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Posted on 07 October 2010

by Peter Hamilton Travis

On May 19, 1952 CBS broadcast Desilu Production #32 of I Love Lucy entitled: “Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio.” And according to one Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III:

“Columbus discovered Ohio in 1776.”

So, there we have it. Straight — albeit gaily, athletically fumbled from arguably the most innovative pioneer’s mouth in television history. An American Icon — born into one of Cuba’s wealthiest, most influential families.

Does Bacardi rum ring any bells? Desi’s mother’s father, Alberto de Acha was one of the distillery’s three founders. Desi’s father, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz was Santiago’s youngest mayor. And served in the Cuban House of Representatives. Luckily, the family left for Miami before Fidel started fiddling with it.

Christopher Columbus was a navigator and admiral for the Crown of Castile — which eventually became Spain. And on October 12, 1492, Columbus allegedly landed near what is now Baracoa, Cuba. In the municipality of Guantánamo. As in, “Bay.” He wasted no time claiming the island for the new Kingdom of Spain. Formerly Castile. As in, “Dr. Bronner.”

Funny story: The Spanish enslaved approximately 100,000 indigenous people who refused conversion to Catholicism. And promptly put them to work mining for gold. Within 100 years they were virtually wiped out by a virulent stew of Eurasian infectious diseases. Thanks Chris.

Have you been to Spain? I have not. But I’d love to go. I never met a matador I didn’t like.

On Google image search.

So, if you choose to believe the man who invented the modern, three camera television studio plus the insanely lucrative business of TV syndication — over those tragic historians — Señor Columbus did not push off from his private slip at The Valenciana Club de Yate & Pilota* to discover The New World.

*For those of you unfamiliar with Ye Ol’ Español, “Pilota” is the traditional sport of Valencia. Similar to handball (as in, “Lucille”). Oh my…Valencia oranges are the exact same color as Ms. Ball’s hair!

I’m a genius. Just like Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III. Who knew the Piña Colada was not headed for the New World. It was headed for Ohio — The Old World.

This is also sort of a fun fact: In Ye Ol’ Español, “Ohio” means, “eight.” As long as, “Ohio” is spelled, “Ocho.” Remove your reading glasses and you’ll not see exactly what I’m referring to.

Since 1971, Columbus Day has been fixed to the second Monday in October — the same day as Thanksgiving in Canada (Reverse-O-Land). And South Dakota celebrates an official state holiday known as “Native American Day” rather than Columbus Day. That’s terribly thoughtful, don’t you think?

Well, I certainly hope I’ve bestowed upon you a veritable cornucopia of holiday-relevant facts. And images. More than enough to make a good impression on those you plan to spend Columbus Day Weekend with. Doing whatever it is you do out here for Columbus Day Weekend. Besides the obvious:

  • Compulsively raking the handful of leaves that haven’t even considered falling yet.

  • Packing up your family — or any family — to go pumpkin picking. A word of caution: pumpkin picking alone is considered theft.

  • On the way home from the fields, why not stop into Williams-Sonoma and pick up a set of Kensai Pumpkin Cutlery (the “Miyamoto Musashi Emperor Collection.” With silicon-infused, glacially tempered ceramic blades. Not the “Sasaki Kojir? Kollection.”) Sure those Sasaki’s are half the price — $1,799 as opposed to $3,998 — but your jackass-o-lantern will do nothing but win you the acrid scorn of every child in the neighborhood. And bring much shame upon your domicile. These toddlers today all have HD DVR-formatted, GPS-enabled, face-recognizing smart-alecky phones. Trust me — you don’t want your Hallo’s Eve failure broadcast across the Internet before you finish sweeping up the gourde effluvia (oh they’ll do some damage alright). You’ll spend your entire night online. Obsessively monitoring the ever-multiplying chat rooms — teeming with mean-spirited commentary regarding your poor knife skills. And lack of character. As far as fifth graders are concerned.

  • Spend four minutes electronically inflating a two story black cat with illuminated, piercing red eyes and claw-spiked paws the size of armchairs. This item is available for $299.95. Seriously. From that impossible to pronounce catalog that begins with an “H” and ends with a…I actually have no idea. It may not even be a letter. I think it’s a petroglyph.

  • Douse freshly picked apples (not by you, of course — let’s leave that to the professionals in Albany) with warm caramel. I wonder what sort of self-hating, pre-diabetic first decided they could improve upon the apple (a Bible fruit!) by enrobing it with burnt sugar, butter, and heavy cream?

No Martha, I don’t believe it was you.

Or Rachel Ray.

Or that elderly Southern woman who slurred her words and burped — live — throughout her entire appearance on a certain home shopping channel.

Y’all just continue focusing on new product development!

“How little bamboo fiber (dried silt from the local province’s cement factory much?) can we use — and still meet the Global Loom Board’s dogged criteria for “150 Thread Count?”

“Is China still the cheapest place on Earth to extrude a Mylar bed skirt with contrasting pillow shams?

“We could shave a few bucks off the per boxcar cost by outsourcing. Could whatever’s still moving on Plum Island be tased into manually cranking rusty duvet machines?”

As far as this weekend goes — I’m sticking with Ricky

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