I had a dickens (hee...hee...hee...I said dickens) of a time trying to come up with something for the letter ‘I.’ Strangely enough, it was one of the first topics I locked in last month when I was...uh...locking in topics.
Boom! ‘Iran’ it would be. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that I would be visiting that subject later in the month with another letter. I didn’t want to rehash any old stuff and I certainly didn’t want to repeat any jokes.
Because, there just aren’t enough Iranian jokes to go around. Once you get past “a mullah, a goat, and an infidel go to a stoning...” you’re not left with much else. Let’s face it, Iran just isn’t the barrel of laughs that, say, Somalia is.
|My new BFFs. |
That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
Besides, the possibility of that whole “fatwa” thing has me spooked. I’ve looked at my list of followers (keep it up, US! And can I tell you, United Kingdom and Canada? You guys rock!). Surprisingly, Penwasser Place has been visited a couple of times by Iran. Not the entire country, mind you, but at least the one dude who had the computer for a day.
So, I hope you understand that I want to be careful talking smack about people who think hooking testicles up to a car battery is “Must See TV!”
After scratching Iran, I then consulted the dictionary in a random flip through the “I” section. I hoped to select one word upon which to expound.
|Gary, Indiana. |
The good part of town.
My first selection was “Indiana.” But, all I really know about Indiana is that the Hoosiers play there, Michael Jackson was born there, Peyton Manning was fired there, Ruth from Welcome to Me doesn’t live there (but, seriously, Ruth, can you tell the difference from Iowa?), and I-80 goes through there (extremely fast when going through Gary).
So, much like the state itself, it would have been boring (Indiana Hate Mail may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Next, I picked “Imam.” Yikes! Like I said, better lay off those cranky pants.
Finally, I decided to write a post about a group who pretty much doesn’t exist anymore. A group that didn’t leave obnoxious predictions about the end of the world before they died, like those know-it-alls, the Mayans. Most importantly, I wanted to discuss a group who wouldn’t send suicide-bombers disguised as Mormons to my house.
In the 15th Century AD (aka “Anno Domini” or “Year of Our Lord.” I’m not religious, but I refuse to use that dopey CE-Common Era-nonsense), the Incan people created a civilization which stretched from Ecuador to Chile, a distance of nearly 2500 miles.
|Now with talking llamas!|
Begun about 1438 by a man named Pachacuti and continued by his son, Tupac Inca, the Cuzco Dynasty was comparable to that ruled by Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander.
|Don't know what Alexander's problem was. |
I heard the Persians are pussies.
Although they didn’t possess writing, wheeled vehicles, horses or, presumably, iPads, the Incas enjoyed a level of civilization that was much more sophisticated than other indigenous peoples and tree-dwellers.
|"OK, let's see if I got this right. |
Two large pies with extra llama, hold the che-oh, crap!
That's not right! Frikkin' knots!"
To make up for the lack of writing, they used a system of knotted yarn, called quipu, to get their point across. Although, this pretty much resulted in a lot of screwed-up orders at the Machu Picchu In and Out Monkey Burger.
“Roads? We don’t need no stinking roads!” Instead of relying on wheeled vehicles, the Incas used runners to deliver vital messages throughout the empire like, “The emperor has died,” “Send pizza to the Quito barracks,” and “I’m frikkin’ exhausted! Why can’t we buy a Prius?”
|"No way I'm taking that fat guy! |
Give it to that new kid, Doug."
To haul raw materials, necessary supplies, or rich fat people, the llama was the logical choice as the Incan beast of burden. Especially since howler monkeys hated throwing on a set of reins and you can forget about those anacondas. Related to the camel, llamas weren’t nearly as mean as their Middle Eastern cousins, despite not being selected as cigarette spokesmen.
Unfortunately, as advanced as these people were, they were no match for the Spanish conquistadores, led by Francisco Pizarro. Arriving in 1532, the Europeans set out to dominate those they deemed inferior infidels. They determined to seize their gold and silver and did not care what damage they did. And when they were done, they planned to kill their leaders.
|"No, no. Seriously, it's all good. |
If you convert to Catholicism,
we'll strangle you before we set you on fire."
Okay, at this point, the story gets a little depressing. Call me kooky, but I don’t find too much that’s funny about genocide. Because what the Spanish did-and, let’s be honest, other Europeans weren’t choir boys, either-was destruction of an entire civilization.
Like the Aztecs twelve years before, the Incas’ culture was trampled under the heel of “civilized” men in a lustful search for treasure, land, and converts to their religion.
So, I think I’ll end it here.
Think I’ll take my chances with Iran, after all.