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EDITOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT!

My publisher, Monty Gallagher, of Isotope Books, has asked me to explain the basis on which I find these fascinating glimpses of historical activity regarding invention and innovation. I am pleased to divulge that most of them arise from a manuscript I found in a Temple in Thebes, purporting to be The Catalogue of all Known Things. It was grimy and grubby but I washed my hands after handling it. A facsimile edition with soon be available, on the Isotope Books web-site, but I wouldn't recommend investing in it at the price they are asking ($799 for a faux bound leather edition)when all of the contents will be appearing here for free.

August 21st

On this day in History, Graham Cadgepole decided to deseminate worthless information in a printed form, and thus invented, albeit unwittingly, in one fell swoop, both the fanzine and the Daily Mail. He is remembered today by a very short man living in Tadcaster, and the proprietor of a Cream Tea establishment in Fowey.


August 22nd


On this day in History, Reginald Poook invented a ritual castration device made out of an old vacuum cleaner and some parts from a standard household fan and a Gestetner duplicator. He thought it had so much potential he compiled a list of people he believed would benefit from it, which included two Popes and three Presidents, one of them current. This became known as Poook's Castration Log, copies of which now exchange hands on Ebay for vast sums. Well $3.96.


August 23rd

On this day in history Morgan Blank decided to grow sideburns. He was thwarted when the National Sideburn Police led by Sheriff Curt Phillips rode through town swinging their cutlesses with deadlty effect. Blank kept both his ears but little else.


August 24th

On this day in History, Gordon Frog decided to implement a new numbers system in Las Vegas. He was later found in a ditch. An attempt had been made to disguise the body by dressing it in a kilt and sporran, but it fooled no one, well only the local Chief of Police.


August 25th

On this day in History, Ralph Bunch decided to copyright topiary in his small town of Clayton, Massachusetts. The locals, most of whom had been bitten by rabid possums, reacted by rising with arms, as they often do in Masachusetts, and burnt him in his own hedge, a pretty terrible fate. Later Sam Peckinpah would make a film based on the event called The Privet Man.


August 26th

On this day in History Augustus Self invented the automatic baptysmal font, which weighed infants and dispensed a proportionate amount of water over them, thus eliminating wastage. When tried with adults it caused vast overflows, which prevented its take-up in low-lying districts, such as the fens. It worked excellently in Manchester where there was no shortage of rain or groundwater, but also unfortunately no shortage of Godless souls, which also limited its popularity.


August 27th

On this day in History, Norman Bakes attempted to sell anthrax flavoured ice-cream on the Golden Mile in Blackpool. Unfortunately he had chosen what turned out to be the coldest day of the year to date so he had no takers. A sad footnote in his diary remarks: 'It seems my dreams of becoming a mass murderer will come to nought.'


August 28th

On this day in History, Joachim Wenz invented the doodle. This was a day in prehistory in a cave in Altamira, so it didn't do him much good, and in fact he starved to death during one of the not infrequent ice ages, after inviting his in-laws around for a pot roast that didn't in fact exist. They were understandably annoyed and threatend to cut him out of their will, but died before the codicil could be ratified. Later one of his ancestors sold the principle to Google. Ironically none of the Google Doodles celebrated his death or even his life. Shame really.


August 29th

On this day in History, Roly Van Pelz had the first gastric band operation. Due to a lack of reporting on the actual surgical technique, first discovered by Noel Deluge, an infamous recluse, this resulted in his upper lip being stapled to his forehead. But at least he got to eat his nose.


August 30th

On this day in History, Raoul Fischer an interant Spanish Onion salesman perfected the perfect recipe (well it would be) for Clamasshdegour, an ancient Etruscan recipe involving garlic and apples and a peculiar sausage formed from Turk's Nipples. This later appeared on the menu at one of Jamie Oliver's restaurants which led to his eventual downfall and media disgrace. Well, one can hope.


August 31st

On this day in History, Ebenezzer Swatch invented the world's first High Intensity Tunnel Profiling Device. It can profile High Intensity Tunnels, as long as you have the correct password. If you buy the 'Lite' version it can profile tunnels in a high intensity emulation fashion but render them in a sliightly less resolution, but only if you insert a module allowing it to apply low resolution tunnel modelling without emulation. You know how freaky software developers can be? But frankly you would get very narrow tunnels. It's especially useful for any pig farmers considering infilling, although why they would do that I do not know.

September 1st

On this day in history, Candy Stypler decided to have her ear-lobes waxed. Candy was a Las Vegas whore but let's not hold that against her. She made a decent living playing the slots. After the treatment her ear-lobes were silky smooth and she paraded up and down the Strip inviting people to feel them, for a price. She returned home with $599 which didn't last long thanks to her husband, Clive's drinking habits. Still, a remarkable story of individual endeavour, don't you think?

September 2nd

On this day in history, Arthur Schnabel invented chicken-skin lollies and sold them at the Bozeman State Fair with a dry ice glaze. 42 people were hospitalized and eleven had to have their stomachs removed. I'm tempted to say more about the rather catastrophic career of Arthur Schnabel, but I have passed my text through through his lawyers, and they have refused to allow me to discuss the Palamino Pony Skinning incident, and all references to dregs of mercury being found in bagels sold by his mother on her hot-dog stall in Schenectady. They are all right with the child porn though.

