History of the World-The Sea People

Smell Like Fish

 NOTE:  I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-posts to-come are merely what I can remember from Our Lady of Barnum Avenue and History Class at Stratford High School while growing up older in Connecticut.  I will research some specifics, mostly dates and the most obscure of names, and I'll try to place historical events in their proper historical context.  Meaning, I won't have the Aztecs land on the moon.  Or...did they?  Trust me, some of this is true; however, don't use any of this nonsense to prepare for the History Advanced Placement Examination.  If you do, the only college you'll get into is Klown Kollege and you'll probably be confused for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Or Joe Biden.  Especially if you sniff their hair.

    You may have noticed that it’s been quite a while since I posted here.  I’ve been busy going here, there, and everywhere, so I must apologize to the two of you who have no life who look forward to the madness which is Al Penwasser.  Or whatever my name is.

    One of my trips was to a wedding in Connecticut (not mine).  It was a lot of fun that involved prodigious amounts of merry-making, much dancing, and loads of dirty limericks.

    But, it was the trip that I made two weeks prior (for my nephew’s bachelor party), that provided the inspiration for this post.

    On my way home, I decided to listen to a history podcast (yes, I am that big a nerd).  Once finished with “Fall of the Assyrian Empire,” I chose “The Bronze Age Collapse.”  Is it any wonder chicks dig me?

"And, if you play your cards right, I'll show you my collection of used togas."

    Apparently, most of the Mediterranean world collapsed (hence the term “collapse”) between 1200 and 1100 BC.  Give or take 100 years.  At any rate, a long time ago.  What was most amazing was that Republicans had nothing to do with it.

    From ancient Greece to Anatolia to the Dorians and, to a lesser extent, Assyria and Egypt, a lot of the known world came crashing to a halt.

    Historians are somewhat puzzled as to the cause of this event.  Sure, they’ve dug up evidence of a cataclysm within the cities.  But, this could have been due to poor housecleaning practices and a casual disregard for hygiene.  The upshot is that they really do not have a definitive answer.

    One possible explanation is laid at the feet of those known as the Sea Peoples.  Not much, if anything, is known about these folks who came crushing in from…the sea.  Try and keep up.

Artist depiction of a Sea Person. 
Who didn't scare anyone.

Updated version of Sea People.
Okay, they were wicked scary.
Plus, one of them crapped on Greek beds.
Which really grossed them out.

    Sure, they may have just been cranky but there is some evidence that they were migrants looking for a place to live.  Historians have speculated that the regions from which they came (they were called “northmen” in some stone tablets) suffered some sort of catastrophe, possibly a climate crisis.  Which had nothing to do with fossil fuels.  Huh.  Weird, I know.

Wrong migrants

                NOTE:  this cataclysm may trace its roots to the eruption of an Icelandic volcano, Hekla.  I won’t get into the specifics here, though.  Goodness knows, this post will be long enough.

    So, in an ancient form of real estate crunch (apparently, the eastern Mediterranean was a seller’s market), they swept in.  Many societies fell, as bronze was no match for weapons made of iron. 

"Thank God Raytheon switched out our Velveeta swords for bronze."
"Hey, what's God?"
"Yeah, and velveeta."

    A couple societies survived relatively intact from the incursions of the Sea People.  The Assyrian Empire did pretty good.  Mostly because they were pretty bad-ass, but also because the Sea Peoples weren’t too keen on dragging their boats across the desert.

    The Egyptians did all right and even turned back the invaders during the Battle of the Delta around 1175 BC.  The Egyptian pharaoh, Ramesses III, insanely jealous that Ramesses II got to marry Anne Baxter and invent prophylactics, nonetheless made a name for himself when he saved what remained of his world.

Upon further reflection, switching out the "Dragon" for the "Care Bear" figurehead
probably didn't send the message they were going after.

    He set a trap for the Sea People by drawing them into the quagmire of the Nile Delta (I’m guessing that’s why it’s called “Battle of the Delta”).  The invaders’ overconfidence betrayed them as they allowed themselves to be drawn farther south up the Nile River (the Nile flows south to north).

