Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Presidents Day!

    Last week, Jo-Anne, from the aptly-named Jo-Anne's Ramblings, posited the following: How Well Do You Know Your Country?.

    NOTE:  As much of a hassle it was to type that link, you'd better click on it.  Or lie that you did.  Yeah, like I'll know the difference.

    NOTE II:  I probably could have just copied and pasted that link, huh?  Well, click on it anyway.

    Jo Anne has an understandable pride in her nation of Australia.  
"Tell me about it.  Stud."
Not only is it warm right now, it hasn't lost its mind or has Justin Beiber smoking dope in Sydney (yeah, by the way, thanks for that, Canada).  Still, she was somewhat distressed that many of her countrymen don't know a lot about the land Down Under beyond "G'Day," Olivia Newton-John, and Vegemite.

    Okay, they know a helluva lot more than that, but this is my blog and I can exaggerate.

    Anyway, she wondered how much other folks knew about their countries.  So, I thought I'd give it a try and talk a little about today, Presidents Day.  Presidents Day came about to recognize all of the United States presidents, not just those glory hogs, Washington and Lincoln.

    With that in mind, I'm going to list each president with a quick description of what he's known for. 

    I can just hear you groan, "Ohhhhhh, crap!!!!  This is going to be a long post!   I think I'll just go look at something from Dr. Heckle, instead!  You're in and out with that guy and you still have time to watch The View!"

    WARNING:  I didn't research any of the below.  In essence going without a net, some of the following will be inaccurate.  I also know a lot more about some of the guys than what I write, but this will be long enough.  Plus, like I just wrote, I tend to exaggerate.  All complaints may be directed to my history teachers in Stratford and Wallingford, Connecticut.  Some whom were nuns.  So you may not want to pick a fight with them.  Nuns are bad-ass.
"Betcher ass.
1.  George Washington: Father of Our Country (how'd you like that child support?).
"I hate you and I hate you.
And I especially hate Jefferson.
And not just because he likes the French.
Although there is that."
2.  John Adams:  Cranky pants.
3.  Thomas Jefferson:  Wrote "all men are created equal."  Owned slaves.  Yeah.  
4.  James Madison:  War of 1812.
5.  James Monroe: Confused with James Madison.

    NOTE:  This is where I confuse the exact order of who was who.  I'll do the best I can.  So, don't send hate mail.  Like I said, I'm not looking these dudes up.

Shoulda wore a hat.
Frikkin' showoff.

*John Quincy Adams:  John Adams son.
*Andrew Jackson:  Screwed Indians.  And not in a good way.
*William Henry Harrison:  Died after catching a cold at his inauguration.
*John Tyler:  "I know.  Idiot."  
*Zachary Taylor:  Only president whose first name started with "Z."
*Martin Van Buren:  Inspired "Van Buren Boys" on Seinfeld.
*Millard Fillmore:  Uh....
*James Polk:  Jumped ugly with Mexico.  Who's still peeved over losing Hollywood, ese.

    NOTE:  Back to exact order (I hope)....

14.  Franklin Pierce:  Uh......
15.  James Buchanan:  Only president from Pennsylvania.
16.  Abraham Lincoln:  Shoulda ducked.
17.  Andrew Johnson:  1st president to be impeached.  Wouldn't be the last.
18.  Ulysses S. Grant:  I hear he drank.

     NOTE:  Okay, I've lost the exact order again...

*Benjamin Harrison:  Ended Reconstruction.  Okay, let's go with that. 
*Rutherford B. Hayes:  Uh...
*James Garfield:  Assassinated.  Named after a  cat.  Or the other
Seriously, you could swing
from those things.
way around?

*Chester Arthur:  Cool whiskers.

    NOTE:  I think I'm okay from here on out...

