Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who Says You Can't Learn Anything at Penwasser Place?

April 11th-Brought To You By the Letter 'K'

History of the World-Kublai Khan

  Relying solely on what I remember from high school, I’ll just blast away at whatever topic I choose.  No encyclopedias, Google, libraries, or bathroom walls (“Here I sit, broken-hearted, the Romans shit while the Greeks just farted”) for me.  Meaning, this will probably be an indictment of the American educational system. 
"I may wear a goofy fur cap and
look like that guy down at the China Wok.
But, trust me, I'm totally badass."
  In keeping with the A-Z challenge (and the fact that I didn’t have a good topic for the letter ‘K.’  Hey, you can only say so much about “Kelp.”) I decided to talk about Kublai Khan.

  While I can’t promise that everything I write will be the complete truth, it’s at least my understanding.  Indeed, it may compel you to actually do a little research on your own.  Yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen.  American Idol’s on.

  Kublai Khan was the founder of the Mongol Dynasty.  You know, those kooky dudes who rode in from East Jesus to terrorize hapless peasants.  So, instead of arranging chicken bones into the image of a saint or dying from the Black Plague, the serfs of Pre-Renaissance (French for “no toilets”) Europe ran screaming through the mud like medieval Justin Beiber groupies just to keep their heads on their shoulders.

"Okay, who's the Chinese guy?"
"I'm not sure, but I think it's the one with the tooth."
  Kublai (not to be confused with “Kublai, Fran, and Ollie,” a popular Chinese children’s puppet troupe) grew up in East Asia sometime in the late 13th century, or what historians call “A Long Effin’ Time Ago.”  I’m thinking his birthplace was in Mongolia, but what do I know, he was only leader of the Mongols.

  Grandson of the great Genghis Khan (of the Lake Baikal Khans), young Kublai had historic shoes to fill (literally. Genghis’ yak sandals were passed down from generation to generation).  At first, Kublai sought the life of a businessman when he opened a chain of restaurants on the Asian steppes.  Unfortunately, the huge popularity of “General Tso’s Chicken” eclipsed his own “Kublai’s Kippers” and he was forced into a life of conquest. 

  Smarting from his culinary comeuppance, Kublai swore revenge on his Chinese rivals.  Making an end-around the Great Wall of China (via the Not-So-Great Picket Fence of China), he established his headquarters in what is now known as "Beijing."  Which used to be called "Peking."  After it was called "Some Place Whose Name I Can't Pronounce.  Because It's Frikkin' Chinese, That's Why." (although the Mongols called it something Mongolian.  I forget.  If I ever knew.).

"Sushi, my ass. I'm cooking it."

  From the relative luxury of his capital (NOTE: Still without indoor toilets), he oversaw his vast kingdom which stretched from the eastern coast of Asia through Europe and into the smarty-pants Islamic world.  His only major setback was his invasion of Japan.  The crafty Japanese used their secret weapons of dinosaurs and sex robots to thwart the horseback invaders, who, as smart as they were, failed to realize their horses couldn’t swim in the Sea of Japan.
Europeans were fascinated by these. 
Then again, they thought the world was flat, Satan caused hemmorhoids,
and goat dung prevented pregnancy. 
Come to think of it...smear dung on your face and see how much action you get.
  Later in his reign, the great Khan was visited by Marco Polo, inventor of the swimming pool game.  The Italian merchant was awed by the beauty of the great khanate, naked playing cards, the jeweled riches he beheld, and exotic spices sure to jazz up whatever dead thing was found floating in a Venetian canal.  He was especially intrigued by Chinese handcuffs.  In fact, Marco used one of these devilish restraints to help his father, Water, break his nose-picking habit.
  Likewise, Kublai was fascinated by these pungent visitors from lands he'd like to rape, pillage, or sell handcuffs to.  Still, he was amazed that they had the audacity to show up without calling first.  Or having the decency to at least bring a bundt cake.

  In an effort to get to know people he would eventually behead, he urged Marco to send back as many learned men and clerics he could find so that he might learn more of the European people and of a religion which flayed the skin off non-believers (which, basically, was right up Kublai’s alley).

  With a smile on his face (and hundreds of fortune cookies on  his camel), Marco returned to Venice where he was soon arrested for doing...something (once more, my memory fails me).  While in jail, when not fending off prison rape, he wrote a book about his visit, “How I Did It.” (which, coincidentally, was used by OJ more than 700 years later).

  Marco’s Jailhouse Journal was the catalyst for the insatiable European desire for more of what China and India offered.  It spurred Portuguese exploration around the southern tip of Africa so they could avoid having to deal with those showoffs in Genoa and Venice.  It even drove Christopher Columbus in his voyages of exploration.  However, he read Polo’s book backward and, so, went in a completely different direction (this will be the subject of a later post, “What The Frig You Mean This Isn’t China?”). 