    Eventually coming into perfect position, Ramesses ordered the attack.   When the initial onslaught of crocodile dung pies failed, he then ordered legions of archers gathered on the banks to unleash hell.  The Sea People were annihilated, and their predations ceased.  The pharaoh, quite full of himself,  ordered a depiction of the battle inscribed on his mortuary wall, replete with dead bodies, prisoners, and, in hieroglyphics, “Up yours, Ramesses II!  I defeated the Sea People, while you couldn’t hang on to Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, and thousands of Hebrew slaves.”

"Yeah, but still...Anne Baxter.  So double up yours!"

    The aftermath of the battle saw the Sea People pretty much disappearing from history.  And the Bronze Age still collapsed.  So maybe it was something else altogether.  Like the Russians.

    Still, it was a pretty cool story.

    Even if they did smell like fish.

"Meh.  You get used to it."

Solemn Memorial Day

    NOTE:  Even though Stuff and Nonsense is available in much of the civilized world and New Jersey (thank you, World Wide Web! You're not just about porn.), the following will probably only make sense to Americans (you know, like NASCAR).  So, for those not part of Joe Biden's America (you lucky bastards), feel free to go looking for Karen videos on Tik Tok.  Or, if you're of a masochistic bent, you can hang around like Jeffrey Epstein.  Or anyone else who knows Hillary Clinton.

"What do you mean you missed that dig? 
And you call Doocy a dumb son-of-a-bitch."


 Happy Memorial Day!

    I wonder how many of us say that without realizing that the last Monday in May is really not about the unofficial start of summer?

"No?  Eff."

    NOTE:  June, July, and August are pretty cold in the Southern Hemisphere, which sounds like a crappy deal for our friends down under.  Until you stop to consider they also don’t have the Kardashians.  So, it’s kind of a wash.

I said "Kardashian." 
You're welcome Star Trek nerds

"Thanks, dude.  Live long and prosper!"

    Lost among backyard barbecues, fireworks (for those looking to get a jump on Independence Day...or piss off their neighbors), trips to Jersey beaches (to watch the annual washing ashore of mob hits), and tropical storms (in Florida) is the true purpose behind Memorial Day.

    Originally called Decoration Day, this recognition of those who gave their lives in the recent Civil War was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868, by General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic (well, weren’t they all full of themselves?).  Planned for May 30th, it drew former foes together to plant flowers and otherwise spruce up graves of war dead from North and South alike at Arlington National Cemetery.

    To be sure, women in the South were also “decorating” gravesites of their dead from the “Great Cause.”  In fact, some sources state that those practices even predated the end of the war.  What’s more, some states in Dixie even had their own Decoration Days, mostly in May. 

    NOTE:  For my non-American friends (and products of the Mississippi school system), the American Civil War (or “War of Northern Aggression”-sheesh, those people can really hold a grudge) took place between 1861 and 1865 between the “North” and the “South.”  I could bore you with the whys, whens, and whats about one of my country’s most horrific conflicts, but I won’t (no sense cracking a book).  Let’s just put it this way:  a lot of people died and the blue team won.  Oh, and it wasn’t technically a “civil” war.  Because, let’s face it, there’s nothing civil about getting your head blown off by a cannon ball.

     WE NOW PAUSE FOR A PROBABLY PREDICTABLE COMMENT:  I fear we may be heading towards a no-kidding, genuine civil war.

    Decoration Day remained in honor of Civil War dead up until after the First World War.  Following history’s most idiotic conflict (which didn’t end up being the “war to end all wars”), it was decided that May 30th would be set aside to honor all American war dead.

    The name, however, stuck until it officially changed to Memorial Day in 1967.  No matter what it was called, though, Americans throughout the nation took time out to honor those who had fallen.

    What seemed to many to be a civic duty began to fade after Congress passed the Holiday Act of 1971.  An effort to consolidate some federal holidays into three-day weekends, it shifted Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.  The inexorable transformation from solemn tribute to summertime bacchanal had begun.

