A Short History of Medicine

…….”Doctor, I have an earache.”

  • 2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.”
  • 1000 B.C. – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”
  • 1850 A.D. – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.”
  • 1920 A.D. – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.”
  • 1975 A.D. – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.”
  • 2006 A.D. – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”

The World According to Student Bloopers

Richard Lederer
St. Paul’s School

One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. I have pasted together the following “history” of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot.


The inhabitants of Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked “Am I my brother’s son?” God asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Issac, stole his brother’s birthmark. Jacob was a partiarch who brought up his twelve sons to be partiarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fougth with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.

Without the Greeks, we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns – Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in “The Illiad”, by Homer. Homer also wrote the “Oddity”, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.

In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athen was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn’t climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.

Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Geeks. History call people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlic in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March killed him because they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a cruel tyrany who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.

Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harlod mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings, Joan of Arc was cannonized by George Bernard Shaw, and the victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally, the Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verse and also wrote literature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son’s head.

The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello’s interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted “hurrah.” Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespear. Shakespear never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived in Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies and errors. In one of Shakespear’s famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Mac- beth to kill the King by attacking his manhood. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Writing at the same time as Shakespear was Miquel Cervantes. He wrote “Donkey Hote”. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote “Paradise Lost.” Then his wife dies
and he wrote “Paradise Regained.”

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later the Pilgrims crossed the Ocean, and the was called the Pilgrim’s Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by Indians, who came down the hill rolling their was hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porposies on their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses, which proved very fatal to them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their pacels through the post with- out stamps. During the War, Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.

Delegates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared “a horse divided against itself cannot stand.” Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

George Washington married Matha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Them the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.

Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, “In onion there is strength.” Abraham Lincoln write the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clux Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.

Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltare invented electricity and also wrote a book called “Candy”. Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the Autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.

Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorrilas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon’s flanks. Napoleon became ill with bladder problems and was very tense and unrestrained. He wanted an heir to inheret his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t bear him any children.

The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. He reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick Raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Samuel Morse invented a code for telepathy. Louis Pastuer discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturailst who wrote the “Organ of the Species”. Madman Curie discovered radium. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.

The First World War, cause by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by a surf, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.

A Short History Lesson

History began some 12,000 years ago. Humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gathers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and, would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in winter.

The 2 most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get men to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into 2 distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered it required grain, and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early human ancestors were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That’s how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as “the Conservative movement.”

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q’s doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as “girlymen”.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting revolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men.

Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn’t “fair” to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide
for their women.

Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, soldiers, athletes and generally anyone who works productively outside government.

Conservative who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to “govern” the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed, and created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing.

Here ends today’s lesson in world history. It should be noted that a Liberal will have an uncontrollable urge to respond to the above instead of simply laughing and sharing it.