September 3rd

On this day in History Ralph Feldge invented the Feldge-o-matic guitar pickup which when retro-fitted to classic guitars like the Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster subjected their output to a modulated phase effect which approximated the sound of a wasp in a can. Later models would approximate a bluebottle in a can, and subsequent ones even a can in a can. The group Timebottles had their only hit using this device: "Thing In A Can", Dendrode Records, 1972. Their subsequent release, seeking to emulate the success of the Ventures 30.000lb Bee, "Whip Me Big Wasp Thing" failed miserably.

September 3rd

On this day in history Clyde Boslow invented Belgian Chocolate (beer-and-chips-flavoured) in his basement in Attercliff-on-Sea. His wife was sceptical, as she frequently was, and fully expected his experiments to be consigned to the dustbin of history, along with his previous attempts at Icelandic Chocolate (cod-flavoured), Democratic Republic of the Congo Chocolate (okapi-flavoured), and Haitiian Chocolate (zombie-flavoured).

September 4th

On this day in history, Otto Wildman Crenshaw published the world's longest poem in rhyming couplets 'Tales of Ancient Wardrobes'. Running to 1,900 pages this was also deemed the world's most unreadable poem.

September 5th

On this day in history Spegs O'Lachlan invented the thirteen-string guitar. Early adopters included 'Blind' Willie Gatemouth, 'Limping' Larry Cogshrub, Johnny 'Two-fingers' Macklin, 'Stumpy' Bill Chatsworth and 'Poxy' Joe Krebs. Unfortunately, by association, the thirteen string device was considered unlucky and soon fell out of production.

September 6th

On this day in 1873 a farmer, Antioch Crumble, from Northumberland invented the sport of ‘Furtive Glancing’. The initial idea for this came about when he was in the public bar of his local, The Barley Mow in Upper Ridley, one night and happened to glance furtively at a wench who was sitting on a nearby bar-stool with her girdle riding up her thighs. The local constable happened to be in the bar at the same time, and took him away and threw him in the Clink, which had yet to be invented (see Josiah Derbyshire, 1640). Furtive Glancing soon caught on as a regular feature of local county fairs, but it’s status as a major spectator sport was sealed when it was introduced to the 1890 Olympics, held in Marker Harborough. Ted Grodload won the Gold Medal, with Boris Snuff taking the Silver, and a tame Ptarmigan getting the Bronze.

September 7th

On this day in history Anna Bagel performed brain surgery on a rabbit and managed to switch its perceived gender from male to female. At least she assumed she had, but who was to know? She later ate the rabbit but confessed she was unable to judge by its taste whether her experiment had been successful. She tried the same experiment on a luckless tramp she met at a Los Angeles disco and claimed as evidence that he subsequently expressed an interest in Jimmy Shoo shoes, but, again, who was to say a man cannot like those sort of shoes, although it seems unlikely. She later ate the tramp but again results were inconclusive.

September 8th

On this day is history Otto Schenck, a psychoanalyst from Meath, introduced his Dick scale of Ontological Reality, with 0 being absolute reality and various stages of relativie unreality being determined as follows:
1.Mild Ennui and Alienation
2. Deja or Jamais Vu
3. Existential Crisis
4. Auditory and Visual Hallucination
5. Ego Death
6. Normal Dreaming
7. Religious Belief
8. Paranoid Delusion
9. Schizophrenia
10. Complete Psychotic Breakdown.
His wife Vera confessed she was tempted to introduce an eleventh stage to this scale: A delusional state dominated by an irrational and obsessive desire to make lists of mental conditions.

September 8th

On this day in history Jose Borges, an itinerant sheet music seller in Seville, invented not only only the non-linear novel but a device to imprint tooling marks on leather, called a tooling die. It proved more successful than his novels, A Trip Backwards To The Post Office and the ground-breaking rectilinear !tihS. His wife divorced him shortly after she found him masturbating on a local traffic island just outside Stevenage.

September 9th

On this day in history in 1802 the famed French photographer Gaspard Le Voisigier visited Jane Austen in Basingstoke and took the celebrated sequence of Daggeurotypes of Jane Austen’s nipples, copies of which now change hands for enormous sums on ebay. She was staying with friends at the time and of course received her only proposal of marriage from the unfortunately named Mr Bigg-Wither. Mr Bigg-Wither's tongue can be seen in several of the shots.

September 10th

On this day in history Kurt Laslow a Boston delicatessen owner invented American Football. He was a Polish immigrant. In his own country a crude version of the game had been played with the heads of radicals who lived in neighbouring principalities. The heads had been cured in smoke ovens for several months to make them resilient. Kurt formulated the rules associated with executing on third down, and was the first one to condemn teams for not having great receivers. Ironically Hitler used some of these principles whilst organizing drives on Kurt’s own homeland, though generally he fumbled too many catches and didn’t make enough rushing touchdowns.