23.  Grover Cleveland:  Fathered a child out of wedlock.  
24.  William McKinley:  Third president to be assassinated.  Why don't these guys duck?
25.  Theodore Roosevelt:  Bully.
26.  William H. Taft:  Fattest president ever.  Take that Grover Cleveland.
2nd fattest president
Even so...
would you want to see him in a Speedo?
27.  Grover Cleveland:  Heard Taft put in a "Fat Guy" bathtub.
28.  Woodrow Wilson:  Saved the world for democracy.  Yeah, that really didn't work out all that well.
29.  Warren Harding:  Died in office.  Wouldn't matter if he ducked.
30.  Calvin Coolidge:  From Vermont before it was cool.  Wait.  Is being from Vermont cool?
31.  Herbert Hoover:  Wrong place, wrong time.  Poor bastard.  
32.  Franklin D. Roosevelt:  Elected four times.  Wife?  Not smokin'.
33.  Harry S Truman:  Middle name was S, just S.
34.  Dwight D. Eisenhower:  Golf
"S didn't stand for anything.
Isn't that veird?"
35.  John F. Kennedy:  Bagged a movie star.  Even though his wife was smokin'.
36.  Lyndon Johnson:  Didn't.  And she wasn't.
37.  Richard Nixon:  Had the decency to resign.
38.  Gerald Ford:  Oops.
39.  Jimmy Carter:  Had the decency to lose reelection.
40.  Ronald Reagan:  Puppet in Genesis music video.
Yeah, there's this, too.
41.  George H.W. Bush:  Read his lips.  No second term.
42.  William Clinton:  Bubba With a Boner.
43.  George W. Bush:  Huh?
44.  Barack Obama:  Makes Watergate, peanuts, and erections look quaint.    

    So now, in honor of President Taft, I'm going to eat everything in sight.
Except the Vegemite.  
I'll leave that to Jo Anne.


  1. it's the National State Holiday here in Serbia too, but, thankfully, nothing about presidents or politicians, but celebrating the First Serbian Uprising against Turkish invaders in 1804,

    1. PS we have hilarious presidents too, our current one was once a manager of a funeral home :) Quite suitable, ain't it? :)

    2. Oh, how ironic that.
      BTW, happy holiday.

  2. I think you managed to make a post that's about the right length while including names and descriptions of over 40 guys. That's quite an achievement. Far more than most of the guys on this list could do. I particularly like the comment about Obama. Nixon bugged one room, in one hotel, and was forced out of office. Obama bugged pretty much everyone inside America and most outside, and is still there.

    1. But...he's black. Rather, half black. And the media loves him. And he gives people free stuff. And launches drone attacks on a lot of others. So...

  3. Al, maybe this would help fill in the uh.... s:

    1. I purposely didn't look these guys up. I wanted to go on what I knew.

  4. Which one was from New Jersey? hahaha

    1. I think (once again, I'm not looking it up).....New Jersey claims Woodrow Wilson. Even though (once again, I think) he was born in Staunton, Virginia, he was president of Princeton. And has a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike named after him. Along with James Fennimore Cooper, Vince Lombardi, Bruce Springsteen, and Molly Pitcher.
      Okay, I'm kidding about Springsteen. I meant to say Snooki.

  5. That was hilarious. I heard Taft required a custom bathtub. And yes, that was the beginning of the furry Garfield lineage...

    1. Actually (how in the world I remember this), Taft got stuck in the bathtub that was already in the White House. So, he had a new one put in.
      And a dessert bar.

  6. Well out of them I knew like 10, never knew about the fat ones. Maybe they didn't duck because they were waiting for the goose, duck duck goose.

    1. Since you're Canadian, the fact you knew ten?
      To that I say, well done, my frien'.

  7. I like your list. I have no complaints. I always read Jo-Anne's blog. I was really surprised when she said they teach more U.S. than Australian history in their schools. James Buchanan's childhood home, or a replica -- I don't know which -- at some point was moved from the mountains onto the grounds of the prep school The Hurricane attended. I saw that cabin all the time and never ceased feeling bored by it.


    1. The route I take to go to Virginia Tech uses I-81 in Pennsylvania. There's a sign which reads, "James Buchanan's Birthplace" west of Harrisburg. I ALWAYS jokingly ask Mrs. Penwasser if she wants to waste a few minutes going to see it.
      BTW, I wrote a post specifically about James Buchanan on my other blog, "Just An Observation." Go ahead and click on the link if you're interested (it's somewhere around here).

    2. Okay, I checked. The link is right above my "About Me" picture. Go ahead and click on it if you want. And you're bored.

