How Pangaea Got Its Groove Back

Posted on October 9, 2004 by Jenna

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The world is divided. It is full of disunity. Strife reigns between the classes of society. It is a hard time for America. It is a hard time for the world.

But it was not always so.

In the grand days of the British Empire all things were as one. All people were as one. Even the continents were as one, with America joined right up against Europe’s hip.

The British Empire ruled the seas, back then. They were spit-spot sharp and full of discipline. If a sailor spoke back against his captain, he’d be flogged. If he ignored his duty, he’d be killed. And if he committed mutiny, it was the beanstalk for him!

… it was the beanstalk for him!

Beanstalking a sailor works like this. First, one builds a beanstalk (or “space elevator”) into orbit. Then one positions the sailor carefully some distance from the beanstalk. Then one snaps the beanstalk by hitting it with a meteor. It whips around and strikes the sailor with colossal force. Often mutinous sailors were punished with as many as seven lashes from the beanstalk. These were tough British sailors, so they didn’t shed a tear. Or die. They just chinned up, reassembled themselves from tiny scraps of flesh, and said, “Thank ye, captain, can I ‘ave another?”

Scientists at the Spanish Institute for Objections objected. They said that the pounding of the broken orbital beanstalks against the earth was cutting a deep trench through the center of Europe.

… the scientists objected!

“Pish tosh!” the hardy British sea captains said. “A little beanstalk-flogging’s good for a country. Builds character.”

“Honestly!” leading scientists declared. They marched off in a huff.

The trench down the center of Europe grew deeper and deeper. Occasionally beanstalks would be out of alignment and would cut random extra trenches. People tried to find a good use for these trenches, but they didn’t really succeed until World War I, and even that was widely considered a bad idea.

… the trenches were useless!

One day, a sailor named Bert was so snottily mutinous he had to be beanstalk flogged no less than fifteen times. Crack! Crack! Crack! And twelve more cracks after that!

Europe split in half.

“Oh my,” said the scientists of Spain. Spain was drifting rapidly out to sea!

… “Oh, my!”

Spain leapt into action. Hundreds of Spaniards got into boats and rapidly paddled over to Europe. The rest declared their new continent “America,” or, translating from their native Spanish, “Helplessly Adrift.”

British ministers assembled in the highest halls of government.

“We should blame Bert,” said a leading minister. “It’s all his fault.”

… “It’s all Bert’s fault!”

“It won’t stick,” said the Queen.

“We could blame the captain,” the minister tried.

The Queen shook her head. “The military’s like teflon for blame,” she said. “It won’t stick! It won’t stick!”

… like teflon for blame!

“Well, we can’t very well blame you.”

The Queen frowned. “Let us award Spain a small country in damages and pretend they have always lived there.”

That’s how America and Europe came to be separated. If you go to Mexico, you can see remnants of the original Spanish culture—that’s proof!

… that’s the proof!