Obscure Wars, Battles and Conflicts: What History Books Don’t Tell Us

  1. The Battle of Fallen Arches – The Crowfeet tribe discovered all too late that moccasins are not sturdy shoes. Once the Crowfeet’s arches collapsed the Sioux caught them flatfooted. Later the Crow sued the Sioux for a murder of Crows.
  2. The United States Drops the first F-bomb at the United Nations (1962) – While complaining about the Russians to an aide just prior to a speech before the General Assembly, poor Adlai Stevenson did not realize his microphone was on, and his F-bomb reverberated throughout the chamber. Damage was limited because most of the nations listening didn’t understand English. Mr. Stevenson deftly defused the F-bomb with an apologetic, “Pardon my French.” To which the French replied, “That wasn’t French.”
  3. ♫What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding♫ 

    Battle of Blood Pudding – Actually just a British baking show gone very, very wrong. Bad blood was generated when the culinary tasting panel rejected the Blood Pudding efforts of several bakers.

  4. The bakers felt they’d poured their blood, sweat and tears into their puddings. The panel said, “Sweat and tears yes. But not enough blood. Your blood puddings are anemic.”

    Bakers from Liverpool to Manchester united and took up arms. Brandishing vanilla cream-filled frosting bags with floral tips and uniformed in big puffy hats, irate pastry chefs attacked their scolding culinary critics who defended themselves with poison pens. They fought each other tooth and nail. And as expected, when the frosting cleared, everyone’s teeth and nails were a mess. What’s next, a gardening conflict – the War of the Roses?     

    1. The War of the Two Lips – A needless conflict. Deaf lip readers at Gallaudet University claimed their teachers were speaking ill of them in the cafeteria, when in actuality the professors were just chewing their food. 
    2. Battle of the Banana Republics – This battle was called off when the combatants kept slipping on the battlefield. 
    3. Appendomattox – Penultimate Civil War battle fought just prior to Appomattox. In the Battle of Appendomattox Gen. Robert E Lee lost both the battle and his appendix.
    4. Battle of the Bugle – Often confused with the Battle of the Bulge, more for its similarity in spelling than anything martial. The Battle of the Bugle was Taps for many servicemen.
    5. Water Lou – Cirque du Soleil’s extravagant reenactment of Napoleon’s disastrous Battle of Waterloo. The staging is very complex – Napoleonic Complex.
    6. Battle of Yettisburg – An abominable battle between snowmen from the North and South. The battlefield was streaked in yellow lines. Months later, when the snow cleared and the melting was evident, poet Robert Frost delivered his famously moving Yettisburg Address.
    7. WW½ – People have forgotten about this fairly benign hemispheric clash (1907-10) involving countries located below the equator. Some say they were protesting Rand-McNally mapmakers always putting them on the bottom of the globe and the older, more traditional countries on the top half. The Prime Minister of Australia said it was punishment for, “all our goofy Down Under animals. I knew those makeshift, spare-parts marsupials would give us a bad name. Kangaroos that box, platypuses with duckbills and Tasmanian Devils. Not to mention Waltzing Mathilda and Christmas in the summer.”

    The worst of it was when Australia invaded Chile armed only with unloaded didgeridoos that they just pointed at the bewildered Chileans and said, “Diddly, diddly-dow. Dow. Dow. Diddly, diddly-dow.” The only casualty from this hemispheric tantrum was the Tropic of Capricorn which was taken hostage by Paraguay but later released unharmed after another imaginary line – the International Dateline – negotiated successfully for its release. Historians now believe World War ½ was really a gateway World War.  

