Monday, July 13, 2009

Could they deuce Aaron Burr? Opponent: Portugal.

Dear Internet,

I've been busy moving into a new house this past two weeks or so, so please forgive my absence. I know it was felt. This apology demands a more excessive noun. So please forgive my impertinence, regardless of the actual meaning that word may or may not hold.

I've decided that, as this is basically my tool to practice before I begin what will obviously be an illustrious career in teaching, I will surprise you all with a little treat.

It's a teaching tool I've invented to help my lucky potential future students remember places, people, and events that are awesome. I call it:

"The 'Could they Deuce Aaron Burr in a Pistol Duel?' teaching tool."

Now, to get us started, here are the stats on Aaron Burr, per that reputable champion of the American system, Wikipedia. (Dear class, please do your required reading for this lesson. Click the link to see what our textbook, Wikipedia, has to say on the matter.)

Drops Hamiltons Like a Drug Dealer
in a Mid-Priced Retail Outlet.

Drug dealers have "reps," and so does Aaron Burr.

An American politician, Revolutionary War participant, and adventurer, he settled his beef with Alexander Hamilton like an American man should: By shooting him dead in a duel for honor.

Also, he was the third Vice President of the United States, under Thomas Jefferson. So I mean, it's not like the guy didn't know how to compromise, or was unwilling to take second place. He never capped Jefferson. But apparently Hamilton, with his saucily-worded writings and dinner-party slights, just pushed him over the edge.

Burr's reputation traveled with him after those godless tea-sippers up north all but exiled this great American hero to the south. Great patriot that he was, rumors of "...Burr's desire to secede from the United States and form his own monarchy in the western half of North America," led to Burr being arrested in 1807 on charges of treason.

Now that's nothing short of a liberal conspiracy. Clearly he was going to cap some Spaniards (more or less illegally) in Louisiana just like he did Hamilton.

Spaniards: beware. He's coming.

And as for Aaron Burr? Aaron, if you can hear me, I just want you to know. You might have been a pearl among swine in your lifetime, but

(Not including Alaska and Hawaii. We never include those two.)

Until some other entity proves itself hypothetically worthy of said title by means of hypothetically defeating Aaron Burr in a duel and hence making itself the rightful ruler-in-theory of the Western United States, my allegiance remains with the ghost of Aaron Burr, which if I had to guess, is probably still pretty potent.

But what's this? Who's that I see, coming with guns blazing out of the Iberian Peninsula? Could it possibly be Spain, seeking to defend her honor? No, they're too busy still trying to organize a functioning centralized government. Or maybe Andorra, the small, obscure tax-haven for the world's super-wealthy nestled in the Pyrenees Mountains? No, they're all inside this time of year, developing secret strategies for the Knights Templar to make a comeback. Why, I think it's Portugal! In fact, I'm sure it is! Nothing else is even IN the Iberian Peninsula! Except Gibraltar.

But it's Portugal.

Contender: Portugal

Think of Portugal as a smaller, more cohesive Spain. Portugal is compact, nautical, and pissed off. Population 10,676,910.

Here's what you need to know. While all of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa were at war during the Crusades in the Mediterranean and on its banks, Portugal took charge and, utilizing their skills as sailors and navigators, rounded the cape of Africa, and administered the strategic butt-punch by attacking the flabby end of Arabia and Malaysia. This is their only hope in a duel with Burr.

By the way, that's freaking Malaysia, in case you couldn't read it the first time. Let me draw a map for you.

Who wins this match?
Outcome? It's conditional. If the duel is held on water, then Portugal has a chance to get away unscathed by Aaron Burr's seething blood-lust.

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