    I try my best not to be a crank about the avalanche of car commercials, barbecue tips shows, or “ABBA to ZZ Top-The Memorial Countdown of the 500 Most Popular Hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and Whatever the Frik We Call the 21st Century!”  It’s hard not to get caught up in the hoopla of a country poised at the brink of gloriously warm weather (sorry, Aussies) and summer reruns.  After all, who doesn't love going to the beach?

"Hey, you think I can get a couple dozen fudgsicles?"

    Still, I remember when Memorial Day used to be about the Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman.  Parades, wreath-layings, air shows, flag-raisings:  those were what I remember.

    But, if I think back really hard, I also remember my father incinerating hot dogs on the grill while listening to Best of the Ventures on his 8-Track player.  All while we played fetch with our dog-using my little brother’s bathing suit.  When we weren’t playing catch with the Lawn Darts.

    All happy memories.


Well, except for when
Uncle Doug got a little too close.

    So, when I get up Monday morning, I’m going to fly my flag before heading off to see the Memorial Day parade.  I’ll place my hand over my heart when the national anthem is played at the wreath-laying.  And hang on to every word spoken by a veteran from either the American Legion or the VFW.

    Then, I’ll go home to see if I can cook a hot dog better than my dad.


Eat It Before It Eats You

                 On our way back from an overseas deployment in early 1998, USS George Washington dropped anchor in Cannes, France.  Even though the famous film festival was months away and it was too cold for topless beaches, it was still a welcome respite from the rigors of being at-sea.  Plus, since it would be our last port call before returning to our homeport, we had a chance to pick up some last-minute souvenirs.

On the other hand,
closed topless beaches may have been a blessing.
I hadn't realized French girls were so hairy.

                After an afternoon of shopping, two friends and I decided to have lunch.  Even though we, strangely, felt like getting some Chinese food (those types of restaurants are all over the world), we were surprisingly unable to find any. 

                So, we had lunch at a charming French (naturally) cafĂ©.  One of my friends,  who we called "Godfather" (I can't exactly remember why.  Give me a break.  It's been twenty-four years) and I elected to go with a beef, lamb, pork, some kind of meat entree (once again, over two decades).

I figured wearing a sweatshirt which said "Quebec"
on it would mark me as a true Francophone. 
Or nerd.
                Our other friend, who we called "Wanking Clown" said he felt like fish.

                NOTE:  Like with "Godfather," I can't remember why we called him that.  If you look up the definition of "wanking," you'll find that it is slang for masturbation.  Now, since our friend (won't give you his real name) wasn't prone to "rubbing one out" in public (thank God), I'm sure that wasn't the reason we called him that.  The more I thought about it, though, the more I remember that we said that bitching about something was the same thing as wanking about something.  That kind of makes sense.  Because he certainly bitched a lot.  Sooooo, we used a slang expression for another slang expression.  We were weird that way.  In fact, we called eating dinner "taking it in the face."  Which, when you say it out loud, could be taken in a completely different context.   The "clown" bit?  Yeah, that was totally legit.

"Homey is hurt."
                Anyway, once his order arrived, he paled.  Instead of the neatly sliced and prepared fish he was expecting,  Wanking Clown was served an...entire...fish.


                As we laughed, he whined (wanked), "I feel like I should apologize to it!  Maybe I should eat it from the tail so it's NOT looking at me!"

                Godfather and I took great delight in his discomfort and hooted at his dilemma.  It became a story which we held onto long after we returned to the United States.  I was amazed that he didn't think of the possibility of getting an entire fish.

                Fast (sorta) forward to last week.

                Asked by my girlfriend to join her on an all-expense paid trip to Puerto Rico, I had a wonderful five days at a resort hotel on the island's northeast coast.  On our first night, we joined another couple at a pretty swanky restaurant on site.  Although a little pricey, it would prove to be one of the highlights of our  stay.

                The tiramisu was a little dry, though.  But, I wank.