  Sadly, Kublai Khan died of a cold he caught while waiting for the priests Marco Polo had promised.  Apparently, he failed to put on a coat and didn’t have the sense to wear his slippers in the snow.  (NOTE: I’m more than likely wrong here).  He also didn’t realize that Italy wasn’t just around the corner.

  So, what legacy did he leave the world?  Well, his masterful guidance of the Mongol horde brought death and destruction to much of the known world and played a great part in the persistence of feudalism in Russia.  Wait, that’s not it.

  No, I got it.

  His leadership of ferocious invaders whose torching of Europe through over one hundred years inspired a favorite among diners throughout much of the world:
  Mongolian Barbecue.

  Okay.  Maybe you can't learn all that much at Penwasser Place.


  1. "Penwasser's Almost Accurate History of the World" - a best seller if ever there was one. Hilarious-almost-accurate historical post !!! Great Fun AP!

  2. Wow, I actually did learn something from this post Al, awesome stuff. When I first read the guy's name I knew it sounded familiar and was pleased to see I was right and that he was a descendant of Genghis. For some reason I know a lot more about this guy than I know of his great grandson!

  3. You are totally insane! And I love it! Great post!

  4. If Satan caused hemorrhoids that would mean atheists should never get them. Without God, there can be no Satan. It's a wonder there aren't more atheists in the world. Of course, that would ruin things for Preparation H.

  5. LOL I never heard the version where the Romans shit and the Greeks farted, like that one way better. Every conquering clown needs slippers, that is page 56 part 2 section 24 of the handbook.

  6. Now you've made me wonder whether Kublai Khan and Colonel Sanders are related. You can't say there's no resemblance, can you?

  7. This is so much better than The History Channel, they don't have Godzilla or anything cool. I'm going with your version and teaching it to my grandchildren when they come.

  8. Very informative. I'm off to Japan to buy a sex robot.

  9. @Marlia: Believe it or not, I've toyed with the idea of writing something like that. Teaser: there will be another history post for the challenge.
    @Matthew: I tried to wrap real history into this. Kublai, Genghis, Marco Polo....they all existed and Marco really did visit Kublai (who wanted him to send priests back). Oh, Chinese handcuffs are real, too (how do you think they captured Saddam Hussein?). Although Marco's father probably wasn't named Water Polo.
    @Eva: I hope there's more where that came from. Unless the butterfly net people catch me.
    @Ruth: Which, as we all know, stands for "Preparation Holy."
    @Pat: It's just something you'd never see on the History Channel. I think that handbook is on Kindle (as well as 'Shag Carpet Toilet'!! Buy now while there's thousands left!!).
    @Gorilla: That is uncanny! Isn't it funny how you never saw Kublai Khan and Harlan Sanders in the same room at the same time...? Well, they ARE both dead, but still.....
    @Anne: Imagine THAT college entrance exam!!
    @Tony: Well, who DOESn't want a sex robot? Just watch out for the dinosaurs (and make sure you get a "Non-Gay" Sex Robot).

  10. Well maybe I don't actually learn anything but I am thoroughly entertained! I can't help but wonder what it's like sitting down at the dinner table with you. Does anyone actually get the chance to swallow, or does all that chewed up food come snorting out your guests' mouths everytime you share a story? Just curious.

  11. "Milk blow." I always go for "milk blow."

  12. wait... is it april or is this the teaser round!!!!!??????

  13. It's a teaser round using reposts from last year. No worries!

  14. ROFLMAO!! This is histerically funny!

    I wish you were my history teacher! I would have learned SO much more!

    1. I WAS certified to teach History. However, it expired two years ago. Hmm, given the above, maybe it's just as well.

  15. Looks completely legit. Every part of this story seems factual and true.

    1. Marco Polo was from Venice. He DID have a chat with Kublai. Who was Mongol. And the Japanese do make sex robots.
      Guess that just about covers it.

  16. Nobody seems to have the common goddamn decency to bring a bundt cake these days, do they? This was, without a doubt, the funniest post of yours I've yet read. Cheers to the furry hatted warmongers!

    1. Nothing says you care like a bundt cake. Served naked.

  17. Love this. Reminds me so much of Dave Barry's historical posts. You crazy, Penwasser. :)

  18. Thanks! I'm a lot like Dave Barry. Only with much less money. And hair.

  19. Kublai, Fran, and Ollie! My absolute favorite puppet act! Densely sprinkled throughout with koans and MSG!