September 11th

On this day in history Michael Dobson (b: 1911) the famous aboriginal explorer first discovered evidence of ancient wallaby nests in the Australian outback, carved out of stone and with their walls engraved with primitive etchings of emus and wombats.

September 12th

On this day in History, in 1898, Herbie Flowers(no relation) rode his bicycle into the small market town of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, or it might have been Uddersfield in North Yorkshire. He carried with him a map which he claimed had been inherited from an ancient Aztec ruler called something unpronounceable, and showed the secret location where the Aztecs had stored their gold, rescued from the invading Montezuma. He marshalled the town’s inhabitants to help him dig for the gold in a local slate quarry, and being idiots, they were all too keen to help out. After several decades only a stale Cornish pasty had been discovered and Flowers was discredited. He cycled off into the sunset. Eventually he found the true source of the Aztec gold in a flooded excavation in Kanab, Utah, but the authorities refused to let him search for it because the artificial lake was home to a protected species of newt. He died poor and embittered in 1971 on the same day King Floyd released their single Groove Me on the Chimneyville label. If only he had lived long enough to hear it, but I guess that can be said about a lot of people who die on the same day records are released. Probably lots of the inhabitants of Hiroshima in 1945 regretted never having had the chance to hear Perry Como's 'Til The End Of Time'.

September 13th

On this day is history in 1746 Laura Coddlington invented the gusset. As a full-time pocket designer for the Dallas Arbiter Bespoke Pyjama Company she had long been seeking for a way to increase the size and capacity of a garment’s pocket. She was far-seeing enough to see the day might come when people would want to carry heavy, bulky items such as abacuses and long-distance communication devices in the pockets of their pyjamas. The single-sided gusset was her first design, to be followed in quick succession by the two and then, the tour de force, the three-sided gusset. A lifelong Anabaptist she was horrified when cheap clothing manufacturers in Karachi stole her idea and started applying it to items such as knickers and underpants and, having failed to file the correct patents, she died in Penury shortly afterwards, which I believe was a small town just outside of Melton Mowbray.

September 14th

On this day in history in 1612, the intrepid worldwide adventurer Seamus McGovern invented the 1:1 scale map, a concept he later sold to the writer Jorge Luis Borges. At first McGovern merely made a map of his toilet, which he could fold and put in his jacket pocket and which came in handy when he actually had to find his way around his toilet, which was usually most saturday nights. Later he made a map of his kitchen and his bedroom, which proved unwieldy but just about manageable. His downfall came when he attempted a map of Hyde Park. Apart from running to several volumes, which required a shopping trolley to carry them around, it showed little but grass and failed to engage the general map buying public.

September 15th

On this Day in History, in 1741, Miguel Tosca Porres, an itinerant lemon picker from a small viillage in Spain, which I can't be bothered to Google, taught frogs how to dance. This took him several years because the frogs kept inexplicably dying, and being served up on his plate for lunch. So perhaps we should be talking about 1743 or possibly 1734. Eventuually a frog called Guiseppe managed to do a passable Pasa Doble, thus ensuring his trainer's place in the history books.

September 16th

On this day in History Augustus Rantzen invented the dinner jacket for kangeroos. He’d read a novel by Raymond Chandler where Marlowe meets someone off a train and remarks, “he was as easy to spot as a kangaroo in a dinner jacket.” This troubled Rantzen. Why was Marlowe trying to spot a kangaroo in a dinner jacket? Why would the villain wear something as visually obvious as to resemble a kangaroo in a dinner jacket? It couldn’t be that simple, could it? It had to be a sort of code. Was the kangaroo a dangerous unregistered animal who had passed through into our country without proper import controls. If not, surely he was allowed to move amongst us like a regular citizen? But Marlowe would not have been concerned with trans-border transgressions. It struck Rantzen suddenly that this could be nothing more than a simple metaphor, but nevertheless, being someone who had unresolved difficulties with metaphors, he resolved then and there to set about ordering up a range of kangaroo dinner jackets from his favourite bespoke tailor. He managed to sell one to the manager of a boxing wallaby, and distraught by the irony, committed suicide. Years later, Brad Pitt would wear one in a movie adaption of the novel ‘Payback’ but it was all too little too late.

September 17th

On this day in history, Yanni Persopolis invented tarasamalata. Yanni was a short order cook in a tiny bar in Gaios, the main city of the small Ionian Island of Paxos, not to be confused with the popular stuffing. One day while gutting a cod, one of its roes fell out. Normally these were discarded because of their connection with birth and procreation which many Greeks find distasteful, since it doesn't involve anal sex, but Yanni struck at it with a spoon, mashing it in the process into a distasteful mess which he attempted to remove with lemon juice and olive oil. This proved fruitless so he grabbed a chunk of bread to wipe it up. The mixture looked strangely appetizing, but unfortunately it wasn’t, it was only tarasamala (which is greek for unsightly mess). Nevertheless he had some hungry American tourists waiting so he served it up to them as a side-dish, extemporising with cucumber and yogurt which he called Tzatziki (which is Greek for smear test). Next he overturned a pot of boiling chick peas and attempted to wipe them up with a rag soaked in sesame pulp, but we won’t go there.