                The menu was chock full of all sorts of tasty-looking possibilities.  When our waiter suggested the catch of the day, a two-pound yellowfin snapper, I thought that sounded downright delicious.  So, the catch of the day it was.

                After a short while, our meals arrived.

                Somewhere in this world, a Wanking Clown is feeling an amusing disturbance in the Force.

                For, my two-pound yellowfin snapper was an entire two-pound yellowfin snapper.

                With eyes.  

"Hey!  Who TF you lookin' at?  Punk."


A Time To Say Goodbye

No, not me.  I plan on being here a little while longer.

On April 19, 2005, USS America, a Kitty Hawk class aircraft carrier was towed from the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, a spot where she was berthed for nearly ten years.  Selected to serve as a live-fire testing platform, she was subjected to a barrage of multiple attacks off the coast of North Carolina for four weeks.

Finally, after the "Big A" refused to sink, she was finally scuttled on May 14th.

As most of you know, I served aboard America from May 1977 to July 1980.  The seminal (minds out of the gutter, people) event of my career, my service aboard her would chart the course of my life up until today.

But enough about me.  The below is a beautiful video recognizing America's final cruise.

Interestingly, the carrier which relieved her for the final cruise was USS George Washington.  I asked for permission to go aboard for what's called an "inchop brief."  It was there where Ensign Lynch was overwhelmed by the memories of Airman Apprentice Lynch.


 With apologies to Rudyard Kipling...


"Who cares?  I'm dead, you bloody twit."

Yes, I realize that Mothers Day is this Sunday.  Sadly, my mom passed away 39 years ago and my father twelve years ago.  Which, I suppose, makes me an orphan.  Even so, my memories of growing up under their care and feeding is as vivid as it's ever been.  Still, my mother never thought to dispense with her wisdom of how I should live my life as an adult.  Well, beyond making sure I never forget to put the seat down.  My dad, on the other hand, had no trouble giving this bit of advice or off-color commentary.  In going though a group of papers, I came upon his version of a poem which he reworded as a guidebook for how my brothers, sister, and I should conduct ourselves.  Okay, I probably should have waited until Fathers Day, but who knows if any of us will still be here?

"The English needs to speak for himself."

If you can keep your church offering when devout suckers around you

Aren’t buying jelly doughnuts or chocolate milk,

If you can trust yourself when everybody else

laughs as you scratch your back with a fork,

If you can blame anybody but yourself

when the car conks out on the off-ramp even though

the gas gauge says “empty,”

Or, being allowed first in line, say “sucker”

Or being complemented, say “tool”

And “dressing up” is washing your hair with soap and

bathing in Old Spice:


If you think fancy cuisine is an

onion sandwich with yellow mustard,

and Piels Real Draft which makes you burp

or liverwurst that gives you gas,

yet can save room to suck hot peppers from a jar;

If you can get a sunburn using only a bottle

of Baby Oil and iodine,

and your skins peels enough to give each child a buck for the

“biggest piece,”

If your feet smell like Italian cheese and your teeth fall out before you’re 40:


If others can listen to your philosophy on  

people of other races, faiths, and culture,

and not go insane,

If you can use all varieties of the Lord’s name when bashing your thumb with a hammer,

Or the ‘F’ word when talking to a priest

when draining your pool into his yard,

If you think all God’s creatures, great and small

take a final ride to New York State

If you can make fun of the overweight while

sporting “man boobs”:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it all on one hand of pinochle with uncles and aunts who aren't really,

And lose, and laugh and say, “Eh, what the frig?”

even though your children need new clothes,

If you could say, with a straight face, that you didn’t get the promotion because you really like manual labor,

If you can sneak into a drive-in movie through the exit at four in the afternoon:


If you can cover your entire home with shag carpet-even the toilet tank-because you “found it” next to the new Holiday Inn,

If you can set the walls on fire putting in a dimmer switch

and keep your composure long enough to yell, “Get the hell out of the house!”

