By Ryan

“They’re out for presidents to represent them; you really think a president could represent you?”

Minneapolis hip-hop artist and social-genius P.O.S.

In honor of President’s Day, I thought we’d dishonor the highest office in the land by taking it down a few pegs.  The following are confirmed myths of the U.S. Presidency:potus

MYTH: George Washington was honest beyond expectancy, famously admitting to chopping down a cherry tree.

FACT: Because cherries where commonly believed to be grown underground in Washington’s day, a young George thought his coked-out father was just talking crazy.  John Adams overheard the remark and began spreading rumors.  By the time Washington was running for office, he found it necessary to engage in an early incarnation of spin-control, going on Meet the Press with his now-famous “honesty” gimmick.

MYTH: Lewis and Clark brought Thomas Jefferson some grizzly cubs, which the President kept as pets.

FACT: The animals were actually dogs belonging to Jefferson’s slaves.  Upon returning from their trip with only a t-shirt proclaiming “My appointed explorers went all over the country and all I got was this stupid shirt,” Lewis and Clark were pressed for more gifts by the President.  Being the quick thinkers they were, they quickly rounded up some pups from the White House slave shed and gave them to the delighted leader.

MYTH: Commodore Matthew Perry continued the giving-the-president-dogs tradition when he gave Franklin Pierce two tiny dogs from Japan called “sleeve dogs.”  Pierce gave one of the dogs to Jefferson Davis, who later became the leader of the Confederacy.

FACT: If, indeed, two dogs had been the best of friends, traveled from Japan to the U.S. together, been torn apart by politics, and found their owners on either sides of a civil war, clearly this tale would have been made into a movie.  As it stands, we have no reason to believe such an event occurred until it is optioned as a screenplay.

MYTH: Ulysses S. Grant smoked as many as twenty cigars a day.

FACT: A pretty-boy athlete from the fluffy West Point academy, Grant wanted desperately to have the badass image of his predecessor, Andrew Johnson.  While VP Schuyler Colfax severely botched the big Reconstruction project, Grant and Secretary of State Elihu B. Washburne schemed up ways to make the president look cool.  The South is still paying repercussions and, presumably, reparations.  How else do you explain it?

MYTH: Benjamin Harris and his family were scared of the newly-installed electricity in the White House.

FACT: Pre-1900’s electricity relied heavily on eels and nude drawings of Nikola Tesla.  Anyone brave enough to face either would have been considered clinically insane, and thus, unfit for the office.

MYTH: Theodore Roosevelt coined the term “White House” as a nickname for the executive mansion.

FACT: Teddy was simply messing with reporters, encouraging them to visit the “official presidential website,” www.whitehouse.com, snickering as he said it under the long-held assumption that the site was pornographic in nature.  “Not dot-gov,” he would always add, “dot-com.”

MYTH: William Taft once got stuck in the White House bathtub.

FACT: It was actually Dom Deluise who got stuck in the President’s tub.  In order to not embarrass the legendary comedian, Taft courageously took the blame himself.  To this day, Deluise refuses to include Taft jokes in his set even though they are among the best Presidential jokes of all time.  In a related myth, Warren Harding’s famous gambling exploits are actually those of star basketball player Michael Jordan.

MYTH: Herbert Hoover approved “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.

FACT: Hoover pushed long and hard for Andre 3000 (Outkast)’s “Hey Ya!” to be the national anthem.  A millionaire who loved the bling-bling lifestyle promoted by rap music, Hoover was ultimately defeated in his efforts by the player-hatin’ Congress, many of whom were collectors of vintage Francis Scott Key LPs.

These are just a few of the thousands of myths surrounding U.S. Presidents.  Take time this President’s Day to remember those men who have fooled us all with their crazy tales in our nation’s confusing history.

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