I have my own suspicions of what was really going on up there and here they are:
Category Archives: Just for Laughs
“Lizzie Borden Took an Axe and….” WHOA! STOP RIGHT THERE!. NO SHE DIDN’T! NO, SHE DID NOT! IT WASN’T AN AXE – IT WAS A HATCHET! CAN YOU PEOPLE GET THAT STRAIGHT ONCE AND FOR ALL???!
LOOK, I’LL ILLUSTRATE THE DIFFERENCE FOR YOU:
Here, let me illustrate a little further:
Now, granted, that’s just the head of a handle-less HATCHET, but it’s STILL a hatchet. Oh, I know, “hatchet” doesn’t fit into that inaccurate quatrain quoted more often than reruns of that Elizabeth Montgomery made-for-TV movie. But look, here she is and what is she holding?
A HATCHET!! And a pretty good replica of what was presented at the Trial, sans the handle, of course. Anyway, it was a HATCHET. A HATCHET, AND NOT AN AXE.
Point is, that particular quatrain and the images from that specific movie have created a mindset of Lizzie Borden not only being guilty, but a one dimensional, psychopathic persona with whom most of the “cult” followers are familiar. People who read books and who have studied the case know differently. However, those gawd-awful paranormal shows and misinformation regurgitated from one documentary to another have permanently encapsulated the poor woman into a blood-drenched, demented killer. But no matter.
Perhaps we can start by re-writing that “haunting melody”????
LIZZIE BORDEN TOOK A HATCHET
AND GAVE HER MOTHER 19 WHACKITS
WHEN SHE SAW HER WORK WAS FINE
SHE GAVE HER FATHER ANOTHER NINE.
Come on. Give it a try. It has a nice beat and you can skip rope to it. Any bibliophiles out there wanna put it on YouTube? Be my guest.
A friend recently wrote me that Lizzie Borden was a replicant cyborg sent from the future to kill Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Borden. I found that interesting and began thinking: What if she was a 19th Century Doomsday Prepper in Fall River?
Just as modern day Doomsday Preppers, Lizzie Borden would have contemplated her reasons: A collapse of the economy and the loss of her father’s fortune and what that would mean to her own financial security; a hostile takeover of the drunken Irish mill workers; an aerial attack by France dropping exploding cheese and wine bottles from giant air-filled balloons killing two thirds of the town’s population and half its horses. Or maybe she just felt she had to prepare for *something* because doom and gloom was a recurring characteristic of her basic personality. After one adopts this premise, it follows she would have begun her preparations with the planned elimination of dour Andrew and long-suffering Abby. I think those plans would have included disposing of the hatchet in such a manner it would never be found. After all, she came from the future (OUR future) and she may have studied on reverse engineering of manufactured steel and bio-chemical reconfigurations and transformed the hatchet into handkerchiefs. Hey, it’s possible.
It was her July 26, 1992 article by which I was informally introduced to Mary Cantwell. I was in NYC on July 26th and 27th of that year enroute to Fall River for the 1992 Centennial Conference on Lizzie Borden. I was so struck by her humor (let alone accuracy in her column) and thrilled she had spoken to my friend, the late John Corrigan.
When I first arrived in Fall River, I showed the article to Florence Brigham, then Curator of the Fall River Historical Society. Florence put me in touch with Mary Cantwell and we subsequently enjoyed a correspondence over many years. We shared the fact we had raised our children on our own as working mothers in two decades (70’s and 80’s) where workplace policies were not considerate of our situations. One of her low points was being dumped by James Dickey, (he wrote Deliverance) for a “ravish me now’ much younger blonde. Men. Can’t live with ‘em. Can’t kill ‘em. (I forget who originated that). Which brings me to this next random selection.
I have this theory about why men are pigs.
Men have their sexual organs outside – usually perpendicular and on the hunt. Women, on the other hand, have their sex organs placed internally. “Internalized sex.” Get it? Oh they gather, sure, but they think differently. We like the romantic aspect of the act – men just like the act. Gross generalizations here, but this post isn’t supposed to be more than a paragraph or two and look what I’ve done?
