Thursday, September 6, 2007

from Wallbank's Compendium of Knowledge

William McKinley, the 25th American President and inventor of Mc'N'Cheese™, was shot on this date in 1901 by the Anarchist Leon Czolgosz. Czolgosz, often described as "a dirty smelly Anarchist" by other dirty smelly Anarchists, suffered from a debilitating over-abundance of z's which led to his eventual melancholy and lifelong infatuation with Emma Goldman. Not the Socialist portrayed by Maureen Stapleton in that movie as many believe, but Emma "Saucy" Goldman, the Silk-Stockinged Cleveland Chanteuse. Sure, he hung around chatting up the fiery Socialist, but who wouldn't?

McKinley begrudgingly waged the Spanish-American War in order to open up the Mexican bandito caricature market and so that North Americans could freely indulge in cubanos, tequila, and pig roasts. He was the first President to announce his candidacy while appearing at a burlesque show hosted by a huge-jawed un-funny has-been, a tradition still popular among Republicans to this day. McKinley was shot at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo NY. That Exposition kind of sums up the American idea of what "Pan-American" means. The instigators had wanted to hold the Pan-American Exposition as far north as Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador, but Canadians balked at hosting a celebration of North-South friendship so far from South. McKinley himself wasn't too keen on getting shot in a place called Happy Valley, so he proposed the etymologically-significant Buffalo-Goose Compromise, where America -- now a major player in the Expo game -- would choose to stay far from the brown people and Canada would never mention anything about it.

McKinley's assassination not only gave Sarah Vowell some nifty filler for her Assassination Vacation memoir, but also made way for Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. "Teddy" was the first president to shout non sequitur health and employment advice when confronted with questions about politics. For instance, when a congressman asked Roosevelt about plans for his Panama Watersplash Fun Park, "Teddy" answered: "Bully! Drink your milk and get a good job that makes you good and tired every night -- shoeing horses or shoveling dung. Vote Republican, by cracky!"

Captain Wallbank’s Compendium of Knowledge is not intended to be used as reference material for school projects, masters theses, magazine and newspaper articles, partisan hack radio talk shows, commencement addresses, valedictory speeches, catechism classes, or, especially, as an authorized authority for bets involving someone buying someone a drink.

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