Thursday, April 2, 2009

Almost Making History 2

It seems that making history, becoming famous, changing the world is as much about having dumb luck as having great talent, superior intelligence or innate predisposition. There are so many stories of people that just happened to have the right idea, at the right place and at the right time that I decided to write about those that happened to have the wrong idea, at the wrong place or at the wrong time. Note that the names, dates and events have been changed to protect the innocent and ensure their continued anonymity.
Berezekiah White was a bright young man. Growing up in Maryland, people often wondered how such an intelligent kid could come from such a stupid family. His father, Jeremiah, was an entrepreneur of sorts. He started many businesses that all ended in some sort of failure. He finally became a pastor for a relatively unknown church. When asked why he took on that line of work, he used to say: "God can't let down this time, I'm working for him!". He was wrong as after a few years his small but vocal congregation chased him out of the church. Berezekiah's mother was not much better: long thought to be deaf and mute, it was finally realized that she just never payed attention when people were talking to her as she was busy counting everything she saw. As for the other White siblings, none stood out other than when wearing their yellow raincoats.
Berezekiah was a keen observer and really enjoyed trying to solve problems or find different uses for things. He was certainly the first one to think of using corn as a means to determine the duration of human digestion. With his friends Duncan and Alonzo, he spent hours dreaming of new gadgets. On a few occasions, they even tried to bring some of these to life. For the longest time, neighbors remembered the trio's attempt at creating an automatic mixer using Duncan's family gramophone. Miss Lovejoy said it took her weeks to remove the egg yoke from the sheets she had hung in her backyard. Over time though, the three became better and better at it.
But, as it is so often the case in life, love muddled the waters. Duncan had met a beautiful young woman named Mariah and was intent on getting married. One day, Duncan presented Mariah to his two friends. Beresekiah was immediately smitten. He could not stop thinking of Mariah day and night. He started to court her secretly and, over time, won her over. In order to avoid facing Duncan, Berezekiah and Mariah ran away to Canada, hoping to take advantage of the Klondike Gold Rush (they were at least a decade too late). They finally settled down in Dawson City, where they opened a gramophone repair shop, leveraging Berezekiah's expertise in the subject. Berezekiah and Mariah led a fairly happy yet uneventful life.
Before Berezekiah's sudden departure, the trio had decided to open a small machine shop to be named Decker in Black and White (a play on words based on their last names). Obviously, with the resentment Duncan felt towards Berezekiah for stealing his Mariah, the name of the company was changed. It became known as Black and Decker... The rest, as they say, is history.


  1. I don't know where you find these stories, but they're great!! I had such a good chuckle over this one! Thanks!

  2. Thank you Isobel! I don't know where I find them... they just pop up!!!