American Independence - The True Story
It was late in 1775, and King George III was at Buckingham Palace, sitting in reflective mood on his commode. His 13 year old son Prince George (yes, they were very imaginative with their names, those royal types), was sitting on the floor nearby, otherwise occupied with the 18th century equivalent of Game Boy: a model soldier with a rifle sat on a model elephant, shooting at a model tiger two planks of wood away.
Their peace, tranquility, and respective modes of concentration were broken by the excited entry of a royal messenger. You could be excused for thinking that he had arrived over 200 years early for an audition for "Robin Hood - Men In Tights".
The tight clad messenger hesitated before the King, seemingly unsure of whether to bow or curtsy. It was not clear whether this was caused by uncertainty over his own sexuality, or that he had been out of the country so long he had forgotten the refinements of British court life. He bowed.
"Your Highness", he said, breathlessly. "I have grievous news from the Americas."
The King looked puzzled for a moment, but Prince George ignored his Game Boy and started to pay attention. Finally, the King said:
"The Americas? Is that one of my domains?"
"Yes, your Highness, it is the 13 American colonies."
"Aah," said the King, "since I past the 100 mark I've had trouble remembering them all."
"The news is not good," the messenger resumed. "It seems that some strange illness, a virus, has hit the whole population. It has had a terrible effect, your Highness. It has affected their vocal chords. All the population is affected."
"Why is that so grievous? Do they not have a doctor over there?" the King asked in unworldly innocence.
"Your Highness. They can no longer speak the King's English. They've all started speaking in a strange accent, and all the words of the King's English are being distorted. They sound like they're of another world. The virus is so virulent, your Highness, nobody can speak the King's English any more."
"This virus, could it have been planted by the French? They're so jealous of all my colonies; they'd stop at nothing," the King responded. "This accent they all now speak in, this foreign tongue, does it sound French?"
"Thankfully not, your Highness. But how would the French smuggle this virus in?" asked the messenger.
"You remember Troy? The Trojan horse? That's how they'd do it, the sneaky French. Trust them to use a Trojan horse to get a virus into my domain," the King conjectured.
The messenger looked anxiously and expectantly at the King, who went on:
"There's only one thing for it. I cannot have subjects from my own land not speaking the King's English."
He waved his arm dismissively. "Get rid of them", he said. "Leave them to fend for themselves. I know they'll never survive on their own, let alone progress, but we cannot have my Kindom corrupted by those virus ridden settlers."
"But your Highness, don't you think you should visit the territory to assess the problems for yourself?" the messenger suggested.
The King shook his head knowingly.
"We have no cure for this mysterious virus. What would be the point of my going?"
Prince George looked across pleadingly:
"Oh, please, go Daddy. I want those domains."
"No son, those colonies are no longer part of my realm, and will not be part of yours to inherit," the King replied.
With the wave of a hand, the King dismissed his American colonies. But it was not the end of the story by far.
The messenger was sent on his way to tell the King's officials to prepare papers that would lead the way to American Independence; and just as an afterthought, he also sent a message to Parliament, to inform them of his declaration of American Independence.
Matters of state moved quite slowly those days, but by January of 1776 the British officials had prepared a paper entitled: The British Route To American Independence. Armed with this historic document, the King's messenger set off for what the King now regarded as his former American colonies.
This was no Instant Messenger. The British and French had not yet been on friendly enough terms for the Concorde to have been born, so it was down to a long and arduous journey by ship. The messenger arrived on American soil several weeks later, carrying The British Route to American Independence.
Local British representatives were briefed on the King's instructions. There was no such thing as a photocopier in those days, so there were just two handwritten copies of this historic document. One was to be retained by the King's messenger, the other to be given to the leader of the colonists.
The most common means of communication then was still word of mouth, and that was to lead to a turn of events that has irrevocably altered non-history. Not only was communication verbal, but it was slow.
The virus that had afflicted the vocal chords of colonists had already affected the pronunciation of route. What was "root" in the King's English, had become "rout" (as in out) in those affected by this mystery virus. So, as news of the King's declaration began to leak, the initial chatter in American quarters became about the British "rout" to American Independence.
