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October oddities

October is best known for Oktoberfest and Halloween, but there’s a great deal more to the tenth month than drinking yourself silly and mugging little kids for their candy.

Yes, I understand — you might believe it’s impossible to dwarf the import of these two holidays — but that’s why you have me. The very reason I continue to draw breath into my ragged mortal coil is to quench Mercury readers’ life-long thirst for knowledge and insight.

So let us begin.

Several events in October provide a fascinating look into — and absolute proof of — Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity. Just as a butterfly flapping its wings on the West Coast of Africa leads directly to jokes about Governor McMasters’ propensity for premature evacuation, a number of things in the tenth month seem to be tightly interwoven.

For instance, skeptical reader, how else could October “happen” to be the month of both Columbus Day and Hillary Clinton’s birthday?

Consider: When Columbus inserted himself into American history, he was entirely unaware of where he was, or what he was doing; his arrival resulted in the destruction of innocent lives from sea to shining sea — and caused who-knows how many deaths; his mission failed miserably, yet he went to his deathbed demanding recognition for his personal achievements; and finally, he is remembered around the world for the great things he never actually accomplished.

Just swap those names around up yonder. Hillary, Columbus; Columbus, Hillary. Let that sink in.

Ponder, as well, the fact that both Hillary and Leif Erikson drew their first breath in October. Remember Leif? The merciless Viking who spent his life pillaging the resources of the defenseless, and terrorizing people who got in the way? Remember as well that Leif hailed from Scandinavia, where it is very cold, and a cold begets coughing, and Hillary spent most of 2016 coughing up a lung.

Name swap. Getting scared, yet? I am, and I’m the teller of the tale.

And what about Halloween and Hillary’s birthday month coinciding? Sure — just happened? Last time I checked, Halloween is a time when witches rule the night; when people don masks to hide their true selves; a time to strike horror into the hearts of mankind — and if Hillary in a skirt doesn’t do that to you, I shudder to think what it takes.

Bill Gates also came screaming into the world in October, which “just so happens” to be the month celebrating Bologna Day — and who’s stuffed more rotten bologna into the American marketplace that Bill Gates? Just so happens October 6 is Mad Hatter Day, the perfect day to describe all us Americans when we allowed Windows to be not only a bazillion dollar operating system, but to be. At all. And, as mentioned, October also the time for the two-week long Oktoberfest — and surely Bill Gates was 13 days into a two-week bender when he okayed the release of Windows 8.

As every red-blooded American knows, October is also the month of our beloved World Series, when one Major League team is crowned as the World Champion. As Jung would have it, it’s also the birth month of celebrities Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, John Cougar Mellencamp and Tim Robbins, all of whom are well-documented to be Major League jerks.

October is a month chocked full of historically-connected events involving Congress. Walt Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, but tragically the committee failed to ask him if it would be un-American for a company bearing his name to own America. The first Continental Congress adjourned in October, but tragically decided to get back together, which led to our current Congress. The Space Shuttle Atlantis launched into space with Senator John Glenn aboard, but tragically brought him back when they returned. Sir Walter Raleigh and Marie Antoinette were beheaded in October, but tragically we no longer use that method for dealing with public officials.

A variety of October events have occurred in American that, viewed on the surface, seemed good at the time — but have subsequently been judged by the harsh reality of, well, reality. The Model T went on sale for the first time, but ultimately led to tourists driving two mph on East Bay Street. Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, which resulted in broccoli casserole and family shouting matches about politics and religion. The first “talkie” premiered during an October in New York, and now we have Leo DiCaprio talking about global warming, George Clooney talking about politics, and Michael Moore talking between bites of his lard and butter sandwiches. Harvard and Yale were founded in October, and now we have Harvard and Yale.

Such an odd month! The list of October this-led-to-that events is endless!

Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door, which led to me and my evil editor spending most of our working hours accusing each other of heresy. Uganda achieved independence from Britain, and shortly thereafter realized it was better to be ruled by Liz than eaten by Idi. The Light Brigade was wiped out during the Crimean War, which led to the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, which led to this English major encountering the one poem that didn’t make him want to get himself elected President and make poetry illegal. Prohibition began, and Joseph Kennedy got rich, and America got to enjoy a political dynasty of drug addicts, drunks and serial misogynists.

Yes, gentle reader, October is the month of beer and candy, but it is a month that shaped us as a civilization. We should view these 30 days with respect.

And candy corn.

And beer.

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