This is history...from children's examination perspective!!!
From the Telegraph by Bibek Debroy...cannot recall which issue...great fun...
This is exam time. At least for school-leaving students. Perhaps that’s the reason an Indian magazine decided to carry “A Concise History of the World”. This is a collation of student bloopers in the United States of America, from eighth grade to college. Through one of the cleverest collations I have ever seen, you have the world’s history. I don’t know how many Indians are familiar with Richard Lederer’s name. He teaches in St Paul’s School, New Hampshire, and is the author of this collation. So successful was this collation that he even expanded it to produce a book titled, Anguished English. One test of success is piracy and the unacknowledged reproduction you are subjected to. Lederer is no different and this Indian magazine doesn’t even mention his name. Now that I have cited him as the author, here is his concise history edited for space.
The inhabitants of Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and travelled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.
Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines. Without the Greeks, we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns — Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in The Illiad, by Homer. Homer also wrote the “Oddity”, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice.
They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athens was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn’t climb over to see what their neighbours were doing. When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.
Eventually, the Romans conquered the Geeks. History call people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlic in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March killed him because they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a cruel tyrant who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.
The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen”. As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted “hurrah”. Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.
The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespear. Shakespear never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived in Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies and errors. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Writing at the same time as Shakespear was Miquel Cervantes. He wrote “Donkey Hote”. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote “Paradise Lost”. Then his wife dies and he wrote “Paradise Regained”.
During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. Later the Pilgrims crossed the Ocean, and this was called the Pilgrim’s Progress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared “a horse divided against itself cannot stand”. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead. George Washington married Matha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, “In onion there is strength.” Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while travelling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship.
Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltare invented electricity and also wrote a book called “Candy”. Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the Autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorillas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon’s flanks. He wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t bear him any children.
The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her death was the final event which ended her reign. The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Samuel Morse invented a code for telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the “Organ of the Species”. Madman Curie discovered radium. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.
The First World War, cause by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by a surf, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.