Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Further to the Dead Presidents

As a late addendum to Nate's list of presidential nuggets of interest, I submit this week's Shouts & Murmurs piece from the New Yorker, which got me to laugh. Yoni Brenner:
On a rainy night in 1793, the Van Buren family ox slipped in the mud, fracturing its foreleg. Realizing that the ox was no longer any good to anyone, Abe Van Buren loaded his flintlock and took aim, when, all of a sudden, his ten-year-old son, Martin, leaped in front of the ox and cried, “If you shoot this ox, Father, you would do as well to shoot me! For this unfortunate beast is no less God’s creation than I.” And so his father shot him. Then he turned to Martin’s identical twin and said, “From now on, you’re Martin.” And that is how Phil Van Buren became President of the United States.
It kind of goes from there. Yoni Brenner made me laugh out loud with one of these in the past, too. I applaud the occasional ability of Shouts & Murmurs to actually be funny.

For additional dead presidents commentary, you can refer to Jay-Z, who is out for them to represent him.


Blogger Don said...

I too-quickly read that as "Yogi Berra", and thought to myself as I reached the end of the citation, "Wow, I didn't realize he did anything other than one-liners and baseball."

(Now is when one of you explains to me, with a crushing knowledge of baseball history, why that's not funny.)

2/18/2009 9:34 PM  
Blogger nate said...

It is peculiar how, over the past several years, dead presidents have outperformed live presidents in terms of materially assisting their constituents.

Don, I think "one-liners and baseball" is in fact a pretty accurate summation of Yogi Berra's oeuvre. Personally I too-fast read the author as "Yul Brynner" and I can't really come up with a joke for that beyond, "Wow, I didn't realize he did anything other than Westworld and, uh, mostly I just confuse his name with Bruce Jenner's, so what's he done other than Microsoft Decathlon? And I guess the real Olympics?"

2/18/2009 10:12 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

If you don't get the guy's name right, he's never going to leave a comment here.

2/19/2009 11:27 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Do we need to change the slogan back to "Don't Be Cynical," Jack?

2/19/2009 5:17 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Who's being cynical? No one's being cynical.

2/19/2009 6:00 PM  

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