History lessons with my wife

So, I was mostly minding my business tonight while Deb watched Grey’s Anatomy. During a commercial, I looked up from my read of a book on the decline of the Ottoman Empire to read her a passage which I thought said a lot about Napoleon’s ability to influence peoples (though I was in fact a bit wrong about that). She said, in her outside voice as is traditional, “You don’t know history at all!”

“I don’t?”

“No. If you did, you would know that his last name was not really Bonaparte…”–I grew kind of excited–“…but Bone Together. ‘Bonaparte’ was an attempt by him to draw people away from him so he could have sex with the enemy’s women. That’s why he won the war!”


“Come at me, big daddy. Ask me anything. Bring it.”

“Okay, very well. What is the significance of Çatalhöyük?”

She fixed me with a gaze of shock and dismay. “You don’t know what Saddle Who You was? Listen and learn. When they wanted to build the Trojan Horse, they needed a saddle that could hold a lot of people. So they made one, and named it Saddle Who You, which is derived from Saddle Hookah. This enabled them to deliver rubbers.”

I looked at her and just laughed. “Rubbers?”

“Duh. Why do you think it was called the Trojan Horse?” I sat silent, like any good husband slow in the uptake. “See? You don’t know your history. Ask me anything else.”

“Fine. Who did Charles “The Hammer” Martel defeat at Poitiers?”

She looked aghast that I could be so clueless. “Charles Martel defeated Le Peu Nailé, which of course means ‘the nail.'” I cracked up again, couldn’t help it. “Keep it coming. Ask me anything.”

“Okay, dear. What was the significance of Charlotte Corday?”

A sigh. “Charlotte Corduroy, you mean. She invented pants, but they were corduroy pants. They were also called ‘whisper pants,’ and the idea was to give them to the enemy so they would whisper when they walked.”


“Absolutely. I’m really sad for anyone like you, with a degree in history, to be so un-knowledgeable.”

“I think you meant ‘ignorant,’ dear.”

“NO! I said ‘un-knowledgeable’ and I meant ‘un-knowledgeable!’ Now come on. Ask me another. I can see I have a lot to teach you.”

“Fine. Please name one of the Spanish explorers of North America.”

She thought for a minute, consulting her stores of learning. “Well, his name was Julio El De Massmainebostainia. There are some states named after him. He came with his wife Maria, their daughter Nina, and some pinto beans.”

At that point, there was nothing for it but to come put it on the blog.


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