altNon Campus Mentis:  World History According to College Students, compiled by Anders Henriksson (Workman Publishing, New York, 2001) (Later retitled Ignorance Is Blitz)

This compilation of major historical events was pieced together from the essays and exams of students at a variety of colleges in the United States and Canada.  If you know a reasonable amount of world history and geography, you will find it hysterical, at least till you get to the quiz in the back of the book.

It would be a good book to read aloud at a party, although you would miss some pretty funny misspellings.  Reading it aloud in the car, however, as we did, would be unwise:  If you think texting puts the driver at a disadvantage, you should see what happens when he's doubled over with hysterical laughter.

Here are some excerpts, in roughly historical order, for your enjoyment.

Zorroastrologism was founded by Zorro.  This was a duelist religion.

The history of the Jewish people begins with Abraham, Issac, and their twelve children.  Judyism was the first monolithic religion.  It had one big God named "Yahoo."

Moses was told by Jesus Christ to lead the people out of Egypt into the Sahaira Desert.  The Book of Exodus describes this trip and the amazing things that happened on it, including the Ten Commandments, various special effects, and the building of the Suez Canal.  Forty centuries later they arrived in Canada.  This was the promise land of milk and chocolate.

Pythagasaurus fathered the triangle.

Augustus (a.k.a.Octagenarian) founded the Roman Catholic Empire.

When they finally got to Italy, the Australian Goths were tired of plungering and needed to rest.  Italy was ruled by the Visible Goths, while France and Spain were ruled by the Invisible Goths.

During the Middle Ages everyone was middle aged. ... Power belonged to a patriarchy empowering all genders except the female.  Nuns, for example, were generally women.

In a Romanesque church the stone roof is held up by a system of peers.  The usual design was a long knave split by a crosshair.  Without the discovery of the flying buttock it would have been an impossible job to build the Gothic cathedral.

Finally, Europe caught the Black Death.  The bubonic plague is a social disease in the sense that it can be transmitted by intercourse and other etceteras.  It was spread from port to port by inflected rats.  ... Victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. ... Death rates exceeded one hundred percent in some towns. ... The plague also helped the emergance of English as the national language of England, France, and Italy.

Ferdinand and Isabella conquered Granola, a part of Spain now known as Mexico and the Gulf States.

Calvin was born a generation after Luther and is seen as one of Luther's greatest predecessors.  He accepted all Luther's ideas except that of birth.  Calvinists were the only ones who believeed in pre-detonation.  It is not surprising that their preaching consisted mainly of dogmatic explosions.

The Popes, of course, were usually Catholic.

Henvry VIII survived an assault from the Papal bull.

The Thirty Years War began with the Defecation of Prague. ... Prague was the capitol of Bulemia.

These good times ended when England suffered Civil War between the Musketeers and the Round Ones.  Oliver Cromwell solved this and other problems by removing prominent things from people who disagreed with him.

Next time you hear Porter shout, Queen of Hearts-like, "Off with their prominent things!" you will know why.

East of the back of the beyond were the Russians, who knew nothing at all during this period.  A factor in this was their use of the Kinetic alphabet. ... Russian nobles wore clothes only to humour Peter the Great.  Peter filled his cabinet with accidental people and built a new capital near the European boarder. ... Catherine the Great rose to power only because her husband had been murdered by his clothiers for failure to incubate.

Americans, of course, wanted no involvement in the French and Indian War because they did not want to fight in India.  ...  The Boston Tea Party was held at Pearl Harbor.  The Quebec Act was an Intolerable Act becaude it would have required Americans to learn French in School. ...  Benjamin Franklin, already famous as inventor of the light bulb, persuaded French King George III to help the USA.

Another problem was that France was full of French people.  Dickens made this point in The Tail of Two Sisters, which he required us to read.

An example of the importance of women during the industrial revolution was the work of Spinning Jenny, a young girl forced to work more than 40 hours a day.

Another man to influence the state and others was Karl Marx, who advanced his theory of dialectical maternalism. ... According to Marx the stages of history are canabalism, slavery, fuedalism, capitalism, and back to canabalism.  These are the moods of production.

Nearly everybody breathed a sigh of relief when the Communists were able to restore chaos.

When the Davy Jones Index crashed in 929 many people were left to political incineration.  Some, like John Paul Sart, retreated into extraterrestrialism. ... The New Deal was an idea inspired by President Franklin Eleanor Roosavelt.

Stalin, Rosevelt, Churchill, and Truman were known as the "Big Three."

John F. Kennedy worked closely with the Russians to solve the Canadian Missile Crisis.

Mohammed Gandi...was the last British ruler of India.

[T]he fall of empires has been a good thing, because it gives more people a chance to exploit their own people without outside interference.

The Civil Rights movement in the USA turned around the corner with Martin Luther Junior's famous "If I Had a Hammer" speech.

East and West made mends with each other. The Berlin Mall was removed. 

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 11:36 am | Edit
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I'm moving to Canada if it is the land of milk and chocolate!

Funny. It would probably be an interesting exercise to go through and see if the kids could correct what was wrong. S

Posted by dstb on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I started laughing out loud at "off with their prominent things!" and Jonathan begged me to read it to him.

He, being in first grade, and not having learned much history yet, did catch by himself that there are not 40 hours in a day. (:

Posted by joyful on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Well, we do have milk and chocolate...but missiles?

Posted by katie baker on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm