Much has been made of Columbus’ first voyage across the Atlantic. Yet Christopher Columbus was not the first greaseball from the Old World to drop socks in the New. Also, there’s the little known matter of cannibalism aboard his ships, which has never been adequately addressed. The code of silence was breached only once by Vasco de Sectomy, ship’s cook, nicknamed the Crisco Kid, who wrote that the several crewmen he prepared were beyond help and tasted like old laying hens. His request for a junior officer was rebuked. However, his recipe for “long pig” remains closely guarded under lock and key in the Library of Seville. No one except Pope Kasmir the Omnivorous has seen it, though a very determined Betty Crocker was turned away in tears several years ago.
But truly, at this point I’d rather cut my own heart out with a broken bottle than breathe one more word about Columbus.
Long before the so-called Age of Discovery, before the Inquisitors racked up their first heretic, before that German cockroach Gutenberg cradled his first umlaut, before Joan of Arc’s heavenly body went up in a blaze of glory, before Henry VIII beheaded his way into our hearts, all manner of pimple-faced poets and star-crossed golliwogs were prancing in the foam on our shores, naked and alone, glistening in the moonlight like great silver carp. Some came in peace. Others came in pieces. Many came to either eat or be eaten. They all had one thing in common. They died. Who were these people? What did they smell like? Was flatulence a problem for them? Did they drink beer?
Going back at least as far as 800 or 1,000 B.C., men with swords of bronze and balls of iron have been drawn inexplicably, oft times inexcusably, to drop their shorts here.
Along the Northeast coast can be found a number of huge magnificent and beguiling stone phalluses (called phalli) left behind by a sexy breed of swingers who flowered but for a season in this rugged land: The Jasonites. To know them is to love them is to know them. Surely the long ocean voyage at close quarters was the inspiration for their refreshingly frank sculptural monuments. Ancient mariners often manned their vessels in the nude for practical as well as aesthetic reasons. As such, strict discipline aboard ship was of paramount importance. Every man from First Mate down to the Fudge Packer’s Apprentice knew the sting of the Captain’s paddle.
No sooner had the Jasonites invented chaps than they discarded them as a landlubber’s luxury. Filled with resolve and assorted nutmeats they sailed their delicate boats of balsa wood in search of the Golden Fleece. Abalone inlay graced the handrails. Erotic subjects done in filigree played tag around the ship’s compass. Sails of crushed velvet whispered aloft, secured with silken cords. The Jasonites thrived on a diet of Rocky Mountain oysters and honey until, at last, naked and alone, they took their first feeble steps in the New World. Shyly they shivered in the frosty silence of the dawn, like fawns awakened in the Garden of Eden. Then, with growing eagerness, they reached out to gather the flowers of Spring.
But, alas, naked and alone, they perished in a senseless bloodbath as hordes of brutish savages slaughtered them and ate their livers (which tasted like the finest venison).
Certain sites in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, after years of strenuous excavation, have grudgingly yielded several ancient samples of caramelized stool, carbon dated to 90 B.C. (plus or minus 2,000 years). These curious remains are the last will and testament of the Yodelians, a large, asymmetrical Aryan race who fled hygienic persecution in their native Switzerland. Distantly related to Sasquatch, they were also ancient cousins of the Samuelites, forefathers of our very own Uncle Sam. All relations aside, they were otherwise notable for the pleated bony plates, fringed with undulating frills of cartilage, that bisected their brain cavities. It was not uncommon for the backs of their abbreviated skulls to contain a handy storage compartment where a fragrant sachet or amber trinket could be kept and treasured in privacy.
Somehow these yodeling yahoos found their way to the New World, where they eventually yodeled their way right into the stew pot, summarily butchered and simmered by a band of Algonquins after a bitterly contested Ping-Pong match during which numerous spouses and children had been wagered. The Yodelian chowder went over very well after the game. Weep not for them. Before the invention of toilet paper any colonization attempt was doomed to failure anyway. Truly sore and sorry was any bottom that learned this lesson the hard way.
The Celts were a swarthy, hotheaded, hopped-up rabble of midgets with such prominent brow ridges that their eyes could not be seen without a flashlight. Many appeared quite effeminate and were only two or three feet high in their spikes. But they were utterly fearless mariners who could travel 3,000 miles in an open boat with nothing more to sustain them than a barrel full of sweet baby gherkins. They steered by the stars. They were fond of saying that Ursula Major will get you 10 and Ursula Minor will get you 20 (a fact which, ironically, modern astronomers corroborate).
Staggering heaps of pottery shards at Celtic settlement sites attest to the sorry state of marital affairs in everyday life. Obviously Mr. and Mrs. Celt spent all their spare time throwing things at each other.
If we were to judge solely by the portraits of their women found on pottery fragments we might incorrectly deduce that the modern horse had already been introduced to the Americas by this time.
Skeptics maintain that the Celts lacked the means to construct the massive stone temples found scattered along the last remaining segments of Route 66. How could such ugly, tiny people move rocks that weighed countless tons? The fact is that once the honeymoon was over the Celts settled down to a lifetime consumed by endless drudgery, every waking moment (aside from spousal target practice) totally devoted to the moving of huge stones to sacred sites. What determined the sacredness of a particular site was the number of Celts killed in the process of moving the stones there.
If we eavesdrop with our imaginations we can hear the beating of pagan drums, the creaking of rotten vines and crude hemp ropes stretched beyond all reasonable safety parameters, and lo! the sudden snap of breaking bones, punctuated by screams and heartfelt bickering.
There was no such thing as old age in this culture. By the age of 20 a man was so bent out of shape that he looked like a human swastika. When he fell downhill he’d cartwheel all the way. By the end of his truncated life the average Celt was a toothless patchwork of multiple ruptures and festering fractures swathed in bloody homespun bandages, his brave frame marginally supported by a tattered tangle of leather harness straps and trusses cinched so tight that body parts withered and fell off in coarse blackened chunks. Often these piecemeal wayward body parts were all that nourished them as they crawled their way the last few miles to their own graves. This practice of self-consumption is a unique anomaly in the wide world of cannibalism. Why they left is certainly no mystery. That they held out so long is what astounds us. Theirs is a lasting legacy of unspeakable pain and suffering.
The Peckerwood Filter Kings were an irascible, irreverent, irritable, totally irrelevant, slightly iridescent race of aristocrats descended from glowworms. It is believed they were first disseminated here in migratory bird droppings. Mercifully they all died. That they were inedible should come as no surprise.
Lastly we highlight a culture known only as the Bong People. The words despicable and malodorous come to mind, but they really weren’t people so much as zombie-like drones, clad only in chain mail loincloths, who had a talent for showing up unannounced and uninvited. They subsisted on a diet of leprechauns and peyote buttons. Their ocean-going rafts were made of old rolled up Persian rugs stuffed with dried camel dung and deviled eggs. Nevertheless they managed to reach these shores with an immense cargo of a highly concentrated form of Turkish taffy known as Snag, which was distributed freely to all native peoples. By this insidious means, in just a few years entire tribes had perished, decimated by the ravages of rampant tooth decay. A few tribal remnants rallied their forces and in an epic battle on what is present-day Coney Island the Bong People were slowly gummed to death and sent to hookah heaven.
Everyone was delighted to find that when properly dressed and seasoned, the Bong People had the appearance of richly marbled beef. But the smoke produced by the fires that cooked them was very black and greasy, and their roasted flesh was a gamy disappointment reminiscent of rancid salt pork (scholars believe it could possibly have been improved slightly by marinade). The Native Americans who ate them had dysentery for weeks afterward.