The Moron's Weekend Briefing

Mar. 13 - This Weekend Briefing comes a day early in order that I might better enjoy this weekend, which marks the passage of my 25th year of bewilderment (and my 38th birthday).

March 13 is the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard (the "L" is silent). Mr. Hubbard invented Dianetics, which eventually led to Scientology, causing Scientologists and Personality Tests. Scientologists are easily distinguished from Jehovah's Witnesses in that they don't ask you subscribe to The Watchtower and they can often be seen in major motion pictures.

Standard time was established in the United States on March 13, 1884. Standard time was not well received at first. Americans were outraged at the soul-deadening conformity imposed by this new standard, an infringement on the natural liberties of a free people, and--look! A squirrel!

Karl Marx died in London on March 14, 1883. His premature death prevented him from seeing the global impact of his progeny: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo.

March 15 is the Ides of March. Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides in 44 BC by a group of conspirators led by Brutus and Cassius. They were angry at him because he had crossed the Rubicon. Later Marc Antony borrowed everyone's ears and told them that Brutus was an honorable man, which upset them so much they had a Civil War.

Sixteen centuries later, more or less, William Shakespeare immortalized the story, and eventually Marlon Brando got to play Marc Antony, so everyone was happy in the end.

Caesar is also celebrated because he wrote a famous book called The Garlic Wars, which begins with the famous line, "All garlic is divided into three cloves." It also includes the line "veni, vidi, vinci," the exact meaning of which is still a matter of debate but, if my own Latin studies are worth anything, probably involves Druids and hollandaise sauce.

On March 16, 1792, Gustavus III of Sweden was shot to death by a Captain Anckarstroem at a masked ball. It took him almost two weeks to die. Shakespeare never wrote about Gustavus, probably because Gustavus was born well after Shakespeare's death, but Giuseppe Verdi (in English, "Joe Green") wrote an opera about the affair called Un Ballo in Maschera ("A Bull in Mascara").

Sharing Mr. Hubbard's birthday of March 13 are William H. Macy (1950), Neil Sedaka (1939), William Casey (1913), and Percival Lowell (1855).

The 14th marks the birthdays of Billy Crystal (1947), Michael Caine (1933), Quincy Jones (1933), Frank Borman (1928), Hank Ketcham (1920), and Albert Einstein (1879).

I celebrate my own birthday on March 15, alongside the older and dowdier Fabio (1961), Sly Stone (1944), Judd Hirsch (1935), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933), Samuel "Lightnin'" Hopkins (1912), and Andrew Jackson (1767).

Erik Estrada will be 54 on the 16th. He shares his birthday with Bernardo Bertolucci (1940), Jerry Lewis (1926), Pat Nixon (1912), Henny Youngman (1906), and James Madison (1751).

March 13 is Revolution Day in Grenada and National Youth Day in Fiji.

March 14 is Constitution Day in Andorra.

March 15 is Revolution Day in Hungary, Constitution Day in Belarus, Youth Day in Palau, and, it should go without saying, J.J. Roberts Day (no relation) in Liberia.

March 16 is Canberra Day Australia.

Enjoy the weekend.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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