Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Brief History of My Ancestors

People always ask me, "Expatriate, your such an interesting person. What makes you so interesting?" Well, fair reader, my disturbingly popular personality comes from many places, chief among them, my ancestors. I come from a long line of strange types who have inhabited many places on this green earth and been both scalawags and kings. From the lowliest horse thief, to the highest general, past relatives of mine are both eccentric and amazing. These great people have combined DNA over the centuries to make for a very interesting person, chiefly, me. Therefore, I have decided to dip into my vast vault of family history and relate to you, dear reader, a few of the more colorful members of my illustrious clan.

King Harfongog
Perhaps the earliest of my relatives. This tapestry was discovered in 1909 in Germany. The figure pictured is only known as King Harfongog. Inscribed on the back of the artwork is this inscription, apparently written in a type of ink made from a mixture of goat blood and dirt, as was the custom of the time.
"Be-eth known before all angels descended that great King Harfongog ruled with an iron fist. All loved him, save for those damn-ed Swarfongog's who lordeth over the great King their vast resources of goat's blood. Great King Harfongog despises-eth the Swarfongog, even in death."
This inscription was translated from some early Germanic dialect that apparently was only spoken in this province.

Lormoni Triaste
My royal roots seem to end with the great King Harfongog, but another distant relative, Lormoni Triaste, made a substantial impact to humanity. A writer who lived in Italy during the time of Dante, apparently, Lormoni wrote dozens of risque articles about the ruling families of the time and was welcomed in several prestigious courts. During his lifetime, Lormoni compiled his articles into a loose leaf book and thereby created the first celebrity gossip magazine, affectionately known as "Idiots Divertenti" or translated as "Funny Idiots." While the common people laughed and enjoyed the book, the ruling families turned on their once favorite writer and hung him out a window in Venice by his intestines.

Fransisco La Pasas
People should know this by now, but I truly do love adventures. On of my favorite relatives is pictured here. Fransisco Del Amonoti Armo La Pasas, or simply known as "Chip" to his friends. Chip was a pseudo-successful olive oil salesman in Spain, but when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, Chip was all over it. Wanderlust is a great aspect of my family and Chip was no exception. Having no seamanship experience whatsoever, Chip was undetered. He sold the entire business, took out dozens of loans from known loan sharks and set out. Because Chip sunk all his money into a ship, he could not afford any maps or experienced sailors. Therefore, late one night, before Christopher Columbus' 4th voyage to the New World, Chip stole an extremely long line and lashed his ship to one of Columbus'. The next morning when Columbus set out, Chip was towed along. About halfway through the journey, Columbus discovered the ruse and cut Chip loose. Not knowing how to steer and not having any crew put a pretty big damper on Chip's endeavors. Through Providence, though, Chip made it to the New World, but a bit off course. Chip landed in California in 1513.

Gustav Deborgunbergunshiem
Known as Gustav the Relentless, this ancient relative of mine lived in Bartovlia, near the German/Austrian border. A local warlord by trade, Gustav was also an avid adverb enthusiast, claiming at one time to have single handedly created 974 adverbs. He was known to have a less than pleasant disposition, but was a world class mutton chef. Gustav has yet to die and still shows up to a few of my family reunions. He always corners me and wants to tell me about his damn adverbs. God he drives me crazy.

Grand Duke Chutney of Vilsmarch
Grand Duke Chutney of Vilsmarch was born into a life of luxury. This relative of mine was known in France as a gadfly and scoundrel. He frequented several courts of intrigue. In his 19 volume autobiography, "My Life Kicking Ass and Breaking All The Rules," Chutney notes:

"I had a certain way with the ladies, what can I say. Lady Disonrei visited me one night and I totally made out with her in front of her husband. God did he have this really bad look on his face. He couldn't do shit, though. Me and the king, well we were tight, so Lord Disonrei just had to eat it."

