Micah’s History of Everything: Columbus Day

Posted: October 14, 2014 by Micah in A History of Everything
Tags: , ,

Well hi Internet and welcome to another sterling episode of my history of everything. A section that has thus far covered everything from the middle-ages all the way up to Canadian thanksgiving. But now we must investigate an even less popular holiday, a holiday that is only celebrated by crazy people, Italians, and (for some reason) banks.

So we all know that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 but what did he get up to before then? What stupid rhymes can we make out of the rest of his life? Let’s find out together shall we?

In fourteen hundred fifty one, Chris Columbus escaped his mum.

Yup, he was born. Chris was born to Domenico Columbo who was both a delicious dish to have with extra spaghetti sauce AND a brilliant solver of murders who wore a trench coat. Christopher was born in Genoa and early on got a job working at his father’s cheese stand where Christopher diligently labored discovering all sorts of cheese that had already been discovered hundreds of years earlier by Vikings… oh wait that comes later.

Which leads us to our next big transition in Columbus’s life.

In fourteen hundred seventy three, Columbus gave up sellin’ cheese.

And then he became an apprentice for a businessman. He actually worked for this same guy for a long time and most historians are sketchy on where he went. Iceland, England, Naples, Columbus bounced around like the Frozen sing-a-long ball in a majestic sing along bouncy ball musical. He also then got married to someone named Chicken O’ Fettucciny. Ha ha- no. I’m kidding. Her name was Filipa Moniz Perestrelo which (if anything) sounds even more like something I would get at Olive Garden… dang it. Now I want Olive Garden.

In fourteen hundred and eighty, Columbus has a baby.

A bouncing baby boy named Diego Columbus which, frankly, sounds way to much like the star of a soap opera. Can’t you just see that, in the opening credits? Some renaissance era hot-man with tiny shorts and a big hat? We could call it “Seas of Love” and it would star Diego Columbus and Sultry Stromboli featuring legendary villain Brick Hardabs. Man… I would watch that show.  What were we talking about??

Columbus may not have been great at directions, but at least his hat game is on point.

Columbus may not have been great at directions, but at least his hat game is on point.

For years and years that were so long, Christopher’s math was super wrong.

For a few years Chris and his brother Bertoli… or something… sat around and did some math. Some really, really really bad math. It’s super impressive how much you can do a ton of math and still be crazy entirely wrong. I mean if you added up all the math problems that I got wrong in high school and compared them to all the wrong answers the Columbus’s got wrong… I would still have way more. But they would at least be a little close, which should give you an idea of the level of wrong we’re talking about here.

In fourteen hundred and eighty five Columbus needed a ship to drive.

My favorite part of Columbus’ proposal to the King of Portugal wasn’t that Columbus wanted some ships to sail (that makes sense) my favorite part was that Columbus requested to be made “Great Admiral of the Ocean.” Yep. He not only wanted three ships for a theoretical voyage that would probably get him stuck in Davy Jones’ dreaded sock drawer (or something) but he also wanted to be named “Great Admiral” of the OCEAN!!! So (unsurprisingly, he got turned down for that mess, but he did manage to get Spain to invest in his ship plan, though they turned down his request to be named “Grand Admiral of Space, Time and the Twilight Series.”

And everyone together now: in fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He did that. And Christopher heroically discovered A WHOLE NEW WORLD!!! On which a lot of people lived… But he was THE FIRST EUROPEAN… except for the Vikings. But he was THE FIRST GREAT DISCOVERER… except that he didn’t really realized what it was he had discovered and thought he was in Asia despite the mountains of evidence against that AND the fact that other people were practically lining up outside his door to tell him that he had discovered a new continent.

The best part of this whole picture are the natives looking super confused at the guy standing there "discovering" the place they already live.

The best part of this whole picture are the natives looking super confused at the guy standing there “discovering” the place they already live.

“No!” Columbus would shout loudly. “I did not discover a new continent and change the course of human history. I discovered an old continent and made trade marginally easier. Now stop ringing my bell you scientist. And also call me by my proper title “King of the Oceans and Grand Vizier of all Puppies!!”

In fifteen hundred-zero two Columbus came home to sit and stew.

Columbus made four total journeys to the new world and each one went progressively worse then the ones before it. This was largely because of Columbus’s being kind of a jerk and really mean to the natives. Though he does get some points for at one point saving his life (and the lives of his crew) by accurately predicting an eclipse and getting the natives to think he had superpowers. But he also loses a lot of points for being thrown in jail and (multiple times) being accused of tyranny.   In 1502 though he returned to Spain and for the most part sat around writing letters to the King of Spain demanding no less then 10% of the total trade done between Spain and the New World. Needless to say the King of Spain did not do this.

And finally: On the 20th of May in 1506 Christopher Columbus hit the bricks. 

He dead. A lot of people think he dies for some sort of crazy arthritis thing probably contracted as a result of severe food poisoning but that (to be frank) is nasty.

Sure Columbus went downhill in later years and died a mostly gizzly death but I repeat: hat game.

Sure Columbus went downhill in later years and died a mostly gizzly death but I repeat: hat game.

And there you have it folks, the life of a man who will go down in history as a guy who sold some cheesed, discovered a place that had already been discovered, ignored various scientific minds, and was kind of a jerk to the people who worked for him. You’re welcome bank tellers.

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