Marco Polo returned to Venice after twenty-four years of traveling through Asia along the Silk Road. Amazingly, his cat was still sitting in the window ignoring him.
He’s one of the first Europeans to explore the vast Orient which includes many peoples and cultures. He’s also become one of the first humans to ask in multiple languages, “Can you point me to your restroom?”
Actually, Marco’s father and uncle had first journeyed to Asia before him. He decided to go there himself after his dad brought him back a silk housecoat embroidered with: “Someone Visited China and All I Got Was This Lousy Robe.”
While in China, Polo served for seventeen years as Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan’s foreign emissary. I feel like such an underachiever. When I was his age, I was picking up girls with a hand cart.
Marco Polo’s account of his travels through the Orient give the first references to paper money. Is this a great innovation? Who wants to mix up their currency with their toilet paper?
After being captured by Genoans and thrown into prison, Polo dictated details of his travels to a fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa – which probably explains why an earlier draft includes a Chinese love interest with giant bazongas.
Marco will be on the show next week to plug his book and do some wild tricks with a substance he discovered called gunpowder.
Did you hear, our 13 Colonies have declared independence from England. Bad news for anyone who just bought one or those “World’s Greatest Monarch” tea cups.
Even worse news if you’re expecting your employees to work on the Fourth of July.
The Declaration was drawn up by the Second Continental Congress which has been meeting in Philadelphia. It would’ve taken less time but they spent days looking for a word that rhymed with “unalienable.”
Thomas Jefferson, Mr. Smarty Breeches, composed the original draft. We all went to school with guys like him – the ones who’d never let you copy off their calligraphy.
We’re now called the United States of America – although two founders from Massachusetts, who will remain anonymous, lobbied pretty hard for “Adamsville.”
The document lists 27 grievances against King George III – and that doesn’t even include his wardrobe and grooming habits.
The document includes: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Tell that to our audience members who had to sit up in the nosebleed seats.
Have you read this book? “On the Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin? Apparently, my description of my brother-in-law as an incompetent baboon isn’t that far off.
The book talks about something called natural selection, also referred to as survival of the fittest. I’d like to think there are other reasons for me being here other than one of my distant relatives outwrestled a clam.
Ladies, would you go out with any man asks, “Care to come back to my place and evolve?”
Darwin’s book is changing the way everybody looks at things. For example, Charles Dickens just updated “Great Expectations,” introducing Miss Havisham’s distant cousin, Petula Platypus.
And get this: Darwin married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood. I’m no biologist but this is starting to sound like the survival of the creepiest.
Darwin is also taking some heat from the Church of England because his theory contradicts the belief in divine creation. I’m not getting into this fight, but I find it hard to believe an Omnibenevolent God created my mother-in-law.
Darwin did a lot of research on the Galápagos Islands. Can we pause here and give the cue card guy a round of applause for correctly spelling Galápagos?
Today, they finally finished the Trans Continental Railroad. At last, you can ride coast to coast while sitting next to a guy with a chicken on his lap.
The ceremony culminated as the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads pounded a golden spike into the rail line. Five minutes later, a prospector parked his mule on it and staked a claim.
The two railroads would’ve been joined sooner but one line accidentally ended up in Canada.
They didn’t realize they’d made a mistake until they tried to link up to a team of Canadian sled dogs.
Before this new railroad connection, it could take up to six months to cross the country – which is pretty unbearable if your child keeps whining, “Are we there yet?”
The railroad companies also worked out a deal with the U.S. Postal Service: All Pony Express horses can now ride for free.
Call me old fashioned but no transcontinental trip is complete for me without circling the wagons at night and having a trail guide named Gabby bore me with campfire stories.
Well, the big story this week has been the fall of the Roman Empire.
I heard about it from – where else? – a guy in the communal toilet. As the old saying goes: Ask a man for something to clean your butt, and he’ll give you a three-hour commentary on current events.
Because of the fall, there’s no stability in the government. How bad is it? Three of my writers are deposed emperors and another is a laid-off gladiator.
Two more now spend most of their time at Circus Maximus betting on the chariots.
A lot of people are blaming the Empire’s fall on moral decay, although I’ve heard no complaints from our proud sponsor, Orgies-R-Us.
When he heard the news, the eunuch who cleans my office asked me, “Does this mean I can get my testicles back?”
Now you didn’t hear it from me, but things were never the same after we were invaded by Attila the Hun. Nothing personal but never trust anyone who’s name ends with “the Hun” – or begins with “Barbarian King.”
Whoaa, I can see we have some barbarians in the audience. Don’t be so sensitive. My sister-in-law is a barbarian. My brother met her at a “Let’s Pillage a Village” workshop.
Have you run into any of these people calling themselves Pilgrims who recently arrived in a boat called the Mayflower? Talk about a clueless crew. No “Hello,” no “How are you?” Just “How do we grow corn?” They didn’t teach you that in Pilgrim 101?
They’re now calling our land “Plymouth Colony.” Where did they get such a crazy name, their Century 15 realtor?
Are you getting tired of all their questions about planting, growing and hunting? Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and he won’t stop asking how to catch a herring.
And why the big funny hats with the weird buckle when an understated feather will perfectly complete the outfit?
The Pilgrims seem nice enough, but can you really trust anyone who describes himself as a “puritan?” I mean, who among us hasn’t lusted for another man’s squaw?
Squanto, you know what I’m talking about.
Have any of you been invited to their Thanksgiving dinner? I will be out of there so fast if they seat me at the Wampanoag children’s table.