So you can read my books

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A IS FOR APRIL 1ST and the OUTLAW TRAIL through the days

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."


  1. Hello, and all the best for the challenge. The covers of this book are too far apart - loved that. And Austen's.


  2. Nilanjana:
    I'm glad you got a giggle out of Bierce's dry wit!

    I mean for my Outlaw Trail of Days to have something for everyone.

    And all the best with the challenge for you as well!

  3. You will probably be unsurprised to learn that I have a fondness of Ambrose Bierce - and the covers of his books were never far enough apart.

  4. Lots of A's in that post. Outlaw Roland sounds like a new character. Did I detect Eli Wallach or was that the wrong cowboy?
    This is an interesting start.

  5. Hi Roland! I'm trolling around wishing all the WEPpers all the best for the A-Z. An interesting start and so shall it continue I'm sure.

  6. Hi Roland .. lots of interesting snippets here that could lead out to many a fascinating revelation.

    Google and the Python .. and then all the April 1sts ..

    I'll be enjoying Outlaw Roland's A -Zs .. cheers Hilary

  7. So THAT'S where that quote about being bad at math comes from. I learn something new every day. . .

  8. Is it just me or do bad boys appeal to most girls? Looking forward to traveling down your outlaw trail this month. Hmmmm...I forgot all about April Fools day this year. I need to figure out a good trick for the day. Usually I get at least one person fooled.

  9. Outlaw Roland, you sir are "A" ok in my book! No Foolin!

  10. The escaped python story is awesome! Been funny to be there when some unsuspecting fool found it.

  11. Hi, Roland!

    A great start to ! Love this new side of you ... a rebel... Hmmmm. It works! LOL.

    Working on YOUR intro today.... I need to get cracking... BUSY, INSANE work week. I'm leaving the country for six days and need to get my A-Z done through H before I go.

    Who KNOWS what the internet service will be like in the Bahamas... A client is taking me their to house hunt... This winter KILLED US all....

    All the best with the challenge!

  12. Very cool. Hadn't heard of this fellow until now. Time to check out more of his quotes. :)

  13. Elephant's Child:
    I knew you would be an Ambrose Bierce fan!

    The ghost of Eli Wallach is punching me right now! :-) I'm trying to be different yet fun.

    There are more people doing this challenge than the population of some 3rd world nations! Thanks for dropping by. :-)

    That python was a riot -- except for the person who found it! I hope you enjoy your visits!

    I, too, learn something new every day -- but like a short-minded goldfish, sometimes it is the same thing over and over again!

    Good seeing you here! Yes, bad boys do attract the ladies -- perhaps that is why they called them rakes (they raked the ladies in!) Ouch! Sorry, couldn;t resist.

    The tricks that get pulled on me remind me about April 1st!

    LOL. Nice joke.

    So long as you weren't the poor guy discovering it!!!

    The Bahamas, huh? You get all the terrible trips ... you scoundrel. I wish you the greatest of trips, even if it is a working one!

    David P.:
    He was played by Gregory Peck in the movie, OLD GRINGO. His DEVIL'S DICTIONARY is a fun read.

  14. A thorough telling of historical events that happened on April 1st . . . check! Very interesting post, Roland. :)

  15. Chrys:
    When the ghosts start telling the past in the future you know things will heat up. :-) Thanks for visiting and staying to comment!

  16. Great bits there, Bandito. :) Happy A-Z Launch day!

  17. Mel:
    Bandito or Desparado -- either name will do. :-)

    Happy A-Z Launch Day to you, too!

  18. Fantastic. It's good to know that pretty much anything could happen today. Serious or silly. Good or bad. Important or trivial.

    And themes are for symphonies.

  19. Taryn:
    Pretty much anything could happen any day in this crazy world of ours! Especially in Meilori's!

    Sounds like we're both outlaws in spirit!

  20. Good luck with A to Z. I'm looking forward to more interesting posts!

  21. Jessie:
    I am trying to make them fun. Thanks for visiting and commenting! :-)

  22. Chok full 'o interest today. Great start!

  23. As an inveterate NON-gambler, I like the closing “Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math." Although I liked the book cover one as well.

    You are always a bit of an outlaw during the A to Z, Roland. If memory serves me, last year you did Z to A. :)

    VR Barkowski

  24. Wendy:
    Thanks. Tomorrow has a Big Surprise!

    The book cover quote is lovely in its snarkiness. :-) I play the Lottery occasionally so I cannot talk!

    Si, I did Z to A because I am an outlaw at heart! :-)

  25. Bierce was great -- I've always meant to read his Devil's Dictionary but have never gotten around to it.

    April 1 is also my youngest sister's birthday--fifth girl in a row in my family. The doctor was cruel and came out of the delivery room to tell my Dad it was a boy. Not a good April Fool's joke.

  26. You've got some good ones posted here.

    I like G-mail and I've become rather bad at math.

    Here's my aphorism based on one of my frustrations (which there are many):

    For me Google Plus is a big minus.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  27. Helena:
    Bierce is fun but dark. That doctor was cruel to your father!

    Google Plus is an irritant to me, too. Blogger profiles are much easier to navigate.