Case History 7: Stop Holding Your Breath The New World Has Been Discovered!

Tabac is the Real Gold!

It’s the 1490s, and it’s a funny thing, talking about the new world like it’s brand new. Hey, it’s been around long as the old world, if you think about it. At any rate, Chris Columbus left the old world and ran into the new world.

Of course, it wasn’t all tea and roses for young Chris. He and his mighty crew jumped in their three sailing juggernauts and headed across the ocean like madmen–until his men got scared.

navigational error

Put your right foot out and shake it all about...


“Oh, Chris,” they whined, “We’re lost and we’re going to fall off the edge of the world and monsters are going to eat us in hell and–” And then a bird dropping hit one of the mutinous scallawags in the eye and ended the mutiny.

Where’s there’s birds there’s land, or so they reasoned. And, sure enough, within a few days they found an island. And more islands and natives and parrots and all sorts of stuff…guess the new world is a little crowded.

Anyway, the natives–called Indians after India, which is where silly Chris thought he was–were handsome lads and lasses, and Chris thought to himself (and wrote in his journal), “I know that they are a people who can be made free and converted to our Holy Faith more by love than by force.” And, so thinking (and writing), he promptly began asking where the gold was.

Well, he didn’t find any gold, but he went home to Spain and told everybody that there was gold, and man, now it looks like rush hour for the New World. Now that everybody knows there’s gold in them thar moun…uh, islands, everybody wants to hop a boat and go prospecting. Or at least get the natives to do some prospecting.

So Chris had no trouble getting backing now, and he returned to the New World with 17 ships and SCADS of men and guns and cannon and guns and swords and guns. And a few guns, too. Guess the 2nd amendment hadn’t been invented yet.

And, sad to say, though SCADS of natives were enslaved and made to dig for gold, and then, BTW, died, no gold was found. Fortunately, however, this thing called Tabaco was found: it’s a rolled up leaf that’s put in a device, and then lit on fire, and then the two prongs on the device are inserted in the nostrils, and everybody (so goes the rumor) gets healthy! But it’s all right, because for all this slavery and misery and tabaco and stuff, and for never actually setting foot on the actual continent of the New World, Chris sailed home, got thrown in jail, and died.

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