WEEKEND BRIEFINGThe Moron's Weekend Briefing
Jul. 19 - Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899. He was young at the time of his birth. It was fine to be young.
He drove an ambulance in the first world war. It wasn't called the first world war then. It was called the war. It was one of those times when people shot at each other. When people were shooting at each other they didn't have time to worry about what to call it. It was only afterwards that they needed to call it something. "What should we call that time when we were shooting at each other?" "Let's call it the Great War." "Good."
It was a good ambulance. It was long and white. It had flashing lights and a siren that went "wee-ooo, wee-ooo." He liked that.
After the war he lived in Paris. A lot of Americans lived in Paris after the war, but only a few of them had ever driven an ambulance. In the 30s he went to Spain. He was a journalist. They were having a war.
They called it the Spanish Civil War. It was started by an Evil Bastard named General Franco on July 18, 1936. It was a test to see whether or not they should have World War II. They had fascists and socialists and anarchists. They even had clowns. People shot at each other.
(General Franco finally gave up power on July 19, 1974, because he was sick. Maybe he had always been sick. It is sometimes hard to understand sickness. Maybe we are not meant to understand it.)
Later Hemingway lived in Cuba. He liked to fish. He thought all men should fish. He wrote stories about fishing. Finally he blew his brains out at his home in Idaho. It was July 2, 1961. He had written a lot of books but now he was dead.
On July 19, 1870, France attempted to declare war on Russia. Due to a typographical error, however, she inadvertently declared war on Prussia and caused the Franco-Prussian war. This eventually led to the creation of Germany, which led to World War I, World War II, and the Volkswagen. Moral: always prooofread.
On July 20, 1402, at the battle of Angora, Tamerlane led his huge army of Taters against the Ottomans (or Ottomen). Tamerlane captured the Sultan (Head Ottoman), and this is why we call some sweaters Angoras to this day. (Angora, however, is now called Ankara.)
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. It was a brave thing to do. Hemingway would have liked that.
But he would have been disappointed by the fishing.
July 19 birthdays: Anthony Edwards (1962), Vikki Carr (1941), George McGovern (1922), Lizzie Borden (1860), Edgar Degas (1834).
July 20 birthdays: Carlos Santana (1947), Diana Rigg (1938), Natalie Wood (1938), Chuck Daly (1933), Sir Edmund Hillary (1919).
July 21 birthdays: Jon Lovitz (1957), Robin Williams (1952), Cat Stevens (1948), Kenneth Starr (1946), Don Knotts (1924), Isaac Stern (1920), Marshall McLuhan (1911), and the aforementioned Hemingway.
July 19 is Independence Day in Laos, Martyr's Day in Myanmar (and Burma), amd Liberation Day in Nicaragua. July 20 is President's Day in Botswana, Independence Day in Columbia, and Crown Prince Haakon's Birthday in Norway.
© 2002, The Moron's Almanac