Columns » Bob Lancaster

The worst month

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Here's more damning evidence that January is and always has been the worst month.

It was in January 2000 that Tom DeLay, well-known Texas bug exterminator and palm-greaser, patented his idea to bribe termites with special-interest money into moving from big campaign-contributors' houses to those of the poor and un-influential.

According to Bob Woodward, it was in January 2003 that the Decider decided to launch a war against Iraq, no matter what.  

It was in January 1835 that a nut with a gun first tried to assassinate an American president. That would've been Andrew Jackson — the president, not the nut. Although.

"Dr." John R. Brinkley first implanted goat testicles into the shriveled scroti of yahoos with the droops, promising thereby to restore their virility, in Milford, Kan., in January 1918. By the time he turned up in Little Rock in January 1938 he'd refined his technique, instead of inserting the caprine nads whole, whirring them instead in a primitive blender into a godawful injectable goop. Jeez. Sumbitch never went to jail, either.

Douglas MacArthur, unanimously voted the biggest prick in the U.S. military between Sheridan and Westmoreland, was born in Little Rock in January 1880. He never wanted to admit his native Arkieship, and we're not crazy about the idea, either, anymore.

It was in January 1984 that God spoke to Pat Day through the TV larynx of Jimmy Swaggart in a Florida motel room, telling him that for the remainder of his career as a jockey he'd be "riding for Jesus."

In January 1891, just after the Wounded Knee massacre, while the frozen bodies, mostly squaws and papooses, still lay uncollected in the snow, a young editorial writer named L. Frank Baum, who'd later write the Wizard of Oz books, sat down in the newspaper office in nearby Aberdeen, S.D., to assess the tragedy. "... Our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians," he wrote. "Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth."

Britney Spears began spreading 'em indiscriminately in January 2000,  perhaps as inspiration rather than augury for her mega-hit, "Oops! I Did It Again."

Nixon, Elvis, and J. Edgar Hoover all born in January, which pretty much foredoomed U.S. 20th Century karma. It was allegedly in January too that "Mary" Hoover first partied in curly black wig, little red dress, and naughty boa. Another January, Pat Nixon switched from furtive Pall Malls to sylphid Virginia Slims.

It was in January 1941 that Max Schreck, aka Count Orlok, or Nosferatu, winged to the United States to take up a new identity as one Richard Bruce Cheney, allegedly "born" in Lincoln, Neb., that same month.

It was in the January afterglow of 2004 that Janet Jackson's bazoomba popped out for 100-million TV viewers to ogle at halftime in Super Bowl 38. I missed it, gone for brewskis.   

Much of the Rape of Nanking occurred in January 1938. Look it up and tell me: He's got the whole world in His hands?

The Slaughter of the Innocents occurred entirely in the month of January in 1 A.D.

The Alamo was built in January 1718 by Oompah-Loompas, who were given to understand that it would be a chocolate factory.

Rumors peaked in January 1955 of something going on between Pinky Lee and Soupy Sales. Very disillusioning to a boonies 11-year-old. Might've presaged Pee-wee Herman forgetting to laugh in January 1992 over fallout from his flogging the bishop at the Bijou.

The Battle of New Orleans — January 1815, when Old Hickory put the bloody British to running through briars, brambles, and bushes where a rabbit couldn't go — the battle best remembered for the U.S. artillerymen who fired their field pieces till the barrels melted, then grabbed them some alligators and fought another round using them as cannons. Taught as fact in Texas.

Theodore Roosevelt died in January 1919 and we've had nothing but pussy presidents since.

It was January 2004 when Billy Bob Thornton revealed that his impressive phobia roster included graven images of Benjamin Disraeli. 

David O. Dodd, the Boy Martyr of the Confederacy, has been disinterred 12 times for ceremonial rehanging on the anniversary of his execution as a Confederate spy in January 1864.  

It was January 1961 when warden Jim Bruton first made what he called a "long-distance call" by hooking up the Tucker Telephone to a convict's big toe and penis and having a trusty turn the crank. LOL for ol' Jim.

After first refutiating the idea, Sarah Palin decided in January 2008 that it would be OK to burden the child she was expecting with the name Trig, which wags would assume was short for either Roy Rogers' horse or a branch of mathematics. Agreed-on moniker for any future Trig sib: Crosshair.

And in this January's rosy fingers, omens dire — for every Beebe blackbird falling dead from the sky, 20 Ozark gaspergou bellied up as if in propitiation.

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