Ambrose Bierce, c. 1866
"The covers of this book are too far apart."- Ambrose Bierce.
Haven't you read bad books where you felt like that?
This here is Outlaw Roland --
Theme? I don't need no stinking theme, gringo. I am a bandito.
I follow the trail of the days and take what I want from them!
In 1700, April Fool's day was the day English pranksters began this tricky annual tradition.
And after my own bandito heart:
On this day in 1647 John Wilmot, perhaps the most notorious of the Restoration rakes, was born.
By poem and play, song and satire, maid and monkey --
some say he trained his pet monkey to excrete upon his guests, others say he merely encouraged it!
The 2nd Earl of Rochester became the talk of town and Court.
If, as Samuel Johnson said, he "blazed out his youth and health in lavish voluptuousness," he also wrote, said Hazlitt, verses that "cut and sparkle like diamonds."
I hear some of you gringos muttering about the letter A. You want the letter A? I give you the letter A:
Aphorisms -- for which Ambrose Bierce was famous as in his definition for Once: Enough.
“Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.”
In 1816 on this date, Jane Austen dismissed a suggestion from the Prince Regent that she write a historical novel by saying,
"I could not sit down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life."
Not a gringo after my own heart is Hitler --
For his part in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler was imprisoned on this day in 1924.
He used the time to dictate Mein Kampf
(“My Struggle,” shortened by Hitler's publisher from his suggested title, “Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice.”)
Apart from its egomania and Jew-baiting, the book romanticizes Hitler’s formative years.
It was no April Fool's joke when Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his minister father in 1984.
April Fool's Day was Google-touched twice:
1.) Google introduced Gmail in 2004.
Given Google's propensity for April Fool's Day pranks, plenty of people assumed they were just kidding.
At the time, free e-mail with a whole gigabyte of storage was a completely new concept. The following year, they increased it to two gigs.
2.) In 2007, Google sent an e-mail out to its employees at a NYC office
warning that a python was loose in the facilities. Definitely sounds like a prank, I know, but it was true:
an engineer kept a ball python named Kaiser in his cube and Kaiser escaped.
The e-mail to employees apologized for the awkward timing and assured them that this was no April Fool stunt.
And so I leave you with another aphorism from Ambrose Bierce:
“Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math."