September 18th

On this day in history Reginald Beaumont invented the male corset using used matchsticks and a kelp-like seeweed which he had discovered had fantastic elastic properties. He had seen many Charlton Heston films and admired the way Charlie (as he called him) always kept his midriff taut and under control even in his most passionate scenes. Reginald’s own midriff was far from taut unfortunately, due to too many fish suppers, and he thought this probably explained why he had never been asked to star in Ben-Hur, or even the sequel Ben-Gurion. Unfortunately the prototype burnt in a flash fire (kelp proving remarkably flammable as well as elastic) so he never got a chance to bring it to market.

September 19th

On this day in history Wesley Carnage invented the four wheel drive. Unfortunately this was in 1712 and he had no idea what he could apply his invention to. He thought of using it to drive a washing machine, but unfortunately these too had not yet been invented and women were still washing their clothes in rivers with a soap derived from the rotting carcasses of weasels. Wesley had walked about for ages unable to explain the odour coming from his socks. He tried to sell his idea to a local miller, but was told only two wheels were required in the grinding of wheat. In the end Wesley went to the river bank and railed against his God which was an obscure precursor of the Wiccans. He fell over and smashed his head against a stone. Three hundred years later a four wheel Hyundai drove through a small ford nearby where he had died, without any sense of irony.

September 20th

On this day in history Leopold Greenwich invented the sport of Traipsing. He had earlier invented the sport of Slouching but considered it not physically taxing enough. Traipsing involved elements of Slouching but combined them with an awareness of the environment and a requirement to negotiate simple obstacles such as litter bins and lamp-posts. It was his ambition to see it accredited as a Olympic Sport but his several petitions towards this end were spurned, leading him to invent the sport of synchronized spurning. He died a millionaire thanks to a lottery win, and at least Slouching remains practiced today mostly amongst members of World SF Conventions.

September 21st

On this day in history Yom Kipper, an Israeli pastor, discovered something the Australian aborigines called *the returning stick* but which we now know as a boomerang. He tried to license this through Mattel as a toy, but was disappointed to find he had been beaten to it by a Catholic priest called Mordecai Princeps by several decades. Next he turned to the Didgeredoo, but found it conflicted with an existing patent for a drainpipe. He was last seen wandering around the Australian bush with a wallet full of pipe-cleaners looking for a stray koala.

September 22nd

On this day in history Reginald Knockles, an inhabitant of Malden in Surrey, decided to pursue an interest in Cosmic Consciousness. He collected a lot of bottles, some of them priceless antiques, because he thought this was somehow involved in his quest. Later, under the same delusion, he cut paper butterflies out of old newspapers and hung them on threads of cotton about his house. One day the archangel Gabriel, in human form, knocked on his door and offered him a new pension plan. Reginald lived happily ever afterwards, and dedicated the last years of his life to Shucking Oysters, which was a local heavy metal band.

September 23rd

On this day in history Margie Gratten invented pressed eggs. Nobody is entirely sure what this recipe entailed since it was written in a personal journal in a tiny crabbed hand, and could really have been a recipe for anything involving wood-lice. Years later, Bob *elevator* Duquesne, emloying a computer progamme, managed to evolve an algorithm which displayed her recipe as actually involving pressed eggs. No one was ever the wiser, but don't google it on Amazon or you might end up buying a pressed egg device for christmas.

September 24th

On this day in history in 1815, 367 Meteorites hit the Earth. Some of them landed near Andover in Hampshire. Others as far abroad as Killinswage in the Western Isles, where an itinerant rambler was forced to seek shelter in an abandoned boffy. One of them killed a pig belonging to Maeve McCaughaffey, but that was on a council estate in East Limoge. An exceptionally large meteorite landed in the garden of Eric Sparks, the great-grandfather of John Sparks who would later go on to be the bass player in Dr Feelgood. Apparently 100 tons of meteorite land on the Earth every day, but most of this is dust, which is not too much. Think of the amount of dust you clean off your cd collection every year.

September 25th

On this day in history Erik Gnarlersonsson invented the Icelandic Saga. He wasn't even in Iceland at the time but had been stranded on a small island in the Outer Hebrides by Ryanair. It had been a short summer and a long winter and all the peat in his local bog had been exhausted so he was forced to heat his hovel, formed from stacks of seal blubber, by burning seal blubber, whilst eating seal blubber and using seal blubber lanterns to see while writing in small journals bound with seal blubber, which he was later forced to eat (fricassed with seal kale). It is little wonder his writings have not survived.

September 26th

On this day is history Jonathan Surrogate invented the concept of Quantum Hibernation, which suggested that for long periods of time elementary particles could enter a state of Quantum Hibernation, much like bears, which was in quantum terms actually very short periods of time. In fact he used bears in this anology: "Bears sleep in the winter, so hunters cannot shoot them. Elementary Particles spend approximately 99% of their brief lives hibernating in the woodsheds of quantum space, which is why so few of them are ever *shot* by particle hunters." Surrogate was never honoured for his work and in the contrary is frequently spoken of today in pubs in derisory terms.