Chutney died of syphilis and left 402 children (known.)
Lord Albert Whisthurst-Aborgast of Tinnery Hall
During the Revolutionary War in America, I had several relatives that fought on both sides. Perhaps the most intriguing is this guy. Lord Albert was a commander who fought under several British commanders of some distinction in the Americas. While his fighting skills were suspect, the British command truly loved Lord Albert due to his uncanny knack for impressions and comedy skits. Throughout his career, Lord Albert made up what he lacked in soldiering, by entertaining everyone. In fact, when Cornwallis surrendered to U.S. forces at Yorktown, Lord Albert sealed the deal by doing some great impressions of King George for both U.S. and British troops. Lord Albert retired to England and served in Parliament. He is credited as being the originator of political satire.
Only known as Vsldsky, this Russian mystic is perhaps my strangest relative. Born in the village of St. Swithenssky, in southern Russia, Vsldsky was known, even as a boy, as a person of magic and mystery. At the age of 7, Vsldsky is reported to have levitated more that 100 feet and accused the moon of crimes against the Czar. Taken aback by this poor boy's amazing feats, a local Russian soldier adopted the child and took him to the capital for an audience with the Czar. Once at the capital, the Czar commissioned the 7 year old as "High Mystic of the First Order" and commanded him to see into the future for what lay ahead for the Czar's family. Discovering that the Czar's family would be destroyed, Vsldsky kept things to himself and escaped the palace late one night. He moved back to southern Russia and performed his tricks at birthday parties. He was lynched in 1917 for not having any vowels in his name.

Colonel Josiah Tammerlane
Colonel Josiah Tammerlane was my connection to the Civil War. Born a poor farmer in Lawrence County Mississippi, Tammerlane always knew he was destined for greatness. At the outset of the Civil War he enlisted in the Mississippi Regiment and quickly advanced from private to colonel in about 4 months, due to every commander being shot at the Battle of Antietam. During the war, Tammerlane was heralded as the most boastful man in the entire confederacy, once stating to a Mississippi reporter who was embedded with his unit, "I don't give a damn. No, I'm serious, you can print this. I am the baddest ass guy in this whole damn army. Cause? I could care less about the Cause! I'm here to fight, baby. Fuck the confederacy, fuck the union, and fuck you too!" Tammerlane reportedly killed 670 union troops single handedly and 834 confederate soldiers. When the war ended, Tammerlane was extremely distraught and moved to New Orleans where he became a bouncer in the high class nightclub, "Whorehouse." Tammerlane was shot and killed by Jefferson Davis in Biloxi for "being a royal jackass."

Sir Major Thomas Dolby
In the vast tomes of my family history, I discovered this distant relative who lived in India during the British Raj. Known as a quiet man, Dolby was an effective leader, due to his refusal to answer any direct questions, but merely respond in a heavy British accent and divert the question to something else. Dolby was knighted by the Queen for his management of the town of Portmajanti on the coast of India during the Great Rebellion. Dolby maintained the calmness of the town by instituting a "casual friday" for all Indian workers. Decades ahead of his time, Dolby allowed Hawaiian shirts, jeans and even funny ties. The native population praised him for this great gesture. Dolby retired to Bombay and wrote his memoir, "Maintaining the Status Quo: A Lesson in Corporate Governance." This book was listed as one of Kenneth Lay's favorite books.

Albrect Fortenblau
Professor of literature at Oxford in England. Known to his students as "Old Son of a Bitch" Fortenblau was a devotee of Armenian literature and translated several Armenian fictions classics into English. Fortenblau despised teaching, but felt it necessary in order to fund his research projects in literature, such as organizing several trips to Armenia to study the categorizing system of the libraries. Fortenblau was an acquaintance of both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Seeing these two writers/professors rise to fame in their own time for their respective works, only embittered Fortenblau who felt the lack of a middle name inhibited his chances for real success. During the mid 1960s all known copies of Fortenblau's writings were burned during a hippy sit-in Oxford. No other books were harmed, but the students, due to their absolute hatred of Fortenblau felt it necessary so future generations would not be plagued by him.

Well, there you have it. Not a complete list, but some of my more intersting relatives.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe it! You've joined the rest of the blogging world by posting a picture. Congratulations, welcome to the 21st century...I'm so mean.

Anonymous said...

No, you know I'm kidding. This is my favorite blog yet. Very funny.

The Expatriate said...

Danke. I posted it when I was supposed to be doing a project that was due the next day. I am so good at time management.