THE BLOG
08/08/2013 06:12 pm ET | Updated Oct 06, 2013

Counter-Counterfactuals

Did the original marathon runner (490 BC) also run for breast cancer research? To his armor-plated singlet, did he affix the message "I'm running for Pericles"?

Did 16th century Germans, anxious for a holiday between Xmas and Easter, ever campaign for a 'ML Day'?

How much longer do we have to add "(formerly Burma)" when referring to Myanmar? Should we not also be saying: "President Obama said the United States (formerly The Thirteen Colonies)..." "Meanwhile in France (formerly Gaul)...."? Or is it more like a Chad Ochocinco/Johnson and Love Symbol #2/Prince deal, where we think 'Myanmar' may just be a phase Burma is going through?

Did anyone in olden times fit just perfectly into their britches?

Since Shakespeare invented virtually every expression in use today, including "Don't go there, girl", shouldn't actors performing his plays have their hands in the air-quote position for whole performances? "Give the devil his due...I refuse to budge an inch... I suspect foul play... I didn't sleep a wink..."

In the spirit of super-hero sequels, some coming summer blockbusters: II Am Legend; Dial MI for Murder; The Madness of King George IV; VI is for Viendetta; Malcolm XI.

Overheard one afternoon in a coffee shop, a man interacting with his laptop.

"Eh."
"Eh."
"Eh?"
"Eh?"

Rosetta Stone - Canadian ©.

Overheard one night at supper.
Jesus: "If they find out about this, I will literally be crucified."
Judas: "OK, stop. One of my pet peeves is divas saying 'I will literally lose my mind', or 'My boss will literally pull me limb from limb.' And then they never actually lose their mind. Or they get a slap on the wrist from HR. So stop the gross exaggeration, unless you're actually going to be crucified."

In the original 13 colonies, when there was a heavy snowfall, did the authorities use phrases like "it might be weeks before we get the kerosene back on?"

Killing whales is wrong. But one has to admit the beauty of whales as source of oil is that they are the fuel and the tanker in one renewable, sustainable, domestic package, and with more reliable navigation skills than some Exxon captains/BP rig operators.

I hate it when people say such-and-such a place is "mock-Tudor." If you're in Arizona, is it really necessary to say your house or favorite pub is "mock-Tudor"? I think we all know Henry VIII never made it to the Greater Scottsdale area.

The next e-reader: The Cranny.

If leather had been invented before flatulence (it wasn't), then maybe anytime someone broke wind in public, others would think he or she had only shifted position in his or her leather chair (as opposed to the other way around).

When John Hancock used to sign documents, did his administrative assistant say: "Put your King George III right here. And here. Wherever I've put the melted wax 'stickie' on the parchment?"

If the Nuremberg war criminals were being re-tried today, and this obviously would take place in the state of Florida, the Nazis could probably get acquitted on a Stand Your Ground defense. (Defense strategy would be contained in the secret 'Zimmerman Tweet'). Rudolf Hess (in witness box): "We were unofficial European Neighborhood Watch... Oh sure, we stalked and harassed and provoked Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, etc. and the League of Nations did tell us to stay away. And true, those countries ended up dead. But there was a struggle and so it's really hard to say who started what and when."