Elmer Phud and History.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
There may be someone in your family who saw significant history being made but never participated. Someone who was at a minor point in recorded history but missed out on a later significant event. Someone who ended up with a case of lazy.

Submitted: April 01, 2015

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Submitted: April 01, 2015

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Like Elmer Phud, there may be someone in your family who saw significant history being made but never participated. Someone who was at a minor point in recorded history but missed out on a later significant event. Someone who ended up with a case of lazy.

Take Christopher Columbus (before 31 October 1451– 20 May 1506) for example. Did he discover the new world as some say he did? Perhaps. But everyone agrees, he did not set foot on the shores of what is now the U.S.A. He was searching for Asia. He landed on the island of San Salvador, in present day Bahamas. He did find several indigenous persons and gold, as well as the previously unknown tobacco plant, the pineapple fruit, the turkey and the sailor's first love, the hammock. Thereby contributing to the inventions of cigarettes, mixed rum drinks, drum sticks and afternoon naps. He got lazy and did not go to Asia. Today, Columbus is famous for discovering America. No matter he never set foot on it. Missed it by that much.

Marco Polo (c. 1254 – January 9, 1324), years before Columbus, did reach Asia. In fact, spent about 24 years there. He was obsessed with finding China. Never did. But he did find the great China wall. He gave up, turned back without realizing had he climbed the wall, he would have found what he was looking for. The wall not only kept people in, it kept Polo out. Polo was lazy. It was up to others to discover, China. Although one should argue, China was never lost and did not need discovery. Missed it by that much.

Cochise, an American Indian, wanted fame. He wanted to dominate the white people of the time. He wanted to beat the U.S. Army in the worst way. Until he got lazy. Cochise (c. 1805 – June 8, 1874) was a chief of a band of the Chiricahua Apache and the leader of an uprising that began in 1861.

At Apache Pass in 1862, the Apaches fought against a large force of California volunteers. Even though the Apache retreated in defeat, the cost to the white forces was so great, they decided to find another travel route. Later the Apaches were invited to a peace conference where the white forces tried to capture Cochise and other Apache leaders. Cochise escaped. Cochise continued his raids against white settlements and travelers until 1872. After making peace, Cochise retired to the reservation, where he died of natural causes in 1874. One could say Cochise got a case of laziness. Rather than continue his life long fight, he decided to retire to a life of luxury. After his demise, he was buried in the rocks above one of his favorite camps in Arizona's Dragoon Mountains, now called Cochise Stronghold. He is dead but did go on to fame on TV and in the movies.

John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838 – April 26, 1865) was a famous American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth and his conspirators at first planned to kidnap the President. That all changed after Lincoln was re-elected. With the Union Army's capture of Richmond and Lee's surrender, Booth's scheme to kidnap Lincoln was no longer feasible. He made plans for the assassination, which included making arrangements with a livery stable for a getaway horse. Cars and other motorized conveyances were not yet available to the general public. By targeting Lincoln and his two immediate successors to the presidency, Booth seems to have intended to decapitate the Union government and throw it into a state of panic and confusion. Booth's escape was almost thwarted by Major Henry Rathbone. Booth stabbed Rathbone when the startled officer lunged at him. Rathbone's fiancee, Clara Harris, who was also present in the theater box, was unhurt. Various accounts state that Booth injured his leg, when his spur snagged a U.S. flag while leaping to the stage. This begs the question: why was he wearing spurs? Booth was later shot and killed in Maryland. This bit of lure is disputed. Many claim he was injured after capture when the Army put a beating on his six (behind). Booth was the only one of the assassins to succeed. Some say a look-a-like was the one shot and killed, that Booth escaped and lived for many more years under an assumed name. Modern day DNA tests have not yet been done to determine definitively that the right person was shot. Unbeknown to Booth, he lives in fame as well as a historical figure. Fame reached after death. Booth desperately wanted to be famous during his lifetime, which, in a small way, he was. Missed it by that much.

Elmer Phud planned to be famous. As a teenager, Elmer dreamed of a device to attach to a motorcycle to haul extra items such as camping gear. He even sketched plans of the item. Lets call it a two wheel trailer. He drew lots of plans, mostly freehand. Being without funds and no place to work, he never built a working prototype. One thing he never could figure out was the actual hitch and how to attach it to the motorcycle. Now, it a common thing to see motorcycles pulling a two wheel trailer. Elmer did not have any experience with a simple common device. The ball hitch. Missed it by that much.

As a young adult, Elmer was sure there was a better way to clean fish. It was difficult to hold the fish and remove the scales at the same time. After all, fish can be very slippery. Elmer caught a lot of fish that needed to be cleaned. And Elmer was lazy. He thought long and hard on this subject. He took a clipboard, modified the clip to grip the tail of a fish. Viola! It was much easier to clean fish. He showed this startling new device to friends. They did not see the point. They were not as lazy as Elmer. Elmer used this device for a couple of years. One day while shopping at a sporting goods store, Elmer spotted a new device. It was amazingly similar to his device. The fillet board was born. Some enterprising person had continued developing a product and took it to market. Making money. A lot of money, no doubt. Missed it by that much.

If there is a moral to this story, it is stop being lazy. There is someone right behind you, waiting to push you out of the way so they can discover just the thing you are only thinking about.


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