Saturday, July 3, 2010

7 near-incidents that almost changed the course of history

1. Somewhere on the Eurasian continent, the end of the Createceous period, ca. 65 mill years B.C.

Freddie Flintstone Kaczyński, the pre-historic forefather of a charismatic Polish Prime-minister, is sitting by a lake admiring a potato he came across the previous autumn which bears a striking resemblance to himself.

A happy young dinosaur in the carefree days before the appearance of the evil gnome.

What he does not know, immersed as he is in the spectacle of the pleasant-looking potato, is that an extraordinarily wise owl with a rare ability to look into the future has just issued a warning to the local dinosaur community: That seemingly harmless middle-aged potato-freak will produce a line of offspring that one day, tens of thousands of years from now, will cause unimaginable suffering and and lay waste an entire region of the Eurasian continent. The terrified dinosaurs decide to nip the evil in the bud: by eliminating their grumpy neighbour they know that they can save future generations from unspeakable horrors. They decide to hide behind some bushes and wait until Flintstone K. creeps out of his cave to engage in his daily potato-washing ritual by the river. The idea is simply to eliminate the vertically challenged human with one well-placed strike of a dinosaur foot.

Why did it fail:

Hypothesis 1: Unfortunately, a neurotic goat had been gnawing at the bushes the night before, so the vegetation was no longer extensive enough to provide a hiding-place for the giant proto-birds. Flintstone K., as always on the lookout for enemies, spotted a dinosaur tail sticking out of the bushes and immediately got suspicious. The over-sized reptile, panicking as she felt Flintstone K.’s fanatic stare penetrating her, jumped out of the bushes but failed to hit the diminutive human-being with her foot. Instead, her titanic tramping tool landed on Flintsone K.’s revered potato. The furious Flintsone K. decided to call upon all his followers and launched an anti-dinosaur crusade, which, in the course of an incomparably bloody 3-month dinosaur hunt, exterminated every single dinosaur and forever consigned this once great species to the skeleton sections of British Museum.

Polish professor

Hypothesis 2: The dragon of Wawel, who, as has been convincingly proven by a Polish professor, co-existed with human beings, was annoyed with the dinosaurs living upstairs of him and their noisy and endless tango parties that kept him awake at night. He got a whiff of the dinosaurs’ scheme to eliminate Flintstone K. and hurried to the human being's rescue, setting fire to the bush where the conniving reptiles were hiding. The dragon in tandem with Flintstone K. subsequently formed the Anti-Dinosaur Alliance – the first political party in pre-history – a single-issue party whose goal was to provide a final solution to the dinosaur question. Having achieved this goal and exterminated the gargantuan reptiles down to every last individual, Flintstone K. immediately set his eyes on his erstwhile political ally and paralyzed the Wawel-dragon by locking it up for life inside a fire engine, thereby securing complete control over his party.

2. Golgata, 33 AD

Jesus Christ is glued to his cross like a fun-loving gay person to his TV-set whenever the Eurovision Song Festival is on. Just when the Son of God's future prospects appear to be at their bleakest, William the Woodpecker appears and starts pecking away at the cross like there's no tomorrow. The freshly baptised woodpecker's brilliant plan is to peck the cross to pieces, enabling the saviour of mankind to escape death.

Why did it fail: Unfortunately for the avid woodpecker, dying was an essential plan of Jesus' resurrection plan, so he kindly told the bird with the turbo-beak to get lost. The disillusioned vertebrate disowned religion and was last seen head-banging at a Motley Crue-concert.

3. Munich, 1938
Yes, yes, he might have been a genocidal maniac with a breath so ghoulish that Mussolini's foreign minister Count Ciano was forced to take out the earplugs he always brought with him to Obersalzberg and put them in his nose instead. But Adolf's Vegetarianism was impeccable and the Austrian corporal hardly ever touched meat until his (at least to Vegetarians) premature death in 1945. So how come there was such a widespread resistance against Hitler in animal circles? Animal spokesmen emphasize how the entire German four-legged community was traumatized when a whole family of Berlin-moles landed on the street just for Hitler to have his underground bunker built. In an act of solidarity with the displaced moles, a hippopotamus, a parrot and a bagder devise a scheme to take der Führer's life during his annual speech in the Bürgerbräukeller to commemorate the 1923 beer hall putch. The plan seems flawless. Just as Hitler's speech is reaching it's climax, the parrot is to tickle the hippopotamus's gigantic nostrils in order to provoke the sneeze of the century: a sneeze so thunderous that all attention will be drawn away from Hitler for a few seconds. The badger will seize the moment and bite der Führer firmly in the leg, hoping that the loss of blood will finish the bastard off before medical assistance appears.

