Not all Civil War trivia is factual!
by Jonah Begone
Michael Kendra of civilwartalk.com wrote me an e-mail:
I just found this and just about died laughing. You really need to see this book:
Civil War Trivia Book, by Peter Darman, Published by Barnes & Noble 2007.
Check out page 222, check out the question and answer at the bottom of the page...
Q: Why was the field artillery piece the "Parrot Gun" so called?
A: In the late 1840's, an exotic bird craze swept the United States. Parrots and parakeets were imported by the thousands. The birds became major problems in cities. In response the authorities ordered the development of artillery pieces to solve the problem. Two models were speedily developed: a ten-pound parrot gun for medium and small birds, and a twenty-pounder for larger parrots. The guns proved a failure and were put into storage, only to be brought out again for use in the Civil War.
Lots of laughs! Should this book be in the History or Humor section?
The funny part of this is that this information comes from a satirical article that my pard Mal Stylo wrote back in 1986 or so, A Brief Histrionic Sketch of the Parrot Gun. (You'd think that the word "histrionic" would clue the reader into the fact that the article is satire...) I've had it posted here on JonahWorld! since 1996. Apparently if it's on the Internet it must be true...
By the way, I get reports of what people are searching for on JonahWorld!, and notice almost monthly searches for "origin of rap music," which leads them to this article. Perhaps some day I'll see text from this website appearing in a book of modern music, despite my note at the bottom of the page... - Jonah