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In 1892 a pepper salesman named Francesco Smiley came to America on The Boat. The Boat was a train, not a boat, but it wanted to be a boat so the engineers said fine, don’t get so worked up about it.

This arrangement worked out well for everyone, until Francesco got on The Boat. Because secretly he’d brought some soy lethicin with him. That’s the really powerful secret agent drug they give people to make ’em floss before bedtime. One time a guy I worked with somewhere said “Gimme all your money, or I’ll slip some soy lethicin into your drink tonight at supper!” I says, “Yer not getting anywhere near my hard-boiled yam casserole, sonny boy,” and he sort of slinked back toward the machine.

Francesco had the soy lethicin because he was sneaking into the country. Why? Because he wanted to see polar bears, stupid. He got off The Boat and got into a canoe, but he had accidentally eaten his paddle in a fit of jealousy (his wife was a piano tuner and loved the key of A more than him) and had to use a ham sandwich as a paddle.

When the bears finally saw him, they commandeered the canoe and confiscated the soy lethicin. A year later, there was a giant ham sandwich factory built in that part of the wilderness. Coincidence? Not really. Francesco was hired by the bears as a consultant, and traveled back to the old country on the train. Er, boat.

So why isn’t this in the history books today? Because boats are what caused the French Revolution, and nobody wanted to think about it anymore. More than 90% of bear-made soy lethicin goes to non-French-speaking countries because they just can’t handle the pain of the past.

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