A British official in Boston heard of all this chatter about American Independence and the British rout. Now, in the King's English, he thought that the British had been routed, which meant they had been hammered, beaten to a pulp. In a game of football it would have been a like one side scoring 13 goals against 0. The British, all of a sudden, had been routed by the American colonists.
The British official panicked, and with others in Boston, planned their escape by sea. Their troops had been routed, or so they thought, so they had no choice but to escape on the first ship out of Boston Harbour. That was in May 1776.
As the ship left the bay, the people of Boston started to get wind of what had happened. The British troops had been soundly beaten by the colonist forces. They were jubilant, and quickly organized a giant celebration in an open plaza by the sea. The local t-shirt manufacturer quickly designed an American flag, and ran off thousands of t-shirts with the flag printed on front and back.
Local Irish bar owners unlocked their secret vaults of stockpiles of Guinness, and carted the crates out to the plaza for the impromptu celebration. Bostonians were each given their own t-shirt, which they were proud to put on instantly, and a half share of a crate of Guinness. They drank long into the night, and as each crate of Guinness was emptied, it was tossed into Boston Harbour, or as they now called it, Boston Harbor.
This great event became known as the Boston T-shirt Party (later to be revised to Boston Tea party and moved back to 1773.)
Over a period of a few months to the end of June 1776, similar scenes were repeated across the colonies. The news of the British rout had reached the British troops in the field, one battalion at a time, and they laid down their arms, believing that their army had been defeated. All of the stories circulating were of the British being badly beaten, and soon of mass surrenders.
Forlorn British officials who made it back to London were full of stories of army defeats and other humiliation. The troops themselves were too ashamed to return and face the wrath of their King.
King George III toyed with the idea of making a speech on the balcony of Buckingham Palace about his granting of independence to the American colonies. However, the court historian pointed out that monarchs didn't yet do such things. A speech in the House of Lords was ruled out, as it was too high a place to discuss settlers, albeit in a former domain.
And so it was, that on July 4th 1776, the Foreign Secretary stood up in the House of Commons and formally granted independence to the 13 American colonies.
Back in the former colonies, things had moved on apace. Stories of victories over the British abounded, but as they had not actually happened, they tended to be vague. There must be some great stories in the war, everyone thought, and in the many victorious battles which had led to the rout of the British troops. But where was the detail?
Colony leaders began to despair. How can they record these proud moments of their history with a single sentence "The British Have Been Routed." Exactly when? Where?
In Washington, a special secret meeting of the Continental Congress was held. It just happened that one of the members was a keen theatre patron, and had been talking to a thesbian group who had been on tour and performing locally. They had their own scriptwriters, led by a young lady called Holly Wood.
An excited Congress, prompted by the forceful Holly, started to piece together the events that led up to what they would announce as The American Declaration of Independence. They decided to start in 1773, and put the historic "facts" together from there. One of them had heard about the Boston T-shirt Party; another was a disgruntled tea importer. They came up with the Boston Tea Party story as a kick off for the anti British movement that would lead, via a war and many great battles, to American independence.
For the last few days of June and the first 2 days of July, the team of scriptwriters, or non-historians, worked day and night to put together a solid and impressive history for the American Wars of Independence. When another secret Congress gathered to hear the revised history, the representatives lapped it up.
"That's it," they declared unanimously. "But how do we put all this out to the American public."
The group of scriptwriters was again put to work, so that by the morning of July 4th, everything was in place. The history, and the publicity, was all ready to present to the awaiting American public.
Thus, two great institutions were born in July 1776. No, not the Senate and the House of Representatives; they came later. No, it was two institutions more far reaching:
Political Spin, and Hollywood.
(Please note, any resemblance between the above and American, British or Guinness history, is purely co-incidental.)
Roy Thomsitt is owner and part author of http://www.routes-to-self-improvement.com
Humor Under The Keyboards
For me, the piano is the symbol of what is stiff, proper and elegant. It doesn't have faults, it is perfect.
The Work-from-home Fashion Primer
Last week, I reported how writers, stay-at-home parents and online marketing geeks had chosen careers as hermits:http://www.thehappyguy.