    3. I read it and I'm not even bored. I was bored, though, when I was a reporter and I had to cover the presentation of an original letter, actually written by James Buchanan, to his "library", which is a room in a small town's public library. Someone who was supposed to be his descendant was there, dressed up in a Buchanan costume. It was one of the dullest afternoons of my life. If Mrs. Penwasser ever gives in and says she wants to see the birthplace, you won't see much. If you want true excitement, go to The Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg to see the cabin. You will probably cry with joy.

    4. I'll try. But only if I can convince Joy to go with us.

  8. My favorite president? James K. Polk, because They Might Be Giants made a song about him. Yeah, I'm easy to please ;-)

  9. History was and still is my worst subject. I don't remember President Arthur Chester. I guess I wasn't born yet. Looks like he could've been handsome if George Washington had taken an ax to his beard instead of a cherry tree. What's the big deal about breaking into a cherry bush...I mean, never mind. Isn't Madison the one who made pastries? I'm so confused, and you're hilarious. I laughed my way through this one.


    1. RIGHT ON THE MONEY about Madison. When I originally wrote this, it said, "His wife invented Dolly Madison pies." But, I had to leave that on the editing room floor. BTW, I ate a Dolly Madison (pie) every morning when I was going to electronics school in Tennessee (a fact I bring up multiple times in my book). Good one, Robyn. See? You know your history.

  10. Canada needs a Prime Minister day...

    1. You don't have one? I mean Prime Minister Day.

  11. You missed Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton...wait they were never president. BUT THEIR FACE IS ON DA MONKNEE

    1. Ben Franklin would have been a pretty good president, except compared to Washington.... By the time Washington left office, Ben was wayyyy too old.
      Hamilton? Maybe. He was young enough, but he pissed off the wrong guy, apparently, in Burr (by the way, their duel was on my birthday-over 175 years before I was born, smart guy!).

  12. I do know my presidents, but I'm still waiting for my favorite to appear on the scene (who ever he is). Another funny post Al...

    1. Me, too. I hope to see my favorite one before I die.

  13. Millard Filmore was a president? I could have sworn he was a joke character in a TV cartoon show. I hope he looked and behaved like Mr Peevly in the Hair Bear Bunch.

    1. Yeah, no kidding. I may do a post just on him.

  14. These were all hilarious! I really admire your restraint with Nixon. I read that he was coached on how to make his marriage look genuine. It's uncertain whether the writer's research team was "perfectly clear."


    1. I had to exercise restraint on quite a few of them (except Fillmore), but I realty didn't want to drag this on and on.

  15. Wow! I'm impressed with your knowledge (and style) - if only my history lessons at school had used the same format I might have learnt something about the past.

    1. Seriously....I would have liked to have been a History teacher. Sadly, it wasn't to be. 27 years in the Navy pretty much guaranteed that (although I wouldn't have done anything differently).

  16. Herbert Hoover was from West Branch, IA. I went to his birthplace and grave for a field trip.
    And that still is an awesome Genesis video.

    1. It's one of my favorites!
      Hoover, in trying to help, actually hurt things. Still, pretty cool you visited his birthplace.

  17. Replies
    1. I figured that little exclamation of incomprehension had Dubya to a T.

  18. First up thank you for the link back and for the mention
    Second up what about Jed Bartlet he was a cool president, oh right he wasn't a real president but he was cool.
    Thirdly you missed some but you got the number right which is something more than most people here could do, really ask someone how many prime ministers we have had an they would have to guess because they don't know, 28 in case you wanted to know..........only 1 female though

    1. I knew I'd get some of the numbering wrong, but like I told CW, I really wanted to see how much I remembered from school without looking any of it up. BTW, I WILL place the number of Australian prime ministers in my vault of information. You never know when something like that will come in handy at parties.

  19. Did you see the Jimmy Kimmel interviews on President's Day? They informed people that FDR just died. Hilarious and scary!

    Also, after Taft, Christie should have no problem being president.

    1. I did. I really really hope people aren't that abysmally stupid (it goes beyond ignorance to flat-ass stupid). Seriously? In today's day and age of looking good, a fat man doesn't stand a chance. Wrong, but I think true.

  20. I wish this current one would duck just a moment too late.....or should I say that? I know I have issues with the secret service already....should you be trusted Mr. Penwasser? Should you?

    1. This conversation never happened.
      NSA, you know.