If you can replace every bedroom door with plastic fold-outs that fall apart in six months,

Yet find time to make beds out of particle wood that collapse before the doors,

If you think electrical tape can fix everything from a frayed wire to a broken bone,

And finishing painting the house is optional:


If you can talk to crowds while making fun of them,

Or set fire to your pubes while on the toilet,

If neither foes nor loving friends like to hear you speak,

If you can fill the air with one blast of your after-dinner flatulence or your carton of Kools,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And-which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!

A class act, that Big Ken.  Yes, that would make me Little Ken.  Although, given the current situation, I prefer to go by "Living Ken" now.  Needless to say (to the relief of my kids, although they don't realize it), I didn't follow my Dad's advice.

Pull my finger?



A Twitter Nugget in a Field of Poo

 NOTE:  The following does not represent the views of this blog's author.  Necessarily.  It merely presents (what I hope) is an interesting way of looking at events which happened before some of you were even born.  That, in itself, is depressing enough.

     I recently rejoined Twitter.  This had nothing to do with Elon Musk.  I reentered the asylum long before the Tesla/Space-X magnate purchased the company.  The resulting hysteria by hand-wringing ninnies couldn't be more entertaining, but that didn't motivate me.

    Things could get worse with the African-American's move (the fact that I can call him an "African-American" tickles me to no end).  A year from now, we may look upon this in a "why the hell did we think this was a good idea?" kind of way.

"He is?  Well, that's inconvenient."

    Or things could be better.  Or Russia may wipe us all out.  In that case, all this would be moot.

"The Russians must still answer for Apollo Creed. 
No joke."

    However, that's another topic for another day.

    I found that I missed the insanity of those tweeting (I'm talking to you, Alyssa Milano) and enjoyed adding a bit of snark to their crazed mewlings.  It's fun.  Plus, as one of my friends once told me, the reason he stayed on Twitter was to keep up with the craziness on the Left.

    Don't get me wrong.  Twitter remains a cesspool of bitterness, hatred, and outrage.  Only now, it seems like the mental illness will come from both sides.

    Still, Twitter occasionally turns up a gem or two.  A nugget of wisdom.  Such it was last week when a "Tweeter" asked the question, "Are things worse now than they've ever been?  If so, when did the descent into chaos begin?"

    Most people (myself included) think that present-day America has never been worse (although, people alive in the Civil War would disagree.  Just before they were picked up by the Zombie Police).  I agree, the 60s would give today a good run for its money.  Although, despite the upheaval then, at least there was (relatively) competent leadership in government.

    A topic for debate, sure, but not the purpose here.  Thanks for getting ready to fire off a "WTF?" email.

    When our descent actually began took many forms.  Of course, there were the predictable "Biden," "Trump,"

"I swear, some people just can't let it go."

"Obama," "Clintons" responses (me?  I thought the beginning of the end happened when MTV stopped playing music videos giving us Snooki).  There was even one response who laid the blame at the feet of the James Buchanan administration (some people really hold a grudge).  I would have expected nothing else.  Venomous, non-thinking discourse is epidemic on social media.

    But, one person said that the beginning of the end started (yes, I know "beginning" and "started" are redundant.  Sue me) on September 11,2001.

    At first blush, that seems silly.  After all, who can forget how this country immediately came together?  I haven't seen a burst of patriotism quite like it before or since.  Then, when George W. Bush announced "Mission Accomplished" from the flight deck of USS Abraham Lincoln, my heart swelled with pride.  I believed it. 

    I felt a little queasy when the United States went into Iraq, too but I believed it.

    However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that going from "good" to "bad" is not automatic.  Does anyone think that Romans went to bed thinking "Yay!  All's good.  Well, unless you're a Goth.  Or a slave.  Or German.  Okay, pretty much anybody but us." only to wake up in the morning to realize, "Ohhhhhhh, right.  Today's the day we fall.  I guess it's time to dig the fields with a stick, get raped by Vikings,  and catch bubonic plague."

    It certainly isn't out of the question that some good times will remain at least in the beginning. 

