Archive for November 17th, 2010

This Day in Revisionist History

*This Day in Revisionist History: A new feature where Jake talks about something that could be cool or whatever if it happened in history.

(Editor’s note: In case you missed our historic introduction of Jake earlier today, this is a classic from Jake’s archive. Tune in next week for the current edition!)

October 18:

“Wait, was that a bear? No dude, I’m not kidding, I think I just saw a f*cking grizzly bear!”

–General Lovell Rousseau on the morning of October 18, 1867, shortly after accepting the transfer of the Alaskan territory from Russia on behalf of the United States.

Nowadays almost everyone knows Alaska has bears, but as they say: Hindsight is 20/20. Now granted, this doesn’t make sense, because 20/20 is just the de facto standard; recent studies have suggested that optimal visual acuity occurs at about 20/8. But hey, when they came up with that expression, they didn’t have the benefit of…okay, you see where I’m going with this (and that’s called foresight, which strangely enough no one measures, not even metaphorically).

In any case, William Seward certainly didn’t know that the winter wonderland he had purchased in the spring of that year was overflowing with more bears than present day New York City has people, and so it was with great confidence that he signed the treaty with Russia’s minister to the United States, Baron Edouard de Stoeckl, who had risen to prominence in Russia despite his Turkish birth after developing what many industry experts now recognize as the most approximate precursor to the toaster strudel. Continue reading

Introducing…Jake!

Recently, NPI has begun internal discussions about taking on additional staff. It’s not that John, Josh, Tim, and Pierre can’t handle the workload, but recently NPI’s revenues have gotten so excessive that we literally don’t know what to do with it all. We decided to put some of our more indigent friends and relatives on payroll, but it turns out that–according to the IRS–sometimes we have to publish them if they’re on payroll. Rather than risk tarnishing the overall quality of NPI, though, we subjected them all to a rigorous interview process. The only survivor was Jake, whose interview is included here:

An NPI Artist Rendering of Our Newest Contributor

What are your qualifications? In other words, who do you think you are?

A small bit of personal background: while this disclosure will almost certainly fuel the accusations of rampant nepotism at NPI, I attended college at the college of Duke, more accurately known as Duke University. In my free time I majored in English, delightedly consuming and artfully abusing what is indisputably the greatest language in the world. I am the defiant answer to Vampire Weekend’s insolent query: “Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?”

Professionally, I’m a humorist whose style was once described simply as “abstract” by a very terse observer. I like to think I’m at least 19 times as funny as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but I write for a much narrower audience. Like most journalists, I can’t be taken seriously, but unlike most journalists I consider this my top selling point. Continue reading

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