One of the homeless moles later emigrated to France.

Why did it fail: The hippopotamus, in his death-defying desperation to end up in history books, had failed to disclose his far from unblemished medical record to his fellow assassins, who were unaware that the hippopotamus suffered from severe allergy to leather. A beer hall full of 1923- veterans clad in leather boots was bound to trigger a premature sneeze from the hippopotamus and the plot subsequently folded. The hapless hippo was transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau where an eager Dr Mengele was waiting in his lab to produce the world's first blonde hippopotamus. Fortunately, the Sub-Saharan mammal managed to escape by passing as Herman Goering.

4. The Wolf's lair, East Prussia, 1944
A Polish moose, single-mother of 3 and pregnant with her 4th child, is dead tired of having her natural habitat invaded by German forces on their way to Russia. The deafening noise of Wehrmacht cavalry storming through the forest in search of lebensraum keep her little ones constantly awake and crying. Fired with maternal rage, the brave moose opts for the ultimate step: eliminate the person responsible for depriving her little ones of their sleep. Carrying a suitcase filled with explosives in her jaws and dressed up as an SS-lieutenant, her plan is to enter Hitler's headquarter's, discreetly leave her suitcase in Der Führer's lap, and finally escape through an underground tunnel constructed for her by an enterprising relative of the previously mentioned moles.
Why did it fail: The moose's swollen udders bursting with baby-milk belied her identity as an SS-lieutenant. In her pregnant state, she also had problems raising her leg high enough to perform a convincing Hitler-salute. The fearless moose was detained and sent to Theresienstadt, but later liberated by her uncles, who chose a rather more primitive strategy: Shouting savagely in Russian and running head-on into the concentration camp guards, jumping up and down on top of the unlucky SS-men until their lungs was so bereft of air that not as much as a feeble Hail Hitler could be uttered.

5. Mexico, 1940
The charismatic leader of the 4th International, Leon Trotsky, is desperately fleeing Stalin's international web of agents. His imminent death seems a foregone conclusion when the Russian emigree suddenly encounters a Marxist goat well versed in Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution. Eager to help his ideological guiding star, the goat hands Trotsky his identity papers and help him set up a new NKVD-proof identity as a nomadic goat

Leon Trotsky just after acquiring his new identity.

Why did it fail: The reinvented Trotsky brilliantly escaped the clutches of NKVD. However, as a convinced Marxist he committed the cardinal error of ignoring all factors irrelevant to the class struggle. One of the facts he did not take into account was the goat's turbulent love life and numerous extramarital affairs. One afternoon the vindictive husband of one of the goat's many mistresses sneaked in on him in his study and stabbed him from behind with an icepick. (How a Mexican goat acquired an icepick has been a hard nut to crack for generations of historians. The currently most popular theory is that the icepick was given to the goat by a delegation of penguins, concerned that Trotsky's program of rapid transformation of Russia from an agrarian to an industrial economy would set off a dramatic increase in Co2-emissions. This in turn would trigger global warming and ultimately make the world inhabitable for polar birds.)

6. Dallas, Texas, 1963
A Californian squirrel learns from her cousin in Texas that Lee Harvey Oswald is planning to assassinate the American president.
The audacious rodent's original plan is to eliminate Oswald kamikaze-style by crashing a fighter plane into his bedroom. Concerned about possible collateral damage, the heroic squirrel instead decides to throw herself in front of JFK in a desperate attempt to catch the bullet.
Why did it fail: Alas, the bullet went right through the squirrel's tail, the squirrel herself landing somewhere to the left of Jackie Kennedy's nose. The fresh-baked widow screamed with horror as she realized that not only had she lost a loving husband, but her carefully applied make-up was also a complete mess.

7. Prague, August 1968
Prague's canine community is seething with resentment after the Soviet invasion forces introduce a particularly tasteless meat bone substitute. One brave Dachshund takes the matter into his own paws and decides to set fire to himself to give their holy struggle a martyr.

Why did it fail: It so happened that the incompetent Communist authorities were also responsible for introducing matchstick substitutes. After struggling with the useless Socialist matches for about 10 minutes, the petrol-drenched Dachshund gives up and walks home with his tail between his legs. The disappointed dog was last seen working at a dry-cleaner's in Brno.

1 comment:

yal said...

A little historic footnote - Jirka, a direct descendant of the brave though unfortunate Dachshund Zdenek came to follow his father's footsteps (not his autopyromaniac proclivities but rather what came to be his second great vocation) and until this day he is running a Brno-based club "Clubwash"