    1. World War 3.14 – Cheekily referred to as World War Pi, this irrational war was fought over 22/7ths of the globe. This decidedly conceptual Pi affair began in the teachers’ lounge at Cal Tech on March 14 (3/14).
    2. Battle of Condom Creek – Lots of thick, prophylactic body armor at this battle. So much so that some combatants complained they couldn’t feel the bullets as they penetrated.
    3. Battle of Ten Folk – Another Hillbilly dust-up localized to Appalachia and involving only ten folk – all of whom were related by both blood and marriage. The argument stemmed from some tainted moonshine left in a bathtub. Legend has it this conflict was the basis for the movie “Smokey and the Bandit.”
    4. Charge of the Insolvent Brigade – During the Crimean War, while the storied “Light Brigade” perished during their ill-fated charge, the financially strapped Insolvent Brigade attempted their own perilous charge – this one at Harrods Department Store. The Insolvent Brigade bravely brought all their purchases up to the register only to discover they had no credit, dooming the attempted charge and consigning the entire brigade to “cash only” status.
    5. Battle of Iwo Gee Ma! – Typical New Jersey conflict. Tommy wants take his girlfriend, Iris Wooten (nicknamed “Iwo”) to Asbury Park, but his mother says, “No Tommy, it’s late. You take her home now.” Tommy complains, “C’mon ma. I’s Iwo, Gee Ma.”
    6. Battle of Mai Tai – A battle where everyone wins, until the next morning.
    7. Battle of Unalloyed Ignorance – Ongoing. We’re fighting it now although the other side doesn’t realize just how ignorant they are. Most casualties are caused by an inability to control eye-rolling.
    8. War on Drugs – Drugs show up ready to provide you transcendent, boundary-dissolving experiences of a lifetime and all we do is burn, outlaw and interdict them. Perhaps we should integrate them so they aren’t such a public health menace. If they were societally sanctioned and government regulated maybe we wouldn’t have Battles of Unalloyed Ignorance.
    9. Mock Battle of Leap Year Day – You’d think this quadrennial conflict would dissolve into the dim misty corridors of history after the intervening 4 blissful years of peace and tranquility. Instead every four years the Pagans and Druids reenact the skirmish in trying to realign the pillars at Stonehenge to accurately reflect Leap Day (February 29th). I mean people wearing Rolexes and iPhones arguing over moving a 10 ton stone 3 inches to account for an extra ¼ day per year is sheer folly. BTW, Sheer Folly would be the name of my band – if I started one.
    1. The 29¼ Year War – It’s what many people mistakenly call the 30 Year War. They forget the last ¾ year of the war being taken up by administrative duties, battlefield cleaning and prisoner exchanges.
    2. The 238 BC Battle of Bad Breath in Bethlehem – Scope this out: Also known as “Halitosis in the Holy Land” this was the first recorded gas attack in history. This nauseating gas exchange between the Nomadic Listerine tribe and the Semitic Cepacols resulted in teary eyes, curled nose hairs and the deforestation of all the Cedars in Lebanon. In planning the attack, the combatants loaded up on garlic, onions and tzatziki sauce before mounting an all-out assault on each other’s nostrils. The seeds of the conflict were sown when a Biblical disagreement arose over the gifts of the Magi; with one side proclaiming they were the traditional Gold, Frankincense and myrrh and the other side maintaining they were Gold, Frankenstein and Murray. What made this conflict even more confusing is that, this being 238 BC, the Magi wouldn’t even show up for another 238 years – how did they know?
    3. Vitriolic Invective on Vegan Hill – Fortunately there were no injuries at this verbal Vegan conflict that took place in the produce section of a Sausalito Whole Foods – just a lot of hurt feelings. The usual argument arose over whether honey qualifies as vegan since it’s produced by bees. Snippets of invective unleashed in the meatless melee included: “How dare you call yourself vegan?” And “Hey, when this is over, howzabout you and me go back to my place for a tofu martini?”
    4. The Norman Conquest of Florence – Similar to the Norman Conquest of England, but on a much, much smaller scale. In this battle between the sexes, Norman Greenblatt deploys his wit, charm and brooding good looks to disarm and ravish Florence Lowenstein before she ever knew what hit her. Florence’s defenses were inadequate to Norman’s devastating advances and she surrendered unconditionally. The shotgun wedding was Mr. Lowenstein’s idea.  
    5. “I’m Aging and I Can’t Seem to Get Any Younger” – An age old conflict pitting Man vs Nature in which pitiless nature ignores your requests for a reversal of the aging process. Nature usually wins this contest, but only because most people fail to recognize they’re playing with house money to begin with.  
    6. Battle of Wounded Patella – A lesser known battle which took place just in front of the Battle of Wounded Knee
    7. Night of Many Thrusts – Memorable for Frankie Valli whose battle cry was: ♫Oh What a Night. Late December back in ‘63♫
    8. Battle of Too Many Hanks – They were all there. Hank Fonda, Hank Azaria, Hank Aaron and of course Tom Hanks. All fighting over a seared hank of beef. Exasperated witnesses to the BBQ were heard to exclaim, “Oh, Henry!”
    9. The Battle of the Indianapolis 500 – This battle would never have happened had Harvey Firestone not played the race card. But the legendary tire mogul was always promoting racism to increase his profits. The battle was also erroneously known as THE BATTLE OF THE INDIANAPOLIS %)) which is what it’s called if you accidentally spell “The Battle of the Indianapolis 500” with the shift key depressed.
    10. Coke vs Pepsi – Usually in war the first casualty is truth. In this case its teeth
    11. The Forced Battle of Soldiers Who Were Disqualified as Physically Unfit to Serve in Other Wars – No one seems to remember when Uncle Sam made all those 4F non-combatants battle each other just to see what they were missing.  
    12. 4 Days and No movement: Brad Fuller’s Conflict with Constipation – This former employee of the Los Angeles airport wanted to be rehired, but the airport authority refused, causing Mr. Fuller’s psychosomatic constipation. To remedy the situation this Ex-LAX employee took Ex-Lax and the battle had a happy ending with the forcible expulsion of the enemy and the rehire of Mr. Fuller.

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