SKAGEN BRIEFING
Heading Out

Sept. 3 - We're going to Skagen for the weekend. That's the northernmost point of Denmark. It calls itself the northernmost point of continental Europe. I find that troubling because I thought Sweden and Norway were part of continental Europe, but apparently that flaccid phallus of a landmass is something other than continental Europe.

Because of the summer we've been through, and the week we've experienced, and my own capricious temperament, that's all you're going to hear from me until next week. We're going to travel in silence. Of course we'll have our cell phones, but we're hoping not to use them. No internet. No faxes. No telegrams. Just the three of us on our first-ever family vacation, doing our best to ignore the world and enjoy each other. (...he wrote, as his daughter bellowed from across the apartment.)

(You'll notice I didn't capitalize "internet." I never liked capitalizing it anyway, but the grammar pimps said we had to. Some of the grammar pimps are changing their minds. That's good enough for me. As for email, which the grammar pimps have insisted on calling "e-mail," I never did adopt the hyphen and I never will.)

On the plus side, I'll have plenty to talk about next week. Pictures, too. But that's next week. For now, it's all about getting the weekend down to zero expectations.

So here we go.

* * *

On September 3, 1189, Richard Lionheart was crowned King of England. The son of Henry II (no relation to Rocky II) and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard spent most of his ten-year reign abroad. For two of these years he was imprisoned by the Holy Roman Emperor, who was—famously—neither holy, nor Roman, nor an emperor, but a nasty little man just the same.

When Richard finally returned to English soil he discovered there had been Intrigues, some of which involved his brothers. He therefore crossed the channel and defeated France before dying in battle.

He had only produced one son, and the most crushing defeat of Richard's tragic life was his discovery that the child was a little bastard.

* * *

On September 3, 301, during an epic game of hide-and-seek, Marinus the Stonemason ran up Mount Titano in Italy to hide from the Roman Emperor Diocletian. It was a good hiding spot and he was never found. He started his own country to pass the time and the Republic of San Marino survives to this day.

* * *

On September 3, 1939, Germany continued its invasion of Poland even though Britain had asked it very nicely to stop. This upset the British sensibility. They declared war on Germany, the official launch of World War II in Europe.

On September 3, 1838, Frederick Douglass escaped slavery disguised as a sailor. Later he wrote about his experiences in a book called The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, the title of which may have diminished the effectiveness of his disguise. (Publishers thought The Narrative Life of a Guy Dressed as a Sailor would enjoy only limited appeal outside certain fetishist circles.)

Today is the birthday of Charlie Sheen (1965), Kitty Carlisle-Hart (1914), and Alan Ladd (1913).

It's Independence Day in Qatar and National Flag Day in Australia.

What about Saturday the 4th, you ask? What about Sunday the 5th? I'm running late and I need to get out of here, that's what.

Enjoy the weekend!

2004, The Moron's Almanac™

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