September 27th

On This Day in History Vernon Brown walked into a small town outside Birmingham, UK, and claimed to have lost his bicycle whilst being abducted by aliens. He was questioned by the police who could not get one intelligible statement out of him except "Nrrrar". They offered him meat pies but it had no effect. Eventually Vernon's mother, a local washerwoman, came to claim him, although conspiracy theorists claim she was not his real mother, but a manifestation of the Goddess Kali raised in an alternative universe on an alternative earthlike planet which had replaced Venus. The truth is out there.

September 29th

On this day in history in 1904 the Irish politician Meath O'Brennan developed a recipe for making whisky out of oatmeal bran. He tried to get a Parliamentary dispensation for developing a wide scale means of production and distribution, but nobody realized what a Parliamentary dispensation was, so he was limited to selling bottles off the back of a cart which had previously been used for transporting peat, or Pete, if he was the local idiot. Meath died in 1873, before he was even born, proving he was in fact an alien timebender and a visitor from the future (well, his future). Others say he was just a drunk. His wife, Mavis, continued to fish for shrimp for many years in Dublin Bay, until she too was taken by aliens. Locals still look for her resurrection every 10th February (Don't ask me.)

September 30th

On this day in history Niles Rodgers (no, not that one) invented proportional representation, but this was in respect of pieces of fudge he was producing at his famed Fudge Factory, a sweet concession he had established in Philadelphia and not what you think. Little did he know it would later be taken up by political propogandists, so he didn't bother to patent it. If you are really interested his theory was used to apportion vartious elements represented by such as almonds, nougat, raisins and wood chips, to various items of fudge. No, I knew you weren't interested.

November 1st

On this Day in History, nothing happened. At least in Theodore Quirtle's world. A Real estate broker from New Orleans, he foolishiy thought he could parlay this into a living, having enjoyed lying in bed all day and doing nothing except smoking and occasionaly eating Cheezos. Even he realized it was never going to be that easy and invited several small tiger cubs from a local zoo to come and walk all over him. Unfortunately one walked on his carotid artery and he bled out all over a very expensive sofa furnished in Moroccan leather. His wife mourned his passing because she has just prepared Quesilades for lunch and had just bought a peignoir which hadn't been paid for yet.

November 2nd

On this day in history Baron De Quincy Sturgess an eighteenth century explorer, was born. I can't remember exactly which year. I'm sorry about that. He was resposible, among many other things, for bringing melons back from the Antibes. He had a career as a Progenitor (whatever that is) and is mentioned in the Rolls of the Goldsmith's College as a man who was not averse to usury, and made a fortune out of lending nickerls to indians. He used to sleep in coffins for eighty years at a time (my old Aunt Esmerelda told me) which affected local property values, awakening only to see what was going on in Facebook and whom his angels of vengeance should target for destruction. Generally not a nice man to know, although I feel he would have made a good local Conservative councillor.

November 3rd

On this day in history Martin Agquire decided to invent fletched arrows. This was in the Fifteenth Century when that sort of thing was still important, and considerable investment option. And he was only a poor shrub salesman, alternating between sales sites in Buena Ventura, and the Carcassone, none of which guaranteed him any income. But nevertheless he failed to take out a patent for it. But not only did he not make any money out of it, he was not considered culpable for the deaths of thousands of soldiers from battles as far afield as Agincourt and Flanders. There really is no justice,is there?

November 4th

On this day in history Olan Gloop filed for a patent for what he descibed as a Universal Inflating Device. Scholars now differ on what his device was intended to inflate, and indeed how it operated. Some say it was intended to blow up the Universe, others say it was the Multiverse. Others sai it was just tyres, although a diversive faction of believers believed in inner-tubes and did Jane Fonda Workouts to justify that. It was never sure how the device was supposed to work, although people suspect mules were involved., and I mean real mules not housewives from Ecuador packed with drugs. Nasa comissioned Gloop to invent an device for inflating whooppee cushions, but no one believed him, especially his wife, who had a problem with flatulence.

November 5th

On this day is history Walter Sturgess, a lonely milliner from Barrow-under-Furness, invented the mono-stilt. Having had his leg blown off by an enemy mine in the Fist World War, he saw it as a solution for tending his cottage garden. Unfortunately he got bogged down in some loose earth, and unable to detach himself from his stilt-leg died a sad and lonely death among the cabbages.His wife still considers him something of an idiot.

November 6th

On this day in history Reynald Wentzner invented improbably shaped aircraft. This was in 1798 so he had a free range on his imagination. His notebooks reveal that some of his aircraft were shaped as kittens, some of them as beefsteaks, and some of them as bats, but he felt this latter presented an insufficient leap of imagination. After all, bats could already fly. He continued his idea of flying meatstuffs, though, by speculating about aerial lamb chops and even, in a coup de theatre, a squadron of pork chops. In 1799 he moved on to the concept of improbably shaped biscuits, a goal which although more modest proved more infinitely more palatable (literally). The public liked his penis-shaped biscuits (with cream topping) but baulked at those shaped liked bats, since Halloween had not yet been invented (See Joachim Squirtz, 1816). Napoleon once said he owed a lot to Wentzner but this was thought to be a reference to him losing a considerable sum to him in a game of Texas Hold ‘em during the Seige of Paris.

