505 years ago today, a pirate and con artist bit the bullet. 13 years before that, he’d parked his boat and sealed his fate as a sing-song hero.
I vote we move Columbus Day to today, 5/20, and celebrate the day the world was rid of him.
Children’s Poem, Meet Truth
In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
(Well, that’s accurate).
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
(He’d just finished a tour-de-scamming)
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.
(His way to a place that, when he died, he still thought was an entirely different continent.)
A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.
(“Let’s go east for a long time.” Breathtaking technique!)
Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.
(Many of them dreamed of tossing Columbus overboard.)
Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.
(If the sailors are asleep, who are the “others” watching? Creepy.)
Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.
October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!
(They were less than a day from making ole’ Chris turn around.)
“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.
(Psst…Chris…not Indians, dude.)
But “India” the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.
(Smocks and robes aren’t exactly beach attire.)
The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.
(“Thanks for the grub! Here’s disease and slavery!”)
Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he’d been told.
(If a native didn’t hand in the quota, he’d lose his hands–literally.)
He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.
(But paid most of his bills via the slave trade.)
The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.
(It’s easy to be brave when you’re heartless.)
Good riddance, Christopher Columbus.