1306: St Nicholas of Tolentino dies. Today is to become his feast day, an annual remembrance of the times he resurrected hundreds of dead children, (they were confused and hungry, and their parents barely cared because it was the 13th century), and the time he saved a burning palace by throwing some “blessed bread” on the flames. Firefighters in subsequent years attempt to understand and replicate the ingredients of ‘blessed bread’ with little success. Most inquiry focused around getting the essence of Catholicism into the yeast. The last notable attempt is made by a 15th century fire brigade, found to be responsible for grinding up the preserved hand of St Benedict to bake a loaf of this so-called ’emergency bread.’ Because the authorities successfully manage to burn them at the stake, St Nicolas’s feat goes unrepeated to this day.
1823: Simón Bolívar becomes President of Peru. He sighs heavily— it wasn’t the one he really wanted.
1858: George Mary Searle, overcoming a childhood of taunts based on his middle name, discovers the asteroid 55 Pandora from an observatory in Albany, NY. Little does he realize that nearly 300 years later, Marines from the Space Expeditionary Command, Ultra-Capitalist Division, will land on the rock and prepare to begin mining blue-skinned metaphors for living in harmony with nature. They will be disappointed to find that the barren, airless environment supports no life whatsoever, and leave before discovering that the object contains an untold wealth of Unobtainium, one of the MacGuffin Series semi-metals from the Fictional Periodic Table.
1939: Nine days after the outbreak of hostilities against Poland, Canada declares war on Nazi Germany. Having prepared for this eventuality, Himmler reports back to the Führer that the Germany’s stocks of maple syrup, beaver fur, and Labatt Blue are in full supply and they decide to proceed with their planned genocide and world domination.
1967: Gibraltar holds a plebiscite on whether to remain a British territory, or be ruled by Spain. Although voting to remain under UK control by a margin of 99%-0.36%, the possibility of voting irregularities were never conclusively disproved. If Gibraltar had required voter ID there is no telling how many Barbary macaque monkeys would have been prevented from subverting the true will of the people.
2001: Conspiracy theorists wonder to themselves about why they haven’t had a good conspiracy for a while. Sure, there was the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Queen getting those fake paparazzi to kill Princess Diana, but neither of those had the same panache as those really great ones from the 60’s. JFK, RFK, the Moon Landing. The sixties had it. Don’t get them wrong, there is nothing wrong with Elvis sightings, Big Pharma creating AIDS, and the Challenger explosion, but back then, the secret one-world government knew how to make an impression. Killing Paul McCartney and replacing him with a robot? Fluoridating everyone’s water? Classics. While brushing their teeth, they wish to themselves that something terrifying and significant would happen that could make them feel that way again— then sigh and go to bed.