November 7th

Oh this day is history Mickey Joysnatch invented a brand of tasty fritters based on recycled chicken gizzards. Mickey lived in the small town of Clutch, in Iowa. It wasn't his fault. He had been born there. He had fond memories of his high school teacher Miss Morrison teaching him how to align segments of plastic to create something or other.His parents were aligned with a particular offshoot of the Methodist Church of Bali, one of the few Pentacostal Churches that didn't outlaw recycled chicken gizzards and in fcat allowed you to rearrange things. He met his death when a huge communal barbecue exploded after being hit by a US drone. So did several other people. Let us all learn from that.

November 8th

On this day in History Butch Malone, an Irish navvy, invented quantitive easing by putting another notch in his belt. He had come over from his famine-struck homeland to help build the Kennet & Avon canal and the ready supply of potatoes, particular in pasties at his local Greggs had caused a considerable expansion in his girth. He also invented an anti-chafing gel formed from pitchblende and saltpetre, which almost blew his balls off when he dropped ash from his clay pipe upon it, but that is another story.

November 9th

On this day in history Rick Stein (no, not that one) murdered his architect Rudolphus Smerge for failing to include an ensuite bathroom in his designs for a pied a terre in Vermont Rick was having built to celebrate his acquisition of a Freemason’s License. He claimed Smerge had flagrantly ignored his demands for convenient toilet facilities which he considered enshrined in the American Constition (although it wasn’t). Stein was mad of course, but Smerge was even madder for not considering Stein’s priorities. See case references: The State versus Stein, 1989.

November 10th

On this day in history purple became the official colour of the autonomous European state of Transnistria, at the behest of the then reigning cultural minister, Rudy Berkhof. Apparently it was a colour that had been handed down in his family through many generations, starting with his Great Uncle Bernard in the form of a handkerchief he had bequethed to his grand daughter Emily Van Plonk. She later blew a large proportion of the country's cultural budget on a holiday in Ibitha, but who wouldn't?

November 11th

On this day in history in AD 564, the Chilean peasant Alveola Contraras invented the sew-on button, and with it, of necessity, the buttonhole. It could be said then that he invented the trouser fly, or at least this specific variant of it. Contraras was annoyed that his breech-cloth kept falling off on hunting trips exposing him to ridicule. Unfortunately he did not have sufficient foresight to patent the general idea of the button, thus distancing him from a hoard of royalties to be gained from computer applications, let alone that annoying version of hardware that found its first iteration in pocket calculators. Ironically (or not, if you believe Alison Morrisette) he was killed when he paused to do up his fly whilst being charged down by a water buffalo.

November 12th

On this day in 1996 Dirk Gregson invented the Improbable Execution Machine. Dirk had lived in Texas for most of his life and was familiar with existing execution procedures, in fact several of his cousins had encountered them first hand, but none of them struck him as existential enough. His basic problem was that he considered them all too briefly over and not protracted enough (some of his cousins were pretty barbaric ). He had always believed, since his father had beaten him at an early age, that those about to die should be given time enough to consider their death and repent on their sins. He thus invented the IEM, which is programmable to keep you alive for as long as you need to redeem yourself. A special feature of this is the Redeemometer which performs psychological profiles upon you until it determines you are ready to be redeemed, or killed as he preferred to call it. I would like to report the Machine was last used on him after he had killed a nineteen-year-old schoolgirl called Mary Mulligan, but am unable to do so due to legal restrictions. Damn you, Texas.

November 13th

On this day in history in 1814 Lloyd *Ringo* Barrattsworth, a mill-worker in Lankworth, Derbyshire, invented drumsticks for drumming. Previously people had been using chicken drumsticks which so often proved too short for the task (although Clemence Maine employed them to good effect on a retro-bayou hit in 1942 called "God’s Bones"). Obsessed with the notion that drumsticks should be made of animal bone, others tried to develop drumsticks made out of human femurs and tibias, and a money launderer, Ronnie Welch, even rather futilely tried one made out of a scapula in 1789. Finally Lloyd hit on the idea of trimming branches off trees, skinning them of their bark, applying a light oil and marketing them as the modern drumsticks we know today. He even filed a patent for a plastic or nylon tip, but unfortunately these products would not be invented before the Twentieth Century.

November 14th

In 1923 in a reaction to Hegelstein’s famed uncertainly principle, Kurt Junger, a disgraced athelete and meat butcher, invented the certainty principle which suggested you could be certain enough of anything providing you were experiencing it and not drunk out of your mind, and possibly even when you were drunk out of your mind if you were not a Catholic. This conflicted with Rabbi Muti Ezra’s view that all experience was essentially conflicted, and anyway bacteria such as camplyobactor were to blame, at least for making you itch. In 1924 Barry Sturgeon refuted all these arguments by tossing himself off a tall building in Birmingham. No one missed him, except his grandchild Noel Starkey who went on to hold commemorative serves every year, which were usually only attended by a bag lady called Ethel Landrys. So it goes.

