Monthly Archives: October 2003

Yesterday. Ah.

My brother was moving out. At least that was the theory. The reality was that he was asleep on the couch. I accidentally knocked over some beer cans while I was reaching for my coffee. My coffee pot is in my living room due to size issues relating to my kitchen. So is my fridge, there’s one in the kitchen too. But I digress. I knocked over some beer cans and Pete woke up.

He looked at his watch and exclaimed, “Oh I’m late.”
“What time were you supposed to be there?” I enquired quietly in case his head was hurting.
“Yesterday.”
“Ah.”
“Indeed.”

I moved away as a flurry of activity looked imminent. He started throwing cloes into a box. Then grabbed the car keys. “I’m going to start loading the car.”
He looked confused.
“Ok,” I encouraged.
“Right.” And with that he went, box in hand.
About two minutes later my telephone rang.
“Hello?” It was him.
“Hi! I decided to leave. I’m driving to Brighton.”
“Oh.”
“I just wanted to say goodbye.”
“Goodbye then.”
“Yeah. And there’s a frozen chicken under my bed. You better eat it.” And with that he hung up.

The Bald Headed Eagle was a bird of low moral character.

I found a pair of shoes from America the other day. While looking a them I realised something was a little odd but I couldn’t figure it out. Several days later I twigged what the cause of my discomfort was.

In America they have a slogan which ou see from time to time side by side with their American flag. It says, “Don’t tread on me”. An odd sentiment for a flag one would feel considering much of it’s life is spent hanging on the end of poles up in the sky where there is little footwear present.*

But then that was the problem with the shoes. They had an American flag stitched right in there on the instep. How could you avoid treading on it?

* The story of the “Don’t tread on me” slogan is actually quite interesting. It actually doesn’t refer to the stars and strips flag at all but a different one altogether called the Gadsden flag. But sometimes the whole thing is combined. The Gadsden flag precedes the stars and stripes but then it’s subject, which is a rattlesnake, actually even precedes that.

The story begins in the French and Indian war. The colonies were wavering in their support for the battles. Some wanted to side with the French others with England. Benjamin Franklin realised that this was a very dangerous time for the United States. He drew a cartoon of a cut up snake with 13 pieces, which represented the 13 colonies,. It played on the superstition at the time that if you cut up a snake each piece of it would form a new snake. The slogan was “Unite or Die.”

The message was a powerful on and spread far and wide. By the time of the war of independence it’s significance re-emerged. In 1775 the colonies created their first joint forces these were the Marines. Because they were a joint forces they had not got a flag at this time. On the barrels of gunpowder the familiar symbol of the snake re-emerged. This time it was a rattlesnake and it had thirteen bands on its tail. The barrels were bright yellow to warn of their dangerous properties which is why the Gadsden flag is usually yellow. It also had the words on each barrel “Don’t tread on me”.

Later that year Benjamin Franklin wrote an anonymous letter to the Pennsylvania Journal. And explained why he thought the rattlesnake should be the national animal. He noted that the only part of the snake that changed was the number of rings grew as it become older. And he pointed out that the rattlesnake was a decent animal. It never attacked except when extremely provoked. And it always gave a warning of attack with it’s rattle which said “Don’t tread on me”. Franklin also believed that the Bald Headed Eagle was a bird of low moral character.**

**Yes this footnote is longer than the original article.

Now I’m not discounting the corset theory.

Have you ever wondered why it was that people, chiefly women, used to faint all the time but don’t seem to any more? No. You probably haven’t because you’ve probably assumed that it was something to do with corsets. Women used to wear corsets and apparently whenever they got excited it would mean that they couldn’t get enough oxygen and that was it.

But was it? Really? I think it was something else and I think that something else was Narcolepsy.

The most common thing to cause Narcoleptics to go to sleep is shock. And suddenly falling asleep looks remarkably like fainting. Especially if nobody knew what Narcolepsy was.

Now in my extensive research for writing this article I was sitting in somebody’s flat when they fell asleep. They were watching television and it was late so I thought nothing of it. However when they awoke they told me that this was something that happened often to them and that they never usually felt tired before it happened. So I started asking around and all the people who I asked who were women complained that they usually didn’t feel tired before they fell asleep on the couch but all the men said that they usually only fell asleep on the sofa after they had felt tired for a while.

Now I’m not discounting the corset theory. I just think there might have been additional factors at work. Although whether they were NarcoZzzzzzzz.