How we won our independence from France

Allen WorrellEditor

January 22, 2013

Belief is a funny thing. Some people believe Big Foot exist, others don’t; some people believe we are being visited by aliens, others don’t; Some people believe the Kardashians are the spawn of Satan; others say the spawn of Big Foot.

Yes, we are raised to believe in a lot of things - Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and, in my case, Mr. Galoshes. Now, you may not be familiar with Mr. Galoshes, but let me tell you, don’t dare cross him. It’s easy to believe in almost anything when you’re a child. Let’s face it, your brain is pretty much the same consistency as the inside of a peach, making it real easy for adults to make up stories about a man who only wears galoshes and punishes children when they misbehave.

However, when you become an adult, or at least an adult age, you should be a better judge of what is real and what is not. This is not always the case, though, as evidenced by an article on a web site entitled “Ten Weird Things” people actually believe. Mr. Galoshes didn’t make the list. I’m not sure where the home base of the web site is, but all the figures are results of polls conducted in the U.S. and Britain. While Americans come off badly, the British really look stupid. But, hey, they can’t help it. They didn’t discover dentistry until 1987.

One thing that was startling, almost as much as Mr. Galoshes, was that in a poll of British youths, 40 percent couldn’t figure out the link between a cow and milk, or a chicken and an egg. In fact, 11 percent thought eggs and milk came from wheat. Yea, from wheat! Now, if you think about the great minds that Britain spawned – Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Francis Bacon, Benny Hill – you have to wonder just when did things began to go south in the old country. I’m not sure, but I think it had something to do with Prince Charles and that other guy, Camilla Parker Bowles.

But amazing stupidity is not limited to the British youth, ooh no, adults also appear to missing be a crumpet or two. Now, everyone knows fruit is good for you. The fact that there is more to fruit than just its color is apparently lost on 10 percent of British parents, who thought items such as orange-flavored cake, fruit-flavored candy, and, this is the best one, Coca-Cola could be counted as a portion of fruit. To top it off, one in 20 people didn’t realize an orange was a fruit. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that dentists make a fortune in Britain.

Now, one more thing and I’ll leave the British alone. You remember, I mentioned Newton earlier, guy who more or less discovered gravity. Well, 18 percent of the British think they can see gravity. Yes, they think they know what gravity looks like. The article didn’t describe what these people thought gravity looked like, but I’m guessing it sort of looks like Mr. Galoshes. Wait a minute, I lied. I’m not finished with the British. Over a fifth believe that light sabers exist, 24 percent believe humans can be teleported and a whopping 40 percent believe that hover boards exist. And you thought Monty Python was silly.

Now, let’s turn to the good old USA, and talk about Independence Day. You know, the day we celebrate our freedom from France. Yes, yes, yes, I know, you thought it was Britain? Well, you are right, but, when asked, only 76 percent of Americans correctly identified Britain as our former ruler. Nineteen percent of those responding weren’t sure which country we fought for our independence and two percent were damn sure it was France. Obviously, if we had fought France in our war of independence, we would have won our freedom much earlier, somewhere around 1710. The poor French, they are not good at la fighting. Germany can vouch for that. Another three percent of astute patriots selected countries such as Russia, China and Mexico as American’s former rulers.

As for the moon landing, six percent of Americans and 25 percent of the British believe it was faked. Yes, it was all smoke and mirrors, bassoons and harmonicas, plastic wrap and oatmeal. Now, “Rooster” Edwards is one of those who believes the moon landing was faked . Of course, “Rooster” also believes that Wilford Brimley is the most “interesting man on earth” and that Jodie Foster is sane. And since we’re dealing with space, let me throw this out for consideration. In another poll, 18 percent of Americans thought the sun revolves around the earth, while another three percent didn’t know that the earth revolves around the sun.

We’ll get back to the young people for this closing bit of absurdity. A couple of years ago when the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic was making the news, many young people got confused. Twitter was alive with tweets from teens and young adults who were surprised to find out that the story of the Titanic was real, not just movie. This is troublesome because if a piece of history like that can be forgotten so easily, what does that say about our future?

Heck, in another 50 years, when asked how World War II started, you might get something like this, “Well, the vampires, led by Edward the Great, were traveling on a ship named the Titanic when a werewolf submarine, captained by Jacob the Hairy, sank it, causing every country in the world to declare war against one another. The world was saved, however, when a great wizard named Harry Potter defeated France all by himself. Potter then created a paradise on earth. Egg and milk trees grew in abundance, and there was plenty of healthy orange cake for everyone.”

Shortly after that explanation, God brings the hammer down and starts all over again.