Wrong Good Times

    I think it's entirely possible that rot began to form following the horrific events in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.  It's like termite damage.  Hey, that deck looks great.  Until it collapses a few years later during Great-Aunt Muriel's birthday party.

    I do know this, nothing has been the same in this country ever since. If nothing else, traveling by air has permanently changed, to be sure.  Plus, we've been at war for over twenty years.  Yes, yes, I know, the United States peaced out of Afghanistan last year, but can anyone seriously think we're any safer now?

    Then, I read where more than a few people think the September 11th attacks were orchestrated by our own government (I just can't force myself to believe that little bit of horror, though).  Then again, the cynic in me, well, war is good for business, you understand.  What better way to line their pockets than by keeping the merchants of death in the black?

    At any rate, the question provides intellectual food for thought.

    What do you think?  Does 9/11 make sense?  Or do you agree with those who blame the recent boobs in Washington?  Maybe once Americans said "Screw this" with Vietnam?  Could it be the Kennedy assassination?  Perhaps even starting with the sanctimonious racist doofus, Woodrow Wilson?


     I know this.  I really hate being cynical nowadays.

   What say we go back to something silly next time?

"Your nerves will thank you."



History of the World-The Unkindest Cut of All

NOTE:  I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-posts-to-come are merely what I can remember from Our Lady of Barnum Avenue and History Class at Stratford High School while growing up older in Connecticut.  I will research some specifics, mostly dates and the most obscure of names, and I'll try to place historical events in their proper historical context.  Meaning, I won't have the Aztecs land on the moon.  Or...did they?  Trust me, some of this is true; however, don't use any of this nonsense to prepare for the History Advanced Placement Examination.  If you do, the only college you'll get into is Klown Kollege and you'll probably be confused for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Or Joe Biden.  Especially if you sniff their hair.

More Hebrews

Copy of a older map.  
Maybe it will be useful this week. 
Maybe not. 
 Shut up. 
Not like you're paying for this crap, is it?

Last week, I skipped ahead a little bit and described the events of Moses and the Exodus.  I figured, with it being Passover and all, it'd be timely to describe that seminal (not a dirty word-I think) event in Jewish history.  So, for the two of you who read this and may be confused, my apologies.  

When last we met in our trip through history....

    After his kids woke him up and made him drink a pot of coffee, Noah (that drunk bastard) threw some clothes on.  Then, he took them off again because he remembered that God had instructed him to repopulate the Earth after the Deluge.
"Sure beats the hell out of that 'build an ark
and sail around for forty days with a boat fulla monkey poop' instruction.  Probably won't need this hammer, though.  Unless the ladies need a little persuading."

"The management would like to remind our readers that Noah is apparently still drunk.  We here at Stuff and Nonsense do not endorse domestic violence.  Unless she deserves it.."

     Eventually, after a long time (and by 'long time,' I mean 'I didn't feel like checking'), the world was full once again (would've been quicker if Barry White had been invented).  After generations of "Shems," "Hams," "Ernies," and "Nahors" (which means "breathing hard"-must've taken that repopulating thing seriously), we arrive at Abram.
    Abram, who became known as "Abraham" (lotta name-changing going on in the ancient world…must have been wicked confusing for the greeting card industry), lived in the land known as "Canaan," which today is somewhere near Israel, Syria, and various crazy people.
    Abraham, considered the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Shriners (a busy man),
"How 'bout a secret handshake? 
Wouldn't a secret handshake work just as well?"
entered into a covenant with God.  He was assured that his people would be known for all time as the Chosen Ones if they consented to be circumcised.  You gotta admire the devotion of grown men consenting to that particular little nip n' tuck.

Hagar wasn't much to look at it
and could get wicked cranky
But she was a wildcat when the sun went down.

Abram was married to a woman called Sarah (who was spared that whole "circumcision" thing).  Since she was wicked old (75?) she despaired of providing her husband with a son, so she asked her handmaiden, Hagar, to do the task.  

Abram, being a dude, probably jumped at the chance.

