Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. The holiday is a parody holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Corvallis, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.

Nothing says Piracy (or the British Navy) more than Rum, The Lash and Sodomy.  So remember: keep plenty of rum, leather belts and Crisco handy today.

September 19, 1931 -
released the Marx Brother's third film, Monkey Business on this date.

This is the first Marx Brothers film written especially for the screen.

September 19, 1970 -
The greatest sitcom every produced, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, premiered on CBS TV on this date.

When casting the part of Sue-Anne Nivens, producers were stumped for an actress to take the role. They wanted "someone like Betty White." Eventually, someone asked "Why not cast Betty White?"

September 19, 1975 -
The British sitcom Fawlty Towers, created by John Cleese, premiered on BBC2 on this date.

As the series progressed, each episode's opening shot of the Fawlty Towers hotel sign shows rearranged and misplaced letters. Variations include: Watery Fowls (with a kid seen adjusting it), Farty Tower, Flay Otters, Fatty Owls, Warty Towels, Flowery Twats and Farty Towels. Production team-member Iain McLean supplied the hotel sign anagrams supposedly left by aggrieved paperboys.

September 19, 1981 -
Despite the fact that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had barely spoken to each other in ten year, they reunited on this date to raise funds to renovate Central Park and performed in front of 500,000 people in New York City.

The concert was so successful, the duo decided to embark on a year-long world tour. During the tour, tensions mounted between the pair and they split again after it was completed.

September 19, 1986 -
David Lynch's
profoundly unsettling film, Blue Velvet, premiered on this date, (after I saw the movie, I had to go out and have a drink.)

Isabella Rossellini
claims that during the initial filming of the ritualistic rape scene, David Lynch couldn't stop laughing off-screen at the weirdness of it all. Though she was baffled as to why he was laughing at the time, Rossellini says that to this day, she herself laughs uncontrollably every time she watches that particular scene.

Today in History:
September 19, 1692 -
Giles Corey
was accused of witchcraft in 1692. This put him in a difficult spot. If he pleaded guilty, he'd be burned alive at the stake. If he pleaded not guilty, he'd have to take a lie-detector test.

The state-of-the-art lie detector of 1692 wasn't any less accurate than today's models, but it was significantly rougher on its subjects. It was called "dunking." The tightly bound subject would be dunked repeatedly into a pond or lake until the truth emerged.

One of the primary symptoms of demonic possession was immunity to water, so those who survived the process were rewarded with a warm, dry burning at the stake. Those who drowned, on the other hand, were clearly innocent and received a favorable ruling.

Giles Corey wasn't eager to be burned at the stake, but he wasn't keen on posthumous vindication, either. A plea of guilty meant the stake; a plea of not-guilty meant drowning (or the stake, depending on the results of the lie-detector test). Mr. Corey therefore did what any reasonable person might have done: he claimed his Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution and said nothing.

This was a foolish and costly blunder, as the Constitution had not yet been invented.

Baffled by the accused's refusal to enter a plea, the court pressed him for an answer. Literally. Giles Corey became the first, last, and only American ever to have been pressed to death by his own government, on this date in history.

September 19, 1881 -
The 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, (shot by assassin Charles J. Guiteau,) died of wounds on this date.

Psst - Guiteau didn't kill the President, his doctors did. Several inserted their unsterilized fingers into the wound to probe for the bullet, and one doctor punctured Garfield's liver in doing so. Garfield's doctors had turned a three-inch-deep, harmless wound into a twenty-inch-long contaminated gash stretching from his ribs to his groin and oozing more pus each day. He lingered for eighty days, wasting away from his robust 210 pounds to a mere 130 pounds.

Alexander Graham Bell had made several unsuccessful attempts to remove the assassin’s bullet with a new metal detection device.

September 19, 1931 -
Adolf Hitler's 23-year-old half niece, Geli Raubal, was found dead in her uncle's Munich apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on this date.

Some allege that she and Adolf had a sexual relationship, which involved Geli urinating on him. Hitler conveniently happens to be out of town at the time of the shooting.

Oh that Hitler, what a wacky Fuhrer.

September 19, 1934 -
Bruno Hauptmann
was arrested for the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby on this date.

We aren't sure if he did it, but he did have $11,000 of the ransom money.

So they fried him two years later.

September 19, 1957 -

The U.S. conducted its first underground nuclear test, code-named Rainier, in the Nevada desert on this date. This caused a major disturbance in the natural order of the fragile desert eco-system,

ultimately resulting in Las Vegas,

and enormous spiders

and oversized seafood.

September 19, 1959 -
In a Cold War setback, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was annoyed to learn that he would not be permitted to visit Disneyland, due to concerns for his personal safety.

This mean, most of the cold war could have been prevented, if we let that fat bald premier ride Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

September 19, 1961 -
(Estelle Parsons) and Barney (James Earl Jones) Hill were picked up near Indian Head, New Hampshire and anally probed by five beings in a flying saucer. The couple later describes the craft as being "banana-like, with pointed tips and windows."

Anyway, that's what Barney told Betty what happened.

September 19, 1991 -
A body was found frozen in a glacier in the Alps between Austria and Italy. A German tourist found the body and called the Austrian police. They tried to free the body from the ice with a jackhammer. It was only when an anthropologist showed up to examine the body that they realized it was a very, very old corpse - 5,300 years old, in fact - of a man between 25 and 35 years old. He was five feet, two inches tall, with hair about three inches long. He had tattoos. He wore an unlined fur robe, a woven grass cape, and size six shoes stuffed with grass for warmth.

He came to be called Ötzi the Iceman, and what made him such a remarkable discovery for anthropologists was the fact that he died while he was out walking on an ordinary day wearing ordinary clothing. He carried a copper axe and a fur quiver for his arrows, the only quiver from the Neolithic period that has ever been found. His arrows had sharp flint points and feathers that were affixed at an angle that would cause the arrows to spin. And he carried mushrooms in his bag that scientists speculate were used for medicine.

It was not until ten years later that a forensics expert noticed in an x-ray that the Iceman had an arrowhead lodged in his back. He had been murdered.

Who murdered the Iceman. Stay tuned to CSI Austria on your local CBS networks.

September 19, 1995 -
The New York Times and the Washington Post published the Unabomber's rambling, 35,000-word anti-technology screed, Industrial Society And Its Future, on this date.

In exchange, he promises to halt his bombing campaign.

And so it goes

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