So I’ll shut up for now and go back to writing Lizzie Borden’s Burn Book Diaries. Boy, oh boy, is *she* gonna have her day!!! :)
I spotted the above framed photo in a second hand store in Seattle two weeks ago. I thought the little boy was so damn cute. When I went to pay for it I was told it was Billy Oltman who won a Howdy Doody look-alike contest in the l950’s. A subsequent internet search resulted in little more information about darling little Billy. I guess it was his 15 minutes.
The connection to Lizzie: None, other than the fact I took the photo of the photo of him on the same shelf as my Parallel Lives books. But I bet this blog post title got you real curious, huh? LOL.
The following blog entry has nothing to do with Lizzie (hmmm?). ***********************************************************************
The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term exam. The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.
Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.
Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.
This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it?
If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, “it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you”, and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct…leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting “Oh my God.”
(THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY “A” IN THE CLASS.)
I love a good adventure. Or stumbling across a really funny joke like this one – a recycled post from 2008:
A man is driving down the road and his car breaks down near a monastery.
He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, “My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?”
The Monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, even fixes his car.
As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound. A sound not like anything he’s ever heard before. The Sirens that nearly seduced Odysseus into crashing his ship comes to his mind. He doesn’t sleep that night. He tosses and turns trying to figure out what could possibly be making such a seductive sound.
The next morning, he asks the Monks what the sound was, but they say, “We can’t tell you. You’re not a Monk.”
Distraught, the man is forced to leave. Years later, after never being able to forget that sound, the man goes back to the monastery and pleads for the answer again.
The Monks reply, “We can’t tell you. You’re not a Monk.”
The man says, “If the only way I can find out what is making that beautiful sound is to become a Monk, then please, make me a Monk.”
The Monks reply, “You must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of grains of sand. When you find these answers, you will have become a Monk.”
The man sets about his task.. After years of searching he returns as a gray-haired old man and knocks on the door of the monastery.
A Monk answers. He is taken before a gathering of all the Monks.
“In my quest to find what makes that beautiful sound, I traveled the earth and have found what you asked for: By design, the world is in a state of perpetual change. Only God knows what you ask. All a man can know is himself, and only then if he is honest and reflective and willing to strip away self deception.”
The Monks reply, “Congratulations. You have become a Monk. We shall now show you the way to the mystery of the sacred sound.” The Monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, “The sound is beyond that door.”
The Monks give him the key, and he opens the door. Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man is given the key to the stone door and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. And so it went that he needed keys to doors of emerald, pearl and diamond.
Finally, they come to a door made of solid gold. The sound has become very clear and definite. The Monks say, “This is the last key to the last door.”
The man is apprehensive to no end. His life’s wish is behind that door! With trembling hands, he unlocks the door, turns the knob, and slowly pushes the door open. Falling to his knees, he is utterly amazed to discover the source of that haunting and seductive sound……
But I can’t tell you what it is because you’re not a Monk………………………………..
The story continues:
Payson resident, Faye Musselman, visiting Fall River, was observed dressed in a plaid skirt, trimmed white blouse and oxford shoes. She kept twisting her pig tails as she approached each girl offering a Justin Bieber CD in exchange for their book. It was only when a suspicious parent pointed out Ms. Musselman to Michael and Dennis that Faye admitted she wanted to fill the book shelf in the titanium structure she had built inside her home for reading of this massive work. Sadly, she was asked to vacate the premises but grinned as she headed for the door, leaning slightly sideways from the weight of the 7 books she had traded.
The “American Girl” tea was a rousing success and all the little girls agreed the next doll to be made definitely had to be Lizzie Borden – truly an American Girl.
Parallel Lives will be in book stores on Monday and available as the Fall River Historical Society gift shop. When going to purchase the book, bring water and snacks as the lines will be very long.