A Brief History of Time

  • 3050 B.C. – A Sumerian invents the wheel. Within the week, the idea is stolen and duplicated by other Sumerians, thereby establishing the business ethic for all times.
  • 2900 B.C. – Wondering why the Egyptians call that new thing a Sphinx becomes the first of the world’s Seven Great Wonders.
  • 1850 B.C. – Britons proclaim Operation Stonehenge a success. They’ve finally gotten those boulders arranged in a sufficiently meaningless pattern to confuse the hell out of scientists for centuries.
  • 1785 B.C. – The first calendar, composed of a year with 354 days, is introduced by Babylonian scientists.
  • 1768 B.C. – Babylonians realize something is wrong when winter begins in June.
  • 776 B.C. – The world’s first known money appears in Persia, immediately causing the world’s first known counterfeiter to appear in Persia the next day.
  • 525 B.C. – The first Olympics are held, and prove similar to the modern games, except that the Russians don’t try to enter a six-footer with a mustache in the women’s shot put. However, the Egyptians do!
  • 410 B.C. – Rome ends the practice of throwing debtors into slavery, thus removing the biggest single obstacle to the development of the credit card.
  • 404 B.C. – The Peloponnesian war has been going on for 27 years now because neither side can find a treaty writer who knows how to spell Peloponnesian.
  • 214 B.C. – Tens of thousands of Chinese labor for a generation to build the 1,500 mile long Great Wall of China. And after all that, it still doesn’t keep the neighbor’s dog out.
  • 1 B.C. – Calendar manufacturers find themselves in total disagreement over what to call next year.
  • 79 A.D. – Buying property in Pompeii turns out to have been a lousy real estate investment.
  • 432 – St. Patrick introduces Christianity to Ireland, thereby giving the natives something interesting to fight about for the rest of their recorded history.
  • 1000 – Leif Ericsson discovers America, but decides it’s not worth mentioning.
  • 1043 – Lady Godiva finds a means of demonstrating against high taxes that immediately makes everyone forget what she is demonstrating against.
  • 1125 – Arabic numerals are introduced to Europe, enabling peasants to solve the most baffling problem that confronts them: How much tax do you owe on MMMDCCCLX Lira when you’re in the XXXVI percent bracket?
  • 1233 – The Inquisition is set up to torture and kill anyone who disagrees with the Law of the Church. However, the practice is so un-Christian that it is permitted to continue for only 600 years.
  • 1297 – The world’s first stock exchange opens, but no one has the foresight to buy IBM or Xerox.
  • 1433 – Portugal launches the African slave trade, which just proves what a small, ambitious country can do with a little bit of ingenuity and a whole lot of evil!
  • 1456 – An English judge reviews Joan of Arc’s case and cancels her death sentence. Unfortunately for her, she was put to death in 1431.
  • 1492 – Columbus proves how lost he really is by landing in the Bahamas, naming the place San Salvador, and calling the people who live there Indians.
  • 1497 – Amerigo Vespucci becomes the 7th or 8th explorer to become the new world, but the first to think of naming it in honor of himself…the United States of Vespuccia!
  • 1508 – Michelangelo finally agrees to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but he still refuses to wash the windows.
  • 1513 – Ponce de Leon claims he found the Fountain of youth, but dies of old age trying to remember where it was he found it.
  • 1522 – Scientists, who know the world is flat, conclude that Magellan made it all the way around by crawling across the bottom.
  • 1568 – Saddened over the slander of his good name, Ivan the Terrible kills another 100,000 peasants to make them stop calling him Ivan the Terrible.
  • 1607 – The Indians laugh themselves silly as the first European tourist to visit Virginia tries to register as “John Smith”.
  • 1618 – Future Generations are doomed as the English execute Sir Walter Raleigh, but allow his tobacco plants to live.
  • 1642 – Nine students receive the first Bachelor of Arts degrees conferred in America, and immediately discover there are no jobs open for a kid with a liberal arts education.
  • 1670 – The pilgrims are too busy burning false witches to observe the golden anniversary of their winning religious freedom.
  • 1755 – Samuel Johnson issues the first English Dictionary, at last providing young children with a book they can look up dirty words in.
  • 1758 – New Jersey is chosen as the site of America’s first Indian reservation, which should give Indians an idea of the kind of shabby living conditions they can expect from here on out.
  • 1763 – The French and Indian War ends. The French and Indians both lost.
  • 1770 – The shooting of three people in the Boston Massacre touches off the Revolution. 200 Years later, three shootings in Boston will be considered just about average for a Saturday Night.
  • 1773 – Colonists dump tea into Boston Harbor. British call the act “barbaric,” noting that no one added cream.
  • 1776 – Napoleon decides to maintain a position of neutrality in the American Revolution, primarily because he is only seven years old.
  • 1779 – John Paul Jones notifies the British, “I have just begun to fight!” and then feels pretty foolish when he discovers that his ship is sinking.
  • 1793 – “Let them eat cake!” becomes the most famous thing Marie Antoinette ever said. Also, the least diplomatic thing she ever said. Also, the last thing she ever said.
  • 1799 – Translation of the Rosetta Stone finally enables scholars to learn that Egyptian hieroglyphics don’t say anything important. “Dear Ramses, How are you? I am fine.”
  • 1805 – Robert Fulton invents the torpedo.
  • 1807 – Robert Fulton invents the steamship so he has something to blow up with his torpedo.
  • 1815 – Post Office policy is established as Andrew Jackson wins the Battle of New Orleans a month after he should have received the letter telling him the War of 1812 is over.
  • 1840 – William Henry Harrison is elected president in a landslide, proving that the campaign motto, “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” is so meaningless that very few can disagree with it.
  • 1850 – Henry Clay announces, “I’d rather be right than president,” which gets quite a laugh, coming from a guy who has run for president five times without winning.
  • 1859 – Charles Darwin writes “Origin of the Species”. It has the same general plot as “Planet of the Apes”, but fails to gross as much money.
  • 1865 – Union Soldiers face their greatest challenge of the war: getting General Grant sober enough to accept Lee’s surrender.
  • 1894 – Thomas Edison displays the first motion picture, and everybody likes it except the movie critics.
  • 1903 – The opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway enables passengers from Moscow to reach Vladivostok in eight days, which is a lot sooner than most of them want to get there.
  • 1910 – The founding of the Boy Scouts of America comes as bad news to old ladies who would rather cross the street by themselves.
  • 1911 – Roald Amundsen discovers the South Pole and confirms what he’s suspected all along: It looks a helluva lot like the North Pole!
  • 1912 – People with Reservations for the voyage of the Titanic get their money back.
  • 1920 – The 18th Amendment to the Constitution makes drinking illegal in the U.S. so everyone stops. Except for the 40 million who don’t stop!
  • 1924 – Hitler is released from prison four years early, after convincing the parole board that he is a changed man who won’t cause any more trouble.
  • 1928 – Herbert Hoover promises “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage,” but he neglects to add that most Americans will soon be without pots and garages.
  • 1930 – Pluto is discovered. Not the dog, stupid; the planet. The dog wasn’t discovered until 1938.
  • 1933 – German housewives begin to realize why that crazy wallpaper hanger with the mustache never came back to finish his work.
  • 1933 – Hitler establishes the Third Reich, and announces that it will last for a thousand years. As matters develop, he is only 988 years off.
  • 1934 – John Dillinger is gunned down by police as he leaves a Chicago movie theater. And just to make the evening a complete washout, he didn’t enjoy the movie either.
  • 1934 – As if the Great Depression weren’t giving businessmen enough headaches, Ralph Nader is born.
  • 1938 – Great Britain and Germany sign a peace treaty, thereby averting all possibility of WWII.
  • 1944 – Hitler’s promise of Volkswagens for all Germans as soon as they’ve won the war doesn’t prove to be as strong an incentive as he had hoped.