October 11th, 2004

Columbus Day

Poor Columbus.  People make fun of him for not knowing what he had discovered.  

I mean, he sure knew he had run into something.  He was wrong about what it was - unless he was just making up that "Indies" stuff to cover up the fact that he had no idea where he had landed. 

After all, suppose he had sailed back to Spain and reported: "Sorry.  No India.  But I did find a stone-age hemisphere that will surely be of some, as yet undetermined, economic benefit."

Oh, yeah.  That would have made Queen Isabella happy.  I can just imagine.  "You're telling me I hocked my jewels so you could stumble onto a stone-age hemisphere?  Is that what you're saying?" 

It would have been ugly.

So my new theory - and I'm just making it up as I write - is that Columbus actually knew he had discovered America, but was engaged in a gigantic cover-up.  So gigantic it involved covering up a whole hemisphere.  Call it Indiagate.  Or Amerigate.  Or Sailing-Across-The-Watergate.

Rhyme of the Day:

Oh, yes, Columbus knew
After sailing the ocean blue,
That he'd found the wrong place,
But he kept a straight face
And swore that his story was true.

(With apologies to that fearless and visionary navigator, who doubtless is spinning in his grave as Americans argue over the meaning of this day.)