The Moron's Daily Briefing

Mar. 11 - John Chapman was born in Massachusetts in 1774. Growing up during the formative years of American history, Mr Chapman became a fervent patriot with a passion for the welfare of his country. It was a country he loved in every respect but one: it was, he felt, insufficiently appled.

As soon as he was old enough, Mr Chapman ran for congress on a platform of More Apples. The electorate was already divided between Hamiltonian Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans, however, leaving little room for Chapmanian Applefolk.

Being an American, Mr Chapman then decided to take matters into his own hands. He kicked off his shoes, made himself new clothes from old sacks, and began wearing a tin pot for a hat. (Thereby becoming the spiritual founding father of the Reform Party.) Instead of seeking office again, however, Mr Chapman began a grassroots campaign to spread his More Apples policy.

He changed his name to Johnny Appleseed and went to work.

He wandered the wilds of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, seeding the earth with apple trees. Eventually he got sick and died on this very day in 1845.

* * *

In Judaism, today is the Fast of Esther, which commemorates the three days Esther fasted before dressing in sackcloth and ashes (in the middle of Paris Fashion week, no less) to ask her husband, King Ahasuerus of Persia, if he wouldn't mind not killing all the Jews in Persia. It was a dicey situation, because Esther had never told Ahasuerus that she was Jewish and she knew he didn't like to see her in sackcloth.

But Ahasuerus was a Good King, and listened to his wife--not like that putz Chlamydion, who was always running around with the goyim and never paid attention to his mother, who never asked a thing in return and was after all only thinking of him. The festival of Purim celebrates Esther's triumph of persuasion-by-wardrobe.

Douglas Adams turns 51 today. He shares his birthday with Sam Donaldson (1934), Rupert Murdoch (1931), and Lawrence Welk (1903).

It's Moshoeshoe's Day in Lesotho. Give yourself twenty points if you know who Moshoeshoe was. (Give yourself thirty if you knew Lesotho was a country.)

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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