Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10th-Brought To You By the Letter 'I'


    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 alpenwasser@hotmail.com).

    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.

    The Incas.

    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 Tupac didn’t have to deal with those pain-in-the-ass Persians.

    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.


  1. I've been in a bit of a mood this morning and this post really has brightened my day. I don't know what I'd do without your posts Al.

  2. I have scrolled up to the photo of your new BFF's four times now and laughed each time. Watch out for those Mormons knocking on your door, you never know who they really might be - great post!!

  3. LMAO I had to check my stats after that, no Iranians after me thankfully. I just got the Russians, The Germans and the Columbians after me. I'm more fearful of the Austrailians though, they might send a kangroo after the cat.

    That seems to be the case with all civilizations that went extinct, they were stomped on by oh so much more civilized people, pffft right. And watch out for those mormons.

  4. Nice post, thanks for the History lesson. Leave it to those damn civilized people to eff up everything! Sheesh!!

  5. It would be all too easy to draw comparisons betweens the beards of the Spanish and the Iranians.... but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. I've got a feeling the Spanish were vainer about their beards and trimmed them more carefully, whereas the Iranians just like big bushy ones.

  6. How did Tupac die? Was he shot down?

  7. Todays 6-degree challenge is: Ice-T to Kevin Bacon (aka: a beverage to a breakfast meat). Your reward for sucessfully completing this challenge is a delicious Navy Monte Christo sandwich.


    1. Ice T who is in NCIS LA which also stars Chris O'Donnell who was in Batman Forever which also starred Val Kilmer who was in Top Gun which also starred Meg Ryan who was in You've Got Mail which also starred Tom Hanks who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon

  8. @Nellie: Trust me, there was a Tupac joke in there, but I edited it out.
    @Gorilla: And all the Spaniards could chant was "Death to England!" since America wasn't invented yet.
    @Monkey Butt: Ah, the good old days before indoor plumbing. And "The Jersey Shore!"
    @Pat: I see a couple of dudes wearing white shirts and ties riding bikes up my driveway, I'm heading out the back door. Yeah, kinda spooky-I even had someone visit from Iraq. :-O
    @L: I'm tellin' ya, those Iranians are real cut-ups (sometimes literally).
    @Matthew: I'm glad to help out!

  9. Well, I-80 does go through Iowa too. So, I'm thinking if Indiana is full of stinky hog confinements and corn than it's pretty much the same. But, wait. I think we still have a plant open that makes "pink slime" We win!

  10. But do you have the RV/Motor Home Hall of Fame like they have in Elkhart?

    1. Damn! There is a town up north that makes Winnebagos though.

  11. Uh, huh, that's what I thought.
    But, at least you can say you don't have Gary.
    The city or the name.

    1. But, the music died here. And Ozzy bit the head of a live bat here. We got the Field of Dreams. Cloris Leachman was even from here!

  12. Thanks for the laughs! My husband is blah blah blahing away *something about dinner burning* but I'm laughing too hard to care...

    *gaining composure*

    *turning stove down*

    Also, 'civilized people' always suck the most so I avoid them.

    Happy Tuesday, Mr. Penwasser!!! :)

  13. You could have done a post on me....IRENE....DUH!!! WINNING!!!!
    *shaking head*......missed opportunity!

  14. Your right! Its always best to comment on a people after there gone! That way you get no backlash!

    I wish I had a runner instead of a phone! It just seems more efficiant!

  15. @Jenn: Back atcha, Jenn. Dinner wasn't burned; we're having leftover Easter ham. Again.
    @ryoko: Isn't Irene that Japanese waitress with one leg shorter than the other?
    @Bersercules: Plus, there's no annoying hate mail. Although, there may be some coming from Indiana.

    1. No, that's Eileen. Noni also works there.

  16. I toyed with doing a post on Iran...and their eternal struggle to invent musical theatre (being handicapped by not having an homosexuals in the country...(according to their president) but time ran out...

  17. I hear their rendition of "My Fair Infidel" would have been breathtaking, though.

  18. Thank you Al, that was just what I needed after a long day on the road. The first part was hilarious, and the later part was very interesting and informative - two I words. And now I just saw your last comment and I'm laughing again.

  19. I dont think I had any visitors from Iran, i wonder how many of them have real internet

  20. Through your zany humor mixed with heart, you've captured my interest in a topic I wasn't interested in. Why thank you, Al.

    And I-80 starts (or ends) around here - not something I'm proud of.


  21. You shoulda asked me- I'd have done you a guest post live from Indiana! ;)

  22. You went on quite a ramble with I...look forward to J :)

    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    1. 'J' may be 'meh.' But, 'K' will be good (I hope).

  23. @Melissa: Hey, I hadn't noticed. 'Infidel' is an 'I' word. Cool.
    @Adam: I bet they have goats, though.
    @Robyn: Golly, I thought it ended or started in New Jersey. That is one long road.
    @CW: Next time, you betcha.

  24. This was a very interesting compare and contrast of Iran and Incas, with the Spaniards playing the part of the Iranian Ayahtoldyou.
    Humour at its finest.

  25. Another great post. And I can't get my Kindle back from Mr. Eva....he's loving your book the Shag Carpet Toilet!!

  26. Love your new BFF's! You must encourage your fans and followers to read through your comments. It's like waiting until the credits start rolling during a funny movie, and there are more surprises in store! Julie

  27. Thanks for the history lesson. Incas are much more exciting with your spin on their culture. Oh dear - I don't mean to offend anyone, it's just that I like irreverent humor.
    Visiting from A-to-Z Challenge.