Monday, September 17, 2012

In Order To Form a More Perfect Blog. Or This.

NOTE:  I've been super-busy trying to put toothpaste back in a tube, so this is kinda late.  But, since it's still September 17th (at least in the United States), this post is current.  For those of you in Europe it's the 18th, so why aren't you at work (Greece:  we'll give you a pass)?  But, I hope you still may learn something by reading somebody else's blog in the paragraphs which follow.  

"Dammit, Jefferson!  We only have a few sheets of parchment!
10-pitch font!  10-pitch!!"

   A few years after the close of the American Revolution, it became clear that the fledgling nation was in a pickle.  Not only did slavery fly in the face of that whole “all men are created equal” thing, the United States didn’t have much to go on when it came to governing.  Well, beyond the ineffective Articles of Confederation, instructions how to powder their wigs, and some old recipes for eel pies left over when the British left.

    So, delegates from throughout the former English colonies and some visiting Japanese tourists met in the stifling city of Philadelphia to hammer out a plan “of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

    Unless you were a black people.  Then, you had to wait a few more years.

    Over the course of several months, each of the representatives haggled over what freedoms each state would have, how much power the federal government would enjoy, how frikkin’ confused future generations would be by the Electoral College, and how they could talk Benjamin Franklin into just shutting up already.

"Okay, Representative Clinton,
did you draw a picture of boobs
under the section for President?"
    “Okay, we get it, you got lucky in France.  Now go and fly a kite, why don’tcha?”

    Finally, on September, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was ratified by 11 states (the other two having stepped out for a smoke).  It became effective six months later when New York signed on after Congress banned large sodas.

John Jay
Forgotten author of the Federalist Papers,
sleeping aid for high school students. 
One of the others became a president,
the other was killed in a duel.
So, on balance, he was cool with it.
    Bowing to pressure from the states to insert guarantees of rights, ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were inserted in 1791.

    NOTE:  It was originally planned for the Bill of Rights to include twelve amendments.  But, Benjamin Franklin’s “Right to Party” and Massachusetts’ “Right to Burn Witches” initiatives were voted down by the other notoriously tight-ass delegates.

"Hmm, think if I do this people will forget
I was in the Ku Klux Klan and
voted against the Civil Rights Act?" 
    So, it was in 2004, after only 217 years, that Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia declared September 17th to be “Constitution Day.” 

    When reminded that it was also “Citizenship Day,” he declared that it would henceforth be known as “Constitution and Citizenship Day.” 

    After speaking with some lobbyists, he stated it would now be known as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Sponsored by GEICO.”

    Six years later, he died.

    Coincidence?  I think not.

    So, for my American friends, Happy Constitution Day!  For my non-American friends, Happy Middle of September!

    And would it kill you to get some coverage for your automobile, boat, or motorcycle?  After all, 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.
At least we won't have hangovers in the morning.
     I would be remiss if I didn’t also wish all my Jewish followers (both of you), a Happy New Year!  Or Happy Rosh Hashanah!  Or Joyous Head of the Year!  Or Feliz 5773!  Or Merry [Some Hebrew writing which my keyboard doesn’t recognize, but I think is L’Shana Tovah].

"Spaniards wiping us all out with smallpox?
That's crazy talk!
Now let's talk about this end of the world thing."
    Beginning with the 1st day of the month of Tishrei and concluding with the end of the 2nd day of the month of Tishrei (let’s see what those smarty-pants Mayans think about that), Rosh Hashanah is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

    This is only an estimate, of course, because Adam had no place to put his pen and, thus, couldn’t write anything down.  Plus, his ribcage was killing him.

Herschel Shofar
Devastated when he realized
it meant ram's horn.
    Certain observances for Rosh Hashanah include blowing of the shofar, the sacred ram’s horn (lucky ram), counting the seconds it takes for a blintz to drop from Bloomingdales, and the eating of delicacies such as apples dipped in honey.

    NOTE:  I personally find this a tad ironic.  Eating apples on a day commemorating the creation of Adam and Eve.  Think about it.

    Still, much like “Constitution and Citizenship Day,” there is no time off from work granted to federal employees who either must call in sick or provide proof of circumcision.    

    But, in any case, let’s all party like it’s 5772!

    Just make sure you’re back at work in the morning.


  1. This was beautiful. So much hilarity. "Greece: we'll give you a pass"? HA! And apparently we didn't fight hard enough for our right to party.
    But I do have a couple of issues: First, what's up with disparaging pickles? If the nation was in a pickle, isn't that a cool, delicious place to be? Second, what's ineffective about eel pies?
    But yeah, that whole "equality" bit didn't register with the wealthy, white, land-and-people-owners, did it?
    You also may have given new life to the Prince song "1999". Because "tonight we're gonna party like it's 5799." Boom many more years of cashing in on that weird party anthem.

