Monday, September 18, 2006

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

It's that time again: Tomorrow, September 19th, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Japanese Respect for the Aged day ... and my birthday. It also happens to be the day Giles Corey was "pressed" to death by villagers who stacked increasingly large rocks on him because he'd been declared a wich in the famous Salem Witch Trials (1692). It was the day women were finally allowed to vote (1893) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid committed their first robbery (1900). It's the anniversary of the first underground nuclear bomb test and the Dodgers last game at Ebbets Field (1957), where they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-0 (fortunately, my father was watching the Dodgers game that day, not the nuclear bomb test). Khruschev was banned from Disneyland on September 19 (1959), 155 people died when a Boeing 747 collided with a mountain in Turkey (1976) and 171 died when their DC-10 was decimated by a terrorist's bomb over the Tunuru Desert in Niger (1989), which probably explains my life-long fear of flying.

September 19th is the day Twiggy was born, which has always made me happy, and the day Red Fox died, which has always made me sad. This may explain why the Sanford and Son theme is one of my all time favorite songs. It's also the day Scott Fahlman posted the first recorded emoticon :-) to the internet (1982), which I like, and an earthquake in Mexico killed thousands (1985), which I don't like. Hurricaine Hugo hit South Carolina (1980), the Guelb El-Kebir massacre hit Algeria (1997), a couple of German tourists discovered Otzi the Iceman, and hours later, death took Dr. Seuss (1991), otherwise known as Theodor Seuss Geisel, who drew animated insects for a bug spray company before he became Dr. Seuss the childrens book author. He also penned many a brilliant and bizarre political cartoon. And September 19th isn't our only connection: Dr. Seuss was born in Springfield, MA; I was born in Springfield, IL. And, as many people have pointed out over the years, my last name sounds very much like the name of a Dr. Seuss character.



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