Space, and the Room for It
Space exploration came a long way since I was the size of a measurable amount of it.I remember with some pain, my first ride on a penny farthing with its big wheel and long spokes that were well engineered to cut a foot or two off anyone's legs.
Looking for a lighthearted and fun way to remove the negative energy of a certain disruptive person from your life, or from your mind, if the person in question has moved on? Consider the cleansing (and giggle-inspiring) effect of Voodoo Munchies. Beginning now, whenever you need to deal with this person or the dirty bathtub ring of negative vibes they left in your head, bake a cake or a cookie (depending on your eating habits and kitchen skills) and decorate it with this person's name and or likeness.
Slip-sliding On A Peel
Every day, or at least every other day, we make a fruit smoothie at mid morning. Almost without fail, these smoothies contain bananas; so, we go through about 10 or 12 bananas a week.
The Hidden Driveway
I won't lie: there are a lot of things I want in life, and some of them I'd even pay for. Rather than listing them in some aimless order so that I can feel bad about not having these things, I will instead focus on one thing that is actually attainable: a hidden driveway.
How to Build a Cobblestone House
He huffed and he puffed and he blew the house down - certainly not if the house was built with cobblestones. Building cobblestone houses was a folk art that flourished in upstate New York from 1825 until the Civil War in 1860.
Starbucks Going into Hilton
Well, I hope you did not read that headline wrong, Crew Member Starbucks is not doing Paris Hilton. What I am saying here is Starbucks will now be offered in some Hilton Hotels.
Health Club Regulars -- Some of the People Youre Likely To Meet at the Gym
One of the great benefits of belonging to a health club is the huge variety of exercise equipment that's available. It's also a great place to meet and observe a wide cross section of society.
Lactose Intolerant? It could be a good thing
Lactose Intolerant Individuals may prove a bonus in Space Missions. Lactose intolerant individuals have huge problems with gas from the inability to process certain dairy products and foods.
Discover the Lighter Side of the Internet
We all know the Internet is a great tool for finding out information and sharing knowledge. But as a human sometimes sitting at a computer all day can get quite tedious, especially if it is your job 5 days a week.
Bed Bugs Bite
I just turned on the news a minute ago and wondered why there weren't news flashes regarding when -- and perhaps where -- people are turning on the news. Sometimes it is a slow news week, and there's not much to read in Newsweek, so maybe this could take up some space.
Painful Lessons from the Maternity Ward
Whoever dubbed New York, New York "the city that never sleeps" should visit The Maternity Ward. My recent visit included a drop-in on several screenings of "A Star Is Born" at the late-show theatre, right near Mama's Breast (all night milk bar) and Papa's Gas Station ("We burp you on your way.
Coffee Tips (and the Elimination Thereof)
I have recently become frustrated with something at doughnut establishments, and I'm not referring to the scones, although -- seriously -- just think about the writing possibilities if I were. Rather, it's the tip cup that bothers me.
Maybelle Misfire Joins Mega Corp
To: Maybelle MisfireFrom: I. M.
The Spare Parts Gremlins
Don't you just love getting a little something extra? Sure you do. Everybody does.
The Jokes On You -- Who Should be the Butt of Your Jokes?
This article was prompted by something I heard (second hand) about the performance of a local magician at a child's birthday party. Now, granted, this wasn't done by a clown, but I've seen clowns doing similar things.
Sweet Vengeance Purrfected
I love animals but cats are my favorites. There's just something about them that makes me relate to them so easily.
Finding Lost Children
A couple of days ago I had to go to a dealership to get my car fixed. I am not implying that I don't want my car to have children, because who am I to make that choice? More so, I was sent a letter about a recall on one of the parts (the hazards, actually), meaning that the dealership was obligated to fix my car while I watched television and drank free coffee from a vending machine?"This is quite a deal," you may be thinking.
11 Alternative Garden Games
Tired of the same ol', same ol' when it come to entertaining your garden party guests? Weary of boring badminton and jarts? Croquet not your style? Then you're in the right spot! Here are games sure to make your next party the hit of the gardening social season!IcebreakersGame #1: The Gnat SlapEquipment required: A garden of any size.As your guests arrive, invite them for the obligatory 'stroll through the garden'.
|home | site map | contact us|