    1. Well, it WAS a kosher pickle. So I guess it's alright.

  2. I love your unique spin on history. And who knows, everything you say could actually be true. I happen to know it was very difficult to get Ben Franklin to shut up.

    1. I really enjoy doing this stuff. My hope is that some people will know the true facts scattered amongst the jive. But, Ben WAS a horn-dog.

  3. You're pretty damn informed on a lot of things. Mostly Jewish holidays and words, but it's still pretty impressive to me. I still remember hearing that it's all white men that are created equal. It certainly seemed to start like that at least. Plus there was totally a "right to party" that was supposed to go in there.

    1. Mrs. Penwasser #1 was Jewish (presumably still is) so I had an "in." We had Christmas AND Hanukkah at our house (I loved getting gifts for a week and I loved Mogen David wine and challah bread).
      Then, "Bug Eyes" dumped me.
      After which I became a Presbyterian. So much for the wine. They serve grape juice.

  4. "Unless you were a black people. Then, you had to wait a few more years."

    Lines like this and the Greek one is part of the reason that you're the funniest Blogger I follow haha. Thank you for the history lesson though Al, I'd certainly never heard of Constitution Day before reading this so I really feel like I've learned a lot. Somehow I'm glad I don't have to read the document in full at least for now though, we already have enough sleeping aids for History students over here.

  5. An American that understands the concept of irony, that's a first.

  6. haha but large sodas should be allowed by all. I mean you have to keep those weight loss gurus in business, right? Never heard of that day but it is very wordy. CACD works better.

  7. A post intelligent beyond its words. But watch out for the Greek anti-defamation league.

  8. Could you imagine if everything they passed was sponsored by a major corporation? It's like trying to remember what field every football team is playing at: CenturyTel, Alltel, WhoTheHell. But, it could be our first step out of a crappy economy LOL

  9. Were the founding fathers the men who signed the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution? I dig all them, of course, especially Ichabod Crane.

  10. I had no idea it was even a holiday

  11. @Adam: My favorite is the Constitution parade with all the big balloons. Except that one of Thomas Jefferson which kept trying to hump the one of Betsy Ross.
    @GB: Ichabod was our first Secretary of Headless People.
    @Elsie: That's a step that's closer to realization than you might imagine. Imagine the advertising revenue if they put a logo for Coke on the bases at Yankee Stadium. Or Viagra ads for pole vault events.
    @CW: I'd sure hate to get hit in the head by a rogue souvlaki.
    @Pat: Tell that to the mayor of New York City.
    @Tony: If by 'irony,' you mean 'smartass'...thank you. Thank you very much.
    @Matthew: I remember being forced to read the 'Federalist Papers' when I was 16. YeGODS, it was dry. A couple years ago, I tried reading them again (figuring I was a sophisticate-old-adult so I'd be able to muddle throug). YeGODS it was STILL dry. Then, I played 'Words With Friends' with my dog. He kicked my ass.

  12. hahahahahahahahaaaa.

    love this.

    at work, my boss, who has a thick-ass south american accent has been saying happy rachachanna to our patrons, much to their chagrin. i howl at mispronunciations- especially one's on porpoise... like the animal- which is equally as entertaining and absurd. like life.

    happy ShaNaNaNa- bow wow wow wow!

    1. Does he ever tell you that you have some "splainin'" to do?

    2. nope- unfortunately... he looks down his nose and upward eyed at me and skirts the subject at hand. in a pms haze, i called his bluff & told him to get to the point, be direct and tell me what he expects rather than ask me what i'd do... i DID what i'd do, DUH!
      mofo has some splainin to do to me!

  13. I always heard it was suppose to be called The Ben of Rights. That Franklin wouldn't give up on some things.

  14. The worst is when he put sneezing powder in all the wigs.

  15. I just knew those damn teachers were lying to us! Thanks for real scoop. You are so darn funny!

  16. For this post you are such a mensch, Al. Such a mensch.
    Thanks for the new year's wishes.


  17. Al, I can always count on you to be entertaining, if not always historically accurate!

  18. I wish I had read this back in 8th grade when we had to do that history paper on the constitution...

  19. "Feliz 5773!" Another Penwasser classic! I learned much more from you than I ever did in Sunday school. Thanks Al! Julie

  20. @Pat: Sadly...and funny looking.
    @Robyn: It is always my pleasure, Robyn. And I DO wish you a very happy new year.
    @Eva: Speaking of historically accurate, TODAY I learned that there actually WERE 12 amendments proposed at first. However, they cut them down to 10 because that's all that would fit on two pieces of parchment (oh, crap, there I go again). I'll bet the "Right to Party" wasn't one of them. That witch thing is believable, though.
    @Mich: I remember my lessons on the Constitution vividly. It was good to get in a nap.
    @Julie: Imagine if 5773 was in dog years, though.

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