Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why I have been banned from the Freedom Trail

I was reading Miss Britt description of her bus trip through NYC over the weekend and it made me start thinking. If you know me then you realize that I am a total nerd who seems to absorb seemingly random and ridiculous facts. How do I do this? Simple. By reading everything that crosses before my eyes and at least skimming the newspaper everyday. (My preferred sections to read: Comics, crossword, obits ((you learn a bunch of really weird stuff in obituaries)))

In my youth, my mother dragged me to every two bit museum there was in Niagara County, NY and anyplace else that we stopped. She often included in her dreams of the events a Kum-Ba-Ya moment where we would all hold hands and recite the Gettysburgh address together. Yes, she was unrealistic and largely nutz. Hence my lack of desire to ever see another 200 year old can of peaches from the Civil War ever again. But maybe I would like to see the house of the only civilian killed during the battle of Gettysburgh. I was denied that opportunity at 10. Who knows, if I had seen that site I might have become an engineer trying to figure out the metallurgy or angles involved to kill a woman cooking in her house a mile from the battlefield... or maybe even a sniper. We'll never know now.

But one thing that I seem to be over? Guided tours.

Let me wander about and read what ever information you want to post on a subject. But please, FOR THE LOVE OF HEAVEN!!! don't put me on a tour with a guide and other people.

A. I generally know more than the tourguide and this irritates me.

B. Most people on those tours are dead stupid and that irritates me more.

Is this elitist?


But since most people feel perfectly within their rights to look down their nose at me for being fat, I feel that I am entitled to do the same about them being stupid.

Here are a couple of points:

To the people at the House of the Seven Gables: When they say that Nathaniel Hawthorne's aunt went to Europe and adopted a foundling child that means she was knocked up. The child was hers. and probably the stable boy. People had sex in the 18th Century just like today.

Also from HOSG: Captain Turner was NOT related to TED Turner. Turner is a really common name. Ted Turner was born in Ohio and moved to Georgia when he was 9. Not Salem, Massachussetts. k?

More HOSG: Susannah Ingersoll was NOT "Oh Susannah" from the song. That song was written by Stephen Foster in 1847 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Not Salem, Massachussetts.

To the people in Morristown, NJ at Washington's Winter Headquarters: The easiest job in the house was emptying the chamber pots.... all you have to do is open the window and toss the mess out. Yes, it is gross, but that is how it was done.

To the people in New Orleans on the cemetary tour: The tourguide was wrong. An octoroon was a person who was 1/8th AFRICAN not caucasian. That is why the need to wear the turban was important. If a woman was NOT wearing her turban she would pass for white. Because she was. It was also a symbol of prostitution. Because it was presumed there was no other living an octoroon girl could make except via prostitution.

To the people at the John Deere Homestead: Just because I live in the city doesn't make me a city slicker.. I prolly know more about blacksmithing than you do you ignorant fucks. and in fact I did. After all, I told the tourguide about the City of Chicago Mobile Blacksmith truck. Why does such a thing exist? To shoe to police horses and to fix fire dept. equipment. Now shut up you ridiculously smug hicks. (Please note, that blacksmith pictured above, was the VERY same smartass blacksmith that I surprised....)

As you can see, it is best for all of us that I avoid these tours. Aunt Maggie and I, very specifically, have been banned (by Auntie Noranne) from the Freedom Trail so that she can maintain her happy memories from her childhood.

But if for some reason you find me sniggering in the back of the bus, or group on one of these tours, you know that I am there under duress and remember, there IS such a thing as a stupid question. You have been warned.

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