Monday, April 11, 2005

True Or False?

Spiral Stairs and I were talking about the site last weekend, and we agreed that we would love it to be more interactive, with more comments and extended dialogues in the comments section. To facilitate that, I'll be starting a periodic feature we'll call "True or False." I will lay out 2-3 absurdist stories. They may all be true. They may all be false. Some may be true and some may be false. Today, I begin with the first installment. Post your guesses in the comments section and good luck parsing the real from the fake.

1. Idi Amin was going to be visiting the United Kingdom in the late 70s. Before he left for London, he wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth II, which he addressed to "Dear Liz." In the letter, he demanded that they have good food ready (imported if necessary) and waiting for him because he had heard the food in England was bad. Also, he demanded that "Liz" arrange a meeting with the leaders of Scotland and Ireland so that Idi could meet the leaders of other revolutionary movements against British imperialism. While in England, he had crepes with Michael Caine. True or false?

2. The Chinese dish General Tsao's Chicken is named after the great general named -- surprise -- General Tsao. Legend has it General Tsao was the hero of the 3rd century War of the Red Cliff, helping two warlords named Sun Quan and Liu Bei defeat the powerful Cao Cao. Outnumbered and facing defeat, General Tsao's forces beat back a massive attack using moxie, courage and sweet, crispy strips of chicken. Cao Cao's forces realized that they might be able to defend themselves against General Tsao's chicken with hot mustard, but only after it was too late. True or false?

3. In his youth, former President Gerald Ford once worked a summer as a Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park. One day as he was making his rounds, he was confronted by an enormous grizzly bear. The bear was angry and hungry. Ford scared off the bear by covering himself with his own feces and dancing the Charleston. The same grizzly bear is reported to have eaten a baby later that day and was later shot by other park rangers. Since babies often soil themselves, there are some that speculate that it was probably the fact that the baby couldn't do the Charleston that doomed him. True or False?


Blogger tequilita said...

you're insane joseph. and that's TRUE. what's my prize?

10:13 PM  
Blogger Magazine Man said...

True or false, they're all a hoot. Myself, I'd say they're all infected with germs of truth (I've heard about Amin addressing the Queen as Liz, but crepes with Caine?), but that's about it.

Maxim does something like this every month, but your efforts are WAY more creative. Keep it up; it's a good new feature.

Interactively yours,

10:26 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

K, you get the "duh" prize. It has only slightly less cash redemption value than a grocery store coupon.

MM, really? Maxim? Good lord. I may be one of a handful of straight guys whose never read it (perusing the pictures is another matter). Of my literary and magazine subscriptions, I consider the New Yorker my lighter reading material (ok, that and Sports Illustrated and Esquire and ...). To think that despite all my faux intellectual stylings, the folks at Maxim are kindred spirits is more than troubling. Gag.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

A good giggle for sure, but the amount of time that must of taken is a little disconcerting...

(she said, having time to post comments on others' blogs)

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Idi Amin story is true. How do psychopaths become government leaders?

11:30 AM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

MM and Anonymous are right. Story #1 is correct. Except for the crepes with Michael Caine part. Story #2 is kinda right in that there was a General Tsao. Story #3 is kinda true in that Ford was a park ranger at Yellowstone briefly during his youth.

Jenn, scarily, it doesn't take that long. This stuff kind of just comes to me.

9:45 PM  

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