"My man."
    The child born to Hagar was named Ishmael.  Abram doted on the boy, who was unfortunately sent away with his mother after Sarah announced she was pregnant (that tricksy, elderly bitch) with who (or is that 'whom'?) would become Isaac.  Don't feel too badly for ole Ish, though.  He would go on to become one of the founding fathers of Islam.
And be a character in Moby Dick.

"Hee, hee, hee...he said 'dick.'"

   Abraham was pretty psyched
"Oh, come on! 
Wasn't that foreskin thing enough?"
when given the news about a new baby.
  However, not so much when he was told by God that he needed to sacrifice his boy to prove he was worthy.  So, even though he was still sore and walked funny, he consented to the dirty deed.
    Then, God said "psyche!" and called the whole thing off.

    Isaac would be known as the second of the three patriarchs of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity (sounds like Ishmael got screwed-again).  The first, of course, was Abraham.  The second was Jacob.
Wrong Isaac

    Jacob was born to Isaac's wife, Rachel (Rachel already having left Ross), along with his slightly older twin, Esau (hey, I don't know how a frikkin' twin could be older, but that's what the book said).  However, Esau (like Ishmael) was screwed by his younger brother.   Isaac, growing more decrepit (kinda like an ancient Joe Biden...but I repeat myself), figured that, since he didn't have much longer to live, should bless Esau.

"After all, somebody has to pay for my room
at the Villages of Heshobon."
    However, Jacob got all dressed up in animal furs or some such
Esau was understandably upset.
He thought, as the older brother, he deserved respect.
(apparently, Esau was some hairy beast) and passed himself off as Esau to his dad, who having the visual acuity of Mr. Magoo, figured Esau had just forgotten to shave his back that day.  Thus blessed, Jacob changed his name (naturally) to "Israel" and blew raspberries at his peeved brother.
"Cut off my what?  GTFO!"
    Israel is known as the progenitor of the "Israelites" (makes sense, amirite?), who lived in the region just north of "Judah" (See?  The map is important) called "Israel" (geez-a-lou, once they liked a name...).  The peoples who lived in this region would go on to found a great civilization.
    Until they became enslaved in Egypt, were captured by the Babylonians, invaded by the Assyrians, ruled by the Macedonians, colonized by the Romans, overrun by the Muslims, "saved" by the Crusaders, sacked by ticked-off Saracens, exploited by Indiana Jones and the Nazis, scorned by the United Nations, and swamped by tourists in hot pants and "I Heart Disney" tee shirts.

Next:  I'm not sure.  Let me think about it.  Maybe David?

   Oh, wait.  Last time I promised I'd talk about a guy who was swallowed by a fish.  Please hold...

  Okay, there was this dude called Jonah who lived in Israel (after the events in this story...maybe not...let's just roll with it) and was called by God to preach to the folks in Nineveh (Iraq? Iran? Assyria?  Mesopotamia?  I'd look it up but American Idol is on) but the crazies who lived there were enemies of Israel so Jonah said "Screw that" and peaced out to  a ship headed in the opposite direction (Persian Gulf?  Red Sea?  Sea of Galilee?  Dead Sea?  Judah EPCOT?  Who knows?  Who cares?) but a storm came up and the crew tossed his butt off causing the storm to abate; however, a fish (whale?  NOT a fish, I know, smart ass) came up and swallowed him which really freaked Jonah out so he prayed for three days until the fish/whale spit him out in-you guessed it-Nineveh so Jonah figured he may as well do what God wanted him to do but he ended up getting ticked off because the Ninevehians weren't destroyed, indicating that Jonah didn't really know what the exact meaning of "preach" was, so he left in a huff (coulda used a camel) and ended up....well, that's all the time we have for Bible stories.  Tune in next week for David (oops, I already said that). 
Okay, this is Geppetto, but you get the idea.


History of the World-The Sea People

Smell Like Fish   NOTE:   I'll continue to post this disclaimer.  The past several posts and who-knows-how-many-posts to-come are mere...