November 15th

Liberty was invented in 1647 by an itinerant flute player called Frank Smith, or at least an aglized version of that name. He was convinced he’d been oppressed by robber barons, when in fact he was suffering from a form of paranoia attributed to toxoplasmosis, having fallen face first into a puddle of dog-shit. He set up a school devoted to liberty, and exhorted his scholars to designing loose fitting lingerie and finely crafted pewter objects. He was eventually recognized by King Charles, who met him in the street one night just after the lamp-lighters had done their job. He later went on to patent a process of engraving sentimental messages on bones. But that is another story.

November 16th

In 1904 Schmack McKlusky, a Scottish Immigrant, went on an expedition to Alaska as part of the Gold Rush. He’d invented a new kind of spade called a tetraspade with which he hoped to make his fortune. Unfortunately he didn’t patent it, but merely mentioned it in passing to his Aunt Vera in a letter asking her for money, so no actual drawings of the device exist. His description implied it had multiple spades on a single head. If had persisted with the design and added an electric motor he might have invented the Rotovator, but he didn’t. He managed to find one very small nugget of gold and converted it into whiskey which unfortunately killed him when he wandered out drunk on a cold night and was killed by a bear. Life’s ironies are so rich.

November 17th

On this day in history in 1542 Grogus McMillan invented the self-writing pencil. He had just become heir to a family fortune based on graphite mines in Luxembourg and was keen to find an outlet for his product that didn’t involve Amazon. He invented the self-writing pencil which he claimed when gripped properly was capable of many functions, sketching, tooth-picking, and of course writing. Unfortunately early tests proved it was only capable of writing gibberish or columns for the Daily Mail as they were otherwise known. As the Daily Mail had yet to be formed it of course had a rather limited market, since the market for toothpicks had already been cornered by the Gibbon family of Malaysia, exploiting their wealth of small shards of bamboo.

November 18th

On this day in history, Jock “The Fenian” Crabbe invented the Irish National Lottery. The first prize on the initial draw was a pound of potatoes. It didn’t get any better. Tickets were initially sold in pubs, well one pub, The Lamb & Fiddler, and the results collated by Jock himself, who live in an abandoned bothy in Cork. This was never a problem since no more than twenty tickets were ever sold for any draw. A scandal occurred when an independent adjudicator discovered Jock only announced the winning numbers after he had collated the tickets, and the winner was invariably a member of Jock’s extended family. He died in the Dublin Post Office Siege after running a sweepstake on who would be the first member of his battalion to be killed. His nephew, Grocus O’Riodan won but his victory was short-lived since he had nominated himself. Jock was the second person to be killed. It was the end of an era.

November 19th

Who invented the Monkey Suit, ie a suit which makes a man look like a monkey? The answer is easily accessible by Google, but let us delve deeper into the folklore, because it appears not to be Stanley Kubrick for 2001 There appear to be several contenders, Barry Swazzle who worked for a short time for Barnum’s Circus and who got his wife to run up an approximation of the costume when their regular ape took sick. But before that an Irish Clergyman Amos McLennan took to dressing up as a monkey to go fishing off the quay of his local seaside town. The local police were used to overlooking him, especially when crimes of sheep abuse came up, but one day they found him frozen to death with rime on his moustache. And he hadn’t even caught a crab.

November 20th

On this day in history in 1924, Raoul Puntz, a Brazilian mine-worker, invented inflatable chocolate. He had realized that people who like chocolate (and who doesn’t?) were frequently dissatisfied because their chocolate was too small. He fretted about this for months, even considering the radical solution of making bigger chocolate but decided instead to invent inflatable chocolate. An early teething problem was that chocolate didn’t seem to inflate unless it was molten. He solved this by coming up with an exothermic packaging which warmed and melted the chocolate allowing it to be inflated by a liquorice stick tube, much like those sherbet sweets one used to be able to buy. Raoul was divorced in 1949 and used his considerable wealth to endow a Museum of Stuffed Cats in Sao Paulo.

November 21st

On this Day in History Romulous Turgeon discovered the Denial Synapse Provocating Machine, which enabled people who had denied the existence of social media to re-affirm their belief in it. The machine came in a walnut box with ormalu dials and many spinning rods and discs. The dials enabled you to programme in the date of your initial denial and a small crystal window displayed the expected date of your rehabilition, accurate to one or two years. Romulus sold the patent to Mark Zuckerberg who promptly buried it in a lead coffin in the Marianos Trench.

November 22nd

On this day in history in 1900 Yin and Yang, who were two competing salt-fish merchants in San Francisco, started the celebrated six-year war by refusing to set foot in each other's establishments. This was only finally resolved by the San Francisco Earthquake which reduced both their establishments to rubble. Yang sought to recoup his losses by selling salted cod from a temporary barrow on Market Street, but was closed down by the Health Authorities for encouraging rats.

