Monday, March 28, 2011

Chris learns about George Washington.

Hello again, gang.  In an effort to create some more grist for my industrial blog-mill I’ll be starting a brand new recurring feature today.  Do you ever wonder about the Presidents of the United States?  I mean, really wonder  Armed only with my trusty friend Wikipedia and a 3rd grade education, I will be tackling each of our nation’s Presidents.  Physically tackling them.  To the ground.  For their lunch money.  Today’s President is…

George Washington!

Mary Washington.  A cougar?
What do we know about George Washington?  For starters, we know that he was born in the French Antilles and was made entirely of wood.  But any schoolboy knows that!  Let’s dig deeper into the life of our first President!  George Herbert Walker Washington was born February 22, 1732 in Saint Barthelemy, a small island on the Caribbean Sea.  George’s father, Augustine “The President Maker” Washington was a respected gentleman and the first man in history to play the steel drums.  Augustine’s wife, Mary, was a devoted mother to George and a handsome, handsome woman.  George also had five siblings who didn’t become President so let’s not waste our time on those pieces of crap!

We’ve all heard about young Washington’s fateful encounter with a cherry tree. The story goes that, as a boy, George chopped down his father’s prized tree. When questioned about it, George supposedly said, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa” and confessed his misdeed. What history neglects to tell us is that George’s father proceeded to punch him straight in the mouth, knocking out George’s beautiful, beautiful teeth.  George was then thrown aboard a frigate bound for the colonies to think about what he had done.

The next two decades of George Washington’s life have been swallowed by the gaping maw of history.  Some say that George led a merry band of thieves, stealing from the rich and (inexplicably) giving back to the rich.  Some say that George secluded himself in the mountains of Virginia, practicing Presidential stuff and lifting X-Wing fighters with his mind.  What we do know is that during those lost years George fashioned a set of dentures for himself out of hickory, moose antler, and Indian tears.

Mount Vernon.
Washington emerged from his exile in 1755 when he single-handedly started, fought in, and won the French and Indian War.  At the time, George was a peaceful farmer living in a hollowed-out volcano that would later be called Mount Vernon.  The British and French colonists had simultaneously laid claim to land in what would become Ohio.  Even though no one asked his opinion, Washington famously said, “Let’s start a French and Indian War, bitches!”  The opposing parties looked at each other, shrugged, and the war commenced.  

Wikipedia tells me that the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years War, lasted from 1754 to 1758.  The Seven Years War lasted four years.  Why would a war that raged for four years be called the Seven Years War?  Inflation, that’s why!  Anyway, during the war years George was a well-regarded soldier, fighting valiantly on behalf of the British colonies.  After what may-or-may-not have been four years of fighting, Washington remarked, “Enough of this, everybody chillax.”  The muskets fell silent and peace was declared.

During peacetime George met and fell in love with Martha Custis, a widowed slave owner with two children of her own.  Say what you will about George Washington, he knew how to pick ‘em!  George and Martha married and moved to the impenetrable volcano fortress at Mount Vernon.  Washington occupied his time with farming, fox hunting, card playing, and slave owning. 

In the 1770’s, Washington became bored with his life as a fox-hunting-volcano-dwelling-bon vivant and decided to start another war.  Washington rode his faithful horse, Nelson, to Boston where he boarded a British ship and began hurling barrels of tea into the harbor.  This momentous event would come to be known as the “Boston Tea Massacre.”  Witnesses overheard an incensed Washington screaming, “Suck it, England!” and “I’m starting a war again!”  But it was not that easy!  Washington would have to convince the other colonies to take up arms before he could force England to “suck it.”

In 1775, George attended the Second Continental Congress to convince his fellow patriots that a war with England was necessary.  Washington used subtle put-downs and prop comedy to persuade the other colonists.  “Look at Ben Franklin over here,” George cried.  “You don’t need bifocals to see that we must become our own sovereign nation!”  A rim shot followed.  Washington proceeded to “roast” King George III in effigy for 9 hours to the delight of some.

The Friar's Club Roast of George III.
 While the Continental Congress was still chuckling over Washington’s ribald joking, the Revolutionary War began at Lexington and Concord.  Not one to be overshadowed by the outbreak of war, George Washington pounded his desk and implored the others to declare independence from England.  Washington began a slow clap.  He chanted, “We’re not gonna pay a lot for this muffler.  We’re not gonna pay a lot for this muffler.”  Soon all of Independence Hall had joined in.  “WE’RE NOT GONNA PAY A LOT FOR THIS MUFFLER!  WE’RE NOT GONNA PAY A LOT FOR THIS MUFFLER!!!”  Thus, the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Our nation was born!

Now George just needed to win the war.  Washington quickly realized that the Continental Army could never defeat the British in open warfare.  He quickly adopted the Fabian strategy - using small, focused attacks followed by quick retreats - to disorient and demoralize the Redcoats.  After a grueling winter in Valley Forge, Washington fatefully joined forces with Mel Gibson and his ragtag militia.  This decision would prove to be the turning point of the war.  Gibson produced an enormous stockpile of musket balls (each ball created from a melted lead figurine and imbued with Gibson’s seething hatred of women and Jewish people) which completely overwhelmed the occupying British forces.  England was vanquished and American independence had been won.

An American hero.
Although Washington had been the Commander-in-Chief during the war, Gibson was the popular hero after the defeat of England.  Most Americans wanted Gibson to be our fledgling country’s first President.  Washington begrudgingly moved back to Mount Vernon to live out his life in obscurity.  However, Washington’s retirement was to be short lived.  At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Gibson delivered an address so staggeringly chauvinistic and anti-Semitic that it appalled people from the 18th century (and people from the 18th century usually LOVED chauvinism and anti-Semitism).   

America’s love affair with Mel Gibson had ended and Washington returned from Virginia to accept the Presidency.  During his two terms, George made a lasting impact on the institution.  He argued for the humble title “Mr. President” instead of the more formal “Your Excellency” or “The Majestic Lord Washington: Democratic King of America.”  Washington instituted Free Masonry as America’s favorite creepy secret society.  When Benjamin Franklin suggested a turkey for the national bird, Washington famously responded, “That’s a stupid idea, you fat idiot.  Go fly a kite during a lightning storm.”  Franklin took his advice and that’s how the Franklin Stove was born!  Washington also experienced a change of heart regarding slavery.  In 1786 he wrote, "There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery."  George vowed to wait 77 years before appearing to Abraham Lincoln as a ghost and sharing this epiphany. 

Washington's face has been in many strippers' butts.

Washington retired in 1797 and returned to Mount Vernon.  He lived the rest of his days in peace and relative seclusion (just like Johnny Carson).  In 1799, Washington took ill after tending to his horses in the snow.  He died at the age of 67.  Washington was eulogized by “Light-Horse” Harry Lee who lovingly said, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”  George Washington’s legacy has been an enduring one.  Do you doubt me?  Look in your pocket, jerk!  George’s face adorns the quarter and the dollar bill.  He is also the namesake of Washington D.C. and Washington State…a fact which has been confusing 4th graders for centuries. 

I hope you’ve found this article informative, dear reader.  I encourage students to use this information on all of your tests, regardless of the subject.  Please take each “fact” with a grain of salt but rest assured that there was some truth mixed in as well.  Like the part about the X-Wing fighters.  Cross my heart.  I’ll see you again soon, Internuts.  Until next time!

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