Yo Mamma’s so....uh....domestic, she makes um....really good food!

Did I do it right? I wanted to tell a ‘Yo Mamma’ joke, but I also don’t want to be offensive.

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Well....that’s not true. I have no problem being offensive. I’m offensive on a daily basis to someone. But I don’t think I should be insulting to mothers. I mean, it’s not their fault you turned out the way you did.....

So I will try to remain civil. And I think I will succeed. For at least a minute. Maybe two.

Say, here’s an interesting fact I can give you that will kill a couple of minutes. And I promise, there’s at least a 2% chance I didn’t just make it up right now on the spur of the moment.

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Have you ever wondered how Columbia House got it’s name? Well, way back when, you know, when otter was just a young’un, in 6th century Ireland, an Irish missionary borrowed a psalter* from his friend St. Finian. (he was just Father Finian at the time). Well, our friend the missionary copied the psalter** and gave the original back. Finian wanted the copy too. So he took the matter up with the High King of Ireland.***

The king ruled in Finian’s favor saying “To every cow belongs it’s calf, to every book its copy.” Well, our missionary friend said “Aw hells naw!” and the two sides went to war. Because that’s what people did in 6th century Ireland.

But like most wars of the time, it was all settled in one battle. The battle of Cul Dreimhne. Three thousand men died in the fighting. Or Irish missionary ended up losing his copy of the psalter.****

He did strike a deal with Finian after the fighting had settled and everyone regained their composure. Finian allowed the missionary to have the copy but charged him the nominal sum of one penny.*****

And who was this missionary? Why, it was St. Columbia. And he lived in a House. So, it make sense now?

Anyway, todays subject has to do with Yo Mamma jokes. Most of us first heard them when we were in elementary school. And comedians have been telling them for about 50 years.

At least, that’s what you think if you’re wrong.

Yo Mamma jokes are much older than people think they are. If you ask someone how old, they will consider it a trick question and say, “Well.....since you’re asking, then they must be older than the 60's. I could say the 50's or 40's, but a smart person would guess the teens or 20's, because that seems like the sort of trick question you’d ask. But knowing you, you’re trying to be real sneaky, so I’m going to say the first Yo Mamma jokes were told sometime around 1850.”

And I would just laugh at how flawed your thinking was.

You see, even Shakespeare got into the Yo Mamma craze. here’s a couple of them he came up with:

From Timons of Athens:

Painter: “Y’are a dog!”

Apemantus: “Thy mother’s of my generation. What’s she if I be a dog?”

And also:

From Titus Andronicus:

Demetrius: “Villain, what hast thou done?”

Aaron: “That which thou canst not undo.”

Chiron: “Thou hast undone our mother!”

Aaron: “Villain, I have done thy mother!”

So, you can see that the Yo Mamma joke has been around a long time.

But wait! There’s more!

In 1976 an archeologist working in Iraq uncovered a tablet that was dated back to 1,500 BCE, to the time of Babylon. Inscribed on it were 6 riddles. The final one was partially illeligible, but what they could translate of it said:

....of your mother is by the one who has intercourse with her. What/who is it?

Sadly, the answer is also missing. So while we don’t know exactly the nature of the burn, we do know that someone in Babylon was saying something about your mom.

But, Yo Mamma jokes aren’t the only old things out there.

For example, take this picture:

It’s a self portrait done by the artist Parmigianino and it was don in 1524. Look closely at it. Notice how he’s looking at himself in a mirror? And his arm is extended? And he looks bored? And the angles off a little?

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Why, it’s a frickin’ selfie! Just like the ones you take for Bookface and Chatsnap.

And you know how you go to the refrigerator to get a nice cold drink? Well, as early as 400 BCE Persian engineers were building something called a yakhchal. It was an inverted cone that used wind catchers and a spiral ducting system to keep ice cold. In the desert. Year round. They even made a precursor to modern ice cream!

Oh, hey, you know that saying “Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out!”? Did you know it was first used in 1209 CE during the Massacre of Beziers. A Catholic churchman who was with the crusaders was asked about what they should do with the captured non-combatants. His answer was “Caedite eos. Nobit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.” (Kill them all. The Lord knoweth them that are his.)

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And finally, have you ever listened to the news, the sports report in particular, and heard that X athlete is making Y amount of dollars and been upset that they get such huge sums to play a game? Well, guess what. Today’s athletes make diddly-squat! Gaius Appuleius Diocles was a Roman charioteer. That is, he drove chariots in races. Like today’s NASCAR. He had a 24 year career and earned 35,863,129 sesterces. (plural of sestertii, Roman money) If you adjust the value of the sestertii to equal today’s money, he would have earned $15 billion in those 24 years.

So you see my little minions, not everything is modern. Lots of things are much older than you think.

* psalter = psalms

** look.....we just went over this. psalter = psalms!

*** high king as in ‘king over all the other kings’ not as ‘dude....I’m like, the king. gimmie Doritos!’

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**** you serious? we’ve done this twice already. Y’know what? Screw it. if you don’t know what a psalter****** is by now, I just can’t help you!

***** Ok....the only part I made up was where Columbia bought the psalter******* back from Finian for a penny. The rest is true. Well, except for the part about Columbia House naming itself over the incident.

****** now you’re just fucking with me.

******* stop it and go away.......