November 23rd

The electronic halo was invented on this day in history in 1924 by Nicholas Tesla as a device to keep flies out of his hair. It operated on much the same principle as those glowing things you find in food shops which are supposed to stun and convulse insects but in fact do nothing. Tesla of course went on to develop the elctric car after he was dead, which was quite some trick.

November 24th

In 1918 Raoul Terwilliger returned from the front in WW1 (although they didn’t know it as that at the time), In his personal luggage he had a palliasse, the head of a dead donkey and a hat-box which contained a mysterious device. He chose to reveal this at a lecture sponsored by the entertainment magnate Charles B. Coughlin (Lily of Rhodes, The Shrimps of East Hampshire, Shrouns of the Ancient Nephalim). Tewilliger opened the hat box and revealed a hat so hideously malformed it cause many in the audience to vomit uncontrollably. After adjusting several controls on the hat he was struck by a vast bolt of lightning and promptly disintegrated and reduced to his constituent atoms. Only a vague aroma of sulphur and Lynx deodorant remains (which are more or less the same). Later, in 2018, Terwilliger would return to assassinate the recumbent President at the time (whoever that might be) thus proving time travel was possible, but not until 2018.

November 25th

On this day in history in 1878 the renown chef Maurice Le Truncheon invented the ham and pineapple topping for pizza. He was promptly guillotined and attempts made by the authorities to destroy his cooking notes. Unfortunately he had already emailed it to his friend Ramsey Gordon who was about to open a pizza chain called “Pizzas From Hell” and thought it an ideal menu choice. Remember what Edmund Burke said: “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is for good men to eat ham and pineapple pizza.”

November 26th

On his day in history in 1678 Prince Ferdinand de Lozenge III knitted the first ever balaclava. It wasn’t called this of course, because this was some time before the Battle of Balaclava which was largely responsible for its popularization. Prince Ferdinand (the idiot son of Ferdinand de Lozenge II) originally conceived of it as an article of clothing for either disguising yourself as a bear to prevent bear attacks, or else for pretending to be a bear and threatening people you met outside late-night kebab shops (Gyros shops if you are American). It is safe to say he had an obsession with bears, since his Grandmother often claimed to have been one. "What big teeth you have..." His original balaclava is now lodged in the Oslo Museum of Knitwear and has been seen by at least ten people, according to their visitor’s book.

November 27th

On this day in 2013, Ephraim Pollock, a deranged grocer living in Tool, Michigan, invented the multiple choice quiz for Facebook. Except it wasn’t multiple choice. It was a choice of two options. Basically it was Russian Roulette with only two chambers loaded, or three out of six chambers loaded with duds if you prefer to look at it that way. Thus we got questions such as Queen Elizabeth is a) a woman or b) a man. Not surpringingly a lot of the Facebook users went for this big-time, so now you are unable to see virtually anything but such a quiz if you use the site. Ephraim Pollock had two choices as to how he was to live his life: a) continue with life’s daily drudge, or b) kill myself. Unfortunately he chose the former.

November 28th

On this day in history in 1907, Snazz Murphy, an itinerant drummer who played in Ross McDoodle’s Irish Rag Time Band invented the rim shot. He was attempting to eat a hot dog while drumming when grease caused him to momentary loose his grip on his sticks. In attempting to recapture them he performed not only an inadvertent triple flam pressed ham roll, but a distinct rim shot, which was fortunately recorded for posterity by a very young Thomas Alva Edison who had wandered into his local jazz club looking for somewhere to charge up his Prius. Snazz later went on to achieve fame of a sort in Martin Scorcese’s film: “They Shoot Drummers Don’t They” when he gave a memorable display of a drummer collapsing in the middle of a drumming marathon by actually collapsing.

November 29th

In 1909 the famous Irish Wrestler Tits Malone invented the rarely seen wrestling manoeuvre which was to become known as the North Sea Crab. In a bout against the Welsh Champion Gryff Felascue he pinned him four times with this manoeuvre but because it had not yet been officially recognized it was not ruled upon by the referee, Shirley Malone, a distant relative of Tits. Gryff was recorded the victor, although went home to the Valleys to die in obscurity.This eventually led to a huge family feud in the Malone based upon family loyalties and indeed royalties which unfortunately is too extensive for us to research here, safe to say it had repercussions which if followed through might have prevented the First World War. In that case the Second World War would have had to become the First World War and you can see what confusion that would have caused.

November 30th

Today in history, in 1965, Richard Bing a qualified orthodontist raised in Marlborough, West Virginia, invented the hand car wash. He conscripted his sons (he had twelve or various ethic backgrounds) to work in it, and they proved excellent at buffing and polishing, as well as essentially wiping. Little Michael would occasionally scratch the finish with the ostentatious rings he sometimes wore but no one seemed to notice or care, except Richard who punished him for it incessantly. He tried to franchise his business but wouldn't tolerate approaches from anyone who had less than twelve sons. That seemed to be a make or break issue with him. He was last seen jumping boxcars in Alabama in an attempt to put his life behind him.