Are you SURE you haven't seen my kite?
I mean, I left it right here, on the dining room table, like I always do. I remember setting it down and saying, "I'll put my kite here so I know where it is when it starts raining.", but it's not here.
Now, I didn't move it. And if I didn't move it, it should be here. Unless someone else moved it.
So I ask again; Have you seen my kite?
Don;t you hate it when some condescending so-and-so looks at you with undisguised contempt? When people do that to me, I feel pity for them, because I know, deep down in my soul, that if they keep making that face, it'll stay like that forever.
At least, that's what my mom told me. And my mom wouldn't have lied to me, would she?
Aw......who am I kidding. Of course she would have. Moms lie to kids all the time. It's called 'good parenting'. If a lie elicits compliance in a child, parents will lie all day long. I know a lot of parents who will deny that fact, but they're only lying to themselves.
It's not that parents want to lie to their kids. But when faced with explaining the death of a pet to a 2 year old for example, which is easier? Trying to explain the concept of death or making up a story about how you sent Foo-Foo to live on a farm upstate?
And, what parent hasn't used the lie that is Santa to coerce kids to behave?
I'm not condemning parental fibs. I'm not a parent, so I'm not one to judge the right or wrong of it. I'm just saying parents do it.
Which brings me to only one conclusion: IT'S TUESDAY!
Tell The Truth Tuesday, to be exact. So I guess I should come clean about yesterdays post. Fine, here goes.....
It was true, unfortunately. The crushing of the Pullman strike was the catalyst for Labor Day. The heavy handed crushing of the American worker was something that just could not last. And this was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. And so, to avoid a general uprising of the common man, they were appeased with a paid day off.
I'd just like to point out that the political party and business elites who complain today about governments interference in their business are the ones who invited the government into their back pockets in the first place.
But that's all besides the point. You aren't here to find out the answer to yesterdays post. You're here to read todays post. Am I right? Am I? I am, aren't I? Yeah....I am.
Today I want to talk to you about Ben. Ben Franklin, to be exact. Although.....Ben from Gentle Ben would be....NO! Benjamin Franklin!
There are many odd things I could tell you about Ben. I could do a whole month of posts on him. Like the whole kite in a storm myth. Or how he was a massive horn dog. Or how he invented bifocals.
But I wont. Because the oddity I have chosen is one that you probably wont hear about anywhere else but here. And that oddity is one Ben never took public credit for.
It's about an article he wrote in 1751 and published in Pennsylvania. The reason he didn't take credit for it was, this was still 25 years before independence was declared from England. And it showed dissent with the crown and it's policies.
And only a fool dissented publicly unless they wanted to start some sort of revolution...
He wrote the article under the byline of Americanus. And it was in the form of an open letter to the colonists about the British government. It was just another of the annoyances that faced the colonists that eventually led them to break free from the empire.
Back in the heyday of the empire, Britain had a novel way of dealing with criminals; They banished them to far away places. Most of them went to Australia. But they also sent a good number to the colonies in America. And this didn't sit well with the people living there.
There were a couple of reasons for this. The main one being that, criminals who were sent to the colonies didn't stop being criminals. They kept up their crime-y ways. The second was, the colonists who were the victims of the newly arrived criminals resented the fact that England sent their criminals to them.
So, Ben Franklin decided to propose an idea to teach England a lesson.
He stated that, since England was ridding it's self of an annoyance by sending the culprits to the colonies, the colonists should reciprocate. Not by sending their criminals to England, but sending another annoyance there.
Every spring, a scourge appeared in many of the colonies. That scourge was: Rattlesnakes.
These snakes, as many of you know, can kill. They aren't aggressive, but attack when they feel threatened. And since farming was done without the aid of machines, farmers encountered them quite a bit.
Ben suggested that, once they emerged in the spring from their hibernation, they could be easily captured with little risk. And if a small bounty were placed on each live one turned in, he was sure many could be captured.
He then proposed that the snakes be transported to England, and distributed into parks around London and other places around the country where the gentry were likely to gather. He also said most should be placed where the Prime Minister and members of Parliament were likely to frequent.
His reasoning was that rattle snakes were fair compensation for the human serpents England was dumping in the colonies.
He closed his article by saying that even though the colonists would be getting rid of their rattlers, England would still be getting the better part of the bargain. And that's because a rattle snake warns it's victim before it strikes. A criminal does not.
Sounds like a fair trade to me. Also, I think it's a good idea that old Ben didn't talk to someone in Australia about this idea. Seeing as how much of Australia had little reason to like the British government, and how just about everything there is deadly to humans, I'm sure someone would have acted on the idea.
And now, for me, it's 5:43 in the evening on Monday. That means I have to go cook diner. I have bacon and bread. I sure wish I knew